Patrick Baccari (courtesy valleynewslive.com)

“I mean, even with a weapon, you can’t defend yourself laying on the ground, cowering to stay alive and survive to maybe get out and help somebody else later.” – San Bernadino survivor Patrick Baccari quoted in San Bernardino Suspect’s Co-Worker: ‘I Assumed Syed Was Our Friend’ [via npr.org]

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97 Responses to Quote of the Day: San Bernardino Survivor and Former Air Force Medic Rejects Armed Self-Defense

  1. If all you’re gonna do is lay on the ground and cower, hoping to survive, then a whole truck load of guns will not do you any good.

    Too bad we can’t talk to the dead. I’d like to know the opinion of the 14 killed what they would have thought about having a gun right before they were murdered.

      • Humans, and most animals, have the flight or fight instinct. Which means a normal person should and will try to either escape or (if armed) shoot back.

        If you’re instinct is not “I have to get the hell out of here” or “I have to help people get out of here too” or to shoot back, then he’s right – being armed and cowering is just cowering with a 1 to 2lbs object in your possession.

        But people who are armed, or at least can tap into instinct, should be thinking about flight or fight. And as citizens who choose to carry, we need to instill this concept into our conscience. I know what my plan is if SHTF. Do you?

        • Change his statement to first person and he is correct. As stated he only speaks for a segment of society.

          This is a great example of how we consider normal behavior based on our own limited capabilities and extrapolate this to how society should function. Because Baccari can’t imagine defending himself he feels that there is no point in anyone using self defense. I feel the same way about interpretive dance.

          He doesn’t represent the leaders of the anti gun movement but he does represent the sheep that the anti gunners want to herd.

      • He missed the direct shooting. He and two others happened to have gone to the restroom just before the killers burst in. So he was cowering in the crapper while others were dying and perhaps wishing they had a self-defense firearm in their hands.

        • That’s a deep, dark fear of mine: when the S hits the F, I’m going to be sitting on the pot with a big, sticky turd working its way out. Where’s your suavity now, eh, Mr. Bond?

          On the other hand, you can’t very well crap your pants in fear if they’re already down around your ankles…so there is that.

        • “That’s a deep, dark fear of mine:”

          Ing, I *really* could have done without that image, thank you…

        • Bah; just because his level of cowardice is the norm now adays, doesn’t make it any less than abject cowardice.

          Two hundred and some odd years ago, when those tradesmen, farmers and craftsmen stood on the Concord and Lexington greens; facing down what was considered sone of the greatest military troops of the day, you tell them I am being too harsh.

      • What if law enforcement , and soldiers felt the way he does , well maybe some do , but that way of thinking is just sad and ridiculous and that kind of talk is dangerous . If you won’t use it , don’t carry it . ( Cowering ) , isn’t that word derived from another very similar word ?

    • I don’t blame him for being afraid. It’s a very natural and reasonable reaction to danger. Curling up and hiding fits with the instinct that if you do not present a threat, you won’t be a target.

      The problem is that in this type of case, the killer is not concerned with attacking the most dangerous or those who flee, just in racking up a body count – killing for sport. Like Virginia Tech, it was the classrooms where nobody fought back – where they cowered and waited their turn – that many or all of the students shot/killed. In the rooms where action was taken, you saw lower shots and lower fatal shootings.

      I cannot get mad at playing dead to later help survivors, but when a killer is ensuring death your only option is to fight back. I’d rather even the odds.

      • On reading this interview through I think we should give this man the benefit of the doubt.

        He seems to maybe be saying something like ‘we were stuck there in the bathroom with no idea what’s going on (cowering)’.

        Also do note that this is NPR, who knows how the complete interview went and how they edited it.

        This guy was in a shitty situation and he had no weapon to begin with.

        • I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, too, particularly to read the quote in context.

          After reading the interview, though, my impression now is that he allowed his fear to drive his sense of helplessness. Then he rationalized that his helplessness is universal, so fiream defense is useless. These people let their fears drive their own actions, as well as their votes and other people’s options.

        • Jonathan – Houston – I can’t disagree with you. But also remember how devious the media can be with these interviews, they cherry pick and edit them.

    • I will be honest, I wish this coward was killed as to have us spread the fallout of idiocy.

      Why is it never people like him, people who would have us die in the name of his “morality” that are never killed in such events?

