The proliferation of cameras, social media, and a 24-hour news cycle has meant certain crimes get quickly elevated in the public consciousness. Over the last seven years (hmmm, wonder what changed?) there have been several high-profile crimes involving both police officers and armed civilians that have caused various degrees of civil unrest. This post from PJ Media discusses the “Ferguson Effect” that has affected police departments across the country.

…having the police there is only half of the solution to the rise in murders. Cops have to be there, and they have to be willing to get out of their cars and question people acting suspiciously. Police officers have always been willing to risk a shootout in the cause of defending the defenseless, but they are wary of becoming the next cop to star in some political prosecution.

What this means for civilians is that relying on the police to be there when you need them is wishful thinking. That means people need to be ready to be their own first responder and not expect fast response times from law enforcement. The bad news is that this will place a greater burden on citizens and require people to step-up their preparations. The good news is this could provide a catalyst to engage neighbors and like-minded people for mutual assistance. One thing is for sure though; policing is in a state of flux right now in America…plan accordingly.

A lot of Americans are concerned that our nation’s porous southern border with Mexico represents security major security risk. It could serve as a conduit for Islamic radicals to infiltrate the US and carry out attacks. What is less known and rarely talked about is the situation on the northern border with Canada.

Now many Americans will scoff at the idea that ISIS or other Islamist groups have a Canadian launchpad for its operations. John Schindler recently wrote a piece for the Observer where he discusses this subject in depth. Read the whole post, but keep this particular sentence in mind:

Thanks to large-scale immigration, a permissive environment that emphasizes multiculturalism over assimilation and overwhelmed security agencies, Canada now possesses a domestic radicalism threat that Americans need to be talking about.

From a preparedness perspective, it is important to remember that threats can emerge from unexpected directions. Canada is a peaceful and safe country for the most part, but it has a growing community of radical Islamists who will attempt to carry out terrorist attacks in the USA. Just like crossing the street, it is important to look both ways to see if there is a threat…

A few weeks ago, there was a massive blackout that affected hundreds of thousands of citizens in Ukraine. It wasn’t just any blackout either, it was an intentional blackout caused by hackers that targeted electrical power transmission systems. As Fast Company writes:

The attack is significant because it’s the first known time malware has been used to disrupt critical physical civilian services. Until this time most cyber attacks that have directly affected the public have remained in the realm of digital-–think the Target credit card hack or the Ashley Madison breach.

This blackout took place in the middle of winter and was intended to cause maximum harm. Remember that Russia and Ukraine are locked in a smoldering conflict over territory, so this event was another front in this particular war.

The takeaway from all this is that nation-states, hacktavists, terrorists, and criminal syndicates will target key infrastructures like electrical power grids. This means the power will not always be on when you need it, perhaps for long periods during inconvenient times of the year. Plan accordingly.

The recent Paris terrorist attacks show that militant Islam remains a threat no matter where you live. While other events or disasters are more likely, attacks on unarmed civilians by Muslim extremists will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future. Therefore it is wise prepare for these types of events, which I have mentioned in previous posts.

After all, you can’t carry around a FAMAS every time you leave your abode.

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Less than two weeks ago, Ryan Giroux went on a rampage in Mesa. His actions killed one person and wounded five others in a spree that shut down parts of the city. What is even more frightening about his actions is that they took place in a part of town that I regularly traverse. The locations of the shootings, the cross streets, and local landmarks are well known to me.

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