“Run, Hide, Tell.”
No — not a popular playground ditty.
Not an elementary school grammar drill.
Some experts are claiming it’s likely the instructions saved lives. Unarguably, a good thing.
Even so, “Run, Hide, Tell”? There’s something pretty pathetic when that’s the only course offered civilians facing knife-wielding predators.
In the United Kingdom, regular folks are, essentially, barred from carrying a handgun. Come to that — and dafter still — most British cops daily hit the streets minus the type of sidearm American law-enforcement considers standard issue. Allegedly, policy does magnanimously grant UK police the use of “batons, handcuffs, mace, and occasionally tasers.”
So, when a trio of jihadists armed first with their careening van and then “long knives” set upon late-night Saturday pedestrians in England’s capital city, eight minutes of bloody mayhem followed, resulting in as many fatalities and scores more injured. Those who couldn’t head for the hills were mostly reduced to crouching behind whatever was at hand; less frequently, some intrepid Londoners launched ad hoc counterattacks, using chairs, bottles, pint glasses, even a crate.
“Run, Hide, Tell”? Roy Larner declined at least the first two directives feeling compelled instead to take action — with his bare hands. Suffering multiple, serious wounds requiring a hospital stay, the outspoken Millwall FC fan deserves nothing less than a hearty “Bravo”. And shame, shame, shame on feckless, anti-firearm British law that plunked him into that dilemma, in the first place.
Singled out for particular commendation was a British Transport police officer who “tackled” the three murder-minded radicals. Chief Paul Crowther affirmed the patrolman “showed enormous courage in the face of danger …fac[ing] the attackers armed only with his baton”.
Similarly, another officer, this one off-duty and an amateur rugby player, demonstrated “utterly heroic” conduct, putting not only his law-enforcement bona fides to honorable use but his athletic skills, as well, pouncing on one of the terrorists.
The price of these stalwarts’ acts of valor? Vicious injuries inflicted on both.
To be clear: current British protocol is to keep disarmed its citizenry AND those public servants tasked with their protection; effectively guaranteeing no one is properly up-to-snuff when the time comes to neutralize homicidal bad guys. Pardon me, but have we tuned in to a Monty Python skit? What oxygen-consuming adult comes up with this stuff?
My mind casts back to America’s Department of Homeland Security, several years ago releasing an instructional video extending their own suggestions for how office employees ought to respond when confronted with an “active shooter”. The viewer is subjected to nearly four minutes of some common sense; and a dose of patent ludicrosity, too. Images flash of actors portraying presumably competent, respectably paid professionals scampering like befuddled ducklings around their cubicles and meeting rooms, shuttering window blinds, dashing under tables, haplessly blocking doors with odd bits of furniture. The taxpayer-funded tutorial gets really edgy when — ever so fleetingly — the suggestion is floated that, as a last ditch step, the imperiled “might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available”. Accompanying visuals risibly depict some poor functionary scooping a pair of scissors from a desk drawer. Yes, scissors, the tool normally used for trimming excess paper and clipping recipes and coupons.
What’s decidedly not shown? Any hardy soul accessing his/her 9mm Glock — because, of course, for decades the US Federal Government generally has frowned upon such. Rather, it’s doggedly generated whatever obstacles it can to render private gun ownership and usage as tricky and inconvenient a proposition as possible; pragmatically, if not literally, out of reach for the average Joe.
The rubber-meets-the-road message is unmissable: Is your life at stake? Run, hide, cower. If you must, resort to a common workplace implement (one not designed to be a weapon) so you can square off against a maniac toting a weapon of a more lethal stripe. Unspoken subtext? Feel very proud of yourself! Although your would-be executioner has callously disregarded whatever anti-gun laws pertain, you’ve kept yourself duly disarmed and helpless. Oh, except for those scissors! (If, despite your lamb-to-the-slaughter status you survive long enough to do so, you might want to pass along that option to the London constabulary.)
Also coming to mind: Alexis de Tocqueville’s early-nineteenth-century prognostication against “government[‘s] … cover[ing] the whole of social life with a network of petty, complicated rules that are both minute and uniform … [I]t hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.”
Were the famed Frenchman observing 2017’s parlous state of things in Great Britain and America, he might amend that last clause: “the government as malfeasant shepherd literally endangering the lives of its sheep.”
Bottom line: it’s a scarlet obscenity that a government — any government, be it English, American, North Korean, Latvian, liberty-loving, bureaucratically smothering or frankly tyrannical — would stand in the way of its citizens’ access to fundamental, self-defense agencies. Especially in a day like ours in which — self-evidently — it’s so easy for van-driving, knife (or worse)-brandishing barbarians to wade into civilization and wreak grisly havoc.
Doubtless, a case can be made that, in certain scenarios, “Run, Hide, Tell” is the wisest way to go. That it’s the only response permitted by our government minders in every and any instance, no matter the pitiless details? Regardless of the gruesome realities? As I said: pathetic.
When blood-thirsty fiends put in jeopardy the innocent, “Ready, Aim, Fire” should always be regarded a defensible option. Too often, instead, lawmakers render people unprotected, forcing them to quail before firepower or, at best, challenge it with chairs, bottles, empty hands.
It’s outrageous — statist arrogance of the most abominable order.
Image: Twitter; https://twitter.com/search?q=%22run%20hide%20tell%22&src=typd&lang=