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Can a backpack make people scared of terrorism?

Discussion in 'Where, When, & How Do We Carry All This Stuff?' started by Dan2, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    The answer to the question:
    ...is yes! Ask a someone in NY or NJ what pops into their mind when they see an abandoned backpack in the back of a subway car.

    The fact is that backpacks, even before their connection with terrorism, have been scrutinized in most major cities for quite awhile. First with the link to potential shoplifting (I remember stores in the early 80s requiring you to check them at the counter), and now with terrorism.

    The backpacks potential association with bombs, is the main reason backpacks (and virtually every other type of bag) are prohibited from all NFL games:

    http://www.nfl.com/qs/allclear/index.jsp


    Naturally, after the Boston Marathon bombings backpacks were (rightly so) put under even more scrutiny:

    http://www.wcvb.com/article/boston-marathon-deaths-prompt-review-of-security-policy/8180973

    https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130426/new-york-city/backpacks-banned-for-five-boro-bike-tour-riders-after-boston-bombings


    I'm in Philly. Pope Francis came to visit in 2015. Guess what was banned from being carried for blocks and blocks anywhere near where he was going to be? Backpacks...and virtually everything else.

    http://6abc.com/religion/prohibited-items-on-ben-franklin-parkway-during-papal-visit/968390/

    Agree or disagree, there are valid reasons that backpacks are so heavily scrutinized and prohibited in so many places where there is an increased risk for terrorism.
     
    Last edited by Holliday, Jan 18, 2017
    #41 Holliday, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  2. Roguetrooper

    Roguetrooper Loaded Pockets

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    Here, the context is important........An 'abandoned' backpack or, for that matter, any 'abandoned' piece of luggage may elicit anxiety - Definitely - But surely it's the 'abandoned' element of it that causes the anxiety, and not the specific item of luggage?

    I'm not convinced that the examples you have quoted are indicative of increased fear associated with backpacks. What they are, or at least what they seem to me, are examples of safety precautions associated with public events and a recognition that, conceivably, a bag, pack, cooler etc could contain something that could cause injury, which I don't think anyone disputes, but the original query was whether a backpack could make people scared of terrorism.

    Perhaps wrongly, I've interpreted the original question as "Does somebody wearing a backpack make you think that they could be a terrorist?" and, as I said earlier, if people are fearful of someone carrying a backpack because of what it could POTENTIALLY contain, then surely that fear/anxiety must apply to any form of luggage in which the contents aren't visible? Yet, in my experience at least, this isn't the case. People, generally, do not get alarmed by other forms of luggage like handbags, dufffles etc So why do packs get such a bad rep?

    This has been a really interesting thread, and has highlighted some of the cultural/societal differences between us EDC-users.

    Personally, I don't think there's a definitive answer to this question.
     
  3. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Agreed.

    I also agree that context is important. However, it appears abundantly clear to me, based on numerous examples over many years now, that backpacks are (unfortunately) linked to acts of terrorism. Honestly, quotes like this:
    pretty much says it all. If that isn't an enough of an example then there's these:







    Again, the OP's question "Can a backpack make people scared of terrorism?"

    Yes! Why else would the bomb squad be involved?
     
  4. Roguetrooper

    Roguetrooper Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know how quote specific parts of a post, but the quote you've referenced......

    "Left unattended, no accessory looks as menacing these days as a backpack."

    To my mind. it's the 'left unattended' bit which is the key element of that quote - The Author is not saying that backpacks per se appear 'menacing', but rather it's the unattended ones that could, potentially, cause alarm, but as I said earlier, surely any type of luggage left unattended/abandoned could elicit that anxiety?

    Which goes back to my original point, I am genuinely surprised to hear that, in isolation, a backpack, rather than any other form of luggage, can cause fear in people.
     
  5. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    There's no question that the unattended aspect plays a part, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

    Edit: In retrospect, I'll just say this. The fact that this thread even exists makes it an easy "yes" to the OP's original question, in my mind.
     
    Last edited by Holliday, Jan 18, 2017
    #45 Holliday, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  6. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    This is an excellent point and not at all unreasonable; however, as I stated earlier, YOU are likely not convinced a backpack is capable of generating the same anxiety as a knife or firearm because you likely have not seen a backpack filled with explosives that went off and killed a group of people.
     
  7. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Yup!
     
  8. DannyX

    DannyX Loaded Pockets

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    When it comes to the fear of terrorism, people really need to chill out. How many people in your country are killed by terrorists every year?
    I totally understand that the authorities in big cities are gearing up, what I can absolutely not understand is people's hysterical reaction.
    If you crossed the street today, drove/rode/walked to work you were 100 times more endangered right there. No matter where you live.
    If you smoke a lot, or eat a lot of junk food, that's what's going to get you. This ain't Syria or Iraq. It's insane how people are obsessed with it and how
    much attention the topic gets in politics and media. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  9. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    Well, let's see DannyX, there's 9-11, Boston Marathon, Pulse Nightclub, San Bernardino, Fort Hood 2009, Little Rock 2009, Queens NY 2014, Moore OK 2014, Garland Tx 2015, Chatanooga TN 2015, NY/NJ 2016, Colombus Oh 2016, to name a few.

    "Chill out"?, a resounding NO!
    Any is too many.
    Our government has helped to reinforce this fear by refusing to do what it can to prevent it, such as vetting immigrants and ignoring our unfortified borders (sound familiar?).
    That may change with our new administration.
    Smoking? Eating junk food? Self-inflicted - hardly a comparison.

