Stretch It Out.

Taking Michael Bane’s advice, I paced off the distance between the front door of my local Wally World and the nearest cover and was surprised to find out it was over thirty yards from the entrance to the cover of a concrete planter. That’s… not close, so I wrote some training tips for dealing with the new reality of dealing with an active shooter over at Ricochet.com.

I Got a Bad Feeling About This.

We have pre-purchased, reserved seats for “The Force Awakens” tomorrow. Here in Naples, they do things right: The theatre we’re going to has leather reclining seats, a wine list, Blue Moon ale on tap, and appetizers on-demand.

Not bad.

But my enthusiasm for this movie is tempered when I think of another eagerly anticipated movie premiere three years ago, and further tempered given the new reality of Islamic terrorism on our shores. Go to the movie, enjoy the movie, but if something inside the theatre doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

You Are Someone Else’s “Someone Else”.

Or, I have not come to bury “sheepdogs“, but to praise them.

My wife asked me yesterday morning if I would take action if I were caught in a San Bernardino-style attack*.

I told her my priority is and always will be getting her and our family to safety, but if they were safe or they weren’t around that yes, I would step into the fray, for two reasons.

  1. If I were unarmed and unable to defend myself, I’d be praying** for someone else to come to my rescue and save me from dying. Being armed and trained means that someone else might be me.
  2. I don’t think I could live with myself knowing that I could have saved lives, but chose not to. It’s true that my time to regret such actions might be significantly longer if I ran away from the sound of gunfire rather than running towards it, but I made that choice a long, long time ago, and I’m not likely to change my mind now.

* How sad is it that we now say “San Bernardino-style attacks” like we would “Paris-style attacks” or “Mumbai-style attacks”?

** Screw you, New York Daily News. If your editors had been in that conference room Wednesday, they’d be praying harder than a cloistered monk at vespers.

Time Is Life.

It occurs to me that what we are fighting for in a mass casualty situation is time. Time is distance, and time also allows you the ability to move to cover and being behind cover gives your more time to choose the best option for the situation. Not having any time to make any decisions means you’ll probably fall prey to panic, and that is not a good thing when your life is on the line.

Convenience. It’s What You Carry.

We went out as a family last well to see The Peanuts Movie (Short review: Much better than I expected, go see it) and it was nice to know that I had the training and the tools to deal with all the little things life might throw at me while doing so. Having a flashlight on me to help navigate a dark theater and a knife to open up a recalcitrant package of Twizzlers was just two of the little things that made for a happier night out for all the family, and knowing I had even more stuff close at hand only added to my sense of well-being. Sometimes, it’s not about preparing for the zombie apocalypse, it’s just about having fun with your family.