After a terrifying week in Boston, residents can finally breathe a sigh of relief and focus on healing. The nightmare of having 2 terrorists in their midst is finally over.
What motivates people to do what they do? These two, it appears, were radicalized by their beliefs in Islam. Here they are, welcomed with open arms into our Country and they turned on us anyways. The scariest part of this whole incident is that they appeared normal and average guys. They then indoctrinated into their new beliefs, grew angry, and snapped. How do you stop something like that from happening?
You can’t see into people’s minds and that is scary. Let me assure you, their shift in beliefs and demeanor definitely changed their personalities. Those closest to them just failed to notice or didn’t think much of it.
Awareness is key to identifying a problem before it becomes YOUR problem. Be aware of those closest to you whether they are classmates, coworkers, regular customers, relatives, folks you ride the subway with regularly, etc.. People like this leave clues. Your job (for your own safety) is to pick up the subtle hints and nuances of their personality changes so you can protect yourself and possibly others.
Let’s look at some incidents:
Adam Lanza – The Newtown shooter apparently kept a huge, meticulously detailed spreadsheet of other mass murders and attempted killings. He had journals with disturbing images and writings. These are things a parent should know about. He lived with his mother in her home.
“One (drawing) had a woman clutching a religious item, like rosary beads, and holding a child, and she was getting all shot up in the back with blood flying everywhere,” a friend said as cited in the Daily News
Lanza’s mother, although disturbed by the images, decided to “think it over” rather than addressing the issue.
Instead of addressing her son’s obvious violence obsession and mental health issues she took him to the shooting range and taught him how to use high power weapons and properly shoot. What?
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris – Both kept journals and ilegally amassed a cache of weapons which they used to commit the massacre of their classmates. Those closest to them either failed to recognize the downward spiral or dismissed it as teens just being teens, either way the outcome was tragic.
John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo (a.k.a. The Beltway Snipers) – Red flags all over the place with these two. Muhammad kidnapped his children, committed credit card and immigration document fraud as well as other crimes. Malvo had violent tendencies and tortured small animals. Clue, clue, clue…
The issue here is how do YOU identify a problem and distance yourself from it. You should pay attention to those who share you space. Be aware of your classmates, coworker, regular subway passengers, regular customers. Vigilance must be a natural state of awareness for you. You need to maintain a safe distance from people who you recognize are spiraling out of control. If you never bother to pay attention then you will miss the cues that something is wrong.
If it is a friend or family member, seek help for them. If it is a classmate or coworker alert counselors or a workplace assistance unit. If it a customer tell your boss. And if it is a stranger on the subway…report it to transit authority and take another train.