Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Lessons from Paris

 

shutterstock_207060784“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”Vegetius

As the world recoils in horror from the atrocities carried out on the streets of Paris Friday night, we’re beginning to realize that this is a calamity we’ve seen before: The attacks on the theater, nightclub, soccer stadium, and shopping mall are almost exact copies of earlier attacks in Mumbai and Nairobi, and we’ve seen smaller versions of these kind of attacks on American soil at Fort Hood and in Garland, TX; Ottawa, Canada; and during the Boston Marathon. There is no such thing as “rules of engagement” for radical Islamic militants: In this global war on terror, we are all behind enemy lines. We have met the enemy, and they are among us.

There are two possible responses to the dispersed threat of Islamic terrorism: Increased surveillance and security in the hopes that you’ll catch terrorists in the same net you use to corral regular citizens, or an empowered, aware citizenry that can stop an attack dead in its tracks. I prefer the second option myself, not only because it works, but it errs on the side of freedom, and that’s always a good thing.

What can we do then to not be another statistic in the war on radical Islam? If there are no front lines in this war, we are, by definition, part of the battlefield. Therefore, we must prepare to fight. Some suggestions to help you and your loved ones live to fight another day:

  1. Practice situational awareness. This is the big one. It is the foundation of self-defense, because you cannot defend against an attack you don’t see coming. Situational awareness is hard to define, but think of it as applying all the skills of defensive driving when you’re not behind the wheel of a car. Pay attention to your surroundings. Where are the alternate exits? Does anything in your vicinity feel out of place? Why is it out of place? What is your plan for dealing with what might happen if what’s out of place starts to affect you?
  2. If you can carry a gun, carry your gun. Having a plan and the means to defend yourself is far superior to just having a plan or just having a gun by itself. Chances are you are not going to be the hero of the hour and stop the threat, but a sidearm allows you to defend your life if you need to, and that is essential.
  3. If you have a gun, get training. If the unthinkable occurs, you are not going to naturally rise to the occasion, but rather, you will fall to your lowest level of instinctual mastery. Get training that emphasizes fast, accurate fire under stressful conditions, and get training that has real-world implications. There are plenty of so-called anti-terrorist firearms training classes out there that will have you rolling around in the mud with an AR-15 in your hands, but your job isn’t to hunt ISIS in Syria, your job is to keep your loved ones from harm with the tools you have nearby.
  4. If something happens and you can get out, get out, and get the people under your care to safety. If they’re safe, the decision to take further action is up to you and the circumstances you’re in. Proceed accordingly.
  5. Preparedness requires much more than a gun. For those near, but not in a terrorist attack, it is more akin to a natural disaster than a mugging or home invasion. If you’re unfortunate enough to be near an attack, you are more likely be dealing with the consequences of the attack than stopping the attack itself. In addition, a sidearm is pretty much useless in a bomb attack such as Boston, but a trauma kit is crucial for dealing with the effects of a bombing or shooting attack. Having Quikclot and a tourniquet, along with the knowledge how to use them properly, will probably save more lives than a Glock.

The first person on the scene of a street crime or terrorist attack is always the intended victim. The choice is yours: Will you be a victim, or will you be your own first responder?

There are 42 comments.

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  1. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:

    We have met the enemy, and they are among us.

    Indeed, and the enemiy is not just radical Islam. It is also the insane ideologies of open borders and multiculturalism that have allowed such a vile, hateful creed to infiltrate our society.

    • #1
    • November 14, 2015, at 11:41 AM PST
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  2. ParisParamus Member

    Enjoyed this post, even though in NYC, I can’t carry anything other than my iPhone (I’m not even sure that’s a bad thing, in densely populated zones such as NYC–open to debate…)

    Care to speculate if there’s some relationship between the lack of terrorist attacks Stateside and our armed society? I see a deterrent effect to the idea you *might* be dealing with people who are armed (I’ve often wondered how many good people illegally carry in NYC and other such places…). For all we know, maybe would-be terrorists assume that a significant # of NYC residents are illegally armed? Just wondering…

    • #2
    • November 14, 2015, at 11:46 AM PST
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  3. EThompson Inactive

    I give credit where credit is due- to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and a world class CIA/FBI. I put the blame on Clinton who was quite aware of Osama bin Laden after 1993, had the chance to take him out, and backed off.

