Real control verses virtual control

acheryImagine for a moment that you’ve exerted all of your effort protecting what you thought were inalienable rights.  Then you realize that those rights could be taken without your consent, without warning, and without a debate.

We are so caught up in the arguments over rights, liberties, and fundamentals that we overlook the fact that what is “real” can be easily circumvented.  It’s all for naught when the system is hacked.

Gun control and the war against terrorist (both domestic and foreign) have become hot topics.  We approach terrorist with a two dimensional lense however.  We argue around the facts. Hate is hate, no matter how we disguise it. Death is irrevocable.  And the methods that presume death are equally unpredictable.  Death comes!

Medical doctors try to prevent it (death). Doctors of psychology try to explain it.  But lawyers, law makers, and judges all have a role in attempting to promote safety.  The laws only give us the illusion of safety.  Real safety is incomparable to virtual safety. And virtual safety is beyond legislation.

Our culture is reactive in nature. We can’t effectively predict cyber terror.  We certainly can’t legislate meaningful safeties.  Realistically, laws keep honest people honest. The criminals operate under a much different code.  And yet we ignore that fact!  We debate–hoping that our passion will somehow awaken the intellectual fortitude to resolve the world’s crimes.

Pessimistic prognosis!

For years we’ve watched snipers, lone gunmen, and supposed terror cells infiltrate our educational, industrial, and governmental infrastructures.  We react to the terror in the North America, but completely ignore the crimes against humanity in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.  Gunshots in Paris evoke empathy, which turns quickly into a need to go to war.  Meanwhile continuous acts of gun violence trigger a wave of increased gun sales in Southern California.  When it’s local, gun owners take matters into their own hands.  Scratch your head on that one.

It would appear that traditional terrorists merely need to evoke some fear by spending a few rounds into crowds of “innocents.”

Americans instinctively embrace their Constitutional rights.  Suddenly the 2nd amendment trumpets over the 5th Amendment.  The right to kill (err bare arms) is more important than the right to due process.

And then there are riots

Gun ownership doesn’t stop riots however.  The misuse of guns sets the stage for the exploitation of the judicial process highlighted in the 5th Amendment. In other words, when that gun is fired by the wrong person AT the wrong person (regardless of the provocation), we react. And then we have riots!

Are Constituional rights more important than human rights?  Are they mutual exclusive?

nerf guns

But this is not about gun rights!  This is about control, and the absence of control as a result of terrorist acts.  There’s many kinds of terror.  The fear caused by “traditional terror” is virtually immeasurable.  The actual damage caused by virtual terror (or cyber terror) is real, and very measurable.


The World Wide Web is under attack as leaders contemplate how to regulate access to information.  As we know, however, (1) terrorists are inspired by the governmental insistence that there will be sanctions for non-compliance.  Even rioters rebel against sanctioned law enforcement–and rioters are considered domestic terrorist by some; (2) terrorists do not comply with the law; and (3) acts of terror are an implicit resistance to social norms. So the leaders are going to regulate this?   Good luck!

Cyber terrorists are not going to wait for world leaders to develop a counter-plan.  Hackers are but a keystroke or “viral code”away from forcing the virtual world to its knees.  Sadly our culture is so heavily reliant on the virtual, that any threat is REAL.


As we worry about the terror threat level while traveling this holiday season, recognize that the anonymous hackers of the world await the command to flip the switch.  There will be no regulation.  There’s no tracking the hacking.  When the lights are turned off, only the flashlights will work.  And if your only flashlight is on your mobile device, you’ll be left in the dark.

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