A lot has been written about using a personal firearm to deal with criminals, crazies and terrorists. Especially terrorists. Not because a terrorist attack is the most likely scenario anyone’s likely to encounter, but because it’s the most terrifying. In truth, at its core, it’s not a complicated situation. See terrorist…run and/or shoot terrorist. (Same for spree killers.)
Sure, there’s a lot you need to know to do that effectively. But it’s not even close to being the worst, most challenging violence you might face during a terrorist attack.
Generally speaking, terrorists use bombs. Whether they arrive in the shape of a pressure cooker IED or a jet liner flown into a building, there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself. Except, that is, if you can shoot the bomber before he or she or they trigger the device or devices.
That’s hardly likely, but not completely improbable either.
Always keep in mind that improbability is out there, somewhere. By that I mean that you can’t depend on future terrorist attacks following the current, most prevalent pattern (single terrorist with a gun, pre-set or remotely detonated bomb).
The French truck slaughter is a good/bad example. Could a civilian with a gun have helped in that situation? Absolutely. A passerby boarded the truck in Nice as the killer began his rampage. The good samaritan tried to physically stop the terrorist — and failed. Shooting the bad guy would have been an excellent option.
The other thing to remember: it’s only a matter of time before Americans face a coordinated terrorist attack involving multiple murderers. Lest we forget, there were two San Bernadino shooters, who killed 14 people and seriously injured 22 more. Are you ready for that…or worse?
For example, terrorists are known to open fire or detonate a single explosive device that herds people into a “kill zone.” The attackers then either bomb innocents again or open fire with guns. (The Boston Marathon bombers’ planned on detonating two devices.)
If a bomb goes off or you hear gunfire nearby, be extremely aware that you may be running out of the frying pan into the last fire of your life. Following a crowd to “safety” could be deadly.
In fact, who knows what kind of lethal threat you might face from terrorists or other spree killers?
As deseretnews.com reports:
On Sunday, somebody went to the remote substation located between Kanab and Page, Arizona, and fired at least three rounds with a high-powered rifle into the main transformer, knocking out power to an estimated 13,000 customers in Kanab, Big Water, Orderville, Glendale, Hatch and surrounding towns in Garfield County.
“Just from the looks of it, it looked more criminal than vandalism because they knew exactly where to shoot it and they shot it multiple times in the same spot,” Brown said. “For somebody to know exactly where that substation is and how to hit it exactly like he did, (it) seems like he’d have to have knowledge of that.”
What if you were hanging out down the road leading to the substation? What if you happened to be standing next to some other high value target like, say, a school or a dam, and terrorists attacked? Do you even consider what might be a high value target when you’re out and about ? You should — and ratchet up your situational awareness whenever you’re near one.
Note: I’m not saying that you should be permanently paranoid, or that a gun will solve every potential terrorist-related problem. In many if not most cases, alerting the authorities to a threat and leaving the area is the best, maybe even only thing you can do. But if you have a gun, it may be needed. How it’s needed is unknown.
Bottom line: don’t be that surprised if all hell breaks loose out of a clear blue sky. Breathe. Observe first, orient second, decide next, then act. Keep doing that until you know for an absolute fact that you and yours are out of danger. And watch out for multiple threats. That is all.