Let me start by saying very clearly that I am not, by nature or desire, a violent person.
I am, however, fully capable of serious violence in the right situation, willing to use it if the situation requires and justifies its use, and profoundly and unswervingly convinced of the following:
Violence is (almost) never the answer, but when it IS the answer, it’s the ONLY answer.
For example, in the case of violent attacks like mass shootings by psychopaths, the only truly effective answer to secure your own well-being and the well-being of other innocents is an immediate, violent, decisive response that neutralizes the attacker(s) as rapidly as possible.
Psychopathic killers don’t, and won’t, stop to listen to reason. They won’t even show you the courtesy of discussing the situation with you. They’d just as soon kill you as look at you – in fact, in a mass shooting incident, that’s exactly why they’re there. They act violently and with little or no hesitation. There will be no time for “negotiations.” Psychopaths intent on murder don’t negotiate, they act, and if you wish to survive an attack, or save others, an immediate response that stops them is the only option that truly works.
They won’t feel sympathy because you are cowering under your desk begging for mercy. They will be indifferent to your pleas. They are intent on their immediate objective, and they will generally accomplish it unless you or someone else stops them.
They won’t care if you are young or old, healthy or infirm, a parent, grandparent, or a spouse. You aren’t a person to them, you are merely a target – equivalent to a bug on the sidewalk, just waiting to be squished.
Short of being ready, willing, and able to visit serious violence on them that either kills them outright or renders them physically incapacitated (bodily broken, down, out, unconscious, or paralyzed) nothing else you can do or say will cause them to stop what they have set out to do.
They will kill you, and anyone else they wish, unless and until they are stopped by either the application of violence, or, at a minimum, the credible, imminent threat of such a response.
This is demonstrated by the fact that, in virtually every “mass shooting” incident since 1950, the evil act was stopped in one of three ways:
1) The perpetrator was captured by police or a citizen (usually an armed citizen … an unarmed challenge to an armed aggressor frequently doesn’t end well for the unarmed person) who was prepared to do whatever it took to stop the offender. (This only occasionally happens. Mass shooting perpetrators most often die, rather than being captured.)
2) The perpetrator was shot to death or severely wounded by police or or an armed citizen. (This happens occasionally.)
3) The perpetrator, when confronted or cornered by police or an armed citizen took their own life, rather than be captured. (This is a very common outcome. They intended to die anyway, they just wanted to take as many as possible with them.)
You cannot reasonably count on being spared because they run out of ammunition before they get to you, because experience shows that they usually come prepared with sufficient supplies to kill many more than they actually succeed in killing.
“So,” you say, “I see the police mentioned in all three of your scenarios above. Why should I act? Isn’t it best to dial 911, just wait for the police, and let the professionals handle the situation?”
NO! (Unless you have a death wish yourself.) To repeat the cliche, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” Even in the best of circumstances, police response times are almost always measured in minutes – often in tens of minutes. That’s literally lifetimes when someone is shooting at you, your family, your coworkers, or just a bunch of strangers who happen to be in the same area as you.
To prove the point, the statistics on the outcomes of mass shooting incidents show that in incidents where there is no effective citizen response and the shooter continues his carnage until the police arrive, an average of more than 14 people are killed. In incidents where a citizen (or multiple citizens) on scene actively take down the shooter, an average of fewer than 3 die.
Without describing every incident in detail, I think it should be obvious to all but the most weak-kneed pacifist loon that the shooters in these cases won’t be stopped by someone saying, “Please don’t do that.” They stop when engaged by someone who forcibly stops them, or when engaged by someone they believe can and will forcibly stop them. Even a crazy armed person knows an unarmed person is not that much of a threat … that’s why they brought their weapons and that’s why the safest and most effective means of visiting necessary violence on a mass shooter is with a gun. (Otherwise, why do the police use guns?)
The reader should note that, for the most part, most of what I’ve stated above about the perpetrators of shooting rampages applies equally to violent “common” criminals (who are also generally psychopaths or sociopaths), with the exception that their objectives are more limited (robbery, rape, smaller number of victims at one time), they intend to succeed without dying themselves, and they generally don’t carry enough supplies to kill as many people. Other than that, most of the principles are the same. They will kill you with as little compunction as the mass shooter, you’ll be just as dead, and the same principles apply to stopping them.
I sincerely hope that I never have to shoot another person, but, I am fully prepared to do so without hesitation or regret if it ever is necessary to defend myself or any other innocent person. Why? Because I chose life, rather than victimhood, and I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stood by and allowed an innocent person to be killed without doing my best to stop it.
Think about it. I hope you’ll make the same choice (and prepare and train for it, as I have.)
Be a sheepdog, not a sheep.