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'surviving the unthinkable'....

Saturday, June 4, 2016
...is the title of the workshop I attended earlier in the week. About what you need to know and how you need to be prepared for a situation in which you would encounter a crazy person. Millions of whom are loose on the streets, looking to the unschooled like perfectly normal rational humans. But crazy nonetheless, unexpectedly flying off the handle and blowing people away in schools, hospitals and movie theaters.

The event was sponsored by a local counseling center, The Pastoral Institute and offered lots suggestions for things we should be aware of, how to better defend or protect family and coworkers. But most especially how to survive, how to do the smartest things to be prepared to live through some crisis. I have long said that 'there are crazy people out there, walking around loose, on the streets, looking perfectly normal'. It's so true: we have them living amongst us, and the scare-y part is how until they start blasting away, or turn  into suicide bombers, they really do Look Perfectly Normal.

The workshop has been offered a couple of times before, and I meant to go, but had some sort of conflict and didn't get there. So I finally did, along with maybe twenty others, some from churches, who have concerns about shooters/lunatics showing up in their house of worship, blowing away the congregation. Some from local businesses, and others just interested in becoming more aware and self-reliant. The instructor did not recommend we should all get handguns and carry permits, but did put in a plug for a program the local sheriffs' department runs teaching handgun skills and safety.

The survival training for civilians was filled with statistics, factual information, advice on how to handle unexpected and highly charged situations. Being more aware of your surroundings - always on the alert, scanning for potential problems. Always, always have an exit strategy, any time, any place you go, shopping, movies, eating out: know where the exits are. There was a recent shooting at the local mall - a place where you would normally consider yourself fairly safe. It happens in movie theaters, schools, federal buildings, anywhere. Mostly unexpected. And we are talking about right here, not in a war zone, or third world country.

You have to wonder how much of the craziness is due to the US Constitution? Is that 'right to bear arms' part of the problem? There does not seem to be so much risk associated with air transport any more, making me wonder if there are still security/marshals/law enforcement secreted on domestic flights? Air liners still 'disappear', like Malaysia and EgyptAir flights, but there is certainly not much in the news about in flight disturbances.

If someone really wants to get firearms and create havoc it's not likely anything or anyone can dissuade from malicious intent.  I would like to believe I am fairly optimistic, but these bizarre incidents happen with alarming frequency. Or maybe just due to media attention?

There are things we can do to be proactive, and better prepared to react in a high risk situation. Escape if you can safely, easily get away.
Make yourself as small a target possible, if you cannot get away.
Use anything available as a weapon to defend yourself as a last resort, chairs, fire extinguishers, etc.
Basically: Run, Hide, Fight.

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