Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
Three mass shootings occurred in the last week in America and it’s starting to feel to many people like nowhere is safe. “I’ll hunker down at home,” they say. “I won’t go to Wal-Mart,” they vow. “I’m going to homeschool my children,” they decide.
And right now, that might feel like the safest choice. After all…
You can’t even go get school supplies at Wal-Mart without getting shot at.
You can’t go out for a drink without getting shot at.
You can’t go to work without getting shot at.
You can’t go to a concert without getting shot at.
You can’t go to school without getting shot at.
You can’t even go to church or mosques or synagogues without getting shot at.
You can’t go to a festival without getting shot at.
You can’t go to the movies without getting shot at.
I could keep on going with that list of seemingly innocuous activities where people died. What the heck is this world coming to when these ordinary activities can turn into life or death situations? It’s enough to make you wonder if you should just stay home.
I don’t think you should just stay at home.
Unless your home is truly the only place you want to be, you shouldn’t let fear hold you captive. And that’s what I’m reading a whole lot right now. People are talking about never going to Wal-Mart again or never going to the sites of other shootings again.
And that is letting fear win. That’s letting these little terrorist punks have the last laugh. I, for one, simply refuse to do that, and I’ve written about it before.
If I stop going to concerts or movie theaters or festivals in the park because it might get blown up or shot up, isn’t that letting the terrorists win? I will do my very best to be alert and situationally aware, but by gosh, I’m not going to sit at home out of fear. I’m not going to convince myself that home or my small town or my country are the only places that I can be safe.
Why make your world small because of those people?…
…Just remember: bad things can happen at your local Piggly Wiggly when you’re there picking up a bag of potatoes. It can happen at a gas station when you stop to fill up. It can happen at your child’s piano recital. It can (and has more and more recently) happen at your place of worship.
Bad things can happen anywhere. And you need to be aware of this.
But you don’t need to give up your dreams of travel (if that is a dream of yours – it might not be) and you don’t need to limit your shopping to Amazon because there might be a mall shooter. You don’t have to wait a year for movies to show up on Netflix if you enjoy going to the theater.
It really sucks that so many people out there want to harm innocent people, but when you change your lifestyle because of them, they’ve won. And that’s sad indeed. (source)
A lot of people have changed their lives because of shooters and terror attacks.
People who used to travel stopped after 9/11. Some because of the attacks themselves and others because of the formation of the TSA. People who used to go to the movies stopped after the horrific attack in Aurora, Colorado. People stopped attending sporting events after the marathon bombing. People pulled their kids out of school due to all the shootings.
People stopped visiting Paris and London because of terrorists. They stopped going to concerts because of the Vegas shooting and the attack on Ariana Grande’s concert in England.
I think that locking ourselves into smaller and smaller worlds is a sad thing indeed. You should not change your life because of fear. You should get out there and celebrate being alive.
Obviously, some people really never wanted to go to concerts and movies and France in the first place and that’s fine too. I’m talking to the people who are regretfully declining to do things they really wish they could do.
Prepping doesn’t mean you need to create a prison of your own making. Prepping does not exclude traveling, attending events, or going to the store. It simply means that if you are out and something bad goes down, you’ll be ready to move into action fast. Some preppers disagree with my philosophy and that’s fine. We all have to make our own decisions and set our own limits.
I want to really live my life. And I can do that while still being prepared.
When terrorists win, they become bolder.
Just like any other bully, if you let these terrorist and mass shooters terrifying you into staying home and not living your life, they’re just going to get worse. They’re only going to become bolder until one of these days, taking your trash to the curb on garbage day is a life-threatening activity.
Ted Anthony of the AP wrote an excellent essay about this called “You Can’t Just Not Go.” Here’s an excerpt from it:
Are regular places safe anymore? Should we assume that they are?
There are, loosely, two types of reactions that sometimes overlap. One is to back off some, to take more precautions. One is to be defiant. That’s the approach that retired Marine Richard Ruiz, a Gilroy native, says he’s seen in Gilroy in the week since the garlic festival shooting.
“The thing that has changed in Gilroy is our focus,” said Ruiz, 42. “No one is showing signs of being worried or fearful in public. We’re emboldened. We want to go out more.”
In Squirrel Hill, the Pittsburgh neighborhood where a shooter killed 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue last fall, a commitment to doing exactly that has helped ensure that civic life remains vibrant. There is little visible change except for the “Stronger than Hate” signs in some shop windows that encourage two things — a return to normal life and a commitment to never forgetting…
…the conversations that now take place — Should we go? Should we take the kids? What’s that noise? — reflect a society that, no matter people’s political beliefs, is starting to process what’s taking place in its midst.
