Category Archives: Terrorism

About your trauma recovery dear Father Byers… ;-)

A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.

There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.

In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.

I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:

  • “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]

Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?

Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.

Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.

Two points and excuse my theological language:

First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.

My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”

It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.

But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.

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“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” he said, thus claiming I’m not Christian.

Saeed Hotari, terrorist suicide bomber

“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” said some guy to me the other day – knowing I’m a priest and a law enforcement chaplain – thus claiming that I’m not a Christian because I do carry, thus claiming that all law-enforcement officers are also anti-Christian because they also carry.

If that guy’s house was being burned by mobs, and his family was getting raped and looted and killed, you know, because he himself is part of the he establishment, living in society as he does, I just bet he thinks he could stand idly by, watching all this in all safety, maybe filming it while trying to also call 911, waiting for law enforcement to arrive after minutes if not hours – depending on the day – arriving after his house was torched, after his family was raped and killed and after the mob had moved on to other neighbors’ houses to do the same. I bet he would call those “anti-Christian” police who also carry weapons. And when they arrived and stopped the criminals, I bet he would stop claiming law enforcement officers and any supporting chaplains are anti-Christian, having risked their lives to save the likes of him and his neighbors if not in time to save his family. No greater love and all that… He should sign up for some 2nd amendment instruction.

I’m guessing that he just doesn’t have the experiences I have. For instance, I knew Saeed Hotari pictured at the top of this post. I would consider him a friend ten years before he did what he did. But if I saw him walking into the Dophinarium strapped up with bombs likely weighing more than himself and screaming all Jews must die and shrieking that “Allah is great!”, I would neutralize the threat and be happy that I did, even while I was sad about the fallen state of the world in which something like that terrorist attack could be planned and put into action.

Here’s a list of Saeed’s victims who died. Add to that another more than 130 with horrific injuries, missing arms and legs, suffering hematomas and shattered skeletons. Perhaps that young man could recite their names, as the practice goes, along with their ages and where they’re from, asking himself what he would do if he was able to take out the threat. Would he stand idly be when there were only seconds to stop him? Would he call the IDF who might get there in time to put up police tape around the area? If he had a tool to stop the threat would he use it? Scary questions, for him, I’m sure.

  • Maria Tagiltseva, 14, of Netanya
  • Raisa Nimrovsky, 15, of Netanya
  • Ana Kazachkova, 15, of Holon
  • Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir, 15, of Ramat Gan
  • Irina Nepomnyashchi, 16, of Bat Yam
  • Mariana Medvedenko, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Yulia Nelimov, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Liana Saakyan, 16, of Ramat Gan
  • Marina Berkovizki, 17, of Tel Aviv
  • Simona Rodin, 18, of Holon
  • Aleksei Lupalu, 16, of Ukraine
  • Yelena Nelimov, 18, of Tel Aviv
  • Irena Usdachi, 18, of Holon
  • Ilya Gutman, 19, of Bat Yam
  • Roman Dezanshvili, 21, of Bat Yam
  • Pvt. Diez (Dani) Normanov, 21, of Tel Aviv
  • Ori Shahar, 32, of Ramat Gan
  • Yael-Yulia Sklianik, 15, of Holon – died of her injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Sergei Panchenko, 20, Ukraine – died of his injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Jan Bloom, 25, of Ramat Gan – died of his injuries on 3 June 2001
  • Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15, of Bat Yam – died of her injuries on 19 June 2001

“Father George, you don’t understand what with your putting up straw men examples like that, because that was in Israel where it’s just that ‘someone did something’ (Ilhan Omar), like it was, you know, an ‘incident’ (Nancy Pelosi) and ‘what does it matter anyway?’ (Hillary Clinton). We’re all nice here in America.”

I could multiply examples of myself getting shot at, but let’s limit this to just this area is just the last few days right here in this area:

  • So, just the other day, not far as the crow flies, down in north Georgia, a deputy pulled over a truck and trailer. The guy immediately shot the deputy in the chest (who survived). They caught the perp and his accomplice and also found out that the perp was hauling illegal explosives, heading south on 75, which would be in the direction of Atlanta, you know, in time for the elections. Get it?
  • So, just the other day, now in Western North Carolina, a deputy pulled over a guy who immediately got out of his vehicle and shot the officer in the face (who later died).
  • Oh, and just the other day, about all the law enforcement in the region was doing an massive operation just down the road, no, really, like pretty much all available law enforcement in the region. Because we’re all nice.

I could continue, but, for my interlocutor pacifist, there’s really nothing I can say. If defense of the innocent from unjust aggression is a mortal sin of the magnitude that I can no longer be a Christian, what can I say?

Where do these people get this? Oh, I forgot. There’s a minister in the region who is aggressively promoting BLM, which stands for “Destroy the Police.”