    Care to speculate if there’s some relationship between the lack of terrorist attacks Stateside and our armed society?

    • #3
    • November 14, 2015, at 11:58 AM PST
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  4. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    ParisParamus: Enjoyed this post, even though in NYC, I can’t carry anything other than my iPhone (I’m not even sure that’s a bad thing, in densely populated zones such as NYC–open to debate…)

    A iPhone is a DANDY thing to have in an emergency: A smartphone is one of the four things I recommend people carry besides a sidearm, and smartphones came in darn handy in that theater last night, letting the world know just how bad things where. Also, consider a small pocketknife (no one freaks out over a Swiss Army knife) and a good pocket flashlight, because both of those items gives you more options when the going gets tough. Also, one of the handiest things I’ve carried around is a lighter, and I don’t smoke.

    As for the deterrent effect of an armed society, let me just say…

    19782_10206059604705551_5635552176477151353_n

    :D

    • #4
    • November 14, 2015, at 12:02 PM PST
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  5. RabbitHoleRedux Inactive

    Good advice worthy of consdieration. There are too many spaces in the city where a gun is not allowed even with a concealed carry license. I always feel safer in Texas. ;) There’s such a cultural divide, in acceptance of gun laws. I move in very disparate circles where some think it’s a civil right and a cultural right of passage, and others who feel only loons would buy a gun, much less carry one in a city. Oh well. My daughter just went for her conceal carry permit class last week and she said it was crowded which surprised me.

    I imagine people are feeling more vulnerable these days which speaks to your excellent post urging preparation rather than victimization.

    • #5
    • November 14, 2015, at 12:39 PM PST
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  6. BrentB67 Inactive

    Another fine post Kevin. Thank you.

    Here is a great place for trauma supplies.

    This can be compressed to fit in a cargo pocket on trousers, they also go well in the door of your automobile, purse, backpack, etc.

    • #6
    • November 14, 2015, at 12:52 PM PST
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  7. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    BrentB67: Another fine post Kevin. Thank you.

    Thank you. Check out the trauma kit I linked to in the post: It has everything you need, and it is TINY.

    • #7
    • November 14, 2015, at 1:02 PM PST
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  8. Publius Inactive
    • #8
    • November 14, 2015, at 2:12 PM PST
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  9. Lizzie in IL Inactive

    I just heard Mark Levin say on his show last nite, “Thank God for the 2nd Amendment here”, with respect to what was unfolding in Paris with these diabolical maniacs vs all the unarmed victims. Then I thought, I hope Kevin C. checks in with a firearm-&-preparedness post on Ricochet. Good stuff, many thanks.

    • #9
    • November 14, 2015, at 2:25 PM PST
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  10. Roadrunner Inactive

    I’ll get my go bag and I’ll be ready to jump. Stay frosty. I read your post and can’t get Constable Bob out of my mind.

    Mike LaRoche: It is also the insane ideologies of open borders and multiculturalism

    What do we do to these guys? They seem more dangerous in a crazy person kind of way.

    • #10
    • November 14, 2015, at 2:46 PM PST
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  11. civil westman Inactive

    Kevin – I have thought through a number of scenarios and I have a recurring concern. How can one be recognized as one of the “good guys” and not draw friendly fire while responding to a chaotic active (multiple) shooter situation? I have considered carrying a compacted windbreaker with “SECURITY” prominently displayed on it and – time permitting – putting it on. Any thoughts?

