Terrorism and Concealed Carry: Some Thoughts

Terrorism and Concealed Carry: Some Thoughts

I woke up yesterday morning to the news: Terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium have left dozens dead and scores more injured. I’ve watched the story evolve since it happened; it seems that the Islamic State/Daesh has taken credit. These are the latest in a string of suicide bombings, mass shootings, and other forms of ideologically motivated violence across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. At home in the US, the San Bernardino attackers were inspired by IS, with a similar attack thwarted in Milwaukee by other sympathizers.

The goal of terrorism, in part, is to create a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. If an attack can happen anywhere, anytime–the Metro station bombed in Brussels was blocks away from the European Commission’s headquarters–then none of us are truly safe. That’s the theory, anyway.

And it’s nonsense. Don’t get me wrong: the danger is there, and it’s real. These jerks strike without warning, often using methods that are difficult to counter–one cannot reason with a suicide bomber. However, there are steps we can take to keep ourselves safe and be proactive in dealing with these lunatics.

By the numbers:

Practice situational awareness, everywhere, all the time.

Educate yourself on what to look for: the signs of a concealed weapon, a hidden explosive device, or other indicators that something might be about to go down.

Keep your CCW on you and ready to go.

Hone your shooting skills every chance you get, and drill the tactics you’ll need to survive and armed encounter. I hold that the CCW community can be an effective deterrent to many attacks, especially mass shootings. Let’s make sure we’ve got what it takes.

In the wake of an attack, immediate care for the wounded is vital.

Learn first aid, and go a step beyond by learning the basics of trauma care. After the bombings in Boston, a lot of lives were saved by the quick intervention of folks with the right training and gear. Be ready to be that kind of hero.

Learn when to shelter in place, when to bug out, and make sure you’re prepared for both contingencies.

In Belgium as I write this, an entire nation has been told to stay home. Most public institutions are closed, and I have to imagine that transportation is a nightmare. A resident of Brussels who I interviewed online described the situation as “chaotic” nationwide . At times like this, help might take a long time to get to you. It might not show up at all. You’ll need to be able to care for you and yours.

Your mind is your greatest weapon, so use it.

The causes of this conflict are complex, with roots in the First World War. There are a lot of players involved, and their motivations are complicated. It’s a bit of work, but it gives you an edge.

We the people are powerful, and we have what it takes to stand up to this nonsense.

We can’t give in to fear or paranoia. We can’t turn on each other when we need to be united against our foes. And we can’t give up.

As a final thought, I encourage you to remember that while these events are sickening to us, they’re a fact of day to day life in many places around the world. Spare a thought for all afflicted, and please stay safe out there.


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  • rev_dave

    I’d suggest we all brush up on first-aid too. You can carry a fair amount of such gear in an old belt-pack camera case. I’ve got on set up for myself and wear it often. And I even have two small ‘nip’ bottles of 100 proof vodka in there for sterilization and pain – $1 each. (I don’t use rubbing alcohol – it’s poisonous to drink so why would I want to pour it into my blood anywhere?) Ethyl alcohol sterilizes best at 142 proof (so I’ve been told), so I’m still looking for nips of 151 proof white rum, but 100 proof is close and I could find that, so that’s what I have today. We can at least be ready to do our own tourniquet if necessary, or someone else’s if it’s needed.

    We’re responsible enough to carry a gun, so why not enough to carry first aid also?

    I also think that we should encourage everyone we know – those who do and who don’t carry weapons – to get some first aid training (free from Red Cross, e.g.) and carry some kind of kit. If you’re in a mall bombing e.g. and your kit is in your car, you can go out but you probably won’t get back in, so make a kit you can wear or will carry. It could save somebody’s life, even your own. Put a small kit in your kid’s school backpack – minus the vodka of course, and take the kid to Red Cross or Boy / Girl Scout training. And the OLD Boy Scout Handbook had some good first-aid stuff in it as well if you have or can find one.

    • Mikial

      Good point on the OLD BSA Handbook. I generally have a pressure dressing with me.

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  • Mikial

    We are our own guardians in this world. These things usually happen so fast and so suddenly that the chances of there being LEOs on site and prepared to deal with it before the fact are minuscule.

    I run Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) for international organizations, and a couple of years ago people in the groups would sometimes chuckle when I suggested that we needed to be aware when in the US as well. Not many chuckle anymore. Funny how a few years ago preppers and concealed carriers were considered paranoid by those who were neither one, that’s something else that’s changed lately as well.

    This also goes back to the unending and often circular debate over whether it’s better to carry a full sized gun with a good capacity of 9mm + ammo, or if a subcompact with 7 rounds of .380 is adequate for self defense. Each to their own, but my EDC is a Glock 21 with 13+1 and a spare magazine. In the highly unlikely instance that I am faced with an active shooter, I want the stability and power of a full sized gun in my hand.

    • How about both ? Backup never hurts and can be used in strategic & tactical situations, such as hostage takers & hijackers.

      • Mikial

        Agree completely. My BUG is a PF9 with a spare magazine.