We live in weird times. Even Jesus is mocked and killed:

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Live 9/11 Tribute in Lights

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Where were you on 9 11 2001? Better: Where were they?

It was just after 10:46:40 PM on the evening of September 11, 2001, in the chapel of the major seminary of the diocese of Wagga Wagga, Australia (14 hours ahead of us), during a Holy Hour (I taught Scripture and languages in that seminary) that one of the seminarians ran into the chapel and – out loud – said that I had to come and look at the television. I ignored him.

A few minutes later another seminarian came in to fetch me saying it was really important. America was being attacked. There are planes… I went. He ran down the long hallway the length of the seminary. I ran as best I could. Now I was worried.

I looked at the television screen and made the sign of the cross. I still tear up and get angry all at the same time.

As I listen to the names of those who died on September 11, 2001 during those terrible attacks, what comes to mind now as well is a scene I saw some hundreds of times play out in Lourdes, France, when I was (helping) to lead the usual afternoon Eucharistic Procession from inside the underground Basilica of Saint Pius X. When the procession came down the huge ramps into the Basilica proper, coming up to the main Altar, I couldn’t help but think that this is how things will look when the little flock on this earth make their way to the gates of heaven. How’s that?

As the wheelchairs and hospital beds on wheels were rolled in, followed by those who hobble along and walk, just as they were, all of broken humanity coming before the Divine Son of the Living God, I then imagined that, as they came in through the gates, they all got up from their wheelchairs and hospital beds, all beginning to leap for joy in their humble thanksgiving and reverence before Jesus, our Messiah, Our Lord and God.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

But, again… where were you?

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Tunnels to Towers 9/11 ceremony

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Dems on September 11 2001 and Benghazi: Who cares?

ilhan omar

Ilhan Omar downplaying Islamicist terrorism saying: “Some people did something.” That’s it. After Joe Biden is declared incompetent under the 25th Amendment, Harris will become President and she’ll get Ilhan to become vice-president. Then the USA will be no more. China wins. And a war between China and Islam will play out right here. No one wins.

Nancy Pelosi won’t help get rid of of Islamicist terrorism. How could she? She calls September 11 2001 an “incident,” you know, like your shoelaces becoming untied. Take a look at the next picture. Do you agree?

september 11 2001 twin towers falling

But – Hey! – Maybe Harris will get Hillary to be vice-president, you know, to keep the theme going with more support from our domestic terrorist voters, who agree with her about the deaths of our military heroes when she says about their deaths: “What difference does it make?”

benghazi

What do you expect from people who are maniac pro-abortionists. It’s all about death, death, and more horrific death to them.

What a dark time we live in.

But the Light shines in the darkness. “Let your Light so shine before men…”

Be not afraid.

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Thank you, Algerian friend

“Someone” put up Arabic subtitles to the entirety. Brilliant. But then YT took it down, and it remained down, for years. Now it’s back up. :-)

Lest we forget. There is an election coming up.

  • Do we want this kind of mayhem in the streets?

Oh, I forgot. We already do. Don’t think for a second that idiot bombers like this will not be found in America. We’ve had plenty of domestic terrorists (sorry if I don’t speak with legal language but rather colloquially and with truth. Well, I’m not sorry.)

We’ve had plenty of terrorists hiding out or training up right here in my small Appalachian town of Andrews, NC. Not only idiot bombers that it took the FBI years to investigate, but even the September 11 terrorist pilots trained up in our tiny little airport.

Plenty of people want to assassinate police and kill innocent people, looting, raping, committing arson, assault. It’s commonplace. And not only here.

  • “You’re exaggerating, Father Byers! You’re a conspiracy theorist. You should just shut your face. You deserve to have your face shut for you.”

Oh. I see.

There are people who have lived the American dream, or think they have, but have not. Some people have lived very sheltered lives, but have done well in life, enjoying themselves, never a problem, and after a lifetime they say to themselves that they’ve been living the American dream.

No. They have not. Not at all.

The American dream is dreamed by those who are not in the dream, but who make the dream happen, and know that it takes sacrifice to make it happen. Making the dream come true and in that way living the dream.

The sheltered lives crowd, truly the self-entitled crowd, who have no real idea of patriotism, no sense of service to others, no sense of respect for others, only concerned about themselves, don’t have any dream as they don’t want to change their circumstances in the least. And they let it all slip away, thinking that if they only double down on not striving for anything, it will all be good. They deny that there is mayhem.

Boston strong? America strong? Yes. But it’s only the non-narcissistic who will make it happen.

Here’s how bad it is: even if the self-entitled get hurt, have their businesses and homes burned down, they will only be angry with those who do something about it, thinking that doing something about it makes it worse. And then defending the innocent from unjust aggression becomes a crime.

It’s already happened, right?

The response of the self-entitled is to vote for killing innocent children by way of electing the most pro-abort ticket in the history of fallen humanity.