    The Bataclan Theater in Paris had about 1500 in attendance. Although it varies from state to state, more than 5% of the US population has concealed carry permits. Had this happened in the US and had half the permit holders in attendance been actually carrying (and assuming a private theater was sensible enough to not ban weapons), upwards of 30 individuals might have been able to fire back. Considering that the perpetrators were reportedly firing at individuals on the floor who had already been wounded, such resistance might have saved many lives. I am reminded that General Yamamoto strenuously argued against invasion of the US, saying there would be a gun behind every blade of grass.

    I can scarcely imagine the horror of being fired upon in a crowd by homicidal evildoers with automatic weapons, and no possible means of defense.

    • #11
    • November 14, 2015, at 2:48 PM PST
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  12. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    civil westman: How can one be recognized as one of the “good guys” and not draw friendly fire while responding to a chaotic active (multiple) shooter situation?

    To be honest, no, that’s not that much of a concern. Either a) I’m in it until the shooting stops or b) I’m out of there when the shooting starts. It it’s the first scenario, I re-holster and get out of dodge. If it’s the second, the good guys wouldn’t know I’m armed. The closest we’ve come to a “good guys help the cops” scenario is the mop-up after Nairobi, and things seemed to work out ok there until the army started shelling the place.

    • #12
    • November 14, 2015, at 3:00 PM PST
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  13. Israel P. Inactive

    How about keeping them out of the country?

    • #13
    • November 14, 2015, at 3:30 PM PST
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  14. EThompson Inactive

    Israel P.:How about keeping them out of the country?

    Excellent point. Even as a staunch supporter of the second amendment, I take issue that I may live in a country where I’m forced to exercise those rights.

    • #14
    • November 14, 2015, at 3:50 PM PST
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  15. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Israel P.: How about keeping them out of the country?

    Let’s say that sanity doesn’t prevail and we import 100,000 “refugees” from Syria.

    If only one in one thousand of those poor souls are inclined to jihad, and only one in ten of those so inclined actually take steps towards securing their 72 virgins in the afterlife, that’s ten new terrorists inside our country, or five times the amount of terrorists needed to pull of the attack in Boston or the attack in Garland.

    Buckle your seat belts and zero your guns, people.

    • #15
    • November 14, 2015, at 3:59 PM PST
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  16. DialMforMurder Inactive

    What is your advice for people who live in anti-gun zones (other than ‘move to a gun friendly zone’)?

    About a year ago when I saw how unserious mainstream society was about dealing with the Islamist threat I decided to at least start taking some martial arts classes, including with close-range weapons.

    So at the very least, if I ever happen to be standing next to the guy who’s trying to detonate his bomb or swing his machete, maybe I can overpower him before its too late. But it’s frustrating that I have so little power and I’m in a sea of introverted people who probably would refuse to help.

    • #16
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:14 PM PST
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  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    POTUS announced that ISIS is contained. 9 hours later Paris was attacked by ISIS jihadist. Meanwhile 10,000 Syrians arrive in New Orleans by Presidential order. Lessons learned. Either the President is a complete idiot or we are and this is all part of some plan that he is ok with. At this point I am sort of believing that we are the idiots. This is the lesson.

    • #17
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:16 PM PST
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  18. EThompson Inactive

    Fake John Galt:POTUS announced that ISIS is contained.9 hours later Paris was attacked by ISIS jihadist.Meanwhile 10,000 Syrians arrive in New Orleans by Presidential order.Lessons learned.Either the President is a complete idiot or we are and this is all part of some plan that he is ok with.At this point I am sort of believing that we are the idiots.This is the lesson.

    Appears as if I’m going to have to learn to emulate Annie Oakley.

    • #18
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:27 PM PST
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  19. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    DialMforMurder: What is your advice for people who live in anti-gun zones (other than ‘move to a gun friendly zone’)?

    Have a flashlight, a knife and a phone, and keep your head on a swivel. Training and alertness trumps gear every single time.

