Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Since You're College Students, We Need to Have "The Talk"

A friend recently interviewed me by phone for a piece he wrote about the NRA's claim that "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Here's the link to that story. You should read that before you continue.

There were two strange coincidences in the interview. The other quoted veteran is also a friend of mine, and both of us are former contestants on the game show Jeopardy! (Jeopardy! really doesn't mean anything in relation to the story but it is cool)

It was funny that even though our experiences were separated by four decades, they were very much the same. Raf served in Iraq, I served in Viet Nam. Joshua had to pick one or the other of us many times when we said the same thing. I remarked to Joshua that if he could have interviewed Ceasar's or Alexander's veterans the experiences would have been close to the same. Uniforms and weaponry might change but war itself is pretty close to eternal.

Here are Uncle Stevie's things to do if you, by bad luck and happenstance find yourself in that situation.

1. Run. Figure out what direction the shots are coming from and go as fast as you can the other way. If you pass somebody standing still with their arms raised pleading for calm, run them over if it won't slow you down too much. Panic is your friend right now, it will help you to run faster. Also, the more people running, the safer running will become.

2. Hide. Make yourself small, get as close to the floor or the ground as you can. If there's a door, start piling things like desks, bookcases, chairs, or anything else to block the door you came into. Above all, do not quit looking for ways to run. At the Virginia Tech shooting, students used barricades to buy time to escape out of windows.

3. If all else fails, fight. If the shooter is right there and gives you commands do something else. A shooter has done nothing to merit your compliance. Charge them, throw things, scream, cry, but fight. Fight desperately. Fight crazy. Crazy can beat bigger and better armed often enough to make that an acceptable option.

Above all though, in the aftermath, be kind to yourself. What ever you choose to do, or feel forced to do is just what happened then, nothing more. You should not have been placed in that situation to begin with and what ever you do in those horrible moments will be understood in that perspective. Don't "should" all over yourself thinking about rights, wrongs, or options.

If something like that happens to you, I am sincerely sorry. It's wrong and unfair that these things happen. I hope you survive.

I wish I didn't feel the need to talk to you about it. In the time it took to compose this, it happened again. I really hate this world sometimes.

I'll leave with this musical offering:


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