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A Plan Of Action For Collective Self-Defense Against School Shootings, Hijackings, And Other Armed Attacks

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I was living in Chicago on July 14, 1966, when Richard Speck broke into a group apartment and murdered eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital. According to reports, Speck had come to the door of the apartment, armed with a handgun and a knife, and had forced his way inside. There he found seven female nurses. After making them empty their purses, he bound their arms and legs with strips of material torn from their bedsheets. At this point, two other student nurses returned to the apartment, and tried to flee when they saw what was happening. But Speck caught them and stabbed and strangled them to death. Then he returned to the room where the seven women were tied up, and he began to take them, one-by-one, to different rooms where he raped and murdered each of them, except for one, who was able to squeeze her body under a bed and hide from him. Speck had apparently lost count, and he left the apartment, thinking he had killed them all. The lone survivor provided identifying information to the police, and Speck was captured, tried, and convicted.

I remember wondering at the time, "Why didn't the original seven nurses fight back when he first entered their apartment?" All seven of them, acting together at the first sign of trouble, could surely have overwhelmed him, with perhaps one or two deaths or injuries, but not eight deaths. Perhaps they thought they could talk him out of it if they went along with his initial demands, just as they might try to calm an emotional patient. For whatever reason, they apparently did not resist, except for the late-arriving two, who tried unsuccessfully to escape.

The Richard Speck murders, described above, provide us with one obvious fact which applies to all similar attacks, including the recent attacks on school children here in the United States: IF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ATTACKED DO NOT FIGHT BACK IMMEDIATELY, THE ATTACKERS WILL KILL WHOMEVER THEY PLEASE. Based on this one obvious fact, here is a Plan Of Action For Collective Self-Defense Against School Shootings, Hijackings, And Other Armed Attacks On Groups Of Unarmed People.

Plan Of Action

* 1. The basic idea is for group members to overpower and subdue the attackers at the very first sign of serious trouble. The group must not allow the attackers to gain any kind of control over the group or any of its members.

* 2. The strongest and most courageous defenders should lead the charge, and the others should follow as they are able. Everyone involved should yell as loudly as they can, making as much noise as possible. This will surprise and distract the attackers and give added courage to the defenders. It will also alert outsiders to the fact that there is trouble.

* 3. If any defender has a weapon, he should help to lead the charge, using the weapon as needed.

* 4. All those involved in the charge should be prepared to die, if needed, in order to save the lives of others in the group. If any defender does die in the charge, he will become a martyr and a hero. His family will be sad, but very proud.

* 5. If possible, discuss this plan in advance within your group, and decide which people will lead the charge, which people will follow, which weapons will be used (if any), and which people will simply make as much noise as possible. Also, you should have at least one designated person to use a cell phone to call the police. And you should agree on a verbal signal to begin the charge, something like yelling out, "Let's get them!" or "Let's roll!"

* 6. In some cases it is impossible to organize the group in advance, for instance if someone enters a restaurant and starts shooting. In these cases, it will be up to whomever chooses to start the charge, hoping and trusting that others will recognize what is happening and join him. If this plan is well publicized, many people will be aware of it and should join in the charge, if the time comes for it.

The best model and inspiration for this kind of group action was provided on September 11, 2001 by the heroic passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, who banded together to attack the hijackers. The airplane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all aboard; but the terrorist attack was defeated, and the passengers saved the United States Capitol building and the thousands of people who would have been killed if the terrorists had been successful in their mission.

All of us should be ready to do the same.

Blessings to you. May God help us all.

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Rev. Bill McGinnis is an Internet Christian minister, writer and publisher. He is Director of, a small private think tank in Alexandria, Virginia, and all of its related websites, including (more...)
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