So Friday, July 20th was a pretty shitty day to say the least.  Those of you that care are probably pretty curious why it’s taken me so long to respond to this horrible act being that it involves guns and inevitably politics.  Honestly, I took the weekend off.  I almost wrote about it Friday night, but I decided to take a breath and really think about how I wanted to tackle what happened.  Would it be a true “Jason’s Rant” where I talk about the politics involved and the fallout that’s sure to come?  Do I spout the hatred I feel for James Egan Holmes and what an absolute piece of garbage he is.  I mulled this over while I enjoyed my weekend and tried not to think about the 58 people who were in the hospital in Aurora, Colorado and the 12 others who would never enjoy another weekend again.  I mulled over the possibilities and the “what if” there was an armed moviegoer that night who fought back.  I mulled this over and decided that instead of ranting, instead of spouting off, I would try and help you all.

The “active shooter” is the new form of terrorism.  No, James Holmes didn’t have a beard and dark skin, nor did he have a prayer rug and face towards Mecca six times a day to sing a song and bow to Allah, but he was a terrorist none the less.  We don’t truly know what Mr. Holme’s motives were, and perhaps we’ll never know, but he was definitely there to terrorize and cause chaos, much like the character, Bane, many said he looked like.  This is the new terrorism, and it’s been around for quite some time from Columbine to Salt Lake City to Fort Hood and now, sadly, Aurora joins those ranks.

It’s quite obvious that nowhere is truly safe.  Many of you know that I carry my firearm practically everywhere, and I’m not second guessing anyone with this blog, however, a trained shooter could have taken out James Holmes before he completed his mission.  But, not everyone is a trained shooter.  Not all of you carry a firearm and that’s okay.  But, what would you do if caught in this situation?  Would you run?  Would you lay down?  Would you fight back?  It’s tough to say.  No one can truly say what they would do, but these are some things I can tell you.  Take them for what they are.

A long time ago I attended a course titled “Dynamics in International Terrorism.”  The speaker was quite engaging and his talked was titled “The Lion and the Lamb.”  The metaphor simply stated was: when faced with a situation, would you fight back or would you lie down and take it?  Is it that simple?  Science says “yes.”

When an individual is faced with a situation that is terrifying, the body reacts in one of three ways.  This used to be called the “fight or flight” response, but a third option has been added: freeze.  On three of the four planes that went down on 9/11, the passengers froze.  On the fourth, the chose fight.  See what I mean?  The same can be applied to the patrons of the “Dark Knight” on Friday.  It was terrifying and disorienting and completely unexpected, just like that day eleven years ago on those airplanes.  Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen until it does, and then it happens and you either respond or you don’t.

I’m going to stop right here and make something clear.  I am not chastising nor demeaning anyone in that theater on Friday or on the planes so long ago.  I’m merely saying that everyone responds differently.  Sometimes, somebody just needs to say: “let’s roll,” and take out the threat.  But again, maybe you’re not that person.  Here are some things you can do to survive a situation like this.

If you’re somewhere where an active shooting occurs, the first thing you should do is drop to the floor.  The guy is firing standing up, and therefore the lower you are, the better.  Try putting your hands over your head.  It will help protect you.  Your instinct will be to run, but that will only make you a target.  If you’re with loved ones you’d like to protect, lie on top of them, but lie perfectly still.  The goal is to appear dead.  The shooter only cares about killing people and therefore won’t shoot you if he thinks he already got you.

Carry a firearm.  There are places all over the country you can get trained, no matter where you live (with some 2nd amendment violating exceptions) that will teach you.  Owning and carrying a firearm is your right as an American and really the only way to fight back if someone is shooting.  Restricting gun laws more than they already are only takes away from the law abiding citizens and does nothing to stop the criminals.  However, training is important.  You should never carry a weapon you haven’t fired on the range.

The bottom line, you have the responsibility to protect yourself and your family.  The police do the best they can (and yes, I truly believe that) but they can’t be everywhere all the time.  Get educated, get trained and be aware of what is going on around you.  It’s the only way to be ready.  Because when the wolf comes knocking on the door, you have to ask yourself one question: Are you the lamb to get slaughtered, or are you the Lion who says, “let’s roll.”

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