I was on the road again this past two weeks and not paying much attention to the news. Nevertheless I couldn’t avoid hearing that four Marines and a sailor were killed in a spree shooting at a recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


I must confess it was not altogether a surprised to find the name of the (late) shooter was Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.


As it happens, what I was doing that weekend was participating in a get together of violence professionals. Including : law enforcement, security personnel, medical professionals with experience in traumatic wounds, scholars. In general a gathering of seriously well-educated, seriously tough people.


The underlying theme of these events is the safety of yourself and your loved ones in a dangerous world.


The event included not only training in specific techniques of personal combat, but lectures on awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation.


Naturally I’m going to draw a parallel between the events of that terrible day and the gathering the following weekend.


The obvious issues were brought up right away.


We have a military in which trained men and women are not allowed to carry personal arms on base or at duty stations such as the recruitment center.


We could go back and forth on that one, and I’m sure we will over the next few weeks. I understand some governors in their capacity of commanders-in-chief of the state National Guards are taking matters into their own hands.


Then there is the observation that when that evil young man murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston last month, the media immediately, and I believe correctly, assumed it was a racist hate crime. But in this case an awful lot of people seem to be looking for a motive while ignoring the quite obvious conclusion he was a jihadist who regarded himself to be at war with the United States.


What’s I’d like to contribute to the discussion is this.


There is something any professional or trained non-professional in the field of personal security would say you have to, have to do in a dangerous situation to have any chance of survival.


Don’t pretend it’s not happening!


We share the world with a culture and a religion which produces a certain critical number of individuals who hate us enough to die for the chance to kill some of us.


Yes they’re a minority within their own culture. Yes the number of casualties they inflict are miniscule in comparison to auto accidents every year.


We should not however lose sight of the fact they enjoy widespread passive support among Muslims world-wide, and that the auto industry is not working feverishly to produce more automobile casualties.


We can disagree on whether Muslim rage is caused by our foreign policy. We can argue whether we should pursue a conciliatory or aggressive policy towards Islamic countries or some combination of the two. We can argue all day about the likelihood of Islamic jihadists acquiring a nuclear bomb or bioweapons.


What we should agree on is: the jihadists regard themselves as at war with us, many live among us, they will seek to do us harm at unpredictable intervals, and they are looking for ways to maximize the harm they do.


Can we at least acknowledge this? Or will we continue to deny the simple reality until they force us to acknowledge it?

I was on the road again this past two weeks and not paying much attention to the news. Nevertheless I couldn’t avoid hearing that four Marines and a sailor were killed in a spree shooting at a recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I must confess it was not altogether a surprised to find the name of the (late) shooter was Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.

As it happens, what I was doing that weekend was participating in a get together of violence professionals. Including : law enforcement, security personnel, medical professionals with experience in traumatic wounds, scholars. In general a gathering of seriously well-educated, seriously tough people.

The underlying theme of these events is the safety of yourself and your loved ones in a dangerous world.

The event included not only training in specific techniques of personal combat, but lectures on awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation.

Naturally I’m going to draw a parallel between the events of that terrible day and the gathering the following weekend.

The obvious issues were brought up right away.

We have a military in which trained men and women are not allowed to carry personal arms on base or at duty stations such as the recruitment center.

We could go back and forth on that one, and I’m sure we will over the next few weeks. I understand some governors in their capacity of commanders-in-chief of the state National Guards are taking matters into their own hands.

Then there is the observation that when that evil young man murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston last month, the media immediately, and I believe correctly, assumed it was a racist hate crime. But in this case an awful lot of people seem to be looking for a motive while ignoring the quite obvious conclusion he was a jihadist who regarded himself to be at war with the United States.

What’s I’d like to contribute to the discussion is this.

There is something any professional or trained non-professional in the field of personal security would say you have to, have to do in a dangerous situation to have any chance of survival.

Don’t pretend it’s not happening!

We share the world with a culture and a religion which produces a certain critical number of individuals who hate us enough to die for the chance to kill some of us.

Yes they’re a minority within their own culture. Yes the number of casualties they inflict are miniscule in comparison to auto accidents every year.

We should not however lose sight of the fact they enjoy widespread passive support among Muslims world-wide, and that the auto industry is not working feverishly to produce more automobile casualties.

We can disagree on whether Muslim rage is caused by our foreign policy. We can argue whether we should pursue a conciliatory or aggressive policy towards Islamic countries or some combination of the two. We can argue all day about the likelihood of Islamic jihadists acquiring a nuclear bomb or bioweapons.

What we should agree on is: the jihadists regard themselves as at war with us, many live among us, they will seek to do us harm at unpredictable intervals, and they are looking for ways to maximize the harm they do.

Can we at least acknowledge this? Or will we continue to deny the simple reality until they force us to acknowledge it?