Please read the article first and then the rest of the post.
Below him, he saw two men with rifles and what appeared to be ammunition draped over their shoulders. Black cloths were wrapped around their heads. One was shooting at a security guard, the other toward the mall. One of the men looked up at Kamau and raised a hand in the air.
“He screams ‘We are al-Shabaab!’” Kamau told me. “When he said that I repeated to the guys behind me, ‘Did they say al-Shabaab?’”
via Surviving the Westgate Terrorist Attacks in Nairobi, Kenya : The New Yorker.
We can safely say that Westgate Mall is a great example of the expression When The Shit Hits The Fan.
Now, if anybody has Walter Mitty fantasies about solving a situation like that, please discard them right now. When you have 15 to 30 individuals armed to the teeth with full auto AKs and grenades, your Plastic Wonder in 9mm is not the magical solution to end the attack.
But what it will work is a combination with “keeping calm” (or trying to keep your wits about it) and avoiding the bad guys . Both victims and attackers will fall into the confusion created by sensory overload: too many things happening with too many people around with high levels of stress (fear) makes for chaos and it can be used to leave and take yourself to a safe area or find a good hiding spot like the people in the article.
The gun you carry is a tool that may either give you access to an exit point, or defend you from an imminent attack. If in your way to an exit, you happen to bump into a Terr or two, the appropriate and aggressive use of the gun may give you a way to clear the obstructed path. Again, your gun will not be used to bring justice to the unjust world but it is a way to get you the fuck out of the killing zone.
If you have chosen the hiding strategy, the gun may give you an option if your location is about to be or is discovered. If the Terrs are being cocky (as they usually are when they think they have a nice big herd of pasture animals ready for the slaughter) you can with an (again) appropriate and aggressive use of the gun to send them to the Other Side. You may have now a chance to either remain hidden, look for another hole or initiate escape.
You may have noticed this expression repeated & bold: appropriate and aggressive use of the gun.
I’ll wait for another post to make it clear to those who may have doubts. (You can now read what I mean by appropriate and aggressive use of the gun) Right now I want you once again to go back, read the article and mentally prep yourself by coming up with a strategy.
In incidents like that, you are not going for accolades, medals and a 15 minute spot in Oprah. Your prize is to keep yourself and your loved ones alive. Like this woman did.
10 thoughts on “Surviving the Westgate Terrorist Attacks: Read, Process & File for future reference.”
Re the heading description in the comment field: “Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .” If cussing isn’t appropriate in the comments (which it isn’t), what makes it appropriate in the article…? Aside from that, I appreciate the mindful thoughts shared.
Miguel is asking us to keep our swearing to the level of, say, Iron Man, instead of Jay and Silent Bob or Eminem.
Damn…that is well put.
And just where, Faint Lady, is the “cussing” you speak of?
“TSHTF” is hardly cussing, and nothing Miguel wrote is cussing, so your observation, however true for all- not just here- is totally off the wall. Besides, it’s miguel’s blog, if he wants to cuss his ass off, it’s his right- yours is to read or not, but not to tell him how to run his version of the First Amendment. Of course, you can have your 1-A rights as well, but make them appropos.
: to an excessive degree
I am not a sophisticated, cultured, pipe-in-mouth-patches-on-elbows kind of guy so don’t expect deep thoughts with $20 words (No Blazing Saddles references people!). But I do understand that the proper application of a cuss word at a proper time will cut through the fog of BS and make a much needed point.
Note the woman at the leather goods kiosk; she had a plan before the attack. A plan for something different, but she had a plan and she executed it without hesitation. And she’s still alive.
You make a good point. Planning ahead when is calm saves time and blood when it is not calm.
Bear in mind is that if/when the police show up, they’re going to be scared with adrenalin cranked up to 11, too. Remember the pics you posted yesterday of customers leaving with their hands in the air?
Everyone leaving is going to be under suspicion and they might well take a dim view of you having a gun. You might be held in detention, arrested or flat out killed on sight. Like the Las Vegas Costco incident back in ’10 where the guy was killed after being given conflicting orders by different cops, such that he couldn’t possibly comply with them?
If the stories of the torture and murders of the hostages that fell into their hands are true; then the use of your gun, knife or a blunt object in hopeless circumstances may be better than falling into their hands. It happened in Beslan and Mumbai too.
That said, the stores in the malls around here are designed with rear exits into a utility corridor, usually from a store room. Next time you are out, look around. Look for the Fire Exit signs, the doors to the utility corridors, the back stairs, and ask “What If?” They may be using them too, but there are only likely to be a few attackers, and a mall is a big, big, place, with lots of exits, loading docks, and back rooms.
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