I've been struck by two articles that landed in my e-mail inbox today. Both have implications for our personal security. One is very silly in parts; the other, very wise.
The silly article concerns a study by Northwestern University's Medical School.
A person near a liquor store or tavern on the West Side or South Side of Chicago is up to 500 times more likely to be shot than others in these neighborhoods.
. . .
"It makes sense," said lead investigator Marie Crandall, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
"You're adding alcohol to an already volatile situation in a distressed community," Crandall said. "If you light a match in the rainforest and throw it on the ground, the match will go out. If you light a match in a haystack in the middle of a drought, a powder keg will go off. These neighborhoods are powder kegs because they are challenged with high rates of unemployment, faltering economies, loss of jobs and institutionalized poverty and racism."
A solution could be closing liquor stores in certain areas or replacing liquor stores with food stores, Crandall suggested.
There's more at the link.
Note the proposed solution: ban or remove a thing (alcohol) rather than seek to change individual and social character. That's exactly the same solution proposed by gun-banners, and it'll work just as well - that is, not at all. You already have a 'powder keg' neighborhood. Removing alcohol and/or guns won't change that . . . but it's easier to get rid of alcohol or guns than it is to remove the social and economic conditions, and work to change the individual characters, that make the neighborhood a powder keg. Talk is cheap. So are 'panacea solutions' like this. So are gun bans. None of them will get rid of the powder keg . . . and those living it it will simply find different matches to throw.
(I note that another academic asserted that banning certain types of alcohol, such as 40oz. bottles of malt liquor, would help. Such assertions are nothing more than the same syndrome at work, and they'll have as much success.)
The second article is a sobering look at why one must resist criminal attack, whether by hoodlums in your neighborhood, or by terrorists as in the shopping mall massacre in Kenya this week.
The first phase of surrender is failing to be armed, trained and committed to fight. We are prepared to surrender when we are unprepared to resist. The second phase of surrender is failing to be alert. You must see trouble coming in order to have time to respond. The warning may be less than one second but it will be there and it must be recognized and acted upon immediately.
The Third phase of surrender is giving up your weapons.
The last phase of surrender is up to the monsters who have taken control of your life and perhaps the lives of your loved ones. The last phase of surrender is out of your hands.
. . .
The “Onion Field Murder” in California was a wakeup call to Law Enforcement Officers everywhere. On March 9, 1963, two LAPD Officers were taken prisoner by two criminals. The Officers submitted to capture and gave up their weapons. They were driven to an onion field outside of Bakersfield. One Officer was murdered while the other Officer managed to escape in a hail of gunfire. The surviving Officer suffered serious psychological problems, having been unable to save his partner. As a result of this incident, the LAPD policy became, “You will fight no matter how bad things are.” “You will never ever surrender your weapons or yourself to a criminal.”
Consider the Ogden, Utah record store murders. Read the book if you do not know the story. The manner in which the criminals murdered their young victims cannot be described here. Resistance might have been futile. Compliance was definitely and absolutely futile.
. . .
The Doctor and his family in Connecticut complied and cooperated, meeting every demand of the home invasion robbers to whom they had surrendered. The Doctors wife and daughters were tortured, raped, doused with gasoline and burned alive. How did surrender and cooperation work out for them?
. . .
Handing over your life by surrendering to someone who is in the process of committing a violent crime against you is a form of suicide. Some survive but many do not. The monster gets to decide for you.
. . .
We each have a duty to ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, our community, our city, our state and our country to resist criminals. Reasoning with a thug who believes that his failures are because of people just like you is not likely to be helpful. Pleading with a terrorist who has been taught from birth that his salvation depends on murdering people like you is a doomed plan. Resist!
Resist! His gun may not be real. After you are tied up it will not matter. His gun may not be loaded. After you are tied up it will not matter. He may not know how to operate his gun. After you are tied up it will not matter. Resist!
Statistically if you run and your assailant shoots at you he will miss. Statistically if you run and he shoots and hits you, you will not die. Bad guys shooting at the police miss 90 percent of the time. The odds are on your side. Better to die fighting in place than to be tied up, doused with gasoline and burned alive. There are things worse than death. Surrender to a criminal or a terrorist and you will learn what they are. Resist!
If you resist with a commitment to win you may well prevail, especially if you are armed and trained. If you lose it is still better to die fighting in place than to be taken prisoner and have your head cut off with a dull knife while your screams gurgle through your own blood as we have witnessed on numerous videos from the “Islamic practitioners of peace,” as well as the Mexican drug cartels.
. . .
How will you respond if you are confronted by evil as some of us have been in the past and some of us will be in the future? If you have not decided ahead of time what you will do, you will likely do nothing. Those who fight back often win and survive. Those who surrender never win and often die a horrible death. Have you made your decision? Remember, no decision is a decision to do nothing.
Again, more at the link. I highly recommend clicking over there to read the entire article.
I fully endorse the conclusions of the second article. Never give up; never surrender. Fight back, because if you don't, you may never be able to fight again - and when you're gone, who'll defend your loved ones?
Evil is and will always be among us. We must resist it whenever and wherever we encounter it, otherwise we make ourselves complicit in its spread. Don't be afraid to do so, even if it may cost your own life. As Shakespeare said:
… a man can die but once: we owe God a death … and let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next.
Better to die bravely, defending what is good and right and just, than to allow those who are evil to murder you without lifting a finger to defend yourselves and/or your loved ones.