This year marked two decades since two student gunmen killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher at Columbine High School outside Denver, a watershed moment in mass shootings. Sam Haviland, who was a junior at Columbine in 1999, knows other survivors who are fearful in public places or avoid them completely. After years of post-traumatic stress, she chose a different path.
“I decided that I didn’t want to live in fear and that I can’t control it, and so I’ve just come to terms with the fact that I may not be safe in public,” said Haviland, now director of counseling for Denver Public Schools. “The number of shootings since then has just reaffirmed for me that, you know, it’s a real possibility that shootings — that I might even survive another shooting.” (source)
Don’t let these sick people filled with hate ruin your life. Don’t allow them to keep you imprisoned in your home, no matter how wonderful that home might be. If you want to do something, don’t let the fear of a twisted, cowardly shooter keep you from doing that thing.
Should you go?
We all have to make our own decisions about how to handle the uptick in dangers and uncertainty in America. As for me, I’m still going. I’m still going to watch movies in theaters and go to festivals in the park and attend concerts. I’m still going to shop at a mall. I’m still going to travel all over the world every chance I get.
I’ll be cautious. I’ll be observant. I’ll be prepared mentally and physically should a mass shooting or terror attack occur. I’ll be ready to defend myself, ready to escape, ready to de-escalate, ready to fight back. But I will not be imprisoned by fear.
Maybe I’ll do all these things and something bad will never happen. Maybe if something bad happens, I’ll survive. Maybe I won’t.
But I will go. I will not let fear rule my life.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. She lives in the mountains of Virginia with her family. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Thanks Daisy . I needed that today. I’m interested in prepping and have read your blog for 6 mo. or so , not because I am a “Rambo” type, but because I’m a “scardey-cat ” mama of a pre-schooler and a teemager.
Dang tootin straight!
don’t be scared, just turn off cable news and online news. amazing how much calmer life is when you don’t let the media trigger you.
That is the truth.
Listening to a Public Radio International show, and listening to them, you would think there were bad men around every corner, around every tree, with a rifle, just waiting to shoot me.
I checked around a few trees. Nothing there but more trees.
There’s something to your analogy. I started practicing that very concept. I react more calmly to written news and I don’t get my blood pressure all too high. My wife loves it because I’m not yelling obscenities at talking heads! Good advice…
Amen to that!!! It’s amazing how we have the power to control our environment. So ok we find out something bad happened. But then we have choices. Do we take initiative and take lessons from it or get sucked into an unproductive 24 hour news cycle doom and gloom marathon. We have the choice.
5 times in my early life I left my weapon in the car because the sign on the door said so. Those 5 times was a turning point in my life. I needed my weapon in the places that I visited. I was not going to the seedy side of town, I was going to the same places these attacks are occurring today, open ,public safe places.
In the early 90’s I went to a Denney’s Restaurant for lunch with some friends.
As the norm, I left my weapon in my car. As I was sitting waiting to order, I watched 2 brothers walking in the double doors pulling hand guns. They were mine, I could stop this attack /robbery. As they came thru the last door, I went for my gun only to find air in my holster instead of my gun. Short story, they shot a child, 1st man up to help that boy was shot, all in all these young men shot 4 and murdered 1.
Where was the safety net ? How could this happen , I was a young Green Beret, Reserve Police officer and yet I could do nothing. NEVER EVER DEPEND ON SOMEONE ELSE PROTECTING YOU AND YOURS.
This is just a start, you need to be aware of what is going on around you and be prepared to protect you .
and yours. No one else will and the professionals are minutes away when seconds count. Learn how to stop bleeding and treating serious wounds and carry it with you, you or yours life may depend on it.
In todays world I carry 2 weapons as well as the gun shot trauma kit. I will never have a next time.
Thank you Daisy for this article. Its been almost 30 years and I still think of what if.
The advantage of living in a free(er) state is that, with the few legal exceptions, (gov buildings, schools) getting caught with a firearm when the sign say no is a trespassing charge if you don’t leave when asked.
Always armed. Always ready.
BTW: there are many good reasons for home schooling beside safety.
Even 35 years ago living in LA county, safety was our very good reason. Want to hear a public school teacher story? Husband came home and said, “our children will never set foot in a public classroom.” Just that day, in his school 5 miles from our home, a student was brandishing a gun on campus.
Zip forward 25 years, same teacher-husband was exposed to a student’s threats to “shoot Mr. —-” and that he knew where to get a gun. The unprincipled principal did not tell dh that the student had threatened his life, which she was legally required to do. She instead cross-accused, “What did you do to make (student) so angry with you?” “I told him to sit down.” He was reprimanded for not handling this new student with kidgloves. Right?. DH learned from the student dean that the threat was made. No action was taken against the student. (very irregular) That student later assaulted another student putting him in the hospital. No gun was needed for a known delinquent.