    • I wonder how many people here practice firing a handgun from the prone and kneeling positions? In a terrorist attack with multiple shooters initially going to ground might be the best option since the shooters are probably targeting upright people first.

      A one on one attacker can be treated s a 2D problem but many on many is a 3D problem. A miss over you when you are on the ground is as good as a miss to either side.

    • “Prone is one of my better shooting positions.”

      Exactly. And all it takes is one hell-of-a-good-shot person firing from the reasonable cover a prone position gives to dramatically change the equation. With the growth in gun sales and numbers people carrying concealed weapons, it’s only a matter of time before a spree-killer meets his match in a well-practiced, well-armed, private citizen. It’s worth remembering that the marytred jihidis in Arlington were taken out by a traffic-cop who just happened to be a damn good shot. Not exactly a private citizen but an average cop who just knew what to do.

  2. Poor guy can’t see any other way but to cower and hide hoping to survive.
    Incredible a human being with self awareness can default to fetal pants wetting when every other living thing on this planet would put up a fight to stay alive.

  3. Hmnn.

    “BACCARI: I assumed Syed was our friend as well. You wish him well. He’s had a new baby.”

    Taqiya. If you don’t know the concept, you may want to look it up.

    And yea, if this guy doesn’t want to be armed I don’t see any issue with that.

    It’s a right to keep and bear arms, not a demand that you be forced to keep and bear arms. Go on and decline to be armed Mr. Baccari, just keep your hands off of my gun and I don’t see any issue at all.

    N’est-ce pas?

  4. Wow. Talk about the triumph of feelings over logic. If you are the type that is going to lay down and cower in the face, quite literally face to face, of another person committing mass murder, you are 99.9% likely to NOT be carrying a weapon because self defense is not your mindset.

  5. Sounds like a failure of doctrine and training. Marine Corps teaches that a mediocre plan, violently executed now, is better than the ideal plan executed too late. Buying a gun and getting proficient at popping off rounds on the square range is only 1/3 the battle. 1/3 is training yourself to react instinctively, and the final and hardest 1/3 is to train yourself to know, preferably ahead of time, that $%# is about to happen.

  6. Incredible! Just the level of the embracing of being a completely ineffectual, incompetent and irresponsible human being is so….pathetic.

    If I didn’t know better, with examples such as this individual, I would wonder how we ever survived the many predators, both animal and human, over the millions of years, to reach the top of the food chain.

    • we survived by making and using tools. that’s the difference between us and the monkeys. tools, I.e. sticks, spears, swords, and oh my guns!

  7. Baccari is a shame to our service, and you definitely can “defend yourself laying on the ground.” It’s called shooting prone, they teach it at Air Force basic military training. I know because I was there too.

    • I don’t think this guy should be called a “medic” in the sense of an army or navy combat medic with an infantry unit. it gives him more credence than he warrants. He was most likely a “med technician” working in a rear echelon clinic or hospital. So, unless he owned and trained with handguns as a civvie; he has NO cred because he probably was never qualified or proficient

  8. His reaction was that of an unarmed man. Neither he nor we know how he would have reacted had he been armed. He might have surprised himself and come on like Audie Murphy.

    • Unarmed people have a history of courage and action as well. This guy? I, as a retired USAF member, disown the cowardly son-of-a-bitch.

  9. The key words in the quote ‘I Assumed Syed Was Our Friend’ is “I ASSUMED”.

    He forgot what “assume” means – he made an ASS out of himself. He thought the guy was a friend because of feelings not actions.

    If this guy actually served in the military, it was likely for the shortest possible period of time and he likely never saw combat much less being on the same continent where combat was taking place.

    As a medic, the most he ever had to treat was a paper cut.

    • “He thought the guy was a friend because of feelings not actions.”

      Hang on a sec here – taqiya to a musloid means they must act and lie in any way necessary to fool the kuffir into allowing them to have full advantage over us.

      That is the task of jihad – meaning the task of killing as many kuffir as possible means they are not just allowed, but commanded to lie to us. They lie to us about their feelings, their motivations, their beliefs, in order to befriend us and to eventually place us in a vulnerable position.

      And we can see that Farook and his devil bride accomplished this task very well. Farook no doubt was a sincere friend of Baccari (taqiya) all the way up until he walked into the room with the AR.

      I don’t think calling this man a coward is warranted. I do not envy what he has been through.

