Disarming the Rabbits.
Several were almost tharn - that is, in that state of staring, glazed paralysis that comes over terrified or exhausted rabbits, so that they sit and watch their enemies - weasels or humans - approach to take their lives.
~ Watership Down, Richard Adams
The popular narrative amongst the media class is that Guns Are Bad, and so we should be protected from the sight or sound of them for our own good.
As a result there is a proliferation of gunfree zones and ever more raucous calls for tighter gun laws.
Those who want fewer guns in the hands of the law-abiding seem to wilfully disregard the obvious fact that criminals who want a gun will get one. They're called criminals for a reason, after all.
Whenever there is a mass-shooting incident we are treated to a parade of people telling us that we need to give up ever more of our freedom to defend ourselves lest our weapons fall in the hands of those who would do us ill.
Milo is correct in that gunfree zones are definitely safe spaces for murderers. Especially when he says that the would be killer knows that nobody will fight back.
These days, fewer and fewer people are prepared to fight back.
This is because so many go tharn at the first hint of danger.
We have had over a decade now of social programming designed to disarm us completely. We are bombarded with news reports of people carrying out terrible crimes with guns and it is hammered home to us how terrible guns are, and how we should let the authorities deal with the situation at hand.
In a perfect world that would be wonderful. Of course, in a perfect, Utopian world, we would have no aggression, no concerns, every one of us would live contentedly in our designated safe spaces.
That day has not yet come, because humans are a somewhat tendentious crowd.
We have our opinions, and constant messages from in the mass media (books, movies, social sites and apps, television shows) still have not managed to herd us all into thinking alike.
In some ways, the massaging and messaging have been a roaring success.
We now have large segments of the population that are so thoroughly cowed that they freeze at the sign of violence.
“I'm screaming 'Open the door! Open the door!'” Yousuf told CBS. “And no one is moving because they are scared.
"There was only one choice — either we all stay there and we all die, or I could take the chance, and I jumped over to open that latch and we got everyone that we can out of there."
By creating the exit, Yousuf estimated that about 70 people were able to get out of the nightclub safely.
At the recent Pulse Nightclub atrocity where forty-nine people were killed and a further fifty-three were injured, one man reacting to the sound of gunfire saved dozens of lives by opening a door.
He is rightly regarded as a hero because he acted when those around him were frozen with fear for their lives. It can be pointed out that young Mr. Yousuf is a Marine veteran and therefore accustomed to dealing with situations involving gunfire, but that is not the point.
The point is that he was not too scared to take necessary action.
So many people today are so unaccustomed to the sights and sounds of violence that they are unable to react in any meaningful way, let alone re-act.
This may sound like criticism, but only because any negative commentary is considered aggression and triggering and therefore frowned upon.
Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.
Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there...
Jesse Hughes is the singer from the band Eagles of Death Metal. A band I'd never heard of until the massacre at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris on November 13, 2015. His interview with Gavin McInnes of Takimag produced mixed reactions, with some agreeing and some disagreeing with his experience of the night.
My interest, though, lies in his comment about the fear he saw in people. Jesse Hughes grew up with experience of guns, and like Imran Yousuf he recognised the sound and acted.
He did not go tharn like so many others.
This is not to blame the victims - if they have no experience of gunfire then they can hardly be expected to know how to combat it or how to escape it. Especially when for the most of their lives they have been told to keep away from guns and other bad things.
We are at a stage in our civilisation where citizens are not supposed to defend themselves. They are happily disarmed and content to allow the government in any of its incarnations (politicians, police, the military) to take action on their behalf.
Except that the government does not always act in a timely manner and citizens are left defenceless. Tragically and fatally so.
Lest this be seen as an ode to guns for all, it's not. I have no problems with reasonable gun restrictions such as police checks for criminal history or mental health problems. That is not the issue.
The issue is a populace that takes no care for its own protection because it is dependent upon the "authorities" to do so instead.
It's just that sometimes you're on your own and need to open the door to escape by your own hand. The police or the cavalry rarely arrive in time to rescue the damsel in distress and there will not always be a former Marine Sergeant around to do it for you.