My letter to Congress, read today at Texas Senate committee on Constitutional Carry. It is now public record.
To my friends, fellow Texans, brothers in arms, members of the committee, and everyone within the sound of my voice, greetings.
My name is First Lieutenant Patrick Cook of the 49th Transportation Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, and this past Wednesday I found myself trapped in an enclosed room with fourteen of my fellow Soldiers, one of whom was barricading the door against a madman with a .45 pistol when he was fatally shot. Through what I can only describe as a miracle, he somehow found enough strength to continue pushing against that door until the shooter gave up and went elsewhere, at which time he collapsed. Nearly a week later, I can still taste his blood in my mouth from when I and my comrades breathed into his lungs for 20 long minutes while we waited for a response from the authorities. This Soldier’s name was Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, and his sacrifice loaned me the rest of my life to tell this story.
But I write to you today not to memorialize this brave Soldier, nor to tell a war story about how we made the best of a losing situation, but to express the part of that story that some in high positions of power clearly do not want told: I knew this was going to happen. I had been saying for five years that Fort Hood was a tinderbox of another massacre waiting to happen. It had to happen, because our betters failed to learn the obvious lesson of five years ago. Worse yet, I know it will happen again. More will die, more will be wounded, more families will be torn apart, needlessly. It happened again, and will happen again, because Fort Hood is a gun free zone.
When the first shots rang out, my hand reached to my belt for something that wasn’t there. Something that could have put a stop to the bloodshed, could have made it merely an “ugly incident” instead of the horrific massacre that I will surely remember as the darkest twenty minutes of my life. Stripped of my God-given Right to arm myself, the only defensive posture I had left was to lie prostrate on the ground, and wait to die. As the shooter kicked at the door, I remember telling myself, “oh well, this is it.” It is beneath human dignity to experience the utter helplessness I felt that day. I cannot abide the thought that anyone should ever feel that again.
At the point blank range at which this shooting occurred, anyone with an M9 and some basic instruction could have ended the mayhem as quickly as it began. An MP by trade and a CHL holder, I am convinced that concealed weapons would have stopped it, but openly carried side-arms, like the ones carried in a law enforcement capacity, could have prevented it entirely. Instead, many more died because of the fatally misguided restrictions on the carrying of arms, which obviously the madman did not respect.
I shall conclude by restating my warning. This will happen again, and again until we learn the lesson that suppressing the bearing of arms doesn’t prevent horrific crimes, it invites them. To those of you who hold elected office, if you hear nothing else I have told you, hear this: you have the power to stop the next massacre from happening. You have an opportunity to restore the sacred Right to bear arms, which has been either stripped entirely or unjustly relegated to the poor substitute of a probationary, government-issued privilege. For God’s sake, do the right thing.
Thank you for your attention, and good day.
On the 24th, the FBI released one of the most fascinating and simultaneously frustratingly incomplete studies in recent memory: Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2012. This paper looks at active shooter events over a 12 year span with the goal to assess law enforcement reactions and how to improve the response at the LE level. There is a ton of interesting data for us to unpack in this paper, but for today we’re going to focus on the section titled “Resolution of the event” because to the average CCW holder that’s the most interesting. This section uses 104 incidents for its base set. Note that for the purposes of the study, the average police response time was about 3 minutes. Out of 104 incidents, they had the following resolution:
- 49% of events stopped before the police could arrive
- 42% of events (44 total) resulted in the killer committing suicide, of which 29 killers committed suicide prior to police arrival.
- 43% of events (45 total) result in the attacker being stopped with force, either by civilians or law enforcement.
- When civilians intervene before LE arrives, they stop 33% of mass shootings.
- Slightly less than 3% of mass shootings are stopped by armed civilians shooting the attacker.
Those are all very interesting numbers in themselves, and we could spend quite some time going over those. However, what’s missing from the report’s breakdown of events is one incredibly important number, and it relates to the killer committing suicide: many of the killers commit suicide only when confronted with force, as we saw in the Newton shooting. What I would very much like to see is how many of the attackers who committed suicide prior to the arrival of LE killed themselves because someone fought back? That’s a very important number.
Read the rest of the article from gunnuts.net here. It details the 16% number and steps to take to respond to shooters actively hunting people.
Always Carry – Your life is worth it!
I’m an Air Force brat. My father spent a 30 year career in the service and during that time my family moved to bases all over the United States. One of those bases was Warner Robbins Georgia. While we were there, my brother and I helped our mom deliver Meals on Wheels to senior citizens in the city. I was 8-10 at the time, and I remember disliking delivering to some old folks in the really poor part because of the ben-gay old people smell. But I never felt unsafe. I know it was safe because my mom would not have delivered in those parts of town if she felt it would endanger her or her children.
