After considering the tragic loss of life at Virginia Tech... and the other school shootings that have happened in the past few years, I believe we need to teach our children something different.
As a college student myself, in the late 70's, I experienced an incident that, however mild in comparison, taught me a little bit about fear and terror.
At dusk one night, I was in my dorm room on the first floor, when I heard a piercing scream like I had never heard before. It sounded like it was very close to me.
I instantly dropped down behind the bed and froze in sheer terror..... trembling for several seconds, I was unable to move. As the scream stopped and a silence fell over the usually noisy dorm, I had time to gather my senses.
I thought about the girl who had screamed, "What if she is getting raped and I am just hiding here? Get up!" I told myself.... nothing. "Get Up!, GET UP!".. finally my body moved.
I raced to the hall and pecked out see if it was safe. As it was clear, I ran to the next room and pounded on the door shouting, "Are You All Right!" A girl opened the door and breathlessly said, "She saw someone at the window... his face was right up against the glass when she open the curtain. Lock all the outside (dorm) doors."
I knew I did not want to live in this dorm the rest of the year in a state of fear. I shouted, "To hell with that, I'm going to go outside and see who he is." My loud voice in the hall had broken the "spell of fear" somehow and several other girls came out of their rooms and followed me down the hall to the outside door. However, I ran outside alone.
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I knew I was a minute or two delayed so I ran around to the front as fast as I could and I looked behind the bushes where he would have stood with his face pressed on the high glass window. No one was there. Still trembling with adrenaline, I ran around the building and looked down all the streets and sidewalks. He was gone. Scared away by her piercing scream.
A few weeks later, in this all female dorm, a very tall male student was caught doing private acts to himself in the TV lounge room. He was subsequently kicked out of school. Everyone suspected it was the same guy.
This experience taught me a lot.
First, I could break the "froze state of fear and terror" because I was physically strong, and I had taken coed Taekwondo classes for several years. I had confidence in my abilities to defend myself. Also, I worried about the girl next door, mentally, but it was several seconds before I could respond to her. My natural "self defense" mechanisms to tremble and hide had kicked in first and I had to fight my way thru those fears to regain control of my body.
This could be similar (although on a much smaller scale) to what many of those wonderful young students and teachers first felt. Their first reaction was probably to hide in fear and terror... and with the gunman right there, creating more terror, it would have been hard, very hard, even with training, to break thru those fields of fear. Several very brave souls did, God Bless them for their heroic acts.
But if only one or two or three, tried to get the gunman.. he would have been able to get them first. A gun does not give someone all the power, but it does give them a longer, quicker and more deadly reach. If six or more people had rushed him, they would have been able to overcome his weapon advantage, and take him down, quick.
From what I have heard so far, the students that were in one classroom and survived, and a courageous teacher that did not, broke the field enough, to block the doors and not let the gunman back in to shoot some more. Even though he shot thru the doors, and may have gotten some of them.. he did not get them all. THEY DID SOMETHING.
Which brings me to the point of this article. We need to teach our children to DO SOMETHING in bad situations. Anything.
If there is a shooter in a large area with lots of people and you can get away. RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND CALL 911.
BUT, if you are in an enclosed space and can't get away. FIGHT LIKE HELL.
Hit him with your books, cell phones, scream... throw chairs at him. Everyone jump him at once. He (or they) can only take down one or two at a time. But most will survive.
Use your books to protect yourself. A thick book will stop a bullet, in fact, it will stop several. Especially those large text books. Maybe even open, I don't know how many pages would be needed, but an open text book could cover your vital organ areas. As on an airplane, don't stand by and let anyone make the "live or die" decision for you. Fight them. Take them down.
We don't need strict gun control. The bad guys can always get guns. They don't follow the laws. Gun control just takes the weapons away from the regular people, criminals have ways around the laws.
We do need to teach self defense classes in the schools. Beyond the regular self defense classes, we need to teach group self defense classes. The schools need more physical education, let's include this in next years education budgets.
And God Bless all the students and teachers that lost their lives to this very ill young man. And God Bless their families and his. Let's try to recognize, understand and heal people with these kinds of illnesses, and let's teach our students how to protect themselves. Let's not let this happen again.
Lisa is a professional psychic counselor and truth investigator, designer, writer and a publisher. She has an AA, a BA and a private pilots license. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has worked and lived around the world. She has been listed in Who's Who' in Executives, and has won Art and Advertising Awards.