      This muslim lied to him and all of them, and they will lie to all of us if given the chance.

  10. I think this is the result of too much Hollywood. How often do you see in the movies where some off duty cop tries to shoot the bank robbers and it turns into a blood bath. Don’t people understand that they are going to kill everyone that they see.
    Also he might still have the romantic notion of unarmed medics wearing the Red Cross on their arms. Or maby he just can’t bring himself to use deadly force.

    Finally he needs to say “I can’t” not “you can’t”. Trust me, I can easy keep dumping magazines into them until I’m incapacitated. I do hope I have the presence of mind to alternated center of mass and head shots in case they are actually wearing armor.

  11. ‘I Assumed [Patrick] Was Our Friend’
    YA, YOU CAN’T DO SH_T IF YOU’RE COWERING ON THE FLOOR LIKE A PUSS. STAND UP AND AT LEAST DIE LIKE A MAN, COWERING IS A BUNG INVITE.

    I’m just gonna come right out and say it. . . AIR FORCE!

    F U

    Our medics (“docs”) would’ve filleted them with a BIC pen cap, and they would’ve raged if they didn’t get the chance (if someone shot the terrorists first).

    • I’m not sure if you are trying to insult the USAF, or claim to be in it/served in it.

      Please clarify?

      Because if it’s the former, you can GFY…….

      MSgt, USAF, Retired, 1990-2014

  12. Why would you be lying on the ground, cowering, when you have the means to defend yourself?

    I might still die, but I’m damn sure going to give it my all to go home to my family, non-ventilated. If all I do is lie on the ground and cower, I’m all but guaranteed to die.

  13. We’re not talking about an action hero movie ending here where only the bad guys get shot up and everyone escapes without a scratch. We’re talking about saving a few more lives. The shooters took timee to reload just like the ones in the Paris concert hall. Someone from outside the room could have responded. Of course he was lucky to survive. Tell that to the families of the dead.

  14. O.o.d.a loop is weak in this one.
    Fight….flight……freeze.
    He froze.
    He’ll be tormented by his own inner victim for the rest of his life.
    Sad for him but he did what he did at the moment……bow our heads and pray.

    • He’s gonna have to live with that for the rest of his life. His only possible coping mechanism for his failure, embracing his victimhood.

  15. If that’s the case, what’s the point of calling the police? When they get there they’re just going to cower on the ground and hope they survive, right? They’re just as human as everyone else. Or are you just saying that YOU wouldn’t have the presence of mind to draw and shoot back because YOU’D be having a paralyzing panic attack. If that’s the case you should try some serious introspection and ask yourself why you’d be incapacitated when others could be heroes, and why you’d prefer to take the guns out of the hands of your more courageous neighbors.

  16. What a Blue Falcon… You must have the will to win. Your body can’t go further than your mind will take you.

  17. That’s because he’s a b*tch and joined the Air Force where they don’t teach you shit about self defense.

    He couldn’t man up and join the Army or the Corp.

  18. I saw a bumper sticker the other day which read “LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER”.

    No idea if this guy is a liberal, but his statement about self defense is certainly in line with what I’ve heard from other liberals.

  19. “… even with a weapon, you can’t defend yourself laying on the ground, cowering to stay alive …” – San Bernadino survivor Patrick Baccari

    I agree. And that is why I won’t be “laying on the ground, cowering to stay alive”. Rather, I will be moving to cover or concealment and ready to engage my attackers if they get between me and my exit point.

  20. He lacks the will to act. His default position is on his knees or prostrate on the ground. He can’t comprehend this any other way – he never considered acting or defending because he lacks the testicular fortitude or mental will to do anything else. So, yes Patrick- it’s impossible to shoot and move while lying on the ground. Your body doesn’t go anywhere your mind hasn’t gone, or isn’t willing to go. So, moving to cover or concealment, returning fire, resetting the Jihadi’s OODA loop because he wasn’t expecting armed resistance (therefore buying time to reset the terms of the engagement) or possibly wounding or killing the Jihadi is nowhere in the realm of possibility for Patrick. Unfortunately, Patrick’s mindless drool makes perfect sense to far too many people.

  21. That is one deeply f*cked up mindset. That there might be other options besides lying on the floor and pissing yourself simply doesn’t enter his thought process. Wow.