    I notice that (your) Germany has opened it's borders to plenty of potential terrorists lately, would you like some of ours as well?
    ............Just my 2 cents.
     
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  10. Roguetrooper

    Roguetrooper Loaded Pockets

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    Germany's been scarred by terrorism too.

    Being German, maybe DannyX's comment possibly sounded a little blunt because English isn't his first language. I don't know.

    But I do share his sentiment about 'chilling out' in one respect. The minute we become terrorised by terrorism, they've won. Their overall strategy will have succeeded. So I refuse to live in fear of them.

    Going back to the original topic, there's nothing wrong, of course, with remaining alert to the threat to terrorism, but it's got to be proportionate surely?

    An unattended backpack in an airport? Call EOD!

    Average Joe Blow with his Jansport? Probably not about to martyr himself.
     
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  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @Roguetrooper: I agree with you. Unfortunately, the terrorists have won in too many ways already.

    Look at the ridiculous way TSA operates at the airports. Made more absurd by insisting everything was all or no body; sometimes based on statistics rather than common sense for fear of arousing cries of 'profiling'.

    Look at how many limits are placed on bags (backpacks or otherwise) at stadiums (sporting events, concerts, etc). Up through yesterday morning, here in the DC area, radio news was continually informing the public that although rain is forecast for the Inaugural events this morning (Jan 20), all umbrellas were forbidden to be carried into the 'quarantined' areas. Security services finally relented and the new announcements were that small collapsible umbrellas (e.g., 'Totes' type) were OK but full size were not.

    It will only get worse. Already some cities enforce blade rules as restrictive as e.g., the Brits or Denmark (meaning NYC, Chicago). NYC periodically talks about bag inspections -- and does them sometimes -- for parts of the subway system.

    Gimme a break.

    Moshe ben David
     
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  12. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    This becomes more and more difficult with each instance.
    I won't say that I am in fear of terrorism.
    What I am in fear of is the lack of recognition of it, and protection from it by our Federal Government, (which thankfully) is being replaced today, at this very moment.
    It's tough to swallow how many of these terrorists on our own soil had been, or were suspected of the potential to do damage to us.
    The farce of the TSA, the farce of the Obama "administration", the farce of "Homeland Security"............
    The "backpack" is only a token "hood ornament" of the problem.
    Yet another aspect of why what we fear is that in light of the danger of terrorist attacks, our rights to self defence have been diminishing.
    Those of you in Europe, do you recognize any of this as a pattern?
    I's not the terrorists that are making this an issue.
    .............It's our own governments that are allowing it.
    .............and it's the citizens that are letting them do so.
     
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  13. DannyX

    DannyX Loaded Pockets

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    I have to admit asking people to "chill out" wasn't the appropriate response considering quite a few people are truly worried about this matter.
    I'm german-american raised bilingual btw.

    I'm not saying it never happens or it isn't horrible, what I was trying to get at is that the individuals "chance" of falling victim to one of these attacks is still extremely low and not roportional to how people are worried about it and how much attention they get. Especially considering the relatively high level of everyday violence in the US. The border discussion in the US is a good example. I don't know of any terrorist in the US who has entered illegaly.

    Don't know exactly what you're trying to get at but I'd really hate to live under a government that gets to lock people up without conviction.
    9-11 T-bags where on the watchlist, didn't help much either, that was during W.
     
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  14. DTWCA

    DTWCA Loaded Pockets

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    Right after the Ariana Grande attack our church hosted a concert for approx 1000. We elected not to do a bag check because who brings backpacks to watch a church concert? You can bet the ONE guy who brought a backpack got a hard look -- how heavy does it look, who's he with, what's his demeanor.
     
  15. Daveho

    Daveho Loaded Pockets

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    That son of a bitch!
    How dare he have come to church after work or have some other event afterwards!
     
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  16. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    Due to medical conditions I tend to carry a small back pack with me almost everywhere I go. Now living out in the country with no public transport I do have to drive so unless I'm gonna be gone from my truck for long term I leave it. I will carry it with me if I know I can't get back to it easily or gonna be gone long.

    The only place I've ever gotten weird looks is in wal marts. Doesn't seem to matter what town either. I can always tell who is their ICS working that day because it never fails they follow me around like a lost puppy.
     
  17. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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  18. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    Anything can make some people scared these days.
    Don’t put to much thought into it. Do as you like, carry a backpack and contribute to this being normal behavior. Don’t let the scared people dictate how we live.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Captainkirk

    Captainkirk Loaded Pockets

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    Red lettering for effect...

    I was eating at a fast food place in a northern suburb of Houston, TX with my family one Friday evening when I noticed a gentleman wearing a nice suit had left his (expensive) briefcase under his table. He had almost made it to his car when I rushed over, scooped it up and followed after him. I was well outside of the building when he must have remembered it and turned my direction with a look of real relief on his face. He thanked me as I handed it over, and that was the end of it.

    I have to say though, though the whole thing I was thinking, " I am the little girl at the beginning of The Untouchables, standing there saying 'Mister, you forgot your...' just as it blows up".

    Well, maybe not through the whole thing, I am sure it crossed my mind as the guy flipped the locking mechanism back into place and sped off in his Packard...
     
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  20. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    Stadiums banning backpacks is a revenue grab to increase concession sales using terrorism as an excuse.