In Defense of Self-Defenseby Stephen Littau
So much has already been written here at The Liberty Papers about the Virginia Tech massacre and how gun control laws may have contributed leaving law abiding citizens defenseless. The fact that this disturbed individual was the only person on campus with a firearm is completely inexcusable and unacceptable. While I wholeheartedly agree with my co-contributors on the gun issue, I think there is something more that needs to be consideredâ€¦
-There was 1 gunman with 2 semi-automatic handguns.
-Assuming that each clip had 10 rounds, the gunman would have started with only 20 rounds.
-According to reports, a total of 33 people were killed (including the gunman) and 20 or so others were injured (some with multiple gunshot wounds). This means that at some point, the gunman would have had to reload to continue his rampage.
-Though the students and faculty were unarmed, they easily had an advantage in numbers.
Why is this important? This is important because despite several opportunities to prevent the gunman from continuing his suicide mission, no one (apparently) tried to stop him. Please donâ€™t misunderstand; Iâ€™m not trying to blame the victims of this tragedy for not â€œdoing moreâ€ (Itâ€™s difficult to know for sure how one would react in the same situation until one is in that situation). I think the problem is much deeper. The problem as I see it is there seems to be a lack of the basic survival instincts of self preservation.
The two most common survival responses to threatening situations is fight or flight. Those who were fortunate enough to get away unharmed wisely used their flight instinct and got the hell out of there. But those who were cornered and had nowhere to run failed to use the fight response. I cannot help but wonder why this is, but I have a theory. My theory: our culture has ingrained in us this notion that violence is always wrong, even in a self-defense situation.
I am not too much older than these students so I have some idea of the anti self-defense messages they have been taught since preschool. They have been taught this bogus philosophy of â€œturn the other cheekâ€ or â€œviolence hasnâ€™t ever solved anything.â€ If your government school student gets attacked on the playground and does anything to defend himself, he is treated the same as the aggressor thanks to these idiotic â€œzero toleranceâ€ policies.
As these students graduate high school and enter college, they are bombarded with the bumper sticker logic of the â€œpeace at any priceâ€ Left. As Doug pointed out, some of these peace protesters have adopted the philosophy of Ghandi; a man who once criticized the Jews for fighting back against the Nazis! These students also likely have paid at least some attention to how the world treats international bullies like Kim Jong Il and other despots. They no doubt saw the world wide condemnation of Israel last summer for using â€œdisproportionate responseâ€ against Hezbollah (who were the aggressors). Given all of this, its not too hard to imagine why the students failed to defend themselves.
What would have happened if these students would have been taught that it is perfectly okay to defend themselves? What if Virginia Tech encouraged students to take self defense classes? I am not a self-defense expert by any stretch but it seems to me that certain measures could have been taken to stop the massacre from continuing. The most obvious defense measure would be to run around. A moving target is much more difficult to hit than one that is stationary. Given that the gunman was at a disadvantage as far as numbers are concerned, if even two or three people rushed him, he would likely have been taken down and disarmed. If even one person were able to take him to the ground, the crowd would have likely jumped in to help.
The reason Iâ€™m pointing these things out is because this will not be the last time; thatâ€™s for certain. There is nothing we can do about what already happened but we can hopefully learn from what happened in this tragedy. Its incumbent upon all of us to think about self-defense before something like this happens again. Wherever we are whether at work, at school, or anywhere else, we should take inventory of objects that can be used as a weapon (almost anything can be a weapon). We should also know where exits are and think of ways to flee a bad situation. We must never assume that the police will be there in time to save us; we must not be afraid to act. Most importantly, realize that you have an absolute right to use deadly force if your life or anyone elseâ€™s life is in clear and present danger. Period.