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Pilots during Sept 11 2001 attack, lest we forget

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Fr Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! My real ID.

cia memorial

/// Now re-posted, for a reason, a couple of years later with some date revisions, etc.

  • On the one hand, please understand that this entire diatribe/rant is proffered with a great abundance of sarcasm, my sorry attempt at humor because I’m really bad and evil.
  • On the other hand, what I say here is all true, but it’s just something that I play with, baiting stuff over the years, over the decades (going back to the mid-late 1970’s) out of some characters up in Northeast Virginia and Northwest Washington DC and Maryland, and Rome, and Oceania, the Middle-east…  ///

Here’s the high pressure repeated request from a self-described [ex-?]CIA guy who’s now […] as cover: “Father Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! Who are you, anyway?”

Continue reading

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Military, Terrorism, המוסד

Coronavirus humor gone malicious

The above humor? Great!

But then there’s the guy who was purposely coughing on food, then saying he’s tested positive for the Coronavirus (regardless of whether it’s true or not). That guy is up on terrorist charges and is set to go before a judge.

Meanwhile, two, say, 19-21 year old guys were in the supermarket the other day. I was going into the store just behind them and surmised (sorry for the profiling of behavior) that they were up to no good. About 15 minutes later I’m in the dairy section of the store trying to buy groceries for some of our elderly and health compromised parishioners. I was busy looking at the food prices, having stupidly let my situational awareness go down, and these guys walk up quietly behind me and loudly sneeze. When I turn to face them, they are laughing away. Hahaha. Very clever. I just looked at them, bored with such antics. It’s not easy to get me worked up over such stupidities. But we will see what happens with me in the next few days.

These are the kind of idiots, it seems to me, who will be carriers, and then spread the virus to, say, their vulnerable grandparents, who might get sick and die. Entitled narcissistic brats. That’s my “No” vote for that kind of non-humor.

Oh, and by the way… Yes, my sister had a Schnauzer like the one pictured above when I was a little, little kid. This was sent in by a reader who didn’t know that. Nice coincidence. I like that. Our Schnauzer was named Patsy. Good to see good humor.

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Christmas shooters Hanukkah stabbers: security teams visitors ongoing training

I have much to say about this kind of thing given that DHS has trashed pretty much everything they did have for encouragement of self-protection and training (which was a lot at the time) in favor of ripping everything from their own FEMA and giving it over to a brand new agency that is still in its infancy and still sporting its first Director: CISA. The incredible magnitude of CISA’s effort in so short a time is nothing short of amazing. I’ll get to that in future. For myself, for my parish, for churches and synagogues, I have some practical suggestions at least for this locale. I’ll get to that in future as well, I hope.

For now, I would like to repeat some advice from a previous post on the old FEMA out-of-date and broken-linked effort of more than two years ago, which post has been seen by pretty much every justice department and law enforcement agency from local to state to federal, and has been visited by pretty much every educational institution, private, city, county, or state, from podunk to the ivy league, also internationally, making it one of the most visited posts ever on this blog. That post is now out of date, except for the added advice:

  • I would like to see among first responders to an active shooter critical incident on a church campus my own parishioners who are already on campus, and who are LEOs, military operators, or otherwise highly trained individuals who can instantly respond to and neutralize any threat, that is, those who don’t rest on their laurels, but who are frosty, always and instantly at the ready.
  • I would NOT like to see parishioners participating in this program who have a concealed carry permit but who, other than their first qualification just to sit in the course have never fired their stop-the-threat-tool, or have only rarely done so. I can see it now: fumbling around in a purse or ultra-complicated safety holster (with all sorts of unnecessary safeties employed on the gun itself), trying to figure out how to use for the first time red-dot sights or lasers with all their switches or not (depending), with batteries being useful or dead, with zero scenario training, zero indicator awareness, zero situational awareness, and therefore little possibility of recognizing and isolating a target and therefore being caught off guard with a lack of confidence and therefore way too much hesitation and liability to foggy confusion, and therefore with an increased possibility of causing friendly fire casualties.
  • I would like to see the very same parishioners and others help to get those around them out of the building or, if that’s impossible, to the floor, even while getting out their phones and calling 911 and/or (depending on the circumstances and logistics) fighting with anything at hand: hymn books, loose chairs, music stands, instruments… oneself…
  • But here’s where the importance of a plan comes in, when everyone should know their part to play, so that flight or dropping to the floor is important so as to give clear access to defenders who have the proper tools to stop to a threat (regardless of policy on firearms), therefore reducing the possibility of a friendly fire causality. The placement of defenders in good positions of situational awareness and the possibility of responding is key.
  • Flight-hide-fight. This is about love.

