A while ago, I wrote a piece titled “Are You Ready for Anything” (Link). That article primarily addressed physical disasters such as hurricanes. I have intended to write follow-up articles talking about how to prepare for other threats. A friend beat me to one of the subjects I had intended to tackle and did it quite well. So, with a slight modification to the first paragraph, here it is.
Victoria Soto has been revealed as one of the heroic teachers who died in the line of fire as she saved her students in the Connecticut shooting. The twenty seven year old was one of three teachers murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A friend of hers posted a tribute to Miss Soto on her Tumblr account. In her tribute she wrote: "I talked to Vicki Tuesday and she told me that she loved her 16 angels and never wanted to let them go. Today when the shooting started Vicki hid all of her kids in closets and when the gunman came into her room she told them the class was in gym. She was then murdered. Not one of her students were harmed. Words can not express how heartbreaking and tragic this is. I will miss you dearly."
I know that some people thought yesterday that my post on the Sandy Hook school shooting was bad timing...and may still think that this post is "not the right time." The pain is raw and it is hard to even comprehend what has happened. I understand that. But respectfully, this is the best time to bring something like this up. I spent 14 years in law enforcement. We spent a large portion of our time preparing to handle ourselves in armed confrontations to increase our odds of survival.
Please, think about it. What would you do in a situation like this? You must plan for it. Because it's happening everywhere. If you don't want to or can't carry a gun, you still need to do something. So start thinking about it now.
Ask yourself these questions..."What if I'm in church and someone comes in and starts shooting" "What if I'm at the mall and I hear the sound of gunshots just outside the store I am in?" "What if I am at the gas station and someone robs it?" To think about what you would do in a situation like this is the first step to reacting should this ever happen to you. You are less likely to freeze up when an armed confrontation begins if you mentally prepare yourself before it happens to you.
If you don't think you need to prepare yourself for a tragedy like this one AT ALL TIMES in this day and age, you are mistaken. Waiting to become a victim is not an acceptable option. It can happen any time, any place, anywhere and with absolutely no warning. Please make yourself get in the mindset to fight back...any capable adult needs to fight for their lives. The mentality of these people who are going into the situation is the same as a "suicide bomber" or any terrorist. They KNOW going in that they won't make it out alive and they don't care. You have to change your mindset and react and fight. And THAT is not a political statement, it's a fact.
I AM NOT talking about children or people who are unable to physically defend themselves. In a perfect world, every school would have an armed security guard. Teachers should protect themselves. Not as a "vigilante" response, but when you go on lockdown and that POS comes in YOUR ROOM, try to take them out or foil their plan using whatever means possible, as Ms. Soto did. I think teachers who are CAPABLE shooters and capable of handling protecting themselves and others in a stressful situation should carry and go through a firearms stress course if they choose to carry a gun on their person. Regardless of whether school staff is armed or not, there should be mandatory training by police departments given by officers and firearms instructors to EVERY school employee on what they HAVE to do in order to best protect themselves and their students in situations such as these. This should be nationwide.
As far as the people who think that more mental health programs would completely eliminate the problem, that line of reasoning is faulty. Anyone can have a traumatic incident in their lives occur at any given time and go off the deep end. Others have mental issues that are NEVER apparent. For example, Columbine shooter Eric Harris was POPULAR, very well liked by everyone, a manager at the fast food place he worked at, his dad was a high ranking official in the Air Force, he was well spoken, and very knowledgeable in many things. He had a dark side to him that hardly anyone knew about. He and Dylan Klebold planned Columbine for a YEAR and NO ONE knew about it. A mental health assistance program would not have stopped Eric Harris.
There have been many on line arguments about what the "solution" is to stopping these heinous acts. To argue about being pro gun or anti gun is counterproductive. We are all on the same team, none of us want to see these horrific tragedies happening. So we need to stop arguing and work together. The issue is not guns or religion. It's a change of mindset. If you don't want to carry, that's fine, but be prepared to bash someone over the head with a chair and do whatever you need to do to neutralize the threat. Because you will never carry a gun doesn't mean you have to accept it, lay down, and die. Fight back. In whatever capacity you can live with. I would rather lose my life trying to save others than sit back and watch them get killed and then have to live my life with the knowledge that I got scared or froze and did nothing.
This post can be viewed in a positive light from anyone's perspective. It depends on how you choose to look at it. It's pro gun, YES, but the real MESSAGE is that everyone should prepare themselves. We can agree to disagree on some things. What I really wanted to impart on this thread was that everyone should prepare themselves to take a stand and fight back in whatever capacity you can live with. If a gun is not for you, come up with an alternate plan, take cover, start looking for a possible weapon.
For those of you who HAVE gun control in your country, this information still applies to you!!! There was a series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People's Republic of China which began in March 2010. This series of attacks left at least 21 dead and some 90 injured. If you think that because there are "no guns allowed in the UK" that you don't have to think about this, you are mistaken. This information can still be helpful....anything can be used as a weapon. Tim McVeigh used fertilizer. 9-11 terrorists used box cutters and planes. It can still happen. Just be vigilant and think ahead.
Help will take time to get there. The only person capable of saving you is YOU. If you are not armed, use whatever means you have at your disposal to FIGHT BACK. And for the people saying "today is not the day" to talk about this topic, how long should I wait? A day? Two? Three? On Tuesday, two innocent people were killed when a gunman open fire at a mall in Oregon. That was just a few days ago. Just think of a plan of action and ask yourself what you would do in a situation like this EVERYWHERE YOU GO. This post was motivated out of care and concern. Something like this should never happen and it is up to us to take care of ourselves, and each other.
No greater sacrifice can anyone give, than to sacrifice all so others may live. God bless all of the innocent victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and the victims of the mall shooting in Happy Valley, Oregon. Prayers for their families in this difficult time. R.I.P. angels.