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We are not Quiet. We are not Helpless. And Terrorists will Not Win.

After reading through articles and Facebook posts all morning about the attacks in Paris last night, I’ve noticed something. People like to run their mouths about what should be done to make sure this never happens again and argue about it, and accuse the other side of using a tragedy to push a political agenda.

Others like to say people shouldn’t be running their mouths because talking on Facebook doesn’t change anything and they’re just trying to make themselves feel better. I’ve even seen posts accusing people of being racist for being upset about the terrorists attacks.

And I’ve realized something. We run our mouths because we’re scared. We run our mouths because we want to do something, and we’re not sure how. We don’t want it to happen again, we don’t agree on what to do to stop it, but we’re talking because it’s the only power we have right now.

This is what’s so terrifying about terrorism. It hits us at home and takes away our power without giving us something substantial to fight. There’s a seemingly invisible enemy that could hit at any time and that scares the shit out of us.

So for one day, the terrorists won. They’ve scared us. The western world is shaken, hatred is running rampant across social media and on the streets, debates about taking away rights in exchange for security are popping up. They won this battle, they bought it with innocent blood.

Decide right now they will not win the war. Decide right now it will not be you. You are not helpless. You have a voice, a vote and the right to your life.

If you can think of a way to help this war on terror, from donating money to signing up for the armed services, if you think it will help, do it. If you want to try to change the law by debating, lobbying, and “pushing a political agenda,” do it. If you want to galvanize people in your area to form a neighborhood watch for homes and local businesses, do it. If you want to sign a petition because it could possibly affect law, do it.

And if you want to protect yourself, do it. I’m not going to get on here and say everyone should get a gun, because I know there are people who don’t feel comfortable around them, don’t want the possible bad guys to have them, or can’t get them in their country because their governments have problems with guns.

I am going to say, arm yourselves. With a gun, a knife, a taser, pruning sheers, whatever works for you. Will a gun or knife save you if someone sets off a bomb? No. Will it save you if terrorists trap you with a hundred other innocent people and start mowing you down? Possibly, depending on how many there are and how good a shot you are. At least it’d give you a fighting chance. In America you’re far more likely to need those things to protect you from common street crime, which is enough of a reason for me.

But you can also do something with your words, with your votes, with your passion. So yeah, talking on Facebook may not change anything, it certainly won’t change the past. But it can be used to sway people to your political side, to sign petitions, and to at least show support and make people feel better, braver, and stronger because they know they aren’t alone.

And people are forgetting the role Facebook played last night in making it easy for our friends to check in and let us know they were alright. So yeah, it did something. It did something huge for every single one of us who have friends in Paris right now and know they’re okay because of their Facebook check in.

The terrorists win if we lose freedoms in our fury to fight them, if we turn against each other to fight them, and if we change our lives and cower to protect ourselves from them.

They lose if we continue on with the culture and life they hate so much. They lose if we don’t spread the hatred to innocent people who don’t deserve it. And they definitely lose if we track them down and kill them. No, I do not consider tracking them down spreading the hate. I consider it self-defense, protecting ourselves and our friends from future attacks. It is like shooting someone trying to kill you.

We all have the right to protect our lives, to live our lives, and yeah, to run our mouths. So yes, keep talking on Facebook, changing your profile picture, circulating petitions and debating. Keep showing your support for the victims, even if that’s all you can do. Donate blood, sign up for self-defense classes, lobby for a change in laws, and never ever let fear shut you up.

A weapon on your person may not protect you from bombs and words on social media may not defeat terrorists.

But it can’t hurt to try, you are doing something, you are being brave in the face of terror, and you are not going down without a fight.

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