I'm sure by now everyone's learned of the terrorist attack in Paris this morning, in which twelve people were killed and a similar number injured. This is hardly the first attack of its kind, and it won't be the last.
The old truths have been confirmed once more.
- When seconds count, police are only minutes away. They arrived too few and too late to protect the victims - in fact, the first police to arrive were reportedly unarmed and had to flee, unable to do anything to help.
- The only defense against terrorists is the one you carry with you. If you want to defend yourself against a massacre like this, you only have one realistic option - carry a gun. If you're unarmed, all you can do is try to hide or run. Hiding-places can be discovered, and bullets fly a lot faster than you can run. (See L. Neil Smith's essay, 'An Unavoidable Truth About Terrorism'.)
- Sometimes the only option left to you is to die bravely. Sometimes you can't run, you can't hide, and you can't escape. You have a choice. Die on your knees, begging; or die fighting back in any way you can, even if the outcome is certain. If I find myself a target of terrorists, hopefully I'll be equipped to defend myself; but even if I'm not, and even if I know for sure I'm going to die, I'm going to fight back and try to take at least some of the bastards with me. Who knows? By keeping them busy, I may be able to buy time for others to get away.
You need to think about these realities now, and get your mind accustomed to them, and plan accordingly. If you don't, and you get caught up in something like this, you'll be nothing more than a sheep to the slaughter - as the victims in Paris were this morning. There will be more such victims. Get used to that fact. You may be among them. Get used to that fact, too. Only if you face reality can you plan to deal with it.
I don't plan to 'go gently into that good night'. Given half a chance, I'll go kicking and fighting and bleeding, and - please God - I'll take along a few bad guys to provide my escort across the river. I daresay most of my readers feel likewise.