Sunday, February 25, 2018

When Seconds Count, Help Is Minutes Away

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Once again there's been another massacre in another gun-free zone, and once again innocents are dead. As we all grieve for the lives lost as ask ourselves what can be done to prevent this, preppers are silently nodding their heads in mournful acknowledgement of a fact we've known for years but the country is only now discovering: the authorities cannot arrive fast enough.

It's unfortunate, but it's true. Police, firefighters and paramedics cannot teleport instantly to your side when 911 is called; they still have to get into their vehicles and cross the intervening miles between you and them. If you are lucky, there will be a unit in your neighborhood, but unless they're a block away or less when they are dispatched you will still need to wait minutes when your life could be over in seconds. Of course, their presence is no guarantee that they will help you, as the inaction at the scene of disgraced Coward County -- excuse me, I meant Broward County Sheriff's Deputies will attest.

In fact, the police have no legal duty to protect you. This has been affirmed over and over again by the courts:
This sad truth is one of many reasons why preppers are prepared. We understand that if we are in an emergency situation, we are our own first responders, which is why we carry first-aid kits and defensive weapons and seek out training for same.

There is nothing we, as individuals, can do to prevent such tragedies, but there are things we can to do to be prepared for them so we can act properly when it necessary. As Discerning Shootist pointed out on Friday, we need to accept: Accept that evil exists; Accept that we cannot change it; Accept responsibility for ourselves and for our actions.

That last point is the purpose of this post. We must accept the fact that we must guard our own lives and then act, with responsibility and purpose, toward that end. Therefore:
  1. If you are licensed to carry a handgun, do so every day and practice with it regularly. 
  2. If you don't know how to shoot, contact one of the 1500 volunteers of Operation Blazing Sword. They will gladly take you to the range and teach you the basics of firearm safety and operation, and will put you on the path to acquiring more training and obtaining your carry permit. 
  3. Attend a Red Cross course on First Aid and CPR. They're free. 
  4. Learn how to use a tourniquet and carry one on a regular basis. 
  5. Have a plan for how to escape an active shooter incident. I stand by what I said on this topic in 2015, even though some of my suggestions were a bit controversial
Your job is not to stop the shooter; your job is to survive and to protect your loved ones. Please learn how to protect yourself until help (finally) arrives. 

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