A Change Of Plans

After getting my blog entry nearly finished up last night, I had plans to make a couple of final tweaks this evening and then get it posted.  However, in light of the tragic events in Connecticut today, I have decided to postpone that entry and instead, jot down a few thoughts I’ve had today.

First and foremost, I want to lament that, try as I may, I’ve yet to find any words that are worthy of saying to the people affected by this heinous act.  At this time, the words, “my thoughts and prayers are with you”, seem entirely inadequate.  Only time, prayer, and love will help to heal the wounds the people in that community suffered today.  The thought of losing a child under ANY circumstances is heart wrenching at best, and as a parent, I would never wish that on another.

As I sit here typing this at approximately 10:00pm CST on Friday night, dozens (if not hundreds) of investigators continue to comb over the crime scenes, interview witnesses and friends and family of the perpetrator, gather evidence, and try to piece together an accurate picture of what really happened today.  All of the facts surrounding this incident are far from known, and probably won’t be known for days, if not weeks.

The latest, up-to-the-minute reports I am now seeing are suggesting that the perpetrator, Mr. Adam Lanza, had a troubled past, and possibly suffered from some variety of mental illness.  Close friends are apparently describing him as “troubled”, and a family member is on record as describing him as “not well”.  So, just like we’ve seen in numerous past incidents that involved a lone shooter and multiple victims (Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords, Aurora Colorado), it’s looking very likely that Mr. Adam Lanza also suffered from mental problems that normal, rational people could never understand.  Subsequently, looking at this type of incident through normal, rational eyes will leave us all wanting as this kind of act simply can’t be explained in a normal, rational manner.

Yet, despite the fact that the investigation has only just begun, and despite the fact that the perpetrator appears to have been suffering from some kind of mental issues, the anti-gun politicians and their anti-gun “disciples” are already out, en force, calling for immediate and strict restrictions on our 2nd Amendment rights.  They seem to think that their draconian laws would somehow dissuade an irrational, psychopathic killer, such as Mr. Lanza.  Because we can all see how deterred he was by all of the other laws he broke today, right?

The truth is, we’ve yet to pass a law, ever, that has stopped deranged, psychopathic people from perpetrating heinous crimes. Throughout the ages, these people have waged their terror on us as a society, despite our laws, despite the consequences we as a civilized society have prescribed, and even despite our willingness to sentence them to the ultimate fate – capital punishment.  The bottom line is, the kind of deterrence we’ve tried the most (draconian gun laws and restrictions on law-abiding people), simply hasn’t worked.  So it makes me wonder, if draconian laws haven’t worked yet, why are the gun-grabbers demanding more draconian laws?  It kind of makes you wonder what their REAL agenda actually is, no?

In light of the failed policies of anti-gun politicians and their “disciples”, I would like to suggest a NEW kind of deterrence.  I believe we need a much more proactive approach to dealing with those who would target our defenseless children, our elderly, our brothers and sisters that would just like to enjoy a night out at the movies, our church goers who have gathered to peaceably worship, and our friends and families that are trying to do a little shopping at the local mall.  I am advocating a prepared and properly trained citizenry who possess the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to protect themselves, their families, and the people in their charge.  I am suggesting we equip our teachers and school administrators, not only with evacuation plans and lockable doors, but also with a skillset and the necessary equipment needed to actually respond in the event that evacuation and lockdown isn’t possible.  No teacher should be forced to stand by defenselessly while a deranged killer executes OUR children or while a psychopath is mercilessly slaughtering his/her coworkers.  These people need to be able to COUNTER when deterrence fails!

Those of us in the training community are in a unique position to be able to actually help here.  We have knowledge and skills we can pass on to those who are willing and able to learn.  We have ideas we can share; we have the ability to give consultations to those who will have us, and we have resources within our networks that can help to make things happen.  With that said, it appears as though we as trainers might need to take a bit of a more proactive approach in how we go about getting this information and training out there to those who are tasked with caring for our children and watching over our families while we can’t be present.

It is my hope that as we move into the New Year, we can all look at these illogical, irrational acts, and apply a bit of logical and rational thought into how we can best counter them. These acts will continue no matter the laws we pass, and no matter any restrictions we put in place.  Since we know we’ll never be able to completely prevent these kinds of acts, we need to be as proactive as we possibly can so that we may mitigate the damage they ultimately inflict.  We owe that much to our families, our coworkers, and our communities.

I’m not sure exactly how I am going to do it yet, but over the next few weeks, I am going to try to come up with a plan to make my training programs more accessible to teachers, school administrators, and daycare providers.  And I challenge my fellow trainers out there to do the same.  It’s time we start taking a more proactive approach to getting this knowledge and the accompanying skills out there to those who are charged with watching over our kids when we can’t be there.  Additionally, I pose the same kind of challenge to the teachers, school administrators, and daycare providers out there.  Make it a point to get in touch with myself or another reputable instructor to see how we can better equip you, both mentally and physically, to be more proactive in how you look out for your own safety, the safety of your students, and the safety of your coworkers.  We can help if you are ready, able, and willing.

We can’t legislate our way out of this, folks.  In a country with 330 – Million people, there are always going to be some who suffer from mental problems and who simply have no regard for human life or the rule of law.  I sure hope you will all play some part in being more proactive about your personal safety and the safety of your fellow man.

Be Safe.

~  CTS  ~

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