But in viewing that church shooting video above, one more point needs to be added. I praise the church for having a security team and for allowing firearms in church for self-defense. That team might have been trained up well. But…

  • There were four fellows who drew their weapons – a couple of them moving from left to right in the foreground aisle – and I don’t know if those latter two were on the security team or not. They could just be visitors trying to help out. They might have been well trained, even military or police, but lost it when the adrenaline hit, perhaps falling back on house clearing training for SWAT or military. But even then – sorry – they’re not doing that well. Those two don’t have a target as the perp is already on the ground behind the pews. Those two are super dangerous to all around them. They’re continuously flagging their fellow parishioners with the muzzles of their own weapons. If that’s just because of adrenaline and they have their fingers on their triggers, they might have extremely easily pulled the trigger in the chaos. If they were that controlled by the adrenaline (and there are ways to control it, and use it), they might just as well have pulled down the muzzle had they had to pull the trigger, again risking hitting not the perp but another parishioner. In this kind of a situation – with no target in sight and lots of people in between – they should have had their weapons high entry, so to speak, not low entry and certainly not aimed right at other parishioners the entire time. It’s high because if you draw up, in this situation, you’re directly flagging the very ones you want to protect.

No one gets out of training. Churches present a different situation from SWAT or military house clearing, as the above video makes evident. Military and Law Enforcement exceptions are not to be made in scenario based training with the exact incident in the video above as evidence of this. Everyone dismisses the soft target as that which is easy to protect. The opposite is true, especially because of this attitude. “I got this!” is the typical exclamation based on truly heroic careers of those who have been highly decorated for their bravery in violent incidents. I get that. It’s the temptation of any and all to rest on their laurels when it comes to soft targets. It is what it is. Unless there is scenario based training also for the differences of high entry and low entry, even the greatest of heroes isn’t to be on the security team. We don’t need anyone thinking “they have this”. Watch those two guys in the foreground of the video above again. That’s as scary as the active shooter guy.

Just because you own a tool doesn’t mean you know how to use it. Even if you have your drills down, that doesn’t mean you have your scenario practice in. And that certainly doesn’t mean you have situational awareness skills or deescalation skills. I’m NOT claiming I’m great at any of those, but I do some study. I try to keep up. I think that’s an obligation for everyone who carries. It’s a service to society to carry. Just make sure you have at least some competence.

Let’s look at some stills:

  • In the picture above the defender in the top middle circle has already taken down the perp and has his weapon pointed at him with clear line of sight. Great!
  • The defender in the white shirt and black vest at the top left has his weapon drawn low entry. Not great for the circumstances. If he does have to draw up, he will have to flag his own parishioners. Not good. He should be high entry. But he’s clearly scanning and taking in the situation as it really is. Perfect. I like this guy.
  • Meanwhile, the guy in the dark maroon shirt has his weapon pointed directly at our defender up top as he moves along flagging everyone in front of him. NOT good at all. I’m guessing he’s a visitor. But even then he should see that the guy up top has dropped the perp and is simply keeping a bead on him, and not shooting others. The defender guy up top is NOT the perp.

Let’s move on a nanosecond:

  • In the picture above we see the defender guy up top still with a bead on the perp, and the guy in the upper left still at low entry – we’ll let that go – but he’s still scanning and evaluating. Great!
  • But the guy in the maroon shirt in the lower center of the above picture is still aiming directly at his security team guy who took down the perp. What the heck? This guy has gotta be a visitor. But even so, he should be noticing the guy to the upper left, where he is instead looking, and note that he’s low entry. But, not at all. This guy in the maroon shirt, in my opinion, is dangerous. Look, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t in the scene. I wasn’t filled with adrenaline. I didn’t suffer tunnel vision. I’m sure the guy means well, but, the point is, he needs some training or retraining for how to do up things in a church.

Let’s move on a nanosecond:

  • The hero defender guy – unmoving – still has a bead on the perp. Great!
  • You would think the guy in the maroon now all the way to the right, would have figured things out by now, but he’s still flagging everyone and still has a bead on the hero defender. Dang. Who the heck is he?
  • The guy in white shirt and black vest in the upper middle left circle, still really low entry now, has already figured out the outcome, light years ahead of the guy in the maroon shirt. Great.
  • Now we see another guy in black to the far left. He’s also flagging everyone, but really seems to be aiming right at the two defender guys in the middle top. Dang. These guys might have plenty of laurels to rest on and be great heroes for whatever they’ve done in the past – even both have Congressional Medals of Honor for that matter – and I’m not denigrating them… it’s just that, seriously, any training has gone out the door and they have no clue as to what they are doing, flagging everyone and not noticing the two defenders are looking somewhere else and NOT shooting anymore. Those three should all be high entry…

What I’m saying is this: Scenario based training in the environment in which you are going to be a defender is important. Churches and synagogues are much different than “kill house” training, you know, house-clearing training. It’s not enough to carry. It’s not enough to know your drills. You have to know how to approach a situation. You have to know how to read a situation.

