Editor’s Note: The following is a post from Sammy Reese, a former Marine Corps Artillery Officer and retired police officer from California. He is a part-time range master for the police department he retired from as well as a life-long martial artist and combatives coach.
Check out the last five episodes in this series:
- Ep. 7 Should I Shoot? The Fleeing Suspect And the Good (But Dead) Samaritan
- Ep. 8 Should I Shoot? The Line In the Sand, How I Would Handle A Mass Killing Situation
- Ep. 9 Should I Shoot? Road Rage
- Ep. 10 Should I Shoot? Restaurant Etiquette
- Ep. 11 Should I Shoot? Inside the Home
I woke up to a text on my phone, “Turn on the TV. It’s not good.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wake up to bad news. Who does, right? Just once I’d like to get a text or call that says, “Turn on the TV. It’s good news!”
I quickly learned about the mass murder in an Orlando nightclub with nearly 50 confirmed dead and at least that many wounded, some in critical condition. The talking head was doing his best to put out information about the suspect, possible motive and, of course, the guns used by the murderer (who later was confirmed to be a home-grown terrorist). I knew most of the information would be a best guess based on little bits of info the media weaves into a story that is often found to not be the truth when the real story comes out.
What I now know is the murderer is a terrorist who claimed allegiance with ISIS. He might not have been trained in an ISIS camp in Pakistan, but make no mistake, he’s an Islamist terrorist, even if the guy in the big seat claims that since the attack was at a well-known gay nightclub, it was a hate crime. That said, I’m going to get off of the political side of this event and focus on the realities of the world in which we live and try to help you program your software to ensure your safety and the safety of your family.
The title and premise of this column is to give you all types of scenarios and work through the process of employing deadly force if the criteria are met to do so. I’ve been working off of documented events, training scenarios and some real-life stuff I saw as a cop. Sadly, what we are seeing at an alarming rate are acts of terrorism committed by actual terrorists, not some jilted boyfriend or pissed-off employee.
The sad reality is the fight isn’t just in Iraq or Afghanistan — it’s here on our own soil, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’ve discussed previously and asked “what if?” questions about encountering a rapid mass murderer while out with the family. What I need you all to start doing, if you haven’t already, is start conducting your own threat assessments of the places you frequent and come up with some plans of action if stuff hits the fan while you are there.
I’m headed to the county fair this week with some family and friends, and I’m not all that jazzed about it — too many variables I can’t control. If I had my way, I’d cancel the trip, build a 20-foot wall topped with razor wire around the house and have a “staycation.” Since I can’t call it off, though, I’ve got to make sure my people understand the possible dangers and what I need them to do if the day includes more than lots of food and rides. We always set up rally points to meet throughout the day. In the past, it was more administrative, just a way to keep track of each other and, usually, to hit me up for some more cash.
This year, I will make sure we have several rally points and I will brief them all on the best places to seek cover if needed. They all have phones. I know the system will be overloaded if something touches off, so if they get to one of the rally points, even if a text can’t get through, I’ll know where to start looking for them. My trip to the fair sounds more like a SWAT mission, but it’s a sign of the times. It’s better to be prepared for the worst and never need to put the plan to use than to be part of the panic if something does happen.
Vacation season is in full swing, which means lots of crowds wherever we go. Take the extra time to do your own assessment and brief the family as thoroughly as possible. I haven’t said it, but if you can carry concealed where you are going, please do. Yes, it’s going to be hot and you don’t want the extra weight on you. Think of it as your spare parachute. You pay good money for it, so don’t leave it on the ground when you jump. If you don’t have it, you give up the option of defending yourself. If you do have it, it just might help you save your life or the life of a loved one.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.