Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Homegrown Terrorism

Less than 50 miles from the Southern White house at Mar-a-Lago lies an independently functioning cell of the biggest terrorist threat to this country.

If you listen to Fox and Friends, they had a broadcast from the Lighthouse Diner on US 1 in Tequesta, just 30 miles up the road from Mar-a-Lago and a mere 15 miles away from this particular terrorist cell.

None of the security for either of these knows that the threat is so close, because it has become background noise in our society.

The operatives in this terrorist organization are from all walks of life. They are both citizens and immigrants, legal or otherwise. They are from all races, religions, and orientations. There is no quantifying them under a single demographic that can be targeted and wiped out.

Illegal drugs and the culture it propagates is destroying American society faster than any outside enemy possibly could.

At this point, you might be thinking to yourself that "terrorism" isn't the correct word, after all, we have already publically acknowledged that we have a drug "epidemic" or "crisis" or "problem". Shouldn't terrorism be reserved for describing extreme threats?

If you are of this mindset, you obviously have never had a family member, friend, or loved one become a front line victim of drugs.

Examine the first four definitions of terror from Merriam-Webster and you will find that they all apply to this situation. (Click link here.)

a state of intense or overwhelming fear; violence or the threat of violence used as a weapon of intimidation or coercion; a very frightening or terrifying aspect; someone or something that inspires fear

The addict lives constantly at this level of fear - wondering if they will be discovered, where to get the money for the next fix, whether the next fix will kill them, whether the dealers they owe money to will kill them, whether they will end up incarcerated, wondering how long they will be in withdrawal until they get their next fix.

The families of the addict dwell in this zone, once they learn about the addiction - scared that they will find the addict dead, frightened of the drug paraphernalia that the addict leaves around, worried about the repercussions from the dealers, trapped in the cycle of constant requests for money, frightened to discover theft of valuables that the addict sells, pawns, or trades for drugs.

The dealers themselves are the terrorists, the source of the fear for the users as well as their friends and families. Often, they capitalize on the slowly expiring love and loyalty that friends and family have for the addict. They actively threaten harm to the addict to squeeze more money out of the friends and family. They threaten harm to the family to coerce the addict into theft or dealing drugs.

Even the recovering addict lives in a state of anxiety and fear, much of it caused by our society. Once they get clean, they often are unable to gain employment which leaves them unable to provide for themselves or their families. They have restricted access to ongoing support systems because of a shortage in our healthcare system. Nobody will trust them - not employers, not friends, not family. Each time they fall, it becomes easier and easier for them to relapse - it is a vicious cycle.

Once you actually have someone close to you become involved in drugs, you learn just how pervasive the fear is, dwarfing the threats that appear in news blurbs.

These terrorist acts are occurring every day, every hour, every minute, under our noses. And the impact is going significantly unreported.

Our society sweeps it under the rug. Obituaries list "sudden death" rather than "drug overdose". Wealthy families hide the addict in costly rehabs and send them on extended vacations. Middle class families use all their healthcare resources on detox and rehab until the money runs out. Poor families hope that law enforcement will take the addict off their hands.

There are homeless people living in tents and shacks in the woods all over this country, existing at panhandling and working as day laborers long enough to get the money for their next fix.

We are spending millions of dollars and countless resources taking out "high profile" targets that are a "credible threat".

We are spending millions of dollars of United States money battling "outside threats" from other countries.

We are spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money waging political infighting battles.

But we aren't even spending a fraction of that to combat this home grown terrorist threat.

There aren't enough treatment facilities.

There aren't enough employers who will give a recovering addict a fighting chance.

There isn't enough money or latitude for law enforcement to make tactical strikes on the bases of these terrorists on a routine basis.

We don't need to worry about another country "taking down" our society, we are allowing it to happen from within.

Time to refocus and channel all our energy, resources, and money towards breaking the hold of these terrorists on our citizens and freeing them to once again have the quality of life they deserve.