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“World War 1 British artillerymen in 1915 launched observer balloons to notify gunners along the line to commence firing; the easily seen visual signal was more reliable than rudimentary methods of courier or telephone…”
The balloon has gone up.
Whatever the “official” explanation of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino —workplace violence, climate change, mental health issues, post-partum depression, the Tea Party — I think the adults in the room understand that none of those explanations quite explain a bomb factory in a suburban apartment, 2 heavily armed and armored followers of a religion that is at war with the 21st Century, a couple who casually drop the baby off at granny’s house before heading out to slaughter Americans, who attach GoPro cameras to their gear to make sure to document in glorious high definition the slaughter, who choose to shoot it out with police rather than surrender.
There are enough “whys” here to keep forensic technicians, psychologists and politicians talking in endless circles for a decade. Let me step up clarify those “whys” for you — they don’t matter. The technicians, the psychologists, the politicians are no more capable of arriving at an understanding than a witch doctor casting the bones of his ancestors. In fact, I would argue that the witch doctor is more likely to come up with the only answer that makes sense…evil exists, and manifests itself in the world.
I would suggest that you can arrive at that very same conclusion by searching “Beheadings” on the Internet. But again, as I wrote in TRAIL SAFE, the “whys” only matter insomuch as they help you protect yourself and your families.
It is not necessary to know the complete backstory, the sad childhood, the deep religious conversion of a plague bacillus, only how to kill it.
From Jim Geraghty at NRO:
They abandoned their child? Okay, stop. This was not driven by a workplace dispute. To leave your infant child and then commit horrific violence that is likely to lead to your death from police action requires an almost otherworldly devotion to . . . some other cause, something you consider more important than life, death, and the inherent biological urge to protect your offspring. “Larry from accounting keeps taking the last doughnut at staff meetings” or “they took my red Swingline stapler” isn’t the sort of motive at work here.
What motivation have we seen that would make seemingly ordinary people go on mass-murdering attacks? What ideology or twisted religious fervor have we seen people willing to sacrifice their children for, willing to die for?
Forget what we “know;” think about what we can do:
1) You MUST be vigilant as you go about your everyday lives! Yes, it is the holidays, and I’m not going to tell you to avoid crowds, keep out of malls, etc., although heaven knows that makes sense. But you need a heightened sense of awareness. Observe entrances and exits, and ask yourself if shots ring out, were is the best place to take you and your family? Where is cover? Where is a hidey-hole? I strongly urge you to watch the CNN documentary, TERROR AT THE MALL, on the Nairobi Westgate Mall terrorist attack. Study what the survivors did that kept them alive. Watch the defenders — 2 police and 2 CCW holders — work through the Mall.
2) It’s not enough to be armed… you MUST be trained! Remember our emphasis on DOWN RANGE Radio about the necessity of delivering the shot? You can’t be too trained. The more you internalize your silliest with your EDC guns, the more concentration you’ll have for negotiating the hellish maze you may face. Make sure your training involved both strong-hand and weak hand-training. I have participated in numerous scenarios where I had to use the non-weapon hand to control a person — spouse, child, whomever — because I needed them to be RIGHT THERE RIGHT THEN! Do you know how to shoot from retention? Do you know how to move with your gun out in such a way that you don’t increase the panic? Can you take a 25-yard head shot or a 50-yard center mass body shot with your EDC?
3) Start competing in a shooting sport immediately. Hell, I don’t care which one! Even cowboy will help you learn to shoot under stress and how to move from position to position and quickly pick up multiple targets. You need the stress inoculation, building up those stress “antibodies”” so when the real stress happens, you don’t stand there like the little mule deer buck in the middle of road last night, eyes wide open, frozen in place. I believe (and I teach) that LAG TIME KILLS. Lag time is defined as the time from your recognition of the stimulus until the initiation of your response. The shorter the lag time, to greater the likelihood that you get to go home that night.
4) Consider your gear. Where you are, right at this very minute, do you have a gun in reach? A reload? A trauma kit? Do you keep a trauma kit in your car? Do you know how to stop a bleeding wound? Do you have a knife and flashlight within reach? Do you know how to use the folding knife you have in your pocket right now? If you’re spending a lot of time in public, have you considered carrying a second gun? If the situation goes worst-case, might it be better to have 2 people firing back than one?
5) Finally, you must believe you can win, you can overcome. You must believe in yourself, not in a happy, self-esteemy way, but in that part of your heart and mind that is made of granite. Because if you don’t, all the skill in the world is worthless. I refer you to 3 critical books, Larry Gonzales’ DEEP SURVIVAL: WHO LIVES; WHO DIES AND WHY, Amanda Ripley’s amazing THE UNTHINKABLE: WHO SURVIVES WHEN DISASTER STRIKES AND WHY and Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder’s THE BIG BLOODY BOOK OF VIOLENCE: THE SMART PERSON’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING DANGEROUS TIMES. Read them as if your life depends on it, because it does.
An ironic sidenote, just before I got a text from Seeklander on Wednesday telling me to turn on the television, I was on the phone the THE BEST DEFENSE Producer Jeff Murray. Jeff and I were talking about Episode 13 for 2016, essentially an episode where all of us pick out shows that we’d like to re-emphasize. Jeff asked me which show I personally wanted to focus on. I immediately said “The Office Attack,” a show we modeled on the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris. I told him that, “God help us, Jeff, but I believe that is our future.” He agreed. Ten minutes later, we were proven right.