| January 6, 2017 | 1 Comments

This article was not the one I intended to publish today.

I’m experimenting with an article format where I summarize all the terrorist attacks and active killer events during a time period (week? month?), and then cross reference all the skills we should expect to know to deal with them, and/or their aftermath.

In the middle of writing today’s post, a friend of mine alerted us to the Ft Lauderdale Airport killings. As I type, the incident is still unfolding. No matter how often I choose to write my summary, there may always be an attack right smack in the middle of it.

At the same time, another friend shared an article about PJ Fleck, the new football coach at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Fleck’s young son died due to a heart condition in 2011. In response, Fleck has espoused a philosophy he calls “Row the Boat.” Please go read the article I linked, and then come back, as the rest of today’s article will mean more to you.

To summarize:

  • The oar is the energy you bring, and the love you can put into someone, or something.
  • The boat is the Sacrifice, the noble goal or endeavor.
  • The compass represents the people around you.

I think that the symbolism is a bit better if some of the objects were switched around, but let’s keep going — because the message is what’s important.

Thinking about violent crime, terrorist attacks, and active killers — we can’t control what’s already happened. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, despite our best estimations and preparations.

We can decide to prepare ourselves as best as possible — that’s our Oar of Readiness.

But, I can’t render trauma care to everyone. I can’t stop every active killer. I can’t move everyone away from secondary kill sites, in the same way that I can’t summarize every week’s violent event.

Because there are too many places to be, and too many attacks to summarize by myself.

As I wrote about almost two years ago, the best way to be a counter-terrorist is to get just one more person involved what we’re doing.

That’s the boat, to borrow PJ’s philosophy.

If we build that boat, if we get more people involved, and if the people in that boat are of the right mental compass ….

Maybe we can increase our presence and readiness enough that one day I’ll be writing about one of you, who helped someone out in a moment of extreme violence.

Yes, we need to Row the Boat.

But we also need to build it, and fill it.

Today is Friday. I ask each of you to do the following by next Friday:

  1. Find a trauma care class, a pre-encounter class (e.g., Unthinkable, or Landing the Plane), a practical shooting class (defensive handgun, defensive carbine, etc), or a force-on-force class that interests you.
  2. Contact someone you know who is not already taking any classes in whatever you just picked. It might be someone completely new to self-defense training. It might be someone who has gone to the range with you, but hasn’t taken a fight-focused shooting class. Maybe it’s a training partner who has never gone to FoF before.
  3. Ask them to go with you. “Hey, there’s a medical class coming up, and I’d like to go with someone I know. Will you go with me, please?”
  4. Please reply to this article or on Facebook what your result was — even if the answer was no. We can all learn from each other, and try out new strategies that get more people involved than were yesterday.

Let’s build ourselves a big goddamn boat.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

1 Comment on "Shipwright"

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  1. Kyle says:

    Thanks for the article.

    The FLL event literally took place in my back yard. As the event unfolded I spoke to other coworkers about it. The casual work place discussions gave me a opportunity to discuss the idea of EDC items, training, and mindset. I have taken a few coworkers to the range in the past, whom had never had experience with firearms. Maybe some will be interested in something further. I would enjoy having a local training partner.

    Thanks again.

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