    There’s a story I remember from 9/11 where three business-types and a janitor were trapped in a elevator in one of the towers before it fell. They pried open the elevator doors, but had to use the janitor’s squeegee to hack thru the drywall in order to escape to safety. Four grown men in the biggest city in our country, and none of them had a pocket knife on them. That’s simply inexcusable.

    • #19
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:30 PM PST
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  20. Roadrunner Inactive

    Kevin Creighton: Buckle your seat belts and zero your guns, people.

    Stay frosty is much more pithy.

    EThompson: Excellent point. Even as a staunch supporter of the second amendment, I take issue that I may live in a country where I’m forced to exercise those rights.

    If it comes to that, fragging some of the open borders crowd might be called for. Just kidding, I think.

    • #20
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:33 PM PST
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  21. BrentB67 Inactive

    civil westman:Kevin – I have thought through a number of scenarios and I have a recurring concern. How can one be recognized as one of the “good guys” and not draw friendly fire while responding to a chaotic active (multiple) shooter situation? I have considered carrying a compacted windbreaker with “SECURITY” prominently displayed on it and – time permitting – putting it on. Any thoughts?

    The Bataclan Theater in Paris had about 1500 in attendance. Although it varies from state to state, more than 5% of the US population has concealed carry permits. Had this happened in the US and had half the permit holders in attendance been actually carrying (and assuming a private theater was sensible enough to not ban weapons), upwards of 30 individuals might have been able to fire back. Considering that the perpetrators were reportedly firing at individuals on the floor who had already been wounded, such resistance might have saved many lives. I am reminded that General Yamamoto strenuously argued against invasion of the US, saying there would be a gun behind every blade of grass.

    I can scarcely imagine the horror of being fired upon in a crowd by homicidal evildoers with automatic weapons, and no possible means of defense.

    Civil, that is the #1 concern in active shooter. If you live in a metro area you can volunteer for AS scenarios and see how they operate. Make friends with deputies. They generally will not come in while there is shooting and describe yourself to 911.

    • #21
    • November 14, 2015, at 4:37 PM PST
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  22. Front Seat Cat Member

    EThompson:I give credit where credit is due- to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and a world class CIA/FBI. I put the blame on Clinton who was quite aware of Osama bin Laden after 1993, had the chance to take him out, and backed off.

    Care to speculate if there’s some relationship between the lack of terrorist attacks Stateside and our armed society?

    I also give credit to Bush too- we did not have an attack during his 2 terms after 9/11 as I recall – he called evil…evil – The warning system, although it was made fun of, was helpful (green-yellow-red etc.).

    Now we don’t have one. Bush always asked us to be aware and report suspicious activity -we’re not reminded anymore. When we went to movies recently, my husband said pay attention to where the exits are – he’s never said that. We’ve become complacent.

    The new enemies Bush used to say, don’t swear an allegiance to a country, wear a uniform, follow a code of conduct – but are cowards and hide in the shadows, attacking the innocent and unarmed.

    I’ve also realized you cannot depend on government – look at Katrina – Newsweek even printed a special edition Magazine called Off The Grid – on how to survive in difficult situations – I didn’t see it but my sister did and mailed me a copy. Made me more aware how much we take for granted. Kevin – thank you for the post.

    • #22
    • November 14, 2015, at 7:20 PM PST
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  23. EThompson Inactive

    I’ve also realized you cannot depend on government – look at Katrina

    Depends upon who’s running the govt. New Orleans mayor-D and Louisiana’s governor- D were less than useless. They initially turned down Bush’s offer to send the National Guard which makes the criticism directed toward our president that much more egregious.

    Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, handled the biggest crisis in modern American history flawlessly.

