07 November 2013

Let's Roll

These were the last words that Todd Beemer said to his wife on September 11, 2001. They were the last known words of a man that had a lot to live for, a man that did not want to die that day but was willing to trade his life for those of his fellow countrymen, for a chance to deny the enemy a clean victory and maybe, just maybe, sidestep what Fate had planned for him. They were the words of an average joe in a difficult place.

They were the words of a hero.

Contrast these words to the ones spoken by an eyewitness to the recent LAX shooting: "I knew I was going to die . . . I took out my cell phone to call my wife and tell her and the kids good-bye . . .”

Bill over at Eastern Iowa Firearms Training heard those words on a newscast and felt his blood pressure spike

I left a comment on the original post, but I thought it deserved some additional ruminations.

The average joe wandering around is not a warrior. Even those of us who may have spent time in the military and have our concealed weapons permit, though we may be sheep-doggish, aren't necessarily warriors. To be a warrior encompasses a certain mindset that has been drilled out of us by the constant admonition to play nice and the constant threat of lawsuits. We are a nation of sheeple, sorry to say, and I believe we are that way because that is the way we have been shaped.

Some of us just don't listen very well

(More of them are linked on the sidebar to your right. Go ahead and check them out.)

I don't know what I would have done if I had been at LAX on that fateful day. I will give credit where credit is due and say it was TSA's finest moment, and I say that without an ounce of snarkery. I would have likely knelt and said a little prayer ("Lord I pray that this is not my day to die, but if it is then let me face it on my feet"), then started looking for a way out of harms way. I like to think that I would have tried to bring as many of the innocent to safety with me as I could while looking for a way to stop the rampage.

I find it shameful that the TSA agents had to be placed in such a spot, but was a trap they had helped to forge. They are but one of many .gov agencies on all levels that, through regulation and "persuasion", have encouraged us to abdicate our responsibility to protect ourselves. We find out that once again, not only are these agencies unable to protect those of us they have denied the right of self protection to, they are also not legally obligated to protect those of us they have disarmed.

When the nameless shooter (go look for your fame somewhere else would-be assholes, there's only room for one asshole on this here blog and that's me) opened fire, he did so secure in the knowledge that at that moment in time no one was able to oppose him. LAX is an unarmed victim zone inside an unarmed victim zone. But unarmed does not necessarily mean helpless, and this is the thing that got Bill's ire. Rather than find another (admittedly less effective) tool, this un-named commenter sat down to die. 

Just as he had been trained to do. 

Train like you fight, fight like you train.

If that day ever finds me, I pray that I will be a Todd Beemer and not an un-named commenter. I pray that I will find the strength within myself to do what I can to make a difference, if not for myself then for the innocent, to at least deny the enemy a clean victory. I pray for the courage to at least try. If I must die this day, let me face it on my feet. 

I'm no hero. I'm just too fat to run, too old to fight and too damn good looking to die.


Angus McThag said...

I just hope that nobody calls me a hero should I be caught in one of those situations and I act.

It will not be motivated by anything noble like saving innocents.

It would be more like, "well I'm boned so this guy gets to lose too." But I am not a noble person, just vindictive.

Larry said...

Maybe that would be enough.

Thanks for dropping by McThag!

Erin Palette said...

I agree with McThag. "If I'm going to die then I'm taking my killer with me."

May my body be found on a pile of spent brass, my slide locked back and my magazines depleted.

Larry said...

Erin, amen.

Thanks for dropping by!

RabidAlien said...

I would add to Erin's statement: "...the butt of my gun buried safety-deep in some goblin's forehead, and my boot shoved up to the knee in his accomplice's arse."

In a situation like this, first and foremost I would see my family to safety. Following that, I will try to get others to leave the kill-zone instead of just sitting there like a reactive target. I don't know that I would run towards the sound of gunfire in a gun-free zone inside a gun-free state, simply because I have very little faith in the po-po's ability to identify targets and to shoot straight once the correct target is actually identified, and even less faith in my ability to discover un-known latent ninja skillz and introduce the perp to his Lord and Savior personally, using Jason Borne-esque skills and McGuiver-level random objects. I'm honest enough to know that I too am too fat to run far, too old to fight well (never was a good fighter anyway), too dumb to just lay down and die, and too ugly for hell to accept. So: family first. Other bystanders second. Haul ass third.

Larry said...

RA, a man after my own heart. Well put.