What I’m about to say I’ve said before, but after reading this, I think it bears repeating in a post all its own.
The post over at Hecate’s points out that the police were nearby… about 200 yards away in an adjacent parking lot. The responding officer was on the scene about a minute after the 911 call went through. But yet, 5 dead, 1 wounded, and the gunman was nowhere to be found.
Moral: even if the cops had to protect you, even if they wanted to protect you, they can’t. They just can’t be everywhere all the time. They just can’t respond fast enough to save you and prevent tragedy.
Some still refuse to believe this. So I offer this simple experiment. I find this useful to present in either a one-on-one or small group discussion. Usually it’s met by stunned silence because people don’t want to think about such things, especially such things happening to them. I only hope it gets people to seriously think about taking care of and responsibility for themselves. NOTE: I’m not actually advocating doing what I write below; it’s a presentation of a hypothetical situation for the purposes of discussion.
You go ahead and call for help. However you want to do it. Use a mobile phone, yell, blow a whistle, carrier pigeon, whatever you want to use. In fact, I’ll let you have an advantage that you would never have if the following were really happening: I’ll let you make the call for help before anything else happens.
Now that the call has been made, I’m going to start pummeling you. Just me and my fists. And I’m going to keep beating on you until that help arrives and stops me. If you want, we can have a rule that you’re not allowed to fight back, or if you want to you can fight back. Doesn’t matter.
Start to fathom how much pain you’ll be in by the time help arrives. Will you be bruised? bloody? maybe some bones broken? maybe a concussion? could some body parts be lost? maybe you’ll be dead? Well maybe you won’t die since it is just my hands, right? What if I add in some steel-toed boots and stomp on your head once you’re on the ground? Or what if I have a beer bottle? baseball bat? crowbar? large stick? knife? gun? maybe a few friends that are similarly equipped?
Do you really believe that someone will come and save you? Well, maybe someone will, but how long will it take for them to arrive? Whenever they do arrive, how will you be at the end of it? Are you willing to accept the level of damage — which could be life threatening/ending or perhaps just cripple you for life — that you could possibly take while you wait for help to arrive?
If you’re willing to accept the damage, then by all means continue to carry on in your life expecting others to provide your safety. If you chose to not fight back, I’m sincerely curious as to why. If you choose to fight back, do you wish to allow yourself every advantage you can get to maximize your abilities and possibilities to come out on top with as little damage to you as possible? Me? I am unwilling to accept that damage to myself, to my family, to my friends, and even to other people around me. I will fight back, and I choose to equip myself with skills and tools to give me every advantage. If you wish to limit your options, that’s your prerogative because we all draw our own lines in the sand. But you draw your line where it works for you, let me draw mine where it works for me. Please don’t get in my way of choosing how to protect my life and the lives of my wife and children. Please don’t cripple me. You can live your life as you choose, just let me do the same.