    • #23
    • November 14, 2015, at 7:35 PM PST
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  24. Carey J. Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:

    ParisParamus: Enjoyed this post, even though in NYC, I can’t carry anything other than my iPhone (I’m not even sure that’s a bad thing, in densely populated zones such as NYC–open to debate…)

    A iPhone is a DANDY thing to have in an emergency: A smartphone is one of the four things I recommend people carry besides a sidearm, and smartphones came in darn handy in that theater last night, letting the world know just how bad things where. Also, consider a small pocketknife (no one freaks out over a Swiss Army knife) and a good pocket flashlight, because both of those items gives you more options when the going gets tough. Also, one of the handiest things I’ve carried around is a lighter, and I don’t smoke.

    As for the deterrent effect of an armed society, let me just say…

    19782_10206059604705551_5635552176477151353_n

    :D

    And there are certain sections of New York that I wouldn’t advise ISIS to try to invade.

    • #24
    • November 14, 2015, at 8:47 PM PST
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  25. ParisParamus Member

    Carey J.: And there are certain sections of New York that I wouldn’t advise ISIS to try to invade.

    You’re suggesting there is a significant number of people who “carry” in NYC anyway? Frankly, I don’t see doing so as being terribly risky. Whether you have a gun at home, or carry, and don’t regularly go through metal detectors for work, who is going to know? I hope it’s true. It would be a great rumor to spread, actually…

    • #25
    • November 14, 2015, at 8:51 PM PST
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  26. GrannyDude Member

    I have to say, it was comforting to watch the news from Paris in the company of about 250 police officers. Or even to dance tonight at the Dallas Elks Lodge with guys who, under their t-shirts, wore sidearms.

    OMG, I’m drinking the Kool Aid.

    • #26
    • November 14, 2015, at 8:52 PM PST
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  27. Carey J. Inactive

    Kate Braestrup:I have to say, it was comforting to watch the news from Paris in the company of about 250 police officers. Or even to dance tonight at the Dallas Elks Lodge with guys who, under their t-shirts, wore sidearms.

    OMG, I’m drinking the Kool Aid.

    Reminds me of this clip.

    • #27
    • November 14, 2015, at 8:55 PM PST
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  28. Podkayne of Israel Member

    Just spent 10 minutes waiting for a bus transfer in Jerusalem, not 5 minutes from the light rail stop where there have been, oh, at least 3 terror attacks in the last few months. Across the street from a drive-by motorcycle shooting site (but that was over a year ago).
    Head on a swivel indeed. My flashlight has a stun gun, and umbrellas can also be useful. Not worried, and not changing my route.

    • #28
    • November 14, 2015, at 10:42 PM PST
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  29. BrentB67 Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:

    BrentB67: Another fine post Kevin. Thank you.

    Thank you. Check out the trauma kit I linked to in the post: It has everything you need, and it is TINY.

    I don’t have experience with that kind tourniquet. Do yo like it Kevin?

    • #29
    • November 15, 2015, at 4:51 AM PST
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  30. EHerring Coolidge

    -Worst places to have to go if you carry….government buildings where weapons are banned. I quit carrying my trusty Swiss Army knife because it has been with me a long time and I don’t want to have it confiscated. Guards even object to my husbands Swiss Army with the 1 inch blade. Fight this problem politically.

    -We need to change punitive states that lock up innocent people who have guns. There have been stories of people transiting states and being arrested. Perhaps it is time to push a federal mandate for reciprocity. Again, it is a political solution, and liberal Democrats are the opponents.

    -We need to end the liberals’ ban on magazines above a certain capacity. When you use a weapon for self-defense, and especially against armed terrorists, you don’t need baby magazines. You don’t want to have to swap magazines sooner and more often, and be limited by the number of magazines you can conceal. The enemy doesn’t have that limitation. Even the Paris shooters committed suicide once guns arrived.

    -I don’t worry about being confused with bad guys….they dress the part.

    -re Paris and the AK-47s. Newsmen can’t understand whether they were semi-automatic or the military full automatic. It makes a difference. The left will use this to go after “assault” weapons but terrorists usually have the full auto military version, indicating a different means of acquisition, ones that government can’t control or stop.

    • #30
    • November 15, 2015, at 6:08 AM PST
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