Again, I’m the armchair pundit here. I’m a zillion miles away from that church. I wasn’t there. I didn’t have the adrenaline pumping. I didn’t suffer from myopic vision because of adrenaline. All I’m saying is that there is a world of difference – easily between life and death – between the two defenders up top and the two to either side. It’s not enough to have a security team even made up of war heroes and law enforcement. This is a different situation. It’s a soft target that’s actually more difficult to defend.

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Church & School Shootings: Next Step

SWAT church

I have a number of FFL friends, that is, those who are Federally Licensed to sell Firearms. They tell me stuff. I heard something just now that provided an obvious next step to be brain-stormed and implemented as a Federal program – so that’s it’s consistent throughout the nation – but whose input is especially from local law enforcement vetting “if you see something, say something” information.

The idea would be to have a dedicated web-page with a color coded threat scale for a particular region. People would take a regional threat scale much more seriously than something as generic as North America or the contiguous United States. With the color coding for a local region, no one could game the system and have any certainty of results for any desired fame and notoriety: they said something and the coding changed, but they don’t know why.

What happened is that a guy showed up at an FFL and creeped out my friends so badly that they called law enforcement to listen in ever so nonchalantly to the lengthy conversation. Mind you, these FFL guys had been sworn law enforcement themselves and they’ve seen about everything and don’t get creeped out over nothing. The on-duty guys couldn’t catch out the guy in conversation and so left. But the guy was so creepy, going into the finest detail of the recent shootings, and into the finest detail of what he wanted to be able to do with the most damaging ammo in the most damaging way to the human body that the FFL guys called the on-duty law enforcement guys again.

I’m NOT talking about red-flag laws here. I’m talking about warnings to those who could alert security teams of churches and schools that there is a possible risk in the local region, you know, by color coded levels of threat. Again, just for, say, regions of a state.

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Jesus on “Some people did something”

When I got up this morning, as usual, at 3:00 AM, I played the dispatch chatter above. I’m sure you’ll agree that it sets a certain tone for the day. It’s always stunning to me how steadily calm the dispatch guy is. The only time his voice raises in pitch a bit is when he warning the guys NOT TO TAKE THE ELEVATORS as they are about to fall. He’s knows that his message in split seconds will save lives and he wants to make sure everyone hears what he says clearly. Awesome.

Fake news recently said about events on September 11, 2001 that a plane did something. Poor plane. The plane had nothing to do with it. And it’s not just that some people did something. It’s Islamicist terrorists who murdered thousands of individuals, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers, police and firefighters and medical personnel, thousands of individuals who never did anything to cowardly Islamicist terrorists. We have to say what happened and who did it. It’s never the case, as the Dems would have it, to mockingly ask: “What difference does it make?” But let’s see what Jesus says about this.

Church Attack WNC

It’s in the parable of the prodigal son. The prodigal spent his would-be inheritance before his father died, meaning that he wished his father to just go ahead and drop dead. What an el creepo. Do you think the father didn’t know this, didn’t care? Did the father just say that “someone did something,” and shrug his shoulders? Upon the prodigal’s return, the father, embracing him, said out loud for all the world to hear just how serious the sin of the prodigal was:

“This my son was dead.” The father wanted the son to know that the father knew how serious and personal the sin was, so that the son could appreciate that the father was forgiving the son just that much. This cost the father plenty to do this. The Greek text doesn’t say that the father had compassion or pity when he saw the prodigal returning. It says that the father’s heart was sacrificed. Yep. That’s personal:

sacred hearts

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…

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Giuliani on 9-11

Shares Fr Mychal Judge joke. Hahaha.

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Call 911! Simultaneous church incidents. Confessing situational UN-awareness.

PATRIOTS DAY gotcha.png

We had some sort of emergency in the far back corner of Holy Redeemer Church this past Sunday, September 8, at the end of the offertory of the 11:00 AM Mass. Our entire church can fit into most sanctuaries of most churches, so, the far back corner of the church is, like, merely 25 feet away from the altar.

Someone cried out: “Call 911!” And the chorus of “Call 911!” multiplied in seconds. But there was no noisy commotion. No one said what the emergency was in those first seconds. I hiked it down from the altar to the back of the church in those few seconds. Pastor is as pastor does, right? As I then found out, it was a medical emergency for one of our ushers. In mere seconds, I gave an emergency anointing of the sick to the usher even before they were able to lay him down on the floor. EMS arrived minutes later and our usher is just fine now.

Since our faith family is small, we’re pretty tightly knit, so you can imagine our hearts were entirely in solidarity with our usher. You might say that we were distracted, that anyone bothering to have any situational awareness could now relax as it’s surely impossible that any other critical incident indicators that might present themselves cannot happen, because, you know, emergencies rarely happen, and un-associated and entirely diverse critical incidents never happen at the same time. So, go ahead, let your guard down, right? Wrong.

