20 + people die in the attack of a Pakistani school, 141 dead at the hands of 7 attackers in Peshawar, 9 dead and 9 wounded in the Umpqua College attack. The list goes on and it is depressingly long. Is there anything that we, the citizens on scene, can do?
Perhaps the first question is not can we do something, but: should we? One professor stated:
Arms are against the norms of my profession, I am teaching principles and morality in the class. How can I carry a gun? – Jamil Chitrali
My historical side would point out that the right of self defense is the first law of nature. My spiritual side says that God commands us to protect the weak. My snarky side wants to reply “with a good holster”.
For me, the question at hand is not pacifism; if you believe in non violence, this article is not to sway you. It is for those who give mental assent to fighting fire with fire, yet think there is nothing practical they can do.
I point you back to the first article, where it describes Hamid Hussain using his pistol against the four terrorist attackers armed with rifles. He died, therefore his pistol was useless, or so the journalist intimates. We’ve long been told, “don’t carry a gun, you’ll only make the situation worse”.
What the…?! The situation is that people are trying to kill you! How are you going to make it worse?
Okay, so you’re not Jason Bourne and neither am I. You won’t be able to stop multiple heavily armed attackers with just your snub nosed revolver, I get it. But when the odds are high that you’re going to die, why not take one of those attackers with you? Hamid drove off the attackers from one room, saving lives there, and got shot later in the battle.
The perpetrators of these atrocities count on experiencing no/low levels of resistance. Many of the “lone wolves” commit suicide when wounded. If it is a trained squad, wounding one of them reduces their effectiveness as a group.
Solzhenitsyn, talking about the mass murders by the communists, said:
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto put up an amazing resistance. They lost, but they were extremely short on weapons and they faced an entire army, which was well trained and equipped. Their resistance slowed the Germans on other fronts by tying up resources, thus saving lives.
Weapons here in the USA are relatively cheap and easy to obtain. Decent training schools surround you. What are you waiting for?