Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"The best way to win a gunfight is to not get in one"

With all due respect saying that "The best way to win a gunfight is to not get in one" is, in my opinion, oxymoronic bombast. While avoidance of life threatening situations is the best thing to do if possible, the thing is an armed attack cannot always be avoided and you may find yourself in the middle of such a setting with little to zero hope of avoidance. Regardless, avoidance of a gunfight (or other armed encounter) is not winning that fight - it is avoidance. There is a big difference between getting into a fight and avoiding one successfully. They are not the same thing and avoidance is not always an option, unless by avoidance you me surrendering yourself to the mercy of an armed assailant. Yes, instead of fighting I, or anyone, could merely give up and that would quite truthfully be avoiding a fight but when at the mercy of an armed assailant doing so might also get me killed if he was a merciless SOB. So, I would almost definitely choose to fight if I found myself in the middle of such an unavoidable incident and I believed there was a chance I could be successful.

By the way, sometimes armed encounters are unavoidable. In such cases as a home invasion, school shooting, other violent break-in, armed robbery attempt, mugging, attempted rape, a terrorist driving a car into a crowd jumping out and stabbing people, or other situations wherein someone is suddenly thrust into mayhem - and escape is either impractical or obviously unsafe - the best policy is to be armed, trained and ready & willing to defend yourself and others. The truth is, there sometimes is no way to avoid fighting for your life in a gunfight or other armed encounter. That is if you want to survive and don't believe in putting yourself at the mercy of your assailant.While situational awareness will go a long way toward avoiding danger, it is not always practical, safe or even possible to avoid a life threatening situation when someone is dead set on harming you or others. There are countless numbers of such incidents to learn from throughout recent history. In such situations, fighting for your life and the lives of others is often the best option.

Please tell me, how would these have been avoidable, in any practical manner, for those victims involved:

1991 Sacramento hostage crisis - Wikipedia

Massacre at Virginia Tech leaves 32 dead - Apr 16, 2007 - HISTORY.com

In each of these scenarios - all avoidable if you live in a shell or unavoidable within any sense of practicality for people who want to live normal lives - an armed individual or armed individuals may have well made the difference and lives may have been saved. The usually untold story is that, in at least one of those scenarios - that of the Sea crest Diner - there was reportedly an armed individual among the victims who could have fought back but chose to avoid doing so. Of course, the armed individual avoided a gunfight but certainly did not win - except maybe if you consider merely surviving to be winning. Some people were violently victimized and severely injured, quite possibly as a result of him choosing not to fight. Now that person has to live with the knowledge that he quite possibly could have prevented all that and al that followed had he gotten into a gunfight instead of avoiding one. That is second guessing but not on my part because you pretty much can rest assured that person, reportedly a police officer, has been second guessing himself ever since, or at least did so for many years, if he has any conscience at all.

This article reports on the aftermath of the chaos at the Sea Crest Diner:
Prison Release Recalls Horror In L.I. Diner; 1982 Rampage Led to Law Raising Felony Penalties

Had I been there and armed, I do not know that I would have been able to live with myself had I failed to engage the bad guys in an attempt to protect others there. Sure, I could have engaged and things might have gotten worse but then again maybe I would have won because of my training, my willingness, and the element of surprise. I am pretty certain, no matter the outcome, I would have been better able to live with the results had I at least tried to stop them. I think that would be true of most folks who choose to be armed. I also understand though that the decision to fight or not has to be made by the person who is there living through it. Reportedly, the officer who decided not to take action believed it would have been too risky to attempt to engage the bad guys. I cannot second guess him, I can only prepare myself for what options I might have in a similar situation while knowing that avoidance is not always going to be the best option.

Here is another recent example of a pretty much unavoidable armed encounter:
Somali student behind car, knife attack at Ohio State University that injured 11

Think about what would have taken place had a campus police officer not been there. Think about it along the lines of an armed student or armed professor was there - should any of them have avoided the fight? Whether it was a knife (as in this case), a car (also as in this case), a gun, a club, a Molotov cocktail or any other weapon - the thing is sometimes it is best to engage and to actually win the fight instead of avoiding it.

All the best,
Glenn B

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