On the heels of the ISIS attacks in Paris last week, a terrorist attack yesterday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako Mali has left 27 dead. Mali is a former French colony and, although relations with France have been tepid at best, France immediately sent troops when the terrorist assault was reported. The siege ended with an assault by a special operations team. The identities of all those killed and their nationalities was not immediately released.
In June 2015 GlobalSecurity.org reported on a settlement between the Tuareg-led rebels and the Bamako government to end an insurrection that had gone one since 2012 throughout Mali. GlobalSecurity.org’s map is show below. The attack November 20 2015 is not yet being reported as part of those still tense circumstances or part of a larger international terrorism campaign.
this day while I was at the local YMCA, two men there were sharing the story of how in a rural, yet nearby, township there were reports of criminals knocking on people’s doors. If there was no immediate response, using a shotgun, the thieves would blast open the door and enter; ransacking the home and stealing anything of value. One neighbor stated that he had been sitting up, prepared for those thieves to come to his residence. He felt inclined to not answer the door but rather sit just inside, his own shotgun at the ready, to dispatch those interlopers into eternity. The other replied, “You have to be ready when they come to the door.”
In my upcoming book, “Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in Times of Heightened Threat” due out in the new year through Motivational Press, I also refer to when the ‘bad guys’ come to our door. The statement in the book’s forward is quite clear. “The enemy is on our doorstep. You can hunker down in the house, run out the back door to try to escape, or you can open that front door and send the enemy to meet the Judge. It is time to stop being afraid.”
If ever there was an appropriate time to consider some of the very basics for protecting yourself in the event of an active shooter situation, today’s headlines indicate this may be it. A brief review includes:
- Be Aware of Your Situation, Your Surroundings… notice when someone seems out of place, nervous, or aggressively focusing on something or someone. Watch their hands.
- If you have the legal right to carry a concealed firearm or an open carry firearm, DO SO! Any time your gun is more than 3 feet away from you when you need it, then you may as well have never had it. DO NOT be an ‘I’ll carry when I go somewhere dangerous’ person. Two specific times when I have most needed a firearm (other than when working a regular police shift) were daylight hours in an open public place in the ‘good part of town.’
- If you do not carry a firearm for whatever reason, when you see something about to go down you still HAVE OPTIONS! Don’t FREEZE UP! Take time right now to watch the training piece “Run Hide Fight” that is accessible on my website: security-consulting.us. It has great information for you. I STRONGLY encourage you to take a look at it. Just follow this link to: RUN HIDE FIGHT
- When staying in a hotel remember some basic security points:
- Do not accept a room on the first floor. Windows and exterior doors are an invitation to thieves and other criminals.
- Do not accept a room above the seventh floor. Most city’s fire trucks do NOT have ladders that will reach over the seventh floor.
- Do not accept a room at the end of the hall by the stairwell. It is a choice room for kidnapping because of the access.
- If the hotel already has your room assigned when you arrive, ask for another room. In case someone has had you under surveillance, you cannot know for certain if you can trust the hotel or at least the employees individually. Just politely ask for a different room.
- ALWAYS double lock your doors when in your room with the Do Not Disturb sign out. NEVER block open your door with the hasp and ALWAYS look through the peep hole before opening your door.
- If someone comes to your door claiming to be hotel maintenance and you did not request them, then ask them to wait while you call the front desk to confirm that they were sent.
- Whenever you leave your room, leave the Do Not Disturb sign in the door and the TV ON – with the VOLUME UP! It doesn’t have to be so loud as to get the neighbors calling the desk on you to get you to be quiet; but, loud enough that someone listening at the door to see if you are home or not (in order to break in) cannot be sure whether you are there or not.
- It’s great if your room has a lock box in it so if you head to the pool, that’s an Okay place to store your firearm or valuables temporarily. But, if you are in your room and able to have your firearm on you, then put it on! REMEMBER THE 3’ RULE! The same is true for when you are sleeping. Locked in the box in the closet won’t help when the dirtbag is standing at the foot of your bed at 3 a.m. and your wife is screaming because she awoke first while you were still snoring!
Americans and others in the world who value their personal freedom must NEVER give in to the fear pogroms of these terrorists. We must continue to live each and every day as happy as we can be without paranoia about a killer behind every set of dark sunglasses. We must go into public places to enjoy ourselves, conduct daily business, travel and just live. If an active shooter event goes down, REMEMBER anything can be a weapon whether it is a fire extinguisher, a chair, a rock or whatever you can get your hands on. It’s appropriate to get out of harm’s way by running; particularly if you are not trained or carrying a firearm. Even when you are carrying a gun, gaining a position of cover and concealment is good tactics, not fear. It is a great idea to hide if you cannot keep moving away from the danger. One thing is certain, if someone is trying to kidnap you or take you hostage, then FIGHT!
Get ANGRY. Get angry not just at what they are doing and may try to do to you; but, think about your family and how badly these low-life pond scum will hurt those you love the most if you get killed! THEN, unleash that anger with everything you have. LOVE them to death if you must! You can do that by making a L with your thumb and forefinger and then with that space between those two fingers – connect that with their larynx as fast and as hard as you can. There was an old axiom in police work, back in the day, which may seem politically incorrect in today’s world; but, nonetheless it’s: no air – no fight.
I have among my things collected over the years, a lithograph with John Wayne’s simple statement. “Bravery is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” I pray that should anything horrible like what we have described here happen to you, whether you have time to think before you act or not, that you do act. That you protect yourself, your loved ones and all the good people in that awful place and time with you to the very best of your ability.
Another short article I wrote is to the point of erasing the term victim from our language; particularly when we talk about folks who have survived some type of attack such as an armed robbery, shooting, riot or terrorist attack. However, they come out of it, they are SURVIVORS not victims. If they were killed on the spot or succumbed to their wounds later, they are HEROES. We have been bottle fed this ‘victim mentality Pablum’ for much too long. Americans are not victims of anything. We pick-up, start over, rebuild and make better than what was before. Americans who suffer these inane acts are SURVIVORS and HEROES and we need to celebrate them as such!
America, the bad guys are on our doorstep. It’s time to answer the door.