I had some good conversations with Rob Morse of The Polite Society. Rob was asking some good questions about he attacks in Chattanooga on the Recruiting Stations and this led to a good discussion that maybe – just maybe – we’re not training to the right Mindset in our Defensive courses.
Normally, any of the Traditional Martial Arts, and the Martial Arts with High Kinetic Energy all train with the notion that the best fight is the one you don’t get into. Meaning that if you can avoid a fight, then do so by all means necessary. But maybe that’s not the case anymore.
The classic crime we defend from is basically strong arm robbery, burglary, maybe a home invasion, mugging, or car-jacking. As bad as they are, they are no where near the level of the Mass-Shooting and Terror Attacks we’re seeing more and more of. See, the good old fashioned crime, the Thug/Bad Guy/Scumbag/Threat; he’s after your Property. Money. Credit Cards. Car. Hubcaps… Stuff. He wants your stuff. In those cases, the Traditional methodology is correct. Stuff can be replaced. So drop your cash and run if running is an option. Or toss your wallet and hit the gas. If your in the back of the store and Thugs come in the front to hold up the place – escape out the back. If you can, help others escape out the back while you cover their exit – and then you leave. That’s the right thing to do.
But that’s no always the case anymore. Now the Threat/Terrorist/Bad Guy isn’t after your Property. They are after your life and lives of everyone else around you. This is where it’s different. Things have changed and dropping your stuff and bolting may or may not be the right answer anymore. Let’s say you are armed and some maniac comes in with an AK-47 and starts shooting up the place. You hear the shots, some people scream and chaos ensues. You help some folks out the back exit and they run to safety. Now, you are armed. You have a decision to make. Do you engage the threat or do you run away as well?
The Army taught us a simple phrase that has a lot of questions that go with it. “The METT Dictates”. METT means “Mission”, “Enemy”, “Terrain”, and “Time”. So there are a lot of variables to consider in your exact situation, location and what the bad guy is doing. Let’s say your in a familiar office setting. Like the above situation you have helped people to safety. You are armed with a pistol such as say, a S&W Bodyguard .380… which is a popular Concealed Carry Pistol, and one that is quite good. The threat doesn’t know you are there and you know the building. Should you take action or should you retreat? I don’t know. But your ability to engage and stop or delay that threat is really not all that great. Maybe you should exfiltrate and go about your merry.
Now let’s say you are armed with a SIG 229 in .357 SIG in that same situation. You have more capacity with a more accurate and more potent firearm. You have a greater chance of stopping that threat. Ending that rampage, or at least reducing that threat’s ability to rampage as effectively or freely. This situation swings in your favor so you have that choice to make. Do you stay and fight or do you withdraw? What’s the right choice here?
Let’s look at the results of these shootings. Almost all of the time, the threat is ended with confronted with with an armed resistance. The shooter dies, surrenders, or turns his own gun on himself. Either way – the threat is neutralized. Or in some cases when the shooter runs out of people to kill, he then kills himself.
If he doesn’t end himself, and he’s not been stopped… we’ve seen them move on to another location to do more harm. This is what happened with the Marine Recruiting Stations. The Terrorist shoots up one place and having met no resistance, moves on to another location where he kills people.
At that scene a weapon was found that didn’t belong to the Shooter or the responding LEO’s. It is guessed that someone in there used that firearm in self defense and the defense of others. We don’t know all the details. But we can imagine that the Warrior Spirits of those Marines compelled them to engage. The shooter was killed. Like I said – we don’t know what went down. But what would have happened if this guy didn’t face any resistance there? Would he have moved on to another military recruiting office? Maybe a school or a mall? We don’t know. But giving what we’ve learned about this terrorist, it’s likely that he would not have stopped until someone else stopped him.
The Navy Yard in VA. Fort Hood in Texas. And other high profile terrorist acts… Trolley Square in SLC. These terroristic attacks ended when a good guy with a gun stopped that threat.
Given that situation, ask yourself; should you be ready to take an offensive defense and move to engage or should you flee? Are you morally justified in moving to engage? Here’s my take. I think if you are in a position with the means and ability and a chance of stopping that terrorist then not only should you engage… but I feel that you have the moral obligation to do so.
Now, I’m not talking about your average Joe Snuffy CCW Permit Holder. I’m talking about men and women who have take more advanced training and or have some good solid experience in shooting under stress. Former Military or Law Enforcement. That guys that shoot competitions. The guys that might actually have a chance of ending that terrorist. I’m talking about Sheepdogs. You guys. (Probably most everyone that reads my blog) YOU have the moral obligation to fight. Because if you don’t… who knows what else that terrorist is going to do. But with all due respect to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Terrorists will not drop their weapons and walk away. That doesn’t happen. Ever. Just the opposite in fact. They are emboldened and energized and will do more harm than before.
This is a mind-set issue here. We’re talking about moral responsibility and obligation to not just save yourself and family, but your neighbors as well. Call the cops, yes. But unless they are already there – you need to step up. If a pan of grease on your stove ignites – sure you can call the Fire Department. But it would be more effective and beneficial for everyone for you to put a lid on that pan and put that fire our yourself.