Copyright © 2006 Laurie D. T. Mann
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Enough of hostage-taking for any reason, in any venue.
People should be trained from the youngest age to FIGHT BACK.
While I don't advocate arming everyone, no one should be well-behaved or obedient when people's lives are at stake.
Even though the last few hostage-takers have been well-armed, I think it's way past time to let hostage-takers think that they are "in charge." It's past time to assume that hostage-takers can be "reasoned" with.
If someone comes at you with a weapon, you have to instantly assume that he is going to kill you. And the only way you have any chance to evade it is to cause a ruckus and try to escape.
Everyone, from the youngest age, should be trained to run, flee, scream, bite, kick, attack anyone who threatens them. Period. No one should control a situation merely because he has a gun or a bomb.
In short, throw a tantrum.
Whe one child throws a tantrum, it basically takes all of an adult's attention to deal with it. So how can a potential hostage-taker deal with a whole roomful of people throwing full-out tantrums? I'm not saying everyone would escape from situation uninjured, but I am saying it would immediately take away most of the hostage-taker's power.
Anyone who ever comes near me or any of my friends with a weapon will have to go through me, and I promise it will not be easy.
Do not go gentle...
BTW, I'm not promoting anarchy. Sometimes, you have to take some verbal or even abuse from people and not throw a tantrum. I'm arguing that when someone has a weapon that could kill you, you must fight back. Instantly. If all hostage-takers were instantly viewed as murderers and not "merely" as kidnappers, we'd have a tidal shift in the power structure.
10/14/2006: Interestingly, a school in Texas is doing something similiar to what I've recommended - they are teaching kids to fight back by throwing books/et.c. at any armed intruder. I never thought I'd be praising a Texas public school for anything, but good for them!