Years ago when my children were young, I instructed them on how to react during a terrorist attack. This was pre-9/11, pre-terrorist jargon, pre-radical Islamic militant worries, but nevertheless, amidst bullying and oppression by assorted individuals and groups.
I taught my children that attackers – we didn’t call them terrorists then – would try to hurt them with guns, knives, fire, vehicles, clubs… literally anything they could get their hands on. (In hindsight, I’m not a prophet, just a street-smart sinner who can also think wicked thoughts). The main thing is to ACT:
- Keep moving when being shot at. It’s harder to hit a moving target.
- Throw things at an attacker. Anything: chairs, books, pictures, lamps. Keep chucking things at them until the attacker retreats or they are knocked out. And then throw a few more things at, or on, them (couches, desks, refrigerators, etc.).
- Bust windows to escape. My son thought it was cool that I gave him permission to throw his stereo through a bedroom window should he need to depart quickly. I told him to choose wisely if he wished to rehearse a scenario.
- If you have a gun, do not pull it out unless you are committed to pull the trigger. And if you do pull the trigger, keep shooting INTO the attacker until they no longer move.
- Be aware of your surroundings (it’s now called situational awareness). My wife and I had one incident happen to us many years ago during which we were able to escape thanks to a state trooper making his routine patrol of a parking lot. I was aware, I just wasn’t armed. We had an incident happen just the other day, again in a parking lot, during which I was aware AND armed with two guns, a ball bat, a special cane (don’t ask), two sarongs (yes, they are good weapons), and grit. I’m not sure of the man’s intent but he quickly walked away.
These days, we’re faced with true terrorism, domestic and foreign, here and abroad. Guns and bombs seem to be their weapons of choice, until recently. Of the terror attack on the campus of Ohio State University yesterday, in which an Islamic terrorist drove his car into a group of people and got out stabbing and slashing with a butcher knife (and was quickly shot dead by a campus police officer), Fox News reports: The Islamic State group has urged sympathizers online to carry out lone-wolf attacks in their home countries with whatever weapons are available to them (emphasis added). Again, I’m not a prophet but I saw it coming.
And just as a reminder to my fellow Americans, and the terrorist ilk out there, I gladly read this in the United States Constitution:
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (emphasis not needed)
Remember, terrorism is SIN. It doesn’t matter if it’s bullying at school or work, or home or ball field. It doesn’t matter if it’s oppression in your country, county, city, classroom, or cubicle. It doesn’t matter if it’s abduction, abortion, illocution, molestation, or genitaliation (okay, I made that one up – just drop the last syllable and you’ll get the idea).
Terrorism is SIN: racial and radical, Islamic and incestuous, Pharisee-like and publican-like. And there is only one answer.
His name is Jesus, and a lady in the Bible made the most eloquent confession about Him: Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is come into the world. (John 11:27)
For the ones who terrorize, who oppress, who bully… I really do wish that you would take to heart these words from a Jewish woman. That would avoid a lot of grief between you and me, and between you and my children and grandchildren.
Until then, I’m still standing and still guarding the Kingdom. (Ephesians 6:10-20)