We immediately continued Mass starting with the Preface. “The Lord be with you!” “And with your spirit!” came the strikingly strong response. I can’t imagine that anyone would or, humanly speaking, could complain about these few seconds given over for the anointing, either time-wise or appropriateness-wise. So, no big deal, right? But something else happened in those few seconds in back of the church which should have had me run after someone so as to get a licence plate without him realizing it, you know, right after that anointing. That would have been logistically pretty easy in our circumstances. But I didn’t do it. Stupid me. Let’s review.

We had an unusually high number of visitors throughout the church. The emergency and the calls to call 911 were happening right in back of a certain visitor, who, unlike the others, did not come with a family. Never seen him before. He was alone [… description removed…]. By the time I got next to that certain visitor who was sitting at the end of the pew in the side aisle in that back corner of the church, with me just about to reach over others to anoint our usher, the visitor guy came out of the end of the pew and simply pushed me into those holding up the usher, that is, out of his own way. The visitor guy then bolted to the front-side door of the church and made good his escape. “Escape…”

The push wasn’t anything violent, but it was forceful enough to get the job done (I’m a pretty big guy), forceful enough that I had to turn to look at him while he bolted out. It was all too surreal. I was instantly all questions about who he was and what he was up to. I watched him until he went out the door next to the sanctuary in, say, four seconds. Whatever about him, I then turned my attention over to the usher so as to get him anointed.

Many are able to keep a sense of situational awareness for a singular critical incident that may take place at any given time, but it is not so easy to be entirely in the midst of one incident while another, entirely un-associated and entirely diverse and utterly unexpected critical incident begins at the same time in the same place. That’s what was happening here. This was an excellent experience easily able to demonstrate lack of readiness. Humility is always needed. To be noted:

  • The visitor was visibly shaken when the calls to call 911 rang out right behind him. A description of his fear from someone who, having turned around in the pew directly in front of him, looking him square in the face, was that he was all worked up in fear, something you can’t do instantaneously. Shock is one thing, freezing up. But being worked up in fear is another thing altogether. This was a fear he was already in the midst of, during which the calls to call 911 took him by surprise. He did NOT turn to see what was happening right in back of him in those first seconds when it was not being said if this was a medical emergency or a law enforcement emergency of some kind. Everyone else turned to see what was happening. That he didn’t turn to see what was going on right behind him is quite impossible. Was it that any medical emergency was insignificant compared to what he himself was about to cause? Did he feel caught out in some way, that someone recognized him?

Recall the discovery of “White Hat”, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two terrorist bombers of the Boston Marathon, now locked up in the ultra-super-max ADX facility in Florence, Colorado. He was the only one who did NOT look at the explosion as it took place on Boylston Street near the finish line of the race. He is the only one who looked away from the explosion, and then made good his escape:

I have the link of that video set to 49:36. Watch until 50:35, just under a minute. This is a lesson in catching out a bad actor. Note how the terrorist guy doesn’t look, but looks away. This is important. Also:

  • The visitor guy quietly said something with quiet deliberate determination as a proclamation to himself, to God, to neighbor, though as a kind of soliloquy:

“No! – I can’t do this! – I have to leave!”

This was not a frantic, panic attack statement, nor a statement issuing from PTSD. It was all quite deliberate, even ever so slightly tinged with anger, but not at any of us, but rather with himself, disappointed, it seems, perhaps, that he had actually decided to do something horrific, but was just now changing his mind. He wasn’t at all in panic-like fear. Nor was he suffering from wartime violent sensory overload and couldn’t bear to see anything anymore even in the form of a non-violent medical emergency. He didn’t know if it was a medical emergency or he was being called out. If he was a bad actor and was just now changing his mind to not do the unthinkable, a medical emergency and calls to 911 would act as a preview of what he himself was about to bring about. He couldn’t take it.

(1) “No!” — This is an answer, voiced for himself to hear physically, regarding an internal agonizing dialogue that he had been having, much longer than just a few seconds.

(2) “I can’t do this!” — The reasoned conclusion isn’t about someone deciding to get over agoraphobia and feeling like a failure, so that he had heroically decided to be in a place as public as a church but was failing in the attempt. No. For all his fear, his words were way too deliberate to be issuing from panic. The reference of “this” is not a reference to a PTSD episode. Again, note that the statement was reasoned and deliberate. He was thinking about doing some thing, not thinking about suffering some episode. He’s entrenching his “No!”

(3) “I have to leave!” — He was a heap of chaotic emotions. IF he was a bad actor – and I’m not saying that he was (I’m just using this as a lesson in situational awareness) – but if he was a bad actor and had repented on the spot, he would want to get himself the heck out of there lest he change his mind. And the dichotomy between what he was seeing in the calm worshiping and his would-be senseless violence was too much to handle in front of others. He needed to be alone to sort things out. Such on the spot repentance is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Good for him. He did it. He did the right thing. This was grace at work. The Holy Spirit working on him. His conscience getting to him. Great!

