Under: Self-defense
4 Oct 2015


How I got to the point on writing on America’s moral decline in view of self-defense is interesting I think so here goes. When I was a kid I was raised as a Roman Catholic and questions of right and wrong were easy. We had a book, church and traditions. I remember making the mistake of befriending a kid of low moral character who taught me the, “Harry Cemetery” rhyme. As it is no longer considered immoral to recite it I will post here to make my point.

Hello everybody

This is Harry Cemetery

If you good you go to Heaven

If your bad you to to Hell…o everybody…

My mom did not seem to understand the finer point of linguistic nuance (you see I did not really say the word, “Hell”), grounded me and told me that I could not play with my (former) friend anymore.


You see morality viewed through the religious context was simple to understand. That was in 1968. You see a great number of Americans viewed morality in the same context. It was abhorrent to view morality (right and wrong) though a purely secular context.


Well as you know America was not perfect back then (as in any other time in history for any nation) but we as Americans seemed to mostly agree on the definition of right and wrong. We had crazies back then but they were not very demonstrative. The information age had not happened yet (Al Gore had not created the internet yet :) ).


So fast forward through the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s to the 21’st century, now many moral issues that were bad in the early 1960’s are now ok as viewed by progressives. I won’t go into all of the changes as that will distract from my main points. There is one issue I will speak to here… how the crazies seem to think life is cheap. First here is a quick video with some of the issues.




While this video certainly points to some obvious issues I also tend to view the declining Christianity in America as part of the problem. However there is no easy solution to that, as many young people seem to fall away from religious values, hopefully to rediscover those values later in life.


Regardless if you agree that the lack of religious morality is part of the issue, obviously social progressivism is part of the problem, meaning that what was bad is now good (i.e. 40 year old virgin as one example). There does not seem to be any worry about people cheapening themselves for instant gratification – as bad for Americans.


So if you expand the lack of what used to be traditional American values – taking it to the next level – prostitution and the degradation of women is now a “victim-less crime.”


That is my argument about the relationship of the moral decline of America opening up the idea that life is cheap. This leads to the idea that crazy people or people with little regard for their own lives – to view suicide by mass murder as acceptable in some weird convoluted way.


So what can we do about mentally deficient people? Sorry if the word crazy offends some people. A person that takes the lives of a lot of people for no apparent good reason offends me and leads me to call them at the very least crazy.


Honestly I cannot think of anything that can be done because it would be difficult to identify mentally ill people unless they seek help. It is really too bad that possible mass murderers cannot be identified because that would be a good solution.


Before I go on I want to say that although I have not lost a family member to a mass shooting but I have had a son about to turn a corner in the Santana, CA mass shooting while a gunman was killing people. My son avoided this luckily because other kids warned him as they were running away – but this discussion is personal to me.


I also know of at least one of the Oregon shooting victims, Quinn Cooper  as I was told what a great student he was by his instructor a couple of months back. There are no words to express how saddening Quinn’s loss is. R. I. P. Quinn. My condolences to his family and all of the Oregon shooting victims.


In this information age there seems to be a lot of copycat crime out there. So if we do not have a moral cushion (as I believe) nor any protection from mentally ill people bent on mass murder/suicide, can we protect ourselves? In a nutshell there are no guarantees no matter your training, if you have weapons, or have to nerve to confront an assailant.


I will be the first to admit that getting right with God should be a priority in everyone’s life because one never knows the future. Also as a former life insurance salesman I know first hand that no one has any contract with life.  Before I attempt to offer my views of a possible attempted defense, let me point out the what the problem really is from published articles of mass murders.


For this article I looked for recent mass murders and I was interested in the number as the media has been reporting about a figure of over 200 mass shootings in 2015? I had not heard about that many but before I continue I guess we have to talk about definitions.


What I assumed mass shootings were about was someone going to a school, movie theater, or even the work related event. I did not think every day crime counted… such as gang violence against rival gangs or robberies gone bad. I thought mass shootings were about the inexplicable situation where a normal law abiding person found themselves in a mass shooting event that one would normally seem safe.


So you can see even the definition of what a mass shooting is can be in conflict. I will give two lists for visibility so however you believe – you can see the frequency of the occurrence of mass shootings (disclaimer – I am depending on the sources to be a good representative of mass shootings).


