Words that no longer matter in todays preparedness world
The lines and definitions of what is and what is not have become too blurred to be meaningful.
19 people shot during a parade in New Orleans is not terrorism. Its gang violence. Would the presence of an elected official or religious leader at the parade make the shooting an act of terrorism? Perhaps.
In January, 2011 an individual opens fire at an outdoor gathering in Tucson, Arizona, hitting 18 people including U.S. Representative Giffords and killing 6 others. The incident was initially describes as "terrorism" by numerous officials.
Regardless of the title bestowed, the outcomes remain the same.
Another term thats outlived its usefulness is Homegrown Terrorism. We started using that little waste of text after some freshly re-worded, politically corrected preparedness documents were published. We're supposed to use Homegrown in place of Domestic Terrorism. According to WikiPedia Homegrown Terrorism is the
“use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”To understand how moronic this is, realize that, according to this definition, the attacks of 9/11 were Homegrown Terrorism.
Why not retire terms like terrorism and homegrown terrorism? They taint our thinking, planning and response. Instead why not embrace Rule of Outcomes Thinking that prepares us for a variety of outcomes from events...regardless of the motive. Rule of Outcomes Thinking leads to preparedness based on what we can expect the outcomes of a given event to be. Its a close cousin to all-hazards. We don't need to stress over who's in charge if its a terrorist event or not. Manage the situation based on the outcomes or anticipated outcomes.