If Not Me Then Who?

by Tom Wert

On the drive home from Cincinnati, after attending John Giduck's presentation of "Terror at Beslan," hosted by Buckeye Firearms, several thoughts were running through my mind.

First, the nightly news doesn't even begin to touch on the brutality that terrorists are willing to inflict on innocent children.

Second, I am certain that not only are terrorists planning and training for a school siege in the United States, but that eventually terrorists will execute their plan and attack a school in America.

Third, we, as citizens, are grossly unprepared for an attack on our schools. But is it our responsibility as ordinary citizens to protect our schools? Absolutely! Mr. Giduck offered the motto of Russian Special Forces for us to adopt as our own; "If not me then who?"

So what can a regular Joe do to protect our schools?

To begin, support your local law enforcement. That's cliché, often said but seldom actually practiced. Does this mean a contribution to the F.O.P.? No, that does not amount to support. If you really want to support them DO SOMETHING. Start by getting to know your local law enforcement officers (LEOs). Volunteer with the police auxiliary or participate in a Citizen's Police Academy. Get to know them, how well they are trained, if they think about the possibility of a school siege, know how well they are equipped and volunteer to assist in whatever capacity they believe you can assist if a crisis were to occur.

Another part of supporting the local law enforcement is to insist that your local politicians see to it that your LEOs are well trained and well equipped. That means demanding that resources are used for the purpose of having the absolute best for your LEOs. Demand that they eliminate wasted tax dollars on programs that do not improve training or equipment and that prove not to be efficient.

You also should know your schools. Know the school board, the administrators and teachers. If you have kids in school, volunteer to help out at the school. There are a million things they could use your help with. More important, you should talk to your schools about the importance of planning for an event. Make sure they are open to the idea of allowing law enforcement to train inside the schools and make sure they have a response plan should the unthinkable occur. It's likely that they won't volunteer the details of the plan, nor should they, but you need to know they have one.

And finally, support CCW. If you don't already have a concealed handgun license, get one, and carry a gun everywhere that you can do so legally. Demand that your state legislators continue to reduce the restrictions on self-defense to law abiding citizens. While you can’t carry in schools currently, bad things can happen anywhere. The two biggest threats to successful terror attacks are the rapid response of American law enforcement and the armed citizen.

Tom Wert is a Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader.

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