  22. I can sort of see everyday average citizens getting the spelling of Bernardino incorrect, but not someone in the media like TheTruthAboutGuns.com.

  23. What an incredible idiot. They call that PRONE shooting asshole. Why can’t killers focus on killing only the people who think like this. It would make the world a better place.

  24. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the newer thinking to the actual human animal response to a threat is “flight, fight, or freeze”. I believe, from what I have read, learned, and trained for, is that mindset before an event is the key to survival. If that is this guy’s mindset is to be a victim, that’s his choice. I don’t judge. I can only make my choice and that is to be armed and ready to fight.

    • Freeze or just kinda mill about passively.

      The fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club (160+ killed) was an example of that response.

      Many just kinda froze and went along with the others doing nothing

      Weird.

  25. Former air force medic! That likely means he shot a few dozen rounds from an M-16 with a .22 conversion kit while in basic training, and never picked up another gun after that.

  26. Air Force Medic,

    I respect your opinion, you are entitled to one. With that said, I am a Marine and I disagree with your statement, and this is not an opinion.

    Do you even remember raising your right hand and saying the words… “… against all enemies, foreign or domestic…” when you joined the Air Force?

    Semper Fidelis!

  27. Gentleman in question doesn’t know spit about what he is making a assumption, not all gun carriers would be cowering on the ground waiting too be shot! a good philosophy is Fight back! you are going too die anyway, this so called military dude has forgotten the Military’s golden rule Do unto others before they do you! if he’s doing you take him or her with you!
    this guy is a gun control troll not worth the effort to chastise or call names! Ship this guy to the sand Box so he can adsorb the culture and convert! don’t know who long he’d last being tribe less and all!

  28. I dont even know what to say or how to respond to his comment. So your instinct when someone is killing all your friends is to just lay there balled up weeping and crying and doing nothing? Or “cowering” as he so elegantly put it. His comment makes no sense. A person with a weapon at that point would at least have another option than laying there pissing yourself and not helping others. It would at least make it a more fair scenario. Im fully certain that most of the people if they were handed a gun in that situation would try to fight back. Except for the few who are just cowards in general like this man obviously is. This is the same type of personality that runs out the door in a fire and leaves women and children behind. In fact he even said it…..to get out….then…..go back and help others later. Its too late by that time bud. United States vet or not. Older gentleman or not. To make a statement like this just shows what a weasel of a person this man is. Let the cops show up, albeit well too late, and let them worry about it. Its not the citizens responsibility to use force to stop a deadly situation. We are not supposed to stand up and defend ourselves and our friends and co workers in the face of terror. We should lay there and hope someone else does something. This is what Liberals and the Liberal Media have done to America. I know in times like this you dont want to drag politics into it, but take a look at the policies and ideas that Liberals have been shoving down Americans. Its exactly that. To not defend yourself, and hope someone else does something about it. Its sad how weak and submissive a lot of people have become in this country because of the attitude if the liberal media. So yes, i place the blame on them and the Liberals in general when i hear a veteran make comments like this. Because this is the exact attitude of liberals.

  29. So he cowered in place and now he wants everybody to do the same so he won’t feel so ashamed.

    I’m glad that Baccari survived. I sincerely hope that he feels guilty about it.

  30. Having been laying on the ground and cowering, he is apparently ready to do it again. Hey, it worked the first time! But why does he think he ought to get to decide for me?

  31. So why are we to assume that the terrorists won’t be the ones cowering when a hail of bullets come at them from 3 or 4 directions?

  32. I wish the indoor range I go to, especially now that it is dark at 5:30, would allow us to shoot from other than a full standing position. The couple next to me was instantly hassled by the range attendant for shooting with forearms on the counter top instead of asking for a gun rest. Please don’t tell me to go somewhere else. Somewhere else in an hour away and we are lucky either range exists.

  33. Instinct is a natural , obviously , but an obstacle none the less , not a given to cower to .
    In 2003 my wife and I went to UVA Medical to have a tumor removed from under my brain and in pre-op , after already being put under , I had complete cardiac arrest and was resuscitated three times , with every means available , both electrical and manual . When I came too in recovery I was told , by a team of pale faced doctors and the anesthesiology crew that I had beaten rather large odds and was lucky to be here . I was told to see a heart specialist and blah blah blah and the surgery was called off until I did .
    I didn’t . I still have the tumor and my heart is still working , for now . I’m done with doctors .
    Long story short , I had a hard time the next few months every time I had a twinge in the night , I would wake up , set on the edge of the bed and calm down , saying to myself , ” it’s in your hands Lord “.
    It was instinct that woke me from my slumber and brought me to the edge of my bed and I hated the fact that it was controlling me that way so I consciously set out to regain control which meant , to me , giving control to someone else .
    You see , I am a faithful believer in Christ and try to put Him at the steering wheel of my life in everything I do so it took me looking inside of myself and overcoming those instincts to set up in a sweat in fear on the edge of my bed at every twinge . I now sleep through those twinges .
    Remembering to do all things with a purpose toward Christ is a daily ritual and goal of mine and overcoming instincts to fear death is an important part of my life . I will defend myself for other people and ideals that are important to me and I will defend other people in all instances if I can when they cannot defend themselves and I will put behind me my instinct of fear .
    There can be no fear in death because death to me is life beginning .

  34. But we threw him a baby shower! What a big girl…I would be ashamed to say anything at all if I did that. Never been shot at but have intervened in an attack on a woman(unarmed too). And other harrowing scrapes(all unarmed).

  35. I recall being told that you’re out of the fight when your mind is out of the fight: your ability to continue active resistance is largely a product of your own mental attitude. Nothing against our USAF brethren, but perhaps the mental preparation in that service isn’t quite the same as the “locate, close with, and destroy the enemy” mentality that some of the other services develop.

    He also seems to have the mindset that, due to his lack of a firearm he cannot conceive of any options that become available if he does have one and, doesn’t recognize that those options might exist.

    Without a hammer, wood, nails, and some reasonable skill with those items I can’t visualize doing much with my unfinished basement; fortunately I have all of those and so my basement is now partially finished.

  36. Whatever you do, don’t give yourself a choice of survival. This way, you will blend in naturally with others of the party of “controlled thought and government approved limited action”.

  37. Just because it is much easier to continually repeat myself….”This is the mind of a ‘reasonable person’ sitting on your jury.”

  38. So I, a Marine Combat vet, should listen to this guy? No offense to any Air Force guys out there but judging by his age he probably served in the years in between ‘Nam and Desert Storm, i.e. no combat experience. So this boot-ass-POG can shut the fuck up, come back and talk to me when he has a CAR and a Purple Heart. Maybe if your weenie ass had seen some combat you wouldn’t have lied down on the floor and waited to die. I have no respect and no compassion for you, seeing as how you are arguing against my right to bear arms that my brothers and I bled for. As far as I’m concerned you have violated your oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States (which comes chronologically before the part about obeying superiors and the president) and tried to use your service (which was obviously just a free college ticket for you) as a way to convince people you know something about guns.

  39. “BACCARI: I mean, even with a weapon, you can’t defend yourself laying on the ground, cowering to stay alive and survive to maybe get out and help somebody else later.”

    Mr. Baccari, you sir are an idiot, a coward, and a disgrace to my USAF.

    MSgt, USAF, Retired, 1990-2014

  40. Now, from what I understand, there are actual, documented cases of armed people who, upon being shot at, do something other than lay on the ground cowering…. Sometimes even things that involve the gun they’ve been toting around.

    It never ceases to amaze me how stupid it is possible fora brain to be, while still being able to coordinate enough smooth muscle to breathe and pump blood.

  41. Damn…talk about a guy who makes all blue suiters look bad…dude you do as you choose; however I am millions of others choose not to die as cowards. I am sure those blue suiters known as PJs and live my the motto that others may live, will disagree with just as I as a former Security Police and Army Abn MP will. Did they not teach you it is also your responsibility to protect causalities? Sheeple like this make me sick

  42. Robert Forago is a despicable fuck. This man said on a televised interview that he believed that ALL people should be armed.” This quote is either a flat-out lie or a sentence fragment taken out of context.

  43. After reading some of these comments, I realize how I would liked to have responded faced with a similar challenge. But the fact of the matter is that I really don’t know how I would have responded….really..! I would like to think that I would be courageous, stoic, determined, and resourceful, that I would go down swinging and take as many of the enemy down with me, making whatever victory my opponent had to be a Pyrrhic one. Life is uncertain and full of surprises….sometimes the nerdy kid who always cowers suddenly turns out to be a resolute fighter from hell, and the athletic jocks turn out to be a little shaky….you never know?…

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