Is There An “Acceptable” Amount Of Mass Violence?
By Scott Watson
Incidents of mass violence have gripped national headlines for the last several weeks. In a little over a month we’ve seen shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a house of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington D.C. and now at the Empire State Building in New York City.
The ease with which such attacks have been carried out by lone gunman, often with little training, raises the question of what would happen if future small-arms attacks were carried out by an organized group. Such small operations would be easy to plan and finance especially in an open society with innumerable soft targets and a population that zealously protects its civil rights.
While security, law enforcement and intelligence should and will continue to make strides against terrorist organizations it is unreasonable to expect 100% security and safety.
Even governments that exercise far more social control over their populations experience terrorist organizations, mass murders and other horrific acts of violence.
The dilemma facing any government dealing with a terrorist threat is to find a balance between security and civil rights. The debate surrounding this dilemma is understandably robust, but in the end we must face the fact that a certain amount of mass violence will always be with us.
In an election year, it seems especially pertinent to ask: Is the U.S. population mentally prepared to deal with the fact that a certain amount of mass violence is inevitable no matter who is in power?
What do you think?
~ Scott A. Watson, CPP, CFE is a career security professional, author, teacher, speaker and consultant specializing in the areas of organizational security, crisis management and education. He is active in Christian ministries and currently serves as the Chairman of the ASIS Houses of Worship Security Committee.
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