First what I am used to being called mass shootings.


CNN Deadliest Mass Shootings


So I guess I have to modify my definition somewhat and say the news seems to only report the deadliest mass shootings – so that is what I’m used to over the years.


Here is the running count for 2015 according to one website.


Mass Shootings in 2015


Wow that is a lot of crime. I took a look at the website links for the first ten of the mass shootings in 2015 and I would only consider one of these mass shootings. The rest I would (sadly I suppose) consider “normal” crime. But I will say in a nation of 321 million people there is going to be some crime no matter what.


Now for the real question and the controversial one, should Americans have the right to arm themselves for self protection? What? Why is this a question.


Not that many US citizens need a refresher but as Americans we already have that right but it is limited somewhat at both federal and state levels. So you may be wondering what I think? Here goes.


I think every thinking man and woman should not depend on the goverment to protect themselves.


As an example take these crazy alarm system commercials that say your family is safe if only they get one of their alarm systems that will automatically call the police.


The police have no duty to protect you but if they see a crime being committed then they do have a duty to try and protect you. What does that mean? It means if you have a home invasion and your spouse is killed – you cannot sue the police for not protecting you.


This is an important nuance to notice. That means if the police do not have a duty to protect you (at least before they get to the scene of a crime), who does?




Well crime has been declining for years (even with the mass murders) so Americans generally feel safe in their homes and when they go out. I’ll tell you even with years of hearing about crime and mass murders even I feel safe in my own neighborhood. True I will not go to some places in my county after dark but generally even in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia (joke – I live in VERY liberal (i.e. progressive) California that limits a persons right to carry a concealed weapon in most counties) I feel safe.


But bad things still happen so while some will disagree (keep comments civil please if you expect me to publish them), I believe US citizens in good standing with the law (and mentally sound) should have the right to carry concealed weapons anywhere (except maybe courthouses and airports (but make sure there are enough law enforcement staffed to protect people if people are expected to give up their right to defend themselves)).


I believe that all Americans should take notice they have to plan for their own defense in most situations. So I endorse taking weapons courses and martial arts classes (Eastern, Western, and non-traditional methods) as part of an overall self-defense plan.


What should you do if you find yourself in a mass shooting scenario where no one has the right to carry a gun?


There are no easy answers but the two obvious things come to mind. If you are farther away and have an escape route – run! You will have little chance of taking down a shooter from far away.


If you are closer to the shooter – consider rushing him/her. That may be the only chance you have for your or other’s survival. I mean if you think the shooter is going to shoot you regardless – why not try to take him out if you get the chance?


Now here are the harder choices that can bad unless you have a place to hide or you are among a large group of people in an open space. Doing nothing but trying to hide or play dead. But let me say hiding or playing dead can work… and if you cannot escape nor have confidence you can fight back – hiding or playing dead may be your only chance.


Will martial arts help? Maybe but only if you are close enough. Karate cannot stop bullets. You have to be able to get close enough to strike the attacker.


Will having a concealed hand gun help? Maybe but hopefully if you have one – you go shooting regularly as this will be the most stressful point in your life! But I will say having someone with a handgun may be the best chance to stop the attack (or convince the attacker to commit suicide faster since many don’t like to give up).


Before I close I know some will simply say that if the goverment took away all of our guns – aka “gun control” then there would be no more mass shootings. Forgetting for a moment that this is a constitutional right for Americans consider the following.


If you trusted the government for all things and that crooks would turn in their guns – that might work. I am no longer a spring chicken and generally don’t abide disingenuous wishful thinking. That has no chance to work in America.


So in closing I would like to reiterate that I think the decline of morality (what people think are right and wrong), mental illness, and our inability to protect ourselves in some situations mean there are no for sure answers to the question of surviving a mass shooting. Only what are you willing to do to protect yourself on a moral, political, and personal level can be part of the overall solution.


Sorry I have no answers but bad guys in the world is why I learned karate all so many years ago. One should do whatever they can to keep themselves as safe as possible.


