From the 1989 movie Road House
And when a man sticks a gun in your face, you got two choices; you can die or you can kill the m**********r
What would you do if your life and the lives of those around you were threatened with a baseball bat? A knife? A gun? Thankfully, the overwhelmingly majority of us never have and never will be put in this position. Good news. But these low odds in no way excuse us from preparing to be attacked.
There are two types of violent situations, which Tim Larkin of Target Focus Training defines as social confrontation or interaction, and asocial violence. Social confrontation is a fist fight in a bar because one guy is attempting to be more macho than another, or a playground tussle between two, adolescent boys. These events involve social order, interested witnesses, and a struggle for power of some kind or degree.
Asocial violence is as follows:
The second scenario (the school shooting) is inherently asocial, that is, we instantly recognize that it has nothing to with communication and there will be no change in the social order–there will only be mayhem, death, and misery. As such it holds no interest for the witnesses; it holds only terror.
Most social confrontation can be walked away from, and engaging in them is often not worth anyone’s time, the occasional pop in a bully’s nose notwithstanding. Asocial violence, however, threatens our mortality. The lesson we learn from asocial violence – and it’s both to our advantage and disadvantage — is there are no rules.
Today’s column is not to teach you self-defense; mere words could never do this. But I feel the need impress upon you the importance of mentally preparing yourself for scenarios like Umpqua Community College so if anything like this happens to you, you do what’s necessary to get out alive. I’m talking about having the mental capacity to not turn into sheep, but become the sheepdog.
Objections abound, especially (though not exclusively) from women. What if the aggressor is too big and I’m too small? What if he’s wielding a machete or automatic rifle, and I only have my bare hands? Friends, your assailant is trying to inflict immense harm on you or end your life. Remember the part about no rules? Regarding your size and strength, have you ever been hurt by a baby who whacked you in the nose or crotch with a toy?
I cheer Ben Carson’s comments regarding the Oregon murders:“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’”
Call this arm-chair or Monday morning quarterbacking, call it hindsight criticism. It seems to me if your life is threatened, you have two choices: Kill or be killed. Yes, you could still die but there’s a good chance you won’t. In fact, Army veteran Chris Mintz was in this frame of mind when he charged the Oregon murderer, got shot three times, hit the ground, said “It’s my son’s birthday today,” and got shot two more times. Mintz will have to learn to walk again, but he’s alive to do it.
And then there’s the story of a convenience store in Los Angeles (source unknown). Two, rival gang members made eye contact across the aisles. One went for his pistol and as he raised his arm and began to fire, the other gang member charged his rival, covering the distance at a sprint. The unarmed gangster took several, non-life-threatening rounds to his body before he beat his opponent to death.
Men, women, and children of any size, shape, or ability — do not get into a vehicle if ordered, do not comply with any command no matter what an assailant is threatening you with, and use everything at your disposal – arms, legs, head, teeth, rolled up magazines, chairs, garbage cans, backpacks, pens, iPads, water bottles, ANYTHING WITHIN REACH – to inflict as much damage on your opponent as you can until the danger is gone. Do not hesitate, do not give quarter. We may indeed pee our pants (or worse) as we charge those who would do us harm. So be it. It will be a funny part of a story we get to tell our grandchildren.
We are Americans. As long as air remains in our bodies, we are never victims.