As is my custom when things like this happen, I have refrained from discussing the terrorist attack in Orlando until I’ve had a moment to grieve for the victims, their families, and our country as a whole. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
- Despite what the media would have you believe this is not the “most prolific mass shooting” in our nation’s history. It’s not a mass shooting to begin with, it’s a terrorist attack, but let’s pretend for a moment that it was just a “mass shooting”. I’ve attached a newspaper headline detailing one event, but from the beginning of the 19th century and well into the first half of the 20th century race riots (up to 300 by one historian’s count) where African American neighborhoods were attacked, and Citizens of every gender/age were shot as the fled their burning homes were an all too common occurrence. Tulsa, East St. Louis, and Rosewood are but notable examples of a historically inconvenient truth, that we’ll get to later.
- First and foremost the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack were our Brothers and Sisters. This event should not be less (or more) impactful to you because of the sexuality, race, gender, or politics of the victims. If it is either of those things for you, then may I kindly suggest you begin to redefine your mental schemata of “US” to include more of the good people in this country who don’t happen to look/think/act like you do.
- The only person responsible for saving you, is you. Decide, right now, if your life has value. While I understand it has become fashionable in our society to apologize for, excuse, and downright ignore the behavior of evil men/women, enough is enough. It is time we come together as a whole and decide that if the day ever comes, we will fight with everything we have, because our lives have more value than the twisted ideals of radicalized zealots no matter their flavor or ideology.
- And now for the historically inconvenient truth. Any populace that has been disarmed is particularly vulnerable to attack, and policy makers who preach disarmament are never interested in safety, they’re interested in control. Any person who seeks to be responsible for your well being, and then seeks to also deny you the basic right to self defense, is beyond contempt. Largely unarmed African American communities in our country learned this hard truth, as have countless other Ethnic/Religious/Political groups throughout the world at various points in history. If we can’t agree that no matter our other differences, we each have the right to defend our own existence with the most effective tools available, then we can agree on nothing.
- Radical Islam is, has, and always will be, a deadly threat to our nation, and pretending otherwise is lunacy. We must face reality and acknowledge this truth. To do otherwise will ensure our destruction. That having been said… I will not support or condone any apparatus that can be turned against me and mine once the existing threat is handled. You shouldn’t either. The fact of the matter is that my group may suddenly look appetizing to those in charge once whatever “threat” is handled, yours may too, to think otherwise is the height of foolishness. Whatever our response to this is, we must respect the Constitution, and the rights that it provides to all our CITIZENS (key word there being Citizens). It either protects all of us, or none of us.
So, what should you do?
- Understand that while tools greatly increase your ability to fight effectively, their absence does not remove your ability to fight. Decide now that you will fight if the time comes.
- Strive to be more skilled than just “good enough”. The threats we face today are more sophisticated than they’ve ever been before. Hoping you suck less than the other guy has always been a poor long term survival plan, even more so now.
- Seek out medical training and carry medical equipment on your person.
- If you carry a gun, carry it all the time. All things considered, it seems to me that strongly worded signs are rather ineffectual at preventing tragedy.
- Make sure your loved ones know your thoughts today, and every day. Tomorrow is promised to no one, and we don’t always get the chance to say goodbye.