Do It Yourself

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There’s a wildly popular idea sweeping our nation’s law enforcement leaders: civilians, regardless of age or whether or not they’re armed, should be the “tip of the spear” in our counter-terrorism apparatus.

If Americans find themselves on the receiving end of a hail of bullets or an explosive device, they should fight back with every means at their disposal.

In science, this is known as the “fight or flight” response.

But some are suggesting that there might be an unintended consequence of the whole DIY approach to national security and public safety.

For instance, in Carter County, Oklahoma, a largely white district with a population of about 50,000, Sheriff Milton Antony recently warned residents that “radical Islam is bringing the fight to our homeland and killing innocent citizens.”

Antony said in a letter posted to Facebook that while he doesn’t “want to scare anyone,” the times are changing and the “world is becoming more violent toward Americans.”

While Sheriff Antony’s feelings and fears are shared by many, there is the chance that not everyone will consider such posts a “word to the wise.”

Some might interpret it as a call to arms.

And while the idea of heavily armed civilian population that would never need or wait for police (particularly when they’re getting shot at) is extremely attractive, the scenario does present some unique public safety challenges.

It’s always a good idea to keep in mind the fact that Americans are terrified right now for a variety of reasons.

And people that are extremely worked up emotionally don’t always make the best decisions—particularly when it comes to shoot/don’t shoot decisions made with exactly zero training or experience.

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