If Americans were worried that those pushing gun control in Washington, and in the Obama administration, have unrealistic expectations about what is necessary for self defense, then a recently released video by the Department of Homeland Security seems unlikely to placate them.
The video, titled "Options for Consideration," and released January 25th of this year, details what are meant to be acceptable responses to "active shooter situations" of the type seen at Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, and at the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Curiously, the video omits mention of the Aurora shooting, though it was filmed before Sandy Hook.
DHS's recommended responses to such shootings, demonstrated in a generic office setting, include the obvious instructions to try to either evacuate the area, or hide someplace the shooter won't think to look, while also warning innocent bystanders in such situations that it is necessary to follow the instructions of police officers and other law enforcement personnel who appear on the scene.
This much of the video is relatively non-controversial. However, there is one particular portion that may prompt derisive chuckles from self-defense advocates. The passage occurs at roughly 1:45 in the video, during which the narrator of the video suggests, "If you are caught out in the open, and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available."
The image shown at this point is as follows:
This particular bit of advice has already attracted some attention. The New York Post reports the pushback:
Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, said he has a better option for consideration than a pair of scissors when confronting an armed mass murderer — a legal firearm.
“That’s why I prefer a gun, and I usually do carry a gun when it is lawful to do so,” said Feldman. “Clearly, you use whatever you can” to fight for your life, he said.
So if scissors are all you’ve got, grab them by all means.
The video is part of the Obama administration’s ongoing campaign to reduce firearm violence in the wake of the horrific mass murder last month of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Conn., said a Homeland Security official.
Given that the video was apparently released to coincide with Obama administration proposals on gun control, the fact that it makes mention of self-defense at all is surprising. However, suggesting that self-defense with scissors and other improvised weapons might be a valid option while neglecting to mention the idea of carrying a firearm for preparedness arguably heightens the omission of the latter.
Watch the video for yourself, below: