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Kenya University attack (courtesy

Jonathan Wayne Taylor and I were sharing Cuban cigars at TTAG’s secret above-ground bunker (limestone dontchaknow), discussing civilian disarmament proponents’ perspective on armed self-defense. “They simply can’t imagine someone wanting to kill them,” JWT opined. “Because they couldn’t imagine doing it themselves.” Which is just as well, I suppose. The “I couldn’t kill anyone” perspective I mean. As for the idea that an attacker could be swayed by reason or simple compliance, that is one dangerous let’s-call-it-what-it-is fatal assumption. Check out this New York Times report on the most recent terrorist attack on Kenyan students . . .

GARISSA, Kenya — Elosy Karimi curled up in a crawl space, immobilized by fear.

Her classmates were flooding out of the dorms, in boxer shorts and thin nightgowns. Gunfire was ringing all around her. People were screaming. It was predawn and pitch black.

“If you want to survive, come out!” the militants yelled. “If you want to die, stay inside!” . . .

New details emerged on Friday about how a handful of fighters from the Shabab militant group, with just a few light weapons, managed to kill nearly 150 students in Kenya’s worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi.

Survivors said many students had fallen for the militants’ trick, voluntarily leaving their dorm rooms and obeying commands to lie down in neat rows, only to be shot in the back of the head.

What more do you need to know? This: that terrorists aren’t the only ones who kill for sport – or for some other reason you won’t know before it’s lights-out.

Having been mugged twice, having looked into the eyes of criminals with no regard whatsoever for my life, I can attest to that fact. Yes, I gave them my money and survived. Others victims haven’t been so lucky. If I knew then what I know, if I’d been armed and had a chance to counterattack, I would have done so.

Gun control advocates don’t see it that way. You might not see it that way. You may think that my survival is proof that compliance IS a viable strategy. But consider this . . .

The militants seemed especially cruel and gleeful, ordering some students to call their parents on their cellphones and tell them that the attack was payback for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

Students who hid during the attack said they had heard their classmates whimpering as the militants taunted them. Then a single gunshot. Then silence.

“They were shooting people as they came out; they were making others lie down,” said a doctor who was not authorized to speak publicly. “They had so many people lying in one place, it was easy killing.”

African terrorists are evil people, obviously. In this they are not alone. Not too put too fine a point on it, someone who breaks into your home is not a “misunderstood” youth gone wrong. Someone who holds a knife to your throat is not a reasonable person on any level. They are your enemy.

There is no bargaining with evil. Giving evil people the power of life-or-death over you is a huge mistake that could easily be your last. And the last for your family, friends and community.

Don’t do it. Don’t put yourself in a position where you could be killed easily. And if you find yourself in that position, don’t do it. Don’t be killed easily. Gun or no gun, fight back. Stop evil any way you can. If you have a gun and there’s even a small chance you can bring it to bear in a counter-attack, do it.

You could die fighting evil. Just as you could die not fighting evil. The choice is yours. As for those who would remove your right to armed self-defense, they may not be evil per se. But they are not on your side. Never have been. Never will be. That is all. Except this:

The attack on Thursday exposed just how powerless this industrialized, westernized country is in the face of a ruthless terrorist organization. Many fear that Kenya cannot stop the Shabab, who are clearly trying to fan a religious war.

On Friday morning, a dozen local young men, all Muslim, marched down Garissa’s main road to show solidarity with the victims, the vast majority of whom were Christian and hailed from other parts of Kenya.

The only demonstration that evil people understand is the projection – or use – of lethal force. [h/t mister3d]

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  1. On the students’ tombstones, the Islamic terrorists can write “They Died Like Sheep”.

    No chance of fighting back in a society with gun controls laws that are strict enough to make even the Bloomberg Mommies and Obama/Schumer/Feinstein/Pelosi happy. Maybe they needed to have more “Gun Free Zone” signs on the walls and doors.

  2. You can obey the instructions to lie face-down and wait for the murderers to shoot you in the back of the head and end your life, or you can choose to fight back against evil and have a chance of saving many lives including your own. Those who prepare to fight are gun owners.

  3. “Rationality will not save us”- Robert McNamara.

    (That quote comes after his time as secretary of defense, obviously)

  4. “GARISSA, Kenya — A leading Kenyan newspaper reports that police waited for seven hours before sending a special tactical unit into Garissa college to fight the extremist gunmen who killed 148 people on Thursday. Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper said Sunday that when the specially-trained police unit finally went into the college campus it took them only 30 minutes to kill the four al-Shabaab gunmen and stop the siege…”

    • I think it probably took them 7 hours to get permission to take arms into the gun free zone, or they’d have been there quicker.

  5. I do think we have to face a fact: Even if we had double the current armed security at US college campuses AND campus carry, it would not stop trained gunmen who have a plan, who have AKs with lots of ammo and good C3I like we know they did in the Westgate Mall attack. So if and when it happens in the US, it will still be a bloodbath, regardless of the gun laws.

