Lone Wolf - What If It Finds You?
Lone Wolf - A person who prefers to act or be alone, rather than with others. Different from a hermit, a lone wolf will live and work in society rather than hide from it. Can also refer to a person who prefers to work alone. They differ from most in that they do not seek out the company of others. Urban Dictionary
Lone Wolf - Is someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone outside of any command structure, and without material assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group, and may act in support of such a group. Wikipedia
The term Lone Wolf has been used since about 1990 when the Federal Government began their investigation into white supremacists Alex Curtis and Tom Metzger. Curtis and Metzger believed in the sole person or individual attack on membership organizations, the government, and attacks on small groups. The concept at the time was that these Lone Wolves would come from the “underground” or the shadows, and attack those “above ground,” with anonymous acts of violence.
With the frequency of terror attacks, public assassinations, and murders of public service professionals including Law Enforcement, it’s easy to group the phenom all together. What gets lost in the mix of things is that each person that is murdered has a name; they have a meaning and a purpose to life. They are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and spouses, but most of all, they are someone. Like you. Like me.
You see, Wolves attack the sheep because the sheep are innocent and roam about with no way of self preservation or self protection. What protects the sheep are the sheep dogs. The sheep dogs protect the herd from the wolves that stalk their prey from a distance to attack the weakest, the slowest, and the most vulnerable.
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman
Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman served in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division, a platoon leader in the 9th Infantry Division, a General Staff Officer, a company commander in the 7th (Light) Infantry Division, as well as a Paratrooper and graduate of Ranger School. He went on to become a Professor of Psychology at West Point. In February of 1998, Grossman retired from the military as a Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University.
As a civilian, Grossman is a bestselling author with multiple books and has served as an expert witness in numerous state and federal court cases and was part of the prosecution team of United States vs. Timothy McVeigh.
Grossman's first book, "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" is an analysis of the physiological processes involved with killing another human being. In it, he reveals evidence that most people have a phobia-level response to violence, and that soldiers need to be specifically trained to kill. In addition, he details the physical effects that violent stresses produce on humans, ranging from tunnel vision, changes in sonic perception, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Wikipedia
So how was your day today, routine? Did it pretty much go the way you wanted it to? Less of course the nuisances that life often brings upon us, like the spoiled milk or the car on the highway that still doesn’t understand that the left lane is for passing. Didn’t get enough sleep last night because the kids kept you up or you got stuck working late? Maybe today or yesterday was worse for you; maybe you lost a sick relative; maybe you’ve been battling a sickness and it’s progressively gotten worse with each day. Were you on vacation and stood next to your loved one when the lone wolf visited and evil found you? Were you the spouse that opened the door find out your other half was murdered as they sat in their marked patrol car, simply protecting the community? I would imagine you can see what I’m getting at here. Life is not something that we can predict and people’s behaviors are not something we can change.
As a society, we spend a lot of time asking the questions why, who and how? In my opinion, the answers to these questions meant nothing to the person that took his or her last breath after being run over intentionally by a truck in a crowded public area. It doesn’t matter to the person that died together in a pile of other humans in the rest room of a night club. And it certainly doesn’t matter to the small child that was executed, one of twenty-six, in the safety of their classroom. Do those questions matter now?? No, they don’t matter to those that are no longer with us.
The victims in these tragedies that are happening all too often around the world got out of bed on their last day the way they always do. They went through their last day as they normally did until someone decided that they didn’t have the right to do that anymore. And I’ll be honest with you, it doesn’t matter to me either, as to why, who or how. Let me be clear with what I’m saying. The person that kills, the reason they kill, and how they kill, for the direct purpose of this blog, I do not care about. People kill because they can. People kill because of delusion, chemical imbalances, psychological disturbances, and/or mental illness, to name only a few.
The term Lone Wolf has now been taken on by the media and glorified, almost to the point of distraction or acceptance. These people, these Lone Wolves, are cowards. Spineless, moreover most likely depressed, and trying to recover from being picked on in high school. Now they have something to prove to the world. Now they have something to prove to the people that know them to be useless or different. Maybe they didn’t get enough attention from their mothers and fathers growing up. Maybe they have a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental issue. Maybe it’s both, but, most likely it’s more. Regardless, all we need to know here is that they do terrible things to innocent people who are just trying to live their lives.
Here's how I differ and maybe you are the same, having that ridiculous belief that you want the world to be good. You want to raise your children in a safe and loving environment where they will always be protected. But here’s the truth: This is not the world we live in; it’ll never be the world we live in. My oldest boy will start kindergarten in September of this year and I’m nervous about it. My police department and most across the country hire police officers to be at the front entrances of schools for the first week of school. Why? it’s because there is evil in the world. Weak people that want to hurt your children. Not only does it make me sad that my son is getting older, it makes me sad that he is that much more vulnerable. That much more exposed to these people and their misguided delusional views of the world, their beliefs, or their gods. Their mindset that their lives are more important than mine or of those that I love. I’ve dedicated my entire life to helping people; my entire life trying to make the small piece of the world around me a better place. And all the good that I’ve tried to do, all the hard work and hours of commitment, all the love I’ve given to my family, could all be changed with one pull of the trigger, one quick rev of the engine. Life is an adventure; we used to think of this statement as exciting, but now it has a darker meaning, when one wrong decision can easily put you or your loved one in the wrong place at the wrong time, and everything can come crashing down around you.
We were raised as a society at a very young age to respect each other, to be kind and compassionate, to understand other people’s beliefs and upbringings. This is one of my greatest weaknesses that I've had to overcome as a Police Officer of twenty years, that very naive thought that the world is like my mom and dad, kind and loving.
The question that begs to be answered is “How do we stop it?” The answer is simple. You can stop them; I can stop them. We as a society can change the definition of the lone wolf. We can prepare; you can pull your heads out of the sand and take a look around without your blinders on and understand that evil exists. Understand that this evil looks for you; this evil looks for the most vulnerable victim that they can run over with their truck or by other cowardly ways. The evil looks for the elderly man walking down the street picking up cans with only a plastic shopping bag to protect himself. And for these evil people, in the end, you can see their weakness on display when they take their own lives, scared to face the justice of the society that they feel condemns them.
My brothers and sisters in law enforcement around the world understand the threat we as officer’s face on a daily basis. And there is no doubt that these threats have increased for us over the last three years at an epic pace. What evil has done is added police officer murders to their list, as we sit in our cruisers, get a coffee at Starbucks, or while working an extra duty job. We’ve come to peace with this. We’ve accepted this as our jobs and our passions, and we’ve accepted that death could come as we protect human life. And to be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way, nor could we ever imagine doing anything different. It’s in us, and for the best, most true cops, it IS us.
As a force, law enforcement and myself do not want you to have to accept the same terms of unexpected death in the face of evil. What we do want is for you, our community members, our friends, our families, and our loved ones, to accept the fact that evil does exist in our world. That evil is near you; that evil has passed you on your commute to work, on your morning walk, in your grocery check-out line. It’s there, it’s present, and it’s looking for you. Be vigilant!
The question you have to ask yourself is "what will you do to prepare for it?" Identify your fight right now. Identify the inspiration that you will pull from your gut if someone tries taking your last breath from you. Now, re-read that. “Someone tries to take your last breath from you”. If that doesn't light the fire, I hope you spend some time finding something that does.
“What Goes On Around You – Compares Little With What Goes On Inside You.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson