I’m not going to write about the Oregon shootings. Not enough information is out and at this point we’d be sharing ignorance. There is a post maybe, if the profile of the killer is accurate, because it plugs into fears I’ve had for a few years now.
There might also be (there is) a post on the sheer insanity of taking a shooting in a gun free zone as a sign we need more gun laws, as though laws were some sort of magic shield that changes reality. Anyone who genuinely thinks that way is still in kindergarten, mentally.
But I don’t want to write about the shooting in particular. I want to talk about this sort of event, which might not be more frequent than before (I’ve seen claims both ways) but which we’re more aware of, I guess.
My first awareness of mass killing was Black September, during the first Olympics I paid attention to. Dad had sold it to me as this beautiful ceremony, tying in to the ancient Olympics, and how it was all about peace, and then…
Then there was 9/11. But before that, because I live in CO, there was Columbine. I got to not just read in horror about the school shooting, but also to be frisked whenever I dropped the kids off at pre-school while wearing a raincoat. (We had only one car, my house was three blocks from the school and we had a ridiculously rainy year.)
And then there was Beslan. Beslan, and knowing how easy (truly) it would be for something like that to happen in my kids’ schools almost got me to take the kids out of school and homeschool. I’m frankly shocked we haven’t had one of those in the US yet. I’ve expected it for years. Maybe the terrorist scum knows us better than I thought, and knows if they touch our kids, it’s all up with them. Maybe.
And I got to watch the school’s completely ineffective and actually counterproductive reaction to Beslan and to Columbine.
I mean, our preschool teacher informed us, in dramatic accents that she would die for our kids. And all I could think was “Lady, I don’t want you to die for them. I want you to protect them.”
And their grand plan was to lock the classroom doors, and let no one out. You know, the perfectly normal classroom doors, you could kick in without much effort, and which were not bullet proof. What this amounted to was isolating the classrooms, and making it easy for a single killer to move down a hallway shooting the kids in batch lots.
This makes absolutely no sense, of course, unless you think of guns as magical objects, against which there is no defense but to cower and hope that the evil object and its thrall don’t find you.
If say, imagine, someone has an evil magic wand, that can kill you just by being in your vicinity, and he’s loose in the school, yep, the best thing to do is to hide and close the door and hope evil sates itself on your neighbors before it gets to you.
It’s also pusillanimous and shameful and unworthy of any human who walks on two legs. But it is the result of what the left is and what is has become. 90% of the communists and socialists walking around today are not such because they think those regimes are admirable (at least not if they’re over twenty and actually know anything of the world and history) but because they’re afraid they’re inevitable. Their embrace of the crazy left is not an embrace of ideals they think will make the world better, it’s an attempt to be eaten last.
With such people in charge of our policies, as they are throughout most educational establishments, it’s no wonder that the ‘eat me last’ strategy is the best they can come up with.
It is also unworthy — as I said — of any human over the age of six.
Look, we live very comfortable and very safe lives by the standard of our ancestors. And I’m not going to preach about traditional morality, because some of your traditions are not my traditions. I mean, I do believe, on a spiritual level as well as on a practical one, that one defends oneself and also those who can’t defend themselves. It’s a moral duty, as well as a practical one.
But let’s go with the practical side, shall we? I’d bet you the majority of our ancestors are people who defended themselves and those of their group (whatever the group happened to be, and in most cases a tribe.)
Because groups where individuals didn’t defend themselves and didn’t defend those closest to them didn’t survive to contribute their genetics in any significant amount. Those mythical angelic noble savages who never raised a hand to another human being even while being slaughtered, if they ever existed, were the human equivalent of the Dodo. You are not of them and have nothing (or very little) in common with them, genetically.
And those tribes that survived by being the last to be eaten while they probably survived to some extent, were not the most successful around, and I doubt a great part of you comes from them.
So after the Columbine thing, I started teaching my kids what to do in case of a shooting. Because guns aren’t magical, they don’t render the shooter invulnerable. They just make him more deadly than would, say, a knife or a mace. BUT neither infallible nor invulnerable. It’s important to remember that.
Because schools and other public spaces (including army bases) insist on making people there sitting ducks, with no guns for defense you have to get creative.
From being in situations where reaction was needed, I know that I have two modes, and never know which switch is going to flip: the fight like crazy, or the freeze. Fortunately two of the occasions I froze, freeze was what was called for and in the second it even gave me the appearance of courage.
I also know that training and constant instruction makes it less likely you will freeze.
So, we taught our kids, if an active shooter came into the classroom, throw EVERYTHING at them. Everything and anything you can reach: books, binders, even desks (which Robert, being a bulldozer, could have lifted by three.) If you can get them down disarm them.
If you are locked in a classroom, and there’s an active shooter in the school, throw a desk through the window, get out (presuming they’re on the bottom floor, of course), run in zigzags if there’s any sign of shooting from the school to the outside. If it’s a false alarm, we’ll deal with the window.
My kids never needed to put this into action. But I remain convinced it’s the right course of action.
Remember 9/11. The plane that crashed in PA WITHOUT being used as a weapon? The difference is the people in it didn’t follow the instructions to go passive and wait for someone else to save them, which were standard for high jackings before 9/11.
This is the same reason that other attempts have failed. The underwear bomber? the shoe bomber? It wasn’t the TSA (maybe the underwear bomber!) that stopped them, it was their fellow passengers behaving like a pack, not a herd, and looking to their own protection.
More gun laws won’t make you safe. More gun free zones won’t make you safe. people intent on harming you don’t care about the regulations.
This is not kindergarten. Your government is not the “all powerful” teacher. They can’t keep you safe, no matter if they lie and say they can. No matter if they THINK they can.
It is the duty of every adult human to defend him/herself and those weaker than themselves. Not metaphorically. Not by pile-on twitter mobs. But in very real fact. If someone is threatening you or those near you, defense is not just an option, it’s a duty.
In the end, no one else has your preservation as much in mind as you do. Nor should they. And defending the weak, the sick, the small, is a duty of civilization.
Guns are not magical. They don’t absolve you from the duties of humanity and civilization.
Cowering and letting people be shot is the behavior of children and cowards. Don’t be either.
Take stock of the situation and defend yourself. Yeah, you might die, but at least you’ll die like an adult human, not a sheep.
I don’t judge anyone in that situation, because I never know when I’m going to just freeze. BUT I’ll try not to freeze.
As Heinlein put it, paraphrased because I always remember it in Portuguese “It’s better to be a live sheep than a dead lion, but it’s always better to be a live lion. In most cases it’s also easier.”
In a time of uncertainty and violence, (as all times are) don’t bleat for more laws. Laws can’t protect you or those you love. They’re just words, on paper.
Be a lion.