When you need it badly enough, when you want it badly enough, anything can be a weapon as long as you use enough force and violence.
One man kills several, one man kills several, one man…. I do not for a moment doubt the fear in the room. I don’t question the panic that went through the minds of those people when, in a school, in a movie theater, on a train, or in a house of worship, they were ruthlessly gunned down.
I can recognize their genuine emotion but at the same time, I am frustrated because people are letting the killer have their way instead of fighting for the right to live.
Don’t point a gun at me and expect obedience. If you point it at me, you better pull the trigger because if you don’t, I am going to take it away from you and use it on you.
During 9/11, one plane out of four didn’t make it to their target. Groups of men, hijackers armed only with box cutters, took control on all but one. On that one plane, the passengers, a noble few, knew they were dead, but they made a conscious and heroic choice about the manner of their death and used it to deny the terrorist their victory.
When violence finds you, you have a choice: you can take it, or you can attack.
I make one point and one point only. If you are faced with an armed assailant a criminal, terrorist, or other nut job, your life is over. People hesitate because they might be killed or injured. Accept the fact that your life is already over and the only thing you have left to determine is the manner in which you exit.
Find that point of calm amidst the fear and attack.
- Situational weapons awareness: mankind has been dangerous for a much longer time than the invention of gun powder and the firearm. It may be true that you cannot carry anything that appears remotely dangerous, such as on an airplane. But unless you are completely incapacitated, everything around you can be a weapon at need. It might be a poor weapon, but it is still a weapon.
- Compassion: Do not expect compassion out of your assailant. In many cases, the hope that your reasonable plea will be heard is a forlorn hope at best.
- Know your surroundings: as part of situational awareness, know where you are. One step and you might be out of the line of fire. You face a choice, run away, or fight. What you do then is up to you but don’t panic and just stand there.
- Know the circumstances: a bank robber is interested in money. Harming people just makes law enforcement hunt harder for them. Do what you are told and let it go. No heroes are necessary. But if the situation changes or if you are uncertain of what is going to happen, it is tooth, claw, and die time.
- Attack: When a deadly threat is presented and you have no room to escape–attack. Come up like a sprinter out of the blocks, use whatever resources are around you, and hit them with everything you have. Violence alone is a potent weapon if you are willing.
Here are some examples. Are these foolproof? No, because every situation is going to have variables that you cannot encompass in one blog so you have to be mentally flexible.
- Carjacked: drive the perpetrator to the cops. What are they going to do, shoot you? If you don’t know where the cops are, floor it. Run every red light and if all else fails, pile drive the car into the nearest tree at high velocity. Whatever you do, don’t just do as you are told. Your body is going to end up in a field raped, abused, and buried.
- Someone pulls a gun in a store or other venue: start throwing shit at them. Hell monkeys use the missile assault as a primary defense mechanism because it works. Throw whatever you can get your hands on and pummel the bastard. Don’t just sit there and take it. A gun does not grant authority, it grants fear. Remove the fear and fight.
- Home: Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees don’t want to mess with me in my home. Yours should be the same.
- Dark alley: WTF are you doing there? Situational Awareness! Don’t put yourself in circumstances that will get you into trouble. Don’t drink yourself into trouble. You want adventure; play D&D. Risking your life for a good time is stupid.
The easiest decision in life is putting it all on the line because you have nothing left to lose. It is also the most liberating and the most dangerous. Fear is a deliberate control used by the criminal and everyone else. When you lose that fear, you can do anything.
I am not trying to save you; that is out of my control. I can only point you in the direction of a potential escape that you have to work on.
If you accept that your life is over, you take the power away from the assailant and give it to yourself. They can still kill you. But now, you are going to make them kill you, not accept that they will.
You might save yourself but don’t count on it. You might save others but don’t hope for it. The best you can do is end well. That is it.
You are only a victim if you let them make you one.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on March 18, 2019.
Leonard O. Benton is retired from active duty military service with 24 years and two combat deployments to Iraq. He left the Regular Army after 10 years and became a National Guard Recruiter for his first tour in the AGR program followed by over 10 years in Operations as Force Protection, CBRN, and three years as C-IED. He has an Associates’s degree and is currently working on his Bachelor’s. He is an amateur metalsmith and when he is not working or writing he can often be found in his shop pounding away in the attempt to transform a lump of metal into an icon of beauty or function.
His years of operational planning, threat analysis, and a deeply cynical view of our imperfect world leads him to focus on world events and cultural beliefs that tend to cause the most friction and chaos in the world around us. He is a libertarian and he believes in personal freedoms and accountability. The Havok Journal gave him an outlet to express the things he sees wrong in the world and the opportunity to once again provide advice on how to fix it. Leonard can be contacted a firstname.lastname@example.org.