If that guy is reading this, and I’m wrong about all this, please, accept my apologies. It’s just that this makes for a good lesson in situational awareness. If you’re a good actor, you’ll understand that we can’t be too careful in these weird days of waaaay toooo many critical incidents, and that we have to learn from out-of-the-ordinary behaviors. It’s not you I’m judging. I’m just wondering about the ensemble of indicators. That’s all.

If that guy is reading this, and I’m right about all this, please, know that God loves you and wants you in heaven for ever. Yep. God’s love is more powerful than anything we could ever come up with. He wants us back. Always. If you’re Catholic, Go to Confession! Taking your own life is not allowed. You are not beyond redemption, not beyond salvation. God loves you. We love you. God’s love is more powerful. Don’t hate yourself. Just receive our Lord’s forgiveness. I, for one, would give you a do-able penance for sure. And the secret of any Confession is absolute. This is what we have to be about in this world, helping each other to get to heaven. We can be thankful to the Lord together, for Jesus’ mercy endures forever. Amen.

The time that the visitor guy was noticed in particular and until he left the church was, like, eight seconds. These things take place very quickly.

If there was a scary part, it was that he hesitated, wavered for just a split second before exiting out the side door, like he had to make one final decision not to do something.

Finally: Thanks go to guardian angels.

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Pre-critical-incident forced psych lockup program for would-be active-mass-shooter domestic terrorists already underway? DARPA COMPASS

Google this: DARPA COMPASS. It’s the first entry. This started a while back. The confluence of information replacing the census citizenship question goes a long way to making this happen for those of whatever status in these USA. Algorithms of gaming theory and the OODA Loop can sort out who needs targeting. This seems to be the obvious reference of Trump’s reaction to the El Paso and Dayton shootings on Monday August 5, what his quick due process means. The psych lockup is a dumbed down version. The program usually just gives a target-name to a field operator who terminates the possible terroristic threat. The mere psych lockup for those in these USA makes the program seem a bit more acceptable as a way to do something about mass shootings.

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Death penalty for mass-shootings, “urgent resolve” solutions. But…

Colion Noir is pretty upset at stupidity. Don’t worry. He beeps out the language. It’s worth the watch. Back to Trump. He’s right: racism, bigotry and white supremacy are unacceptable. Besides the immediate death penalty statement, urgent resolve amounts to cyber surveillance, red flag “quick due process” confiscation and restrictions on violent video games. But all those solutions aren’t really solutions, even the quick death penalty thing as these guys often want suicide by cop anyway. Regarding cyber activity, perps tend to go dark when they are about to turn into “some people who do something.” What’s most important can also be what’s also most ignored, that is, follow-up on any “if you see something say something” reporting.

Some people say that we should leave everything up to law enforcement. You know the drill: when seconds count, it takes more seconds or minutes or longer for law enforcement to arrive if they’re urgently busy elsewhere. It took some six minutes for law enforcement to arrive in El Paso. It took 20 seconds for actual engagement of the target to take place in Dayton.

Let’s take the 20 seconds, example. Let’s say that that’s the case every time. Still, when a few seconds count, law enforcement might not be able to stop the threat until 20 to 30 seconds go by. Nine were killed and really very many injured in those tens of seconds.

It takes me about two seconds to accurately put in two to the body and one to the head (the latter being necessary in this case because the guy in Dayton was wearing body armor). Cut that down to one second, one to the head, if I saw the body armor and therefore skipped the two to the body and went straight to the head, you know, only to stop the threat. What it means is that the body count and injury count might have well been drastically much less, and that’s what counts, right? Even if he was wearing an armored mask (hypothetically), there’s no way he won’t be knocked out or totally disoriented by bullets to that mask, smashing the mask against his head.

But I wouldn’t have been there anyway. It’s a gun free zone, meaning a free-for-all killing zone by bad actors looking for soft targets in those gun-free zones.

/////// Motives? Pfft. Not knowing who we are in all reality before God, not having any inkling of how much God loves us. We don’t find out who we are until we are one, as creature in the presence of his Creator, with the Son of the Living God, Christ Jesus. If we don’t know who we are, mayhem breaks out in whatever way. Human life is cheapened with no love, no respect, no goodness, no kindness, no justice, no commandments. People are taught by their schools how to disrespect each other and how to get abortions. Life means nothing after all that. All that is left is aggression, hatred, entitlement to “power.” The shrieking is heard: “Damn thoughts and prayers and damn God too!”

