When I was mugged I blamed only 2 people. My attacker and myself. I can’t control him, so I looked at myself to figure out what I could do to put myself in a better position for survival should the element I couldn’t control decided to come after me again. I took responsibility. I didn’t blame the cops or the grocery store parking lot or even my parents. They had some influence as did society, but it was me who stood there and did nothing. It was me. I did not come after you or anyone else. I didn’t go to congress and ask for new laws to protect my lack of action. I took action. Law abiding, legal action and I took responsibility for my part in that day. I can tell you none of it felt good. I didn’t feel good after I picked myself up off the ground, I didn’t feel good as I hid in the bathroom and took care of my scraped up arms and back. I didn’t feel good when my so called friends turned their backs on me. I didn’t feel good when my daughter looked me in the eye and told me she didn’t feel safe because I didn’t stop the and guy. It didn’t feel good when I showed up in the park to learn how to defend myself. I felt anything but good. I felt sad and lonely. I felt lost and broken. I felt ashamed and confused. I felt scared and and hopeless. And I fought all of that everyday for over a year in order to take responsibility. In order to feel good again.
[First, go read the whole thing, it’s worth it and there were a few other quotes I almost put up first till I hit that one.
Now when I read that my immediate thought was, “No one ever said doing the right thing was the easiest route.” I did a previous rant in the immediate wake and honestly her post and mine are intertwined together.
Feelings are driving the conversation for a lot of people right now, they want to do something, anything. As I said before:
They want to be able to look at a physical object and blame it for what as happened. They want to destroy the physical object and blame it for their grief.
They don’t want to admit that ultimately there was a person behind the gun. They don’t want to admit no matter how hard they tried, they wouldn’t be able to control him. They don’t want to admit all the efforts they took in advance to feel good in the wake of things like Columbine and other mass shootings in the end did nothing. Not only did they do nothing, but the may have made it worse.
To them though that last thought is an impossibility It is impossible that the actions they took to satisfy their feelings could have been counter productive. How could they? Their responses felt right to them in a previous time of emotional tragedy.
People currently forget that 11 years ago a group of men brought this country to its knees with a set of box cutters. The tool is a tool and nothing more. It’s use for good and evil rests entirely with the person holding the tool.
The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, gave her life ultimately trying to protect her students. She was forced, by law, to be unarmed in that encounter. The aggressor however broke numerous laws and had to actually steal the firearms to carry out his crime. Think about that for a second, objectively. We, as a community, trusted that woman, as well as the staff with the care and protection of our children. We trusted that they would do what is necessary to keep them safe and educate them for the future. We trust them enough to send our children there for a decent part of their young lives. Yet we refuse to allow them the choice of carrying a firearm to defend our children should evil come before them.
We refused to allow the people immediately on the scene to respond to the threat posed against the children. Instead the shooter was given 20 minutes to perpetrate his crimes. He was given 20 minutes with defenseless victims. Victims who were in the charge of responsible adults. Those responsible adults, responsible for the children in their charge, were forcibly disarmed under the law.
The law in this case guaranteed the outcome. We will never know what the outcome would have been had just one teacher been able to choose to be armed. We can hypothesize given previous events, such as the Pearl High School incident in 1997. But we can never actually know, all we can do is wonder.
It’s time to stop passing laws based on irrational emotion and examine a very simple and harsh fact. When evil finally shows up, how can we react. We focus too much on stopping evil out right and preventing it from ever happening. While definitely a worthy goal, it is almost impossible to achieve since you cannot actually control the aggressor. All you can do is react as quickly as possible and try to minimize damage. What you can control to achieve that goal is yourself and your response, except in many cases the law has neutered that ability from the victims. -B]
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.