Monday, June 13, 2016

Deadliest Terror Attack Since 9/11 - What can we do?

By now, you've seen and heard what happened in Orlando on Sunday. With the death toll at "at least 50" it's now the deadliest terrorist attack in America since 9/11.

In the coming days and weeks, you're going to hear lots of people say that they have a solution to this problem.

Democrats and anti-gun folks are going to say that banning certain types of guns will solve this problem. They're wrong. Donald Trump and his supporters are going to say that banning certain types of people from entering the country will solve this problem. They're wrong, too.

The hard truth is that there isn't an easy solution to this problem, and anyone who tells you differently is lying to themselves or lying to you. So what can we do?

We can be prepared.

First, we're all responsible for our own safety. The police aren't able to be everywhere all the time. By all accounts, the police did everything right in this instance, but they aren't able to just instantaneously appear. What does that mean? Well, it means that we all need to do some thinking about how we're going to keep ourselves safe.

I'm not saying that we should live our lives in fear, but we should be prepared. For example, every school conducts fire drills on a regular basis. Now, school fires aren't very common at all, but we still conduct fire drills because we know that if there was a fire, we need to have school children leave the building in an organized manner to avoid chaos. In fact, I can't even think of an instance of a fire at at school, but I sure can remember all the fire drills that I was a part of.

We need to apply this same type of preparedness to our daily lives. So many people walk around in a blithe state of unpreparedness, the only thing that can save their lives when confronted with danger is dumb luck or the ineptitude of the attacker.

You don't need to go around armed all the time, but you certainly could. However, being armed isn't the most important thing. The most important thing is your mindset. You have to be mentally prepared to defend yourself. In fact, if you're armed, you need to be in the right mindset, or you're just going to be part of the problem.

I know it's not pleasant to go around thinking about the fact that the world is a potentially dangerous place, but it is. If you want to work on getting into the right mindset and believe that self-defense is something that you want to engage in, I would highly recommend this short essay by Jeff Cooper. It's only 41 total pages and you could read it over your lunch break. Here's a brief sample:

                                                Principle One: Alertness
"'A commander may be forgiven for being defeated, but never for being surprised.' This maxim is among the first to be impressed upon new lieutenants. It is equally applicable to individuals who aspire to a degree of physical security in today's embattled society. Alertness is, to some extent, an inherent personality trait, but it can nonetheless be learned and improved. Once we accept that our familiar and prosaic environment is in fact perilous, we automatically sharpen our senses."

The rest of the essay goes on to detail the other principles, which Cooper lists as: Decisiveness, Aggressiveness, Speed, Coolness, Ruthlessness, and Surprise.

There's no magic solution to violence, but we can at least try to be in the right mindset in the event that we find ourselves in a situation where you find yourself in a violent situation.


  1. you need to read everything Col. Cooper wrote - and do not fail to read his recommendations on how to raise a child - Ride, Shoot Straight and tell the truth.

    Col Cooper was an admirer of our General Wade Hampton - and that is worth a thought or two as well

  2. Great thoughts, but I’d go a teensy step further and recommend that CWP-holders make a habit of carrying every day, everywhere it’s legal. I was disheartened to read about a robbery at a Waffle House here in SC recently, more so because none of the patrons were packing. Sheesh, I hope none were CWP-holders who decided to go non-commando that morning.

    The fact is that one does not know when a firearm will be needed, and when the need arises, it’s better to have one than not. Think of it as being part of the militia. We’re in a long war with the radical Islamiscists, so consider yourself as a member of the militia. The bonus is that you can irritate the anti-gunners by ruining one of their Second Amendment talking points. But you can also consider yourself to be a Designated Defender as a CWP-holder who carries whenever it’s legal to do so.

    But even more importantly, in any group of partiers, there should be one, the Designated Defender, who agrees to avoid drinking alcohol and to pack heat. This works in those states where one can legally carry concealed in establishments that serve alcohol as long as one does not consume alcohol. That’s the law in Virginia and South Carolina, for example. In the remaining states, CWP-holders should continue to lobby for such laws.

    The odds of an ISIL attack in Columbia and environs, is likely low, but I can think of at least three soft targets. There are also the random wackos that appear periodically and need to be stopped quickly.

    I don’t carry because I’m afraid – I’m not. I carry because I like being prepared.