We're all afraid of monsters. Mom and Dad told us there were no monsters and we believed them. Mom and Dad were wrong.
There are monsters. In every neighborhood in the country, there are monsters and we deny it. We deny it when a monster kills his mother, steals her guns and kills children, we deny it when two brothers conspire to blow up innocent people watching a race and we deny it when we believe our safety is the responsibility of someone else.
After all, why would we need to defend ourselves if there are no monsters?
When bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, our first reaction was to find the connection between the terrorists and an international terrorist organization. We could not accept that that two of our own citizens, albeit naturalized citizens, could be monsters- there had to be others controlling them, providing money, supplies and direction.
On the other end of the week, with one terrorist dead, a second in custody and no monetary, supply or operational support tying the terrorists to any organized group have been found. In the end, it was two brothers, allegedly driven by their religious beliefs, determined to hurt their fellow Americans.
Despite the inhumane acts these two individuals allegedly carried out, we searched for reasons for the evil they did.
We look to their friends, we look to their mother, we look to radical clergy who are said to have influenced the older of the brothers. We just refuse to place the ultimate blame where it belongs.
More to the point, two inadequate personalities decided to kill their fellow Americans to validate their pathetic existence and no one can accept they were ultimately responsible for their actions.
We refused to believe the obvious- These two terrorists are monsters.
Instead, we blamed the guns. We blamed the mother for having guns. We blamed gun manufacturers, we blamed the stores that sell guns, we blamed the ammunition manufacturers but we didn't place the ultimate responsibility for the attack where it belongs- on the attacker.
We again refused to believe the obvious. This terrorist was a monster.
I'm a cop. I like to think of myself as a sheepdog. I watch over the sheep, confront the monsters- In my meadow, they're wolves. But I recognize a monster, no matter its shape because it wants to kill my sheep- the people I'm sworn to protect.
Regardless of the shape, more of us have to accept there are monsters.
Why is that important? If we are going to stop evil, we must admit it exists and we, meaning each and every one of us, must be ready and willing to do our part to stop it, either before an attack begins or, failing that, those of us who are strong enough, capable enough, have to be ready to stop these monsters.
First responders can be on scene in anywhere from four to twenty or more minutes and active shooters tend to commit suicide or surrender when faced with an armed defender. Can you wait for the first responders to arrive to save your life? Will you survive that long? Do you want to bet your life on it?
This video is promoted by Homeland Security as the answer to protecting yourself against an active shooter. Imagine yourself confronted by
the armed aggressor. He has a weapon. You have nothing. What would you do when he racks his weapon and aims it at you? Think of your last seconds of life, spent staring at the business end of a weapon, without the means to defend yourself. The last thing you see is the monster you denied existed.
Monsters attack in gun-free zones. Monsters attack in schools and malls. Monsters even attack in churches, synagogues and mosques. They attack with guns, knives and they attack with explosives. When the monster attacks, it is too late to make a conscious decision to respond. We can't deny their existence any more. We simply become victims.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Dave Grossman, in his book, "On Killing," explains why, instead of denying monsters exist, we must accept they are out there and we must be prepared, should we find ourselves confronted with one or more, to defend ourselves:
"Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: You didn’t bring your gun; you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by fear, helplessness, horror and shame at your moment of truth."
We see denial in every sign announcing weapon-free zones. We hear denial in every voice calling for bans of weapons and we voice denial in our support of politicians who advocate disarming us.
If we ban guns, we take away our strongest weapon against monsters. Last April, a monster walked into a Salt Lake City, Utah store (Link to story) and purchased a hunting knife. He then stabbed two shoppers. Another customer, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his weapon and forced the monster to drop his knife.
The man who stopped the knife-wielding attacker believes in monsters. Without a way of stopping the monster, more people would have been injured or killed. We can't take away our defense against monsters without expecting to be victims.
I am against gun control. I believe every weapon purchase should be preceded by a background check and I believe every person with the will, ability and training should be armed.
Every person should have CPR/AED/First Aid training and every person
should be willing to make the call to 911 when they see or hear something that threatens to harm us.
We have to be ready to defend against monsters and stop them whenever possible. Americans have always prided themselves on their self-reliance. We need to regain that pride. We need to use that self-reliant streak to stop the monsters from terrorizing us.
I've trained over 200 people in CPR/AED/First Aid. If we're not fighting monsters, knowing how to save the lives of our fellow citizens is a bonus we all benefit from. Most importantly, prepare yourself. Be ready when the monster, when the wolf knocks at your door.
If we allow ourselves to be disarmed, we become the sheep, waiting for the slaughter.
If you don't stop the monster, who will?