People friendly public schools? Absolutely not. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.
There’s some critical advice missing from most discussions of these so-called mass shootings. There’s a pattern over and over of multiple shooters — followed by police department and lamestream media insistence of only one lone shooter.
The Las Vegas case exactly fit that pattern, and the result was at least a couple of witnesses to the multiple shooters went public with their testimony. Within a few days those young and healthy witnesses turned up dead.
The El Paso Wal-Mart shooting is so far following that pattern of witnesses reporting multiple shooters — while the police and establishment media are insisting on one lone shooter. I fear for the lives of those witnesses.
The very hard lesson from such examples seems to be that if you are ever in the situation of being a witness to such multiple shooters, be absolutely sure that if you choose to report such facts that you understand how to do that reporting with total anonymity. And that could take some research on how to do it.
It could save your life.
I saw a report some time ago about the people in Israel who deal with this everyday (not quite sure when) they go about their day as normal. They don’t avoid any place because the bad guys win. Great article Daisy.
We are old homebodies, we prefer the comfort of our home. But we do need to shop, we choose where we shop based on the overall safety of the area (we can go to the ‘big’ city or the ‘smaller’ city, guess which we choose?), regardless of the major retailer–we prefer friendly staff, clean stores, etc. We prefer to watch movies at home, where we can pause for a snack or potty break. We are way past the bar-hopping years. And the price of concert tickets, well that alone is a major factor in why we no longer attend them. We are also huge NASCAR fans, and we attend at least one major race each year, as well as some smaller local tracks.
Yes, each time an ‘incident’ happens, one should pause to see what might be learned. But let them cause you to try to live your life in a ‘bubble’, heck no! There are many great reasons to homeschool, and I encourage that, but don’t let fear be the guiding force there. Our choices are more by age and comfort level, definitely not guided by mass casualty events.
Agreed. I refuse to let terrofists win in any way. I will not stay home in fear. I’ll still go to public places for shopping, church, and strangers homes for Craigslist items. They will not rule my life.
The only thing they are about to convince me of is the need to get my concealed carry permit. I’ve been a shooter since age 14 and bought my first 22 single shot 22 at age 16. Over the years I’ve owned a 12 ga, Enfield 303, a couple of pistols. I don’t hunt so all I’ve kept is my grandma’s unusable 22 seven shot revolver and a Tarus Judge I won at an NRA dinner.my husband gave me his 5 shot 38 revolver to kill dogs after my critters. I like it best for killing a moving target( dogs killing my chickens or rabbits). Ill use it if I get that CC. At 71 I’ve figured you get folks should be armed but the only on in my church is nearly my age. Guess is should get done. I’m not afraid to die. If people around me were dying or injured it would break my heart.
Auto spell rewrote that last paragraph.
At 71 I’ve figured young folks should be armed but the only one in my church is nearly my age. Guess I should get that done. I’m not afraid to die. If people were dying or injured it would break my heart. I shoot to protect my critters. Shooting a human would be an awful thing but I’d rather see a CC individual take out a murderer than see mass killings and woundings.
By the way I’m a pastor.
I teach Churches and Private Schools how to set up their Emergency Response Teams. My Church has cameras inside and out, Trauma Medical kit, AED, and Radios for the Church Team and we can talk with responding Emergency Personnel to keep them out of an ambush.. At least 1 ERT member at each door and up by the Pastor, and when the children go to their building ,we have 3 more ERT members watching the children. The ERT group has required Medical and Weapons Training with Certifications to meet the Churches Insurance requirements.
We have found more attacks occurred before or after Church services and usually in the parking lot.
Todays world is not like it was in the 50’s.
Automatic Survivor Training Group
Not whether to go or not, but whether I should bring along my LCP. Then is there a stop and frisk risk. Then should I go out.
That’s my back up and wife carry. Very nice weapons. Best Regards, Ranger
Situational awareness should be a survival instinct and always trust your “gut”. That said, statistically you are far more likely to be injured or killed in your vehicle on the way to or from said event than at it. Worry can ruin the rest of your life. God put you here to live it.
I’m resigned to the fact that I can be shot at anywhere I go. The places I won’t go or take my family are the places where we are forbidden to shoot back.
I avoid schools, stadiums, certain malls, certain theatres, certain restaurants. I no longer travel to Mexico, Canada, England, or Australia. Forget about domestic travel to or through California. Add several other states “behind the blue curtain,” including the bulk of New England.
But WalMart, places of worship, stores, malls, hotels, conventions, respectable restaurants, and the like? I’m there and happy to be a free man in a free establishment.
That was inspiring. 😀