    • When it comes your time to go JohnF, how would you like to do it? Laying facedown while some animal puts a bullet in the back of your head? Or gut shooting the same animal with your j frame as you go down?

      I know which I would chose in the enablers of these mass killers would stop helping them bad guys and turn the good guys loose.

      For a list of the enablers of these butchers start with kapo bloomberg, shannon watts and add to it.

      • Hey guys! Over-react much? I am all for campus carry. I am all for having the right to go down shooting! I was just making one simple, tactical point: I think we need to be realistic about it being a panacea for a Kenya-type attack. In the Kenya mall, the attackers were well trained, they had a plan, they were in constant comms and they were well armed. There were four CC’ers in the mall, government officials who had permission to carry. They banded together and tried to take on one of the attackers. One of the CC’ers was hit in the leg and they all had to retreat.

        I think campus carry is great for rape prevention and defense against a “solo, untrained crazy” mass shooter. But not something like this. I think the gun community loses credibility even suggesting it might be so.

        • I strongly disagree with that. What details do you have about those officials? What level of training did they have? How did they try to kill the gunman. It’s obvious their plan sucked, but that doesn’t mean it screws all of them.

        • JohnF,

          There is no question that the outlook is extremely bleak for a single defender with nothing more than a handgun facing four or more coordinated suicide attackers with rifles. No one is suggesting otherwise.

          Having said that, there is absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. That single defender could, at the very least, kill one attacker. And, with good tactics and favorable cover/concealment, that defender could take out multiple attackers.

          It gets really interesting when lots of victims are armed … say at least 1 in every 10 victims. In that situation four armed attackers trying to kill 100 people in a building would be facing 10 armed defenders. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be one of the four attackers with rifles facing 10 defenders with handguns who have the advantage of surprise, cover, and time. Remember, an armed attacker has to kill victims “quickly” before police arrive. An armed defender has no time constraint — they can wait for hours in a favorable position.

        • Having undergone some force on force training where I was armed with a handgun and opp-for was armed with rifles and dying repeatedly in said training. Coupled with a year kicking down doors and cleaning rooms in warm sandy places, I can tell you JohnF is absolutely correct, if you fire on 5 guys armed with assault rifles who have small unit tactics training you will die. If, you are extremely lucky you might get one. However, if they are wearing body armor, you have better luck with black 6 on the roulette wheel in Vegas. Campus carry would do zilch against such an attack. At best if every single CCW holder held there ground (super unlikely, I know I would hightail it if I had an evac route), it would take 20 or 30 CCWs to take them down. Remember these guys are acting as a unit, the CCW holders will be randomly scattered accros campus and will be opposing a 5 man team in ones or twos at best armed with handguns. Eventually though if ever single CCW on campus had huge brass balls and fired on them, they would eventually do enough damage to take them down. I real life I’m guessing a few heroes will go out in a blaze of glory while the rest will do the correct thing given the tactical situation and high tail it.

        • The leader of the defenders was a Navy NCO. Another was an agent of the the Diplomatic Security Service and the two others seemed to be bureaucrats. I would put them up against four random college kids with guns. And I have to give the credit. At least they tried. They could have just escaped.

          Again, we have a right to try to defend ourselves and to have the tools to do it. And if we do, it will make “a” difference. Lives will be saved, if it is only in slowing the BGs down. I just caution against some of the statements made that might imply that if our college kids could carry guns like the Kenyan students could not, it would have stopped the situation.

          As to the factor of time being on the defenders’ side, that did not seem to be all that true in the Kenya mall shooting. That went on for 48 hours before government factions secured the scene. It is believed that some of the attackers changed clothes in the mall and just walked out with the survivors.

        • Suicide attackers hitting any heavily trafficked public place will result in a bloodbath. Duh.

          But a high body count isn’t the only motive with these monsters. If it were, then a good ol’ fashioned car bomb would do the trick. No, they want to dominate, humiliate, and strip the dignity from their victims, as many as they can. For that, they need close contact and time, and lots of it.

          In a U.S. mall, in a pro-gun state, they wouldn’t get seven hours to torture unarmed victims. They’d be picked off by concealed carriers who are just trying to escape, not be heroes. At the very least, they’d be harrassed and their plot disrupted by the same.

          That’s why when this happens here, and it will, it will be in a “gun free” zone, precisely because they don’t want the resistance, regardless who “wins” the firefight. You heard it here first.

        • One was wounded, so all had to leave and allow 147 deaths to occur? That makes no sense except in the scenario of “the only important thing is that all officers go home OK. Screw the people we leave behind unarmed.”

          There were FOUR attackers? And they rampaged for 7 hours without any significant opposition? That is ridiculous. Anyone who cannot see how ridiculous that is, is deliberately keeping his eyes closed.

        • Depends on the scenario. Are the terrorists moving as a unit with all points covered with the tail end Charlie covering their six? This is very difficult for one person with only a pistol to take on and not get killed quickly.

