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We are aware of many terrorist attacks both around the world and right here in the United States. The majority of the world is appalled at what a group of human beings are willing to do to other people and their lack of care and compassion for life.

Our country and most of the good people here cannot comprehend the desires and motivations of terrorists. It is very difficult to take our life time teachings of peace and willingness to help others and understand the absolute hate some can have. Add in the words radical Islam and it is even harder to understand how any religion or people with any religious view would support the slaughter and murder of innocent men, women, and children.

As sheriff, I have had opportunities to attend training on terrorism and some of the things I have learned need to be shared with you. If you ever have an opportunity to listen to Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman please jump at the chance. Col. Grossman is a true patriot and a leading expert in the area of terrorism and school shootings.

Col. Grossman shared with Missouri Sheriffs how history shows Russia had very little terrorism in their homeland while their troops were in Afghanistan. Once Russia called their troops home the terrorists quickly followed and have been active in their country since.

At the same training we also heard from a sergeant with the Israel Defense Forces about life and terrorism in in his country. The two presentations were both very informative and frightening. The sergeant spoke about his childhood and how he and his brothers were on their way to school when surrounded by a group of men who hated Jewish people. He talked about at such a young age he and his brothers knew to take defensive positions for protection but he felt powerless as he watched the men nearly beat his oldest brother to death.

We know a primary goal of terrorists is to instill fear in a population or group for a political cause. We learned how history shows many of these terrorists target civilians but have proven their willingness to target children.

We learned of an incident where a terrorist sniper was shooting at civilians in Israel. The sniper took an elevated position in a building and was leaning out of a window instead of being in the shadows and hidden as a normal sniper. This terrorist had a small child strapped to his chest as he was killing and wounding Jewish people. We learned the women are targeted as they are only viewed as producing future soldiers of Israel. The children are targeted as they are only viewed as future soldiers of Israel. That terrorist was well aware the Israel Defense Forces would quickly respond and most likely have one or more snipers in position to end his life. The terrorist was also aware many snipers in the Israel Defense Forces are women and knew they would be looking at him through the scope of their rifle and would clearly see the child’s fear and tears. Every sniper knew if they were to shoot the terrorist in the center of body mass they would also be killing a child but also if they went for a head shot the terrorist would fall from the building and still result in a child fatality. The terrorist was hoping to simply gain more time to kill more Israel citizens and make a life-long impact on the mental health of the snipers and Israeli Defense Forces.

Col. Grossman shared much information on school and college shootings around the United States and abroad. We heard how many soldiers around the world want their police to protect their loved ones, knowing many terrorists want to target their families and children back home.

Frequently the media shows the United States in reactive mode to terrorism but in the world we now live, terrorism requires governments to constantly be pro-active and prevent terrorist acts at all costs. This poses a great challenge for the United States and may infringe on our rights for the sake of public safety.

A recent terrorist attack in France involved a vehicle as being the weapon of mass destruction. Politicians and government need to think outside the box. A vehicle used in that manner can be more deadly than a handgun or an assault rifle. A properly trained and armed citizen could help to minimize these types of incidents instead of completely relying on law enforcement.

This is not a time for politicians to try and take away firearms and ammunition from a law abiding population but instead educate and train our law enforcement and citizens on protecting our country, our people, and especially our children.

In the training courses I have attended it is a concern this country is not mentally prepared to defend its population and homeland. A terrorist attack on law enforcement both impacts the ability of an organization to protect a community and instills fear in the population. Not many agencies in this country can withstand losing officers and still provide adequate services.

I am very proud 2 of my children now serve in the United States Army. I pray daily for the safety of our country, military members, public service employees, and peace.


Steve Cox


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