There’s a Substack colum that I read occasionally called Weapons and Strategy and it’s written by Steven Bryen. And in his commentary on the Israeli attacks, the very end of his commentary, he came out with two points. And these are two points I think are very specifically germane to us here, once again, in the self-defense landscape in the United States.
The first is, relying just on deterrence is a huge mistake. And obviously you saw that on a macro scale in Israel this weekend. But on a micro scale, we talk about deterrence. That’s when you think the threat is enough to keep your enemy from attacking. And whether that’s the police on the street, whether you live in a gated neighborhood, those elements of deterrence are useful, but you can’t just rely on deterrence. You can’t just rely on the shield.
The sword has to be there with the shield. And that applies to us individually as well as it does to nations.
Second point — and I think I should have this tattooed on my head — this is a critically important point and I think it’s brilliant. Again, Steven Bryen. You get comfortable with your enemy, then you are dead. Let me repeat that. You get comfortable with your enemy, then you are dead.
Obviously it applies on a macro scale and on a national scale, but think about that on an individual scale. You know, it ties back to what we were talking about earlier, which is like, wow. Those people who say we should be killed, or those people who think we should go to a camp, those people who think maybe we should take a lovely scenic trip in a box car, ‘It’s [really only] a euphemism!’ They [really] don’t mean that!’
That is the definition of being comfortable with your enemy.
‘Now come on, they said that, sure, but come on, do you actually that they mean that stuff?’ No?
But if we extrapolate from that, if you get comfortable with your enemy, then you’re dead. What is the ultimate extrapolation from that line? It’s pretty simple.
I have a concealed carry permit, but I only carry when I think I’m going to need it, right? I only carry when I think it’s possible that I’m going to be attacked. I got an email saying that I’m going to be attacked later today or a buzzer went off on my phone with a notification that says hey, be careful today because today is the day you’re probably going to be attacked. Today is the day that’s the “day of wrath.” So you might want to stay home. Have a pizza delivered.
Not carrying a firearm to defend yourself and defend your family in a time of uncertainty, in a time of specific threat like like we’re living in, is the ultimate expression that you are comfortable with your enemy. You are so comfortable with your enemy you don’t feel a need to have some type of defense should your enemy decide that today is the day and you’re it.
What’s the second part of that quote? Then you are dead.
— Michael Bane in Hard Lessons From Israel