I welcome all civil comments. What do you think?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

6 Responses to “Morality, Crazies, and Shootings; Can We Protect Ourselves?”

  1. Fr. Jerry Kwasek Says:

    Agree–If public officials and some celebrities have body guards then we ought to be able to protect ourselves. I like you your run scenario if you are too far away or playing dead or if your very close enough jump the assailant.

    We are undoubtedly in the post Christian era and our American society is moving closer and closer to socialism. Material goods are readily discarded and human life too becoming a discard. In a Marxist society men are only valuable based on their contribution to society or the party. Life in the womb and the aged towards their own death are to be discarded–because the unborn cannot exist with out assistance and the aged too cannot take care of themselves.. they have no individual worth.

    America was founded on the dignity of the human person created in the image of God with rights of life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    I am afraid we are becoming like the Athenians of ancient Greece who gave up being involved in their governance and relied on elitest politicians to run the public’s lives. Rome was not better where people relied on bread and circuses for survival–

    It is no wonder that we have lost our family structure and moral compass these past few decades.

  2. Sharon Says:

    The same day that drug dealers turn themselves and their illegal contraband in, is the same day that criminals will turn in their guns just because they “aren’t allowed to have them anymore.” I think we can all acknowledge that guns and other weapons are necessary evils. The nature of all men is not inherently good. To believe otherwise is naive; an ignorantly utopian wish. We as humans have been fashioning weapons to both attack and defend ourselves from perceivable threats for thousands of years. It is true that guns are an efficient killing machine, but so too are knives. The “deadliness” of an item is an inactive quality until placed in the hands of an operator whose intent is to distort the intended usefulness of the item and cause harm to others. There is no evil in an item, only in the man who wields it. To disarm the populace is to strip the innocent of their methods of self defense, and thereby empower the evil.

  3. Warren Z Says:

    John, I can’t find fault with your logic or the presumptions as to the causes of violence in out society. What you offered as explanation for and possible defenses against mass shootings is sound, practical and logical. I agree completely.

    I will offer one suggestion that if anyone has connections to “the powers that be” that they encourage the elimination of “soft targets” in our environment. Statistics prove that the vast majority of mass shootings in recent years int eh US have occurred at “no gun zones” such as theaters, malls and schools. The idea of a no gun zone is to make the public feel safe but instead, it encourages shooters by making them feel safe from any armed opposition.

  4. Toby Massell Says:

    The questions are “do you have the right to defend yourself, loved ones and the community?”

    “Do we have the right to used lethal weapons to do so.”

    The answer is, absolutely yes.

    The question then become, “what is the best way”.

    Some of us chose martial arts. While self defense techniques are a concealed weapon effective at close range, they wont do any good to stop someone at distances beyond ten feet that has a gun in your wife’s face.

    Like wise, karate will not stop a gun wielding nut in a crowd, school etc unless he is right next to you.

    Carrying a concealed long range weapon,hand gun, becomes the best choice out there.

    Instead of me rambling about this subject I will post links to articles that show how effective citizens with CCWs can be.

    Main stream media is quick to tell us about mass shooting but there is a lack of main stream information of how many mass shootings have been stopped by a citizen with a CCW.

    9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped By Someone With A Personally Owned Firearm

    List of 16 mass shootings stopped by Armed Citizens

  5. Toby Massell Says:

    My other thoughts.

    There is so much controversial argument over “gun control” and mass shootings. One of the most disturbing things I hear is. “if he/she didn’t have access to guns he/she wouldn’t have killed anyone. This is the furthest thing from reality I’ve ever heard.

    The problem starts with the unstable mind of the killer. The killer or criminal will kill with what ever weapon is available.

    So the problem starts with upbringing and mental stability, not with any weapon

  6. Dr. J Says:

    Hey John! The phrase insanity of humanity went through my thoughts a couple of days ago. There is no question, in my opinion, that humanity is on a one way journey to self- destruction. As a surgeon, my goal has always been the preservation of life, not the preservation of politics. I truly believe that the majority of people are good, yet the minority and the damage they cause affects all of us. The only way we can really make a difference in all of this without just going down the same old same old is to go much further upstream with solutions that, unfortunately, will not be effective immediately. Our youth must be educated, fed, raised in a caring environment, and given hope for their futures. The earth could be a shining beacon of light in the universe, but it will take more cooperation than our species seems to believe in.