This memory of mine was happily bouncing along in my memory when I clicked on a Drudge Report link during one of the big snow storms in January 2014 that was talking about a big snow fight in Warner Robbins, Georgia. I thought a bunch of kids having a snow day got in a big snowfight and typical overreaction, the police come and start arresting people. Of course someone starts crying when they get hit in the face with a snowball or whitewashed. Reading the story in the Macon.com newspaper, I found it was something completely different:
Two teens have been arrested in connection with an attack in front of Warner Robins High School while school was out due to snow.
According to police, a group of about 30 people were having a snowball fight at the high school Jan. 29. Members of the group allegedly were jumping on vehicles in the parking lot, and when one of the vehicle’s owners asked them to stop, they allegedly attacked that person and three others who came to his aid….
The wife of one of the men in the sledding group stayed in their van with their infant child. When members of the group having the snowball fight began hitting the van, the victim said, the woman got out and asked them to stop.
At that point, he said, someone hit her with a snowball, and part of the snowball landed on the baby. The woman’s husband then approached, asked the group to stop and was attacked, he said. He and two other men in the sledding group who came to his aid were assaulted. He said no one in the sledding group instigated physical contact.
The victim said three of them, including himself, suffered concussions, and one had two cracked ribs. Members of the sledding group were white, and those involved in the snowball fight were black. He said the attackers yelled racial comments at them during the assault.
He said they did not call for an ambulance because their first concern was to remove their children from the scene. As the adrenaline wore off later, he said, they realized they were injured and sought treatment.
He said he thinks about 30 people were directly involved in the attack, and he hopes there will be more arrests. He said one female in the group having the snowball fight tried to stop the attack, and she was “thrown back.” Other than the female, he said, “there was not one innocent bystander.”
He said it ended when one of the wives dialed 911 and started reading out license plate numbers in the parking lot. When the group realized that, they stopped and fled.
An subsequent story announced that 5 had been arrested in the attack – three 17 year olds, a 15 year old, and a 14 year old total.
This happened in a city of about 48,000 people, and the county (including the Air Force Base), has about 116,000 people. A small southern military city, big enough to have the hospitals and a variety of stores, but small enough that you avoid much of the hooliganism of larger cities like Augusta or Atlanta. The kind of place where you would not be adverse to moving your family if a good job was offered to you there.
My conclusions from this story –
Conclusion #1 – Use of deadly force would have been justified (but not advised) in this situation. There was a disparity of force (30 vs 3), the men injured were defending a family member and infant child , the men attempted to defuse the situation rationally (asking the people throwing snowballs and jumping on cars to stop). The concussions and cracked ribs also are serious enough injuries to demonstrate that there was grave bodily harm actually received.
Conclusion #2 – 13 vs. 3. That is why you carry a reload for your pistol.
Conclusion #3 – Dad would probably have gone to jail if he had so much as a knife on him because it was school property, a legal law-abiding-citizens-here-are-unarmed zone. He was kicked and beaten in a school parking lot. If Dad had used deadly force to defend himself from grave bodily harm, he would be found guilty of possessing self defense tools in a self defense tool free zone, as well being accused of a hate crime because he was white and the teens attacking were black. Does that sound like justice to you?
Vietnam was all right. No problem. So was the covert war in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Ditto for Iraq I and II and Afghanistan. All necessary and proper and good. Lives destroyed? Who cares?
The US government’s possession of weapons and their use? Well, of course they needed all those weapons. How else could the wars be fought?
Guns in hands of government are a completely different issue than guns in the hands of citizens. You do see that, don’t you? Government knows what to do with guns. Kill people. Lots of people. Citizens with guns are clueless and have to be dealt with.
US-government 24/7 surveillance of every US citizen? Again, no problem. No indication of bad intent at all. It’s just protection against terrorism.
So you see, the whole rationale for the 2nd Amendment—that Americans need to protect themselves against a tyrannical central government—goes right out the window.
That was easy.
And in case you’re wondering why our commander-in-chief doesn’t pinpoint the areas of the country where the major gun violence is taking place, since he wants to reduce that violence, it’s because he doesn’t wish to offend anyone. He’s merely being polite. An admirable quality.
Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.
Now, recently we’ve seen children suspended and expelled from school, and we’ve seen a school lockdown or two, because of the presence of a Nerf gun or a gun made out of fingers or the word “pow.” This makes perfect sense.
We all know imaginary guns are the gateway drug to real guns and real guns are a guarantee of death. So nip the situation in the bud. Eliminate all thoughts of guns. Slap the fingers of the finger guns.
This program of taking away imaginary guns proves our government is mentally acute. Another sign we can trust them and ignore the core purpose of the 2nd Amendment.
