I was sitting in one of the countless council meetings our church has throughout the country. Local leaders get together once or twice a month to talk about the issues the church faces and how best to solve the problems in their jurisdiction. Occasional, we get announcements and pronouncements from church HQ regarding policy issues, usually mundane things.
So we had another one. It was quite long. It covered what church members should do when there is a violent person in the area. It started off the way you would expect: (1) Give in to his demands, try to calm him down, (2) run away, (3) Hide. They spent a lot of time describing what kinds of actions are appropriate, even going so far as to tell the leaders to try to evacuate women and children first, and to provide a sort of buffer so that the bad guy can’t see what’s going on.
Then came the fourth thing: If you can’t calm him down, if you can’t run, if you can’t hide, then fight. That’s right, church leaders telling church members when it is time to fight. And they described a bit about how to fight: overwhelm him with decisive action designed to incapacitate him. Use whatever you can get your hands on as a weapon. Don’t hesitate.
It’s not often that you hear someone telling you to fight anymore.
People forget that behind every human face is a monster, a murderous savage beast that could decide to rape, murder and pillage. They forget who we truly are, imagining our fingernails, fists, and teeth are mere decoration, perhaps even a vestigial component of our ancient evolutionary ancestors.
What happened in Orlando should remind us of this critical fact. The same guy that smiles and shakes your hand can shoot you in the face.
We have rules in our society. If you do X, then we’ll do Y. That’s what the rules read like. We forget that the consequence to “If you behave aggressively or violently” is “we will kill you.” That’s the contract. If you value life, you have to be ready to kill. You have to be ready to do nasty things to nastier people.
As a kid, there was a dog who chased us and caused a nuisance. My dad came home from work and heard about it and then he went outside. He asked where the dog was, and we pointed him out. When my dad saw the dog, their eyes locked, and my dad went into what I can only describe as beast mode. He was probably around 40 years old at the time, but he went full-bore berserk on that dog. He wrestled it to the ground and pinned it in a most uncomfortable position. We thought the dog would surely have been crushed to death as he put his full body weight on top of that dog.
In that moment, that dog, pinned underneath him, he whispered something to that dog. After a few more moments, he got up and the dog ran away. We never saw it again.
He understood the Law of the Jungle. He understood that when his kid’s right to roam the neighborhood was threatened, you don’t lock your kids inside. You find the threat and eliminate it. When that dog saw the intent and aggression in my dad’s whole body, the dog knew it wasn’t safe to be around anymore.
When I was a kid, down the street there was a house dealing drugs. My parents didn’t tell me about this until later. Every day, they would write down the license plate numbers and get a good look at the people coming in and going out. And every day, they would report it to the police. It wasn’t a week before they had moved on to some other location. My parents believed the county police were corrupt and told the dealers that this wasn’t a good place to set up shop. I didn’t care. The result was the same. My parents knew what the Law of the Jungle was. You threaten me, I’ll kill you. Their neighborhood had a watchman, and that watchman wasn’t afraid to make people angry.
Dogs mark their territory with their piss. The mark the objects and when they catch another dog encroaching on their territory they have a dog fight. One of the dogs loses and they know not to mark that territory anymore.
There are people in our society who are marking the territory. They are threatening us. The correct response is vicious, unrestrained and tempered action. It is not pacificism, it is strength. As long as enough of us are willing to do vicious and cruel things to people who threaten us, the rest of us can sing about flowers and talk about pacificism.
You who want to live in a peaceful world: Thank God every day for the people who have already done those vicious and cruel things and who are doing it today, in your name, for your safety. You won’t have to shoulder the PTSD that they will. You won’t have to wonder if you’ll go home in a body bag. You won’t worry about whether you’re carrying enough ammo. You won’t have to dedicate years of your life learning how to fight and kill and hunt like wild animals. You won’t have to study the details of those who want to kill you, learning to think like them and even act like them.
The correct response to any threat to our peace and security is not to lock the kids in the house. The correct response is to find the threat and neutralize it with superior force.
I know several ways we can show the violent jihadis we’re not messing around. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what kind of message will make them realize that maybe America isn’t a good place to kill people.
If we can’t do that, then America is done. We don’t have a right to live or the right to speak freely or the right to move around the country anymore. If we aren’t willing to fight, we won’t have any rights at all.