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El Paso Shooter: Strict Segregationalist Coward Cowardly Calling Cowards

ak 47 ammoHe shoots 2 year olds with an AK 47… some elderly, and dozens in between. His manifest [or ma-nə-ˈfe-(ˌ)stō] (a multisyllabic word!) makes a rationalization that he is NOT a coward his for acting so cowardly by claiming that a narcissist that can hide in the crowd of other cowards he hopes will fall in behind him. Uh-huh. “I will never surrender!” he prophesies of himself, thinking he’s a brave coward. He then says: “I surrender.”

He’s isn’t “for” anything but himself.

I wonder if he’s brave enough to look into Mary’s eyes:

pieta

The problem is not knowing one’s identity in Jesus.

Love for God and neighbor is way. It’s the only way.

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CIA: “Show time!” Angels: “Show time!”

The lead picture is from actual footage out of one of the windows of Air Force 1. POTUS was being accompanied by multiple F-16s on September 11, 2001. They were there to protect him.

I can’t even count the times I’ve seen such accompaniment from my own window in a commercial jetliner. Most incidents were on the Stateside termination of transatlantic flights. I’m guessing that this accompaniment was not for the protection of anyone inside, but rather to practice being in place for the downing of a commercial airliner if it suddenly itself became weaponized. A common exercise for the fighter pilots, surely. Some examples:

  • Chicago – O’Hare International Airport: With fuel mostly depleted after such an extra-long flight, we were, instead, put in a rather weird holding pattern. The pilot was punctuating the ticking of the clock with apologies. Five minutes, fifteen, thirty, thirty five… Passengers were getting a bit agitated. The weather wasn’t good. That was the excuse. Until the pilot started expressing some distress about running out of fuel, and that the tower knew that, but would not, not, not give permission to land. I think the pilot brought the fuel thing up like three times. I love flying, so I thought it was all good, especially because of the airshow outside, F-16s to the sides of the plane. Cool! It was stunning to me – I’m so naive – that no one could care less about the cool F-16s. The other passengers were too agitated with the flight attendants who were trying to keep people calm by proffering hope for getting to any connecting flights. These were the days of “mere” highjacking instead of the blowing up of planes or running them into buildings. The F-16 on my side of the plane (the left side) pulled away. Momentarily, another took its place. Just practice, surely. We landed. My connecting flight was to the Wold–Chamberlain Field of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We were diverted mid-flight to what looked to be a small-town airstrip somewhere in a pasture in nowheresville, Wisconsin. After a long delay, everyone was hauled out onto the tarmac. All the luggage came off. Dogs arrived with a multitude of law enforcement… Inside the plane, outside the plane, with the luggage, with us… nothing. That was a fad for some years in my experience anyway. Again and again. Then it was back on the plane. Just training, surely. Great!
  • JFK International Airport: I’ve elsewhere told the story about my involvement when terrorists threatened to blow up a transatlantic flight half way to JFK. I’ll spare you. Needless to say, this was another occasion for accompaniment of a commercial airliner with F-16s. They weren’t there for practice, however. They were waiting for a go-ahead to down the plane if need be. We did land, only to taxi out as far away from the airport as possible, almost in the water of the Atlantic, to be met by a multitude of emergency vehicles and then a storming of the plane by special operators.

I remember the details of these incidents of accompaniment more than the details of others as there were more concomitant circumstances that were… special.

Dad used to train in fighter pilots at Andrews just south of DC as they were putting him through JAG law training at Georgetown University. But how do you train in pilots to down commercial airliners full of innocent American citizens? What’s going through the pilots’ minds and hearts and souls? Unimaginable. But that’s why you train. But the question is always, immediately, Is this just an exercise? And then you hear, No. It’s not. … … … as your heart about stops and then about breaks your ribs pounding so hard.

Analogy: We’re all each of us in crazy changing circumstances every day that are permitted or provided by our Lord who is the Lord of History. He sees all. Our angels see all. We’re expected to be faithful in whatever circumstances, to do what we need to do, whether this means anything from going to heaven when called, promptly, with enthusiasm, or “to protect and serve” as is said. And all in between. Do we think, however, that maybe our circumstances aren’t quite so dramatic, and therefore our faithfulness isn’t really a big deal in those small circumstances, so that – Hey! – we can be politically correct or “get along to get along” or not witness to the goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity that our Lord demands of us every second of every hour of every day?

Here’s the deal: It might be faithfulness in that tiny circumstance that will especially touch the heart and soul of someone and have them turn to the Lord and be on their way to heaven. And that epic saving of a soul is incomparably more dramatic than anything whatsoever that could possibly happen to us in this world. The salvation of souls is about eternity. It’s the small things that are going to draw people in, goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity, always, always, and everywhere, everywhere.

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September 11 2001 The Day

This documentary goes behind the scenes.

Lest we forget.

Half the nation has forgotten, or thinks it’s no big deal, or that merely “some people did something.”

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