If we listen to the news or spend too much time reading social media “newsfeeds”, we are hit with wave after wave of emotionally charged propaganda (and this is true regardless of which side of any particular issue you stand).
I want to take a moment here and look directly and honestly at one issue which is of concern at the time of this writing, and that is how are we to defend ourselves when it is too clear that the powers that be are not going to do it for us.
This is in no way an attack on Law Enforcement. They are doing such hard work and getting very little appreciation from much of our current society. The First Responders, those who run toward the sound of trouble, should be cherished. But they cannot be everywhere at once, and they also have protocols that they need to follow in different situations.
But what are we to do in the time between when someone is actively trying to kill us and the time the Police arrive?
The first step is going to be taken at this very moment.
Have a Plan
If you refuse to even consider what you should do in the event you find yourself in the midst of an active shooter, or a terrorist attack, you will be caught in a mental loop of thought.
So your first step is to have a plan.
Honestly evaluate who you are. Not your digital identity, not your wish or fantasy, but who you really are. Most people are not fighters. If you are not a fighter, you need to escape or hide. This will clear the path for those who will fight, possibly save your own life, as well as others if the fighters are able to get to the bad guy more quickly.
Escape and hide are two options for the non-fighter. If you have an avenue of escape, take it. If not, you will need to hide.
If you have the option of hiding in another room, separated from where the bad guy is, lock and barricade the door. Make it as difficult and time consuming as possible for him to get to you.
Once barricaded, you will need to find something to use as a defensive weapon.
Firearms are not allowed everywhere in the U.S.A. We have a lot of Gun-Free Zones which are the sort of soft targets that the bad guys like. In some countries, the entire civilian population has been disarmed! This creates a much more dangerous situation, but one can still improvise. Anything heavy can be used to inflict blunt trauma. Every office has scissors somewhere, and scissors can be deadly, just be careful how you hold them. I have started carrying a stainless steel water bottle that is heavy enough to be an impact enhancer. Fire-extinguishers can have the element of surprise (when you spray the bad guy in the face) as well as being heavy enough to cause damage if you bash him with it while he is distracted.
In short – you are never helpless, until you give up. Your plan needs to include what to do if escape is not possible and your hiding place is discovered. I’ve just given you food for thought on that one.
Whether fighting back is your first option or last resort, there are two things to keep in mind.
First, are you physically up to fighting. I’m not talking about a bar-fight where you and some other drunk guy are throwing baseballs at each other, I mean are you fit enough to physically tangle with someone who is actively trying to kill you? Can to slice them with scissors, or bash them with a laptop or staple their face to their ass when they are shooting at you?
If the answer is anything other than absolutely YES then you need to get in better shape.
The next question is mental. Can you commit yourself to damaging another person in such a way that he has to stop doing what he is doing?
In my experience, some people can and some people can’t. If you can’t, then stay out of the way and wait for someone who can. If no one around you can, you either need to find the resolve to take that action or suffer the consequences.
No Easy Answers
None of this is intended to make things seem simple. Predator humans are tough to face and for the most part anyone offering simple answers does not know what they are talking about. There are no easy answers for most of these situations.
This is why having a plan is so important. It gives you a mental head-start that can create an advantage, provided it is a good plan based on who you really are, and how the bad guys operate.
I want people to be safe and I want people to be informed. I offer training in personal safety because I think everyone should be able to fight back. Self-defense is a human right. If you live in north Texas, it is easy to train with me. If not, I can come to you or give you information on people near you. My friends and myself train anyone who wants to learn. Use the contact form on the Train with Wallace page and I can get you started, whether with me or someone else. Get some training, or at the very least have a plan.