Stepping away from football and focusing on security & terrorism. The recent events in Nice and Munich are fresh in the mind and I do not intend to repeat the details of those events. I however wish to focus on some of my 'take aways' from these two events.
I now believe these type of events should be treated as the new norm. They should be perceived in the same way we look at armed robbery incidents leading to multiple loss of lives; fatal knife crimes; and fatal gang warfare.
I believe the security agencies are now clear that there is no security arrangement or intelligence gathering that can prevent a lone ranger from taking multiple lives if that individual is so determined. There is no tool yet developed for reading minds nor any functional crystal ball in existence that can tell you what a murdering lunatic will do next.
This is sad and somewhat fatalistic but I don’t think there is an alternative way or a solution to the problem. However there are several steps the government, the security establishment and politicians can take to help the public appreciate this stance. I will explain this at the end.
If I had to design a the set up to combat terrorism this is what I will do.
The security establishment needs to embed armed men and women into the general populace. What if that waitress serving you coffee is armed with a disguised and licensed automatic weapon? What if that customer service assistant is actually a professionally trained sniper working for the government to protect its citizen? Hopefully this will allow the bastards who plan to mass murder innocent people think twice.
Yes many might say that these terrorism / security incidences happen too infrequently and in scattered location to justify the cost of implementing the solution I am recommending. But I think the loss of lives, the cost of the economic activities lost to these vile and deranged people outweighs whatever cost the government will incur in deploying my proposed solution.
In addition, I think the security agencies need to up their game. The 9/11 bombers in the US were known to government agencies, the 7/7 bombers in the UK were known to the authorities, the mass murderers in Paris were known to both the authorities in France and Belgium. The mentally deranged truck driver in Nice was known to local police officers as a scum thief and serial abuser of women while the Orlando self-hater was also known to local police.
If the security establishment were a bit ahead of the game, none of these idiots would probably have executed their murderous plans. They would either be in prison somewhere, dead or deported to a more welcoming country where they can practice their beliefs / convictions to their hearts content. The security agencies should stop hiding under liberty laws. You suspect someone of terrorism sympathies, lock him up please. The laws of the Magna Carta are not suitable for this day and age – 900 years after they were agreed.
We live in a different world today where one individual can kill almost a 100 people with truck or a group of 10 individuals can paralyze the strongest / mightiest country in the world as we saw during 9/11.
All these hiding behind freedom of speech, freedom of association and assumption of innocence must stop. A man claiming he subscribes to a murderous conviction should be enough to deny that individual his rights to freedom. Nations must be able to revoke the citizenship of people who do not wish to live by the collective values of that country. All the laws standing in the way of these suggestions including Article 15 of the UN Charter should be repealed and new and 22nd Century friendlier laws put in place.
Even within the existing laws, the Nice outrage could have been prevented on that day, if the French Police had moved that bastard on after a few hours. Officers noticed him earlier in the day, he told them a cock and bull story about delivering ice cream and nobody followed up later to find out if the ice cream he was delivering had all melted. If only a police officer had moved him on.
Gun laws also need to be looked at. I assume the USA is doomed on this score, as I don’t see them ever tackling the issue on a national scale. However in states where it is possible, and in other countries so inclined, gun laws need to be tightened. Members of the general public should never have access to semi automatic or automatic weapons or concealable weapons of any kind. The psychological profiling should be such that if there is any doubt, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Visits to the psychiatrist should be mandated on a regular basis if you own a gun. Paid for by the gun owner.
Furthermore, the way we deal with mentally ill people is also an area where we can make improvements. Yes I am aware that the psychiatric side of medicine is not an exact science but where there is doubt, the medical professional needs to exercise their professional discretion for the benefit of the general public and not hand - wring about ‘difficult choices’ / ‘respecting the individual’ who is likely incapacitated but the medical tools are not definitive enough to make such a pronouncement. As far as I am concerned, a medically ill person on lock down or on 24-hour supervision will not be able to cause mayhem or mass murder.
Finally, members of the general public play a part. If we know any idiot who fantasize about killing other people for some perceived wrong or the other and we do nothing because we assume they will never carry out their threats. I believe we are just as guilty as that one if they then go on to commit some outrage. I wouldn’t want to find out that I could have prevented the death of 100 people and said nothing to the authorities. We need to speak out and the authorities need to listen and take action.
Back to our politicians. They need to bear the larger part of the responsibility. They should trust the public a little more. We know they can never put a stop to armed robbery, knife and gun crimes etc. And it is looking like they have nothing in their armory to stop / combat terrorism. So please level with the public. Tell it as it is. And let the public be aware of alternatives that might the current situation such as the restriction of liberties earlier outlined. When Great Britain and its allies fought WW2, lots of liberties were temporarily suspended. We are in the middle of another war and we appear to be fighting this war with both hands tied behind our backs. If the public is uncomfortable with the loss of some liberties, then we need to live with the consequences of our decisions and accept the occurrence of terrorism as the new normal.