This next point is so heinous I hesitate to bring it up. But I must. It’s been suggested that if the federal government mandates all its vaccines for every citizen, and eliminates all exemptions, people will need to defend themselves and their families against government agents showing up at their homes with guns and syringes.
Preposterous, because no one has the right to his own body. You have no right to say what the government should put in your body. The government is allied with science, and science knows best.
So when the government says “take this vaccine,” you say “how many times?”
It’s simple. Fear not.
And when, up the road, you or your children find out Obamacare is really designed to exclude alternative/natural choices, and you have to take the drugs government doctors are prescribing, don’t sweat it.
Those natural alternatives are all hocus pocus and voodoo. The real cures are pharmaceuticals. The government is looking out for you. You won’t need a gun to fend off a government employee. He’s highly educated. He knows drugs.
You can only doubt the intentions of government if you’re paranoid. That’s a mental disorder, and it automatically disqualifies you from owning a weapon. So you’re good there. Just get treatment.
As everybody understands, this government has been bought and sold so many times it’s gone broke. But that’s just something that happens in business. Nothing to get bothered about. There’ll be new money, and you’ll get your share. Taxes might be higher, but so what? You’re paying for protection. If you need to understand that concept, just watch Godfather 1 again: shop owners were smart enough to realize owning a gun wouldn’t be a good move against four goombahs coming through the door to collect their cut every week.
Have you noticed the trend toward micro apartments? It’s wonderful. People in cities are moving into 200-ft.-square residences in new buildings. You can turn around twice in these places. That’s plenty.
The agenda involves crowding more people into cities, so they can be controlled more easily, because out in the country, they get strange ideas. You don’t want strange ideas floating around in your head. So don’t go pretending the government has some sinister plan. It’s just straight control.
After all, what do you expect the agenda of a government to be, when it has to rule 300 million people all at once? Freedom? Please. That’s laughable.
And if you’re under control, what need do you have for a gun? You’re already in thrall, just where you want to be.
If the government is taking care of you (and it is), are you going to draw your gun? That would be just plain crazy.
On the other hand, government officials, celebrities, and rich people do need protection. There are all sorts of crazies out there. So let the elites have guns and armed security guards. They need them. You don’t. They don’t want guns, it’s just something they have to put up with. If Diane Feinstein whacks some whacko, more power to her.
Now we come to black and Latino people who live in high-crime areas. We hear several pernicious myths about their circumstances. One, the police in those neighborhoods practice illegal brutality. Two, the police don’t bother entering the neighborhoods at all. And three, the streets aren’t safe, because gangs are everywhere.
The myths are obviously absurd. The residents of these areas only need to have a well-shielded bulletproof room in their homes, in case some drug addict breaks in. Call the police, hunker down in the safe room for a few hours, and things will be taken care of. What’s the problem?
In schools, the chances are slim anything untoward will happen. Teachers certainly don’t need guns. They just need training in communication skills, so they can talk a shooter down, if he ever shows up.
Ditto for churches, parks, and athletic fields.
Relax and just let things happen. Go with the flow.
It’s like chemo. Let me explain. Everybody knows that chemo causes cancer and wrecks the immune system. And then you die. But if you die, it was your time. Your number came up.
So it is on the street, in a church, or a park. If a shooter enters the scene and blows a few dozen people away, it was fate. It was meant to be. The idea that people in a park would be armed and able to put down a killer is, well, frightening. Suppose they shoot themselves instead, or hurt an animal? That would create a sense of panic.
Whereas, we know a mass killer is there to kill people. So when that happens, it’s just part of the weave of life.
I think I’ve covered enough bases to make you see you don’t need a gun. Nobody does. We all have our roles. Policemen protect you, killers kill you, and you steadfastly remain calm. And unarmed.
If you have to hunt or shoot skeet, use a bow and arrow, or a rubber band and a paper clip.
Listen, if you’re a schmuck, be a schmuck. Right?
If you need something to do, watch the latest government war on television. Just knowing a war is going on should give you sufficient vicarious pleasure. Somewhere, people are killing and people are dying. But you’re at peace.
And if you have any leftover anxiety you just can’t quell with drugs, take heart. Scientists are studying the DNA of Adam Lanza. When they discover the genetic flaw that caused him to commit mass murder, the government will be able to institute a universal program to alter the population.
In other words, violence won’t be an option anymore. No one will feel the urge to kill or do harm. Isn’t that what we want?
Whoever answers no to that question is surely deranged and should be forced to undergo the genetic change immediately.
Can you picture the near future? People all over America out for a stroll, moving through any and all neighborhoods without fear of danger. People everywhere smiling and saying, “Howdy, neighbor!” “Howdy neighbor!”
Who could possibly be against that?