Settling down with a couple of adult beverages Saturday night, coming off of the glow of a second consecutive ten-run performance by the Detroit Tigers, I was in a pretty damned good mood. Then I had to log in to Twitter. There at the top of my feed, breaking news about the latest terrorist attack in Europe. This one right in the heart of downtown London. On the iconic London Bridge, no less.
We know what happened. Three men in a van plowed into as many people as they possibly could. Once the crowd had dispersed enough to lessen the lethality of the van they took a more personal approach. They jumped out and used foot-long knives and started attacking people. Their attacks continued to a nearby pub where patrons tried valiantly, using glasses and chairs, to thwart them…but it was no use. Not until armed police officers arrive did the terrorists go to meet Allah.
Coming hard on the heels of a terrorist blast in nearby Manchester it was difficult to absorb this latest information. One thing I quickly noted is that Social Media is no longer even pretending when it comes to assigning responsibility. Usually when Islamic Radicalism is cited before the facts come out, the political and social left reflexively barks that “we don’t know that yet.” But we all are becoming so inured to this that such early claims Saturday on Twitter and Facebook went largely unchallenged by even the most rapid apologists.
The thing that has stuck with me the most since then was an alert sent out by London’s Metro Police while the attack was still underway. It encouraged citizens to “Run, Hide, and Tell.” Specifically, citizens should RUN away if they encounter the terrorist. If that doesn’t work, they should HIDE. And of course, find a way to TELL the police what’s going on. You know, so they can get there in just the nick of time. Of course, in a nation where the government has largely disarmed its citizenry, bar stools and shot glasses are pretty much your only hope if the Bobbies are delayed.
As the information continued to come in on the attack, I couldn’t help but to keep going back to this advisory. How utterly sad. I realize the UK does not have guns as a part of their culture like we do here in the States so being unarmed is an unfamiliar situation for their subjects. Yes, I called them “subjects.” They are not really “citizens” in that they are not allowed a reasonable measure of self-defense. You are “subject” to the whims of The Crown.
The counter arguments to the concerns I brought up were interesting. People correctly pointed out that because of the UK’s tough gun laws, the terrorists had trouble obtaining guns and were reduced to using somewhat less lethal means of mass homicide. They also suggest that since guns are mostly unheard of in England that people can enjoy lives without having to carry guns in fear for their lives. That is, of course, until some Jihad-fueled crazies attack. Another counter-argument hearkens back to the debates that crop up here in the US when a mass shooting occurs in an ironically-named Gun-Free Zone. “What would happen if thirty people pulled out guns and began firing at the bad guys? What about innocent people who may be hit? What about the confusion that Police would encounter?” My jaw drops whenever this argument is employed. Innocents are *already* being gunned down, but your chief concern is whether someone might get hit by stray gunfire that is intended to stop the attacker. Wow.
It would appear the argument is whether a slightly-smaller body count in terrorist attacks is worth the cost of a government disarming their population and making them 100% reliant on the government to ride to the rescue in the nick of time. But I would propose that there is an even deeper cost at play here. This mindset encourages the odious notion that our well-being, indeed our very lives, are mostly dependent upon The State. It perpetuates the thinking that we exist to serve the government and not vice-versa. It re-iterates the poisonous philosophy that we live at the pleasure of the State. This is an excellent method to develop generations of sheep who don’t ask their leaders lots of pesky questions—but it is a poor way of producing a dynamic and vibrant people. The kind of people who helped win a World War and shut down one of the most repugnant nation-states in world history.
It would be interesting to hear what Prime Minister Churchill would have to say about the new “Run, Hide Tell” crime-fighting technique. The mindset that this creates, whereby we are at the mercy of terrorists until the cops arrive, is a mindset I want no part of. It is the mindset of sheep. It is incompatible with the concept of freedom. If I were having a pint in a pub and three people with foot-long knives started coming in stabbing the patrons; I would appreciate having the ability to answer them with more than just a half-finished mug of Guinness.
Homey don’t play that.