          Or are they scattered, individually going down corridors killing as many people as possible over as much territory as possible like they did in Mumbai? This would be more possible to take one terrorist down without getting immediately killed.

          many scenarios with many possibilities of terrain, with terrorists of varied levels of man power, skills, training and abilities.

          But to make a blanket stament that one well trained person with a gun has no chance to stop a mass attack is simply not true.

          By believing this, if a mass attack does happen, then a person won’t even take the time to see what is possible. They will simply run, leaving who knows how many hundreds of fellow Americans to be slaughtered like sheep. Later, they might find they could have saved lives by taking on the terrorists because the terrorists weren’t as well trained as they imagined.

        • I agree with you JohnF and Pete S. I have thought of similar scenarios and it just does not look like it would end favorably for me pitting my J Frame or any handgun against an attacker with a rifle and possibly body armor. That’s not even considering the fact that just about any EDC is not going to have enough ammo to sustain a firefight.

          Even my limited force on force experience playing milsim/airsoft shows that even equally armed 1 guy versus 2 or more gun already out shooting is bad news.

        • Who said one person? They stood outside and demanded the students come out. So, say 45 students draw their EDCs and coordinate their movement to the windows, and all cut loose at the same time. I can tell you the PRECISE result. Ready? If 45 students were allowed to carry firearms, the attack would not have happened, instead it would have been somewhere there were no defenders. Otherwise, there would have been a rush to claim the dumbasses’ automatic weapons from the mush remaining where they had stood.

  6. Good article, well made point.

    On this quote: “Because they couldn’t imagine doing it themselves.” I would say the corollary is this. That when it comes to what they want, those same types of people often can and will imagine the government doing it for them. So its not the lack of a will to kill, its a lack of will to get their hands dirty.

    • +1
      There are plenty of civilian disarmament types who would love the POTG dead. It’s not just our guns that scare them, it’s our mindset and our resistance to becoming easily-herded sheep that terrifies them. On forum after forum you’ll see posts that we should all die – either by shooting ourselves, each other, or being drone-sniped or carpet bombed by Big Uncle. They have plenty of taste for killing – just no guts to do so themselves.

  7. those that would use force to make you comply with their wishes are evil…….most are in GOVERNMENT….imho

  8. What a difference a dozen unarmed students could have made by overtaking the evil men.

    What a difference a single good guy/gal with a gun could have made.

    It’s important to note the press photos I’ve seen show cops at the scene – huddled down in defensive position, likely waiting to plan a proper response.

  9. “As for those who would remove your right to armed self-defense, they may not be evil per se.”

    I do say.

    (Yes, I know that se does not mean to speak but it sounds like “say” and my response was intended to be both poignant and a play on words.)

  10. Air drop the modern equivalent of an FP-45 Liberator in 9 mm. And plenty of ammo. When the animals start getting return fire we’ll see less of this.

    Billions to Iraq and Afghanistan fighting ISIS? Same solution.

    Some billionaire needs to fund an update to the Liberator. Cheap and effective enough at short distances, easy to spread to the masses. PsyOps if not some actual pushback.

    • Ooh … I really like the PsyOps angle on prolific deployment of a modern Liberator handgun in the Middle East.

      Even if the modern Liberator is only a single shot pistol with no more than two additional rounds in the handle, it would be much better than nothing — especially if basically everyone has one.

      • Would be a good test, and the possible losses are probably expendable. And the bad guys would have no use for the guns, only defenders.

  11. Having been mugged twice, having looked into the eyes of criminals with no regard whatsoever for my life, I can attest to that fact…. You may think that my survival is proof that compliance IS a viable strategy.

    Without a doubt, in the US, you are very likely to walk away unharmed after compliance in a mugging. That said, compliance is overrated due to Survivorship Bias.
    Of course, resistance has risks. For muggings, the exponentially extreme downside of getting stabbed/shot/killed is probably*** higher if you resist. But every scenario is different – there may be muggers who prefer to hurt/kill when faced with no resistance.

    ***There’s no way to KNOW this for A situation. There is NO study, survey of criminals, victims, or academic brain scan that can account for A specific situation and A PERSON’S values. The natural right of self-defense exists regardless of statistical outcomes or what elite pinheads say.

  12. Lord, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to do harm to me and mine. Let not my last thought be “If only I had my gun”; and Lord if today is truly the day that You call me home, let me die in a pile of brass.

  13. I have also been mugged. At the time I was a very large,very strong weightlifter. And I kicked some azz. That was 30 years ago…not so big or strong now. So now I am always armed with something. I know it’s hard to understand meekly submitting to execution but this could very easily happen here. My wife taught self-defense many years ago at a YWCA. The majority of the (goofy) white women stated “I could NEVER” hurt my attacker…just submit and hope he doesn’t hurt me. No clue that rape is about violence and not sex. Or that women have had their arms cut off or burned to death(or worse-kidnapped and held as a sex slave for 10 years in Cleveland). And these folks in Kenya were warned too…pathetic.

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