Be Terrifying


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Years ago, my wife and I associated with a group of people based on a common interest. It doesn’t matter what it was. What matters, though, is that despite sharing this one interest, we also socialized in general.

Well, until one day when my wife and I got an email asking us to meet up with a couple of the crowd at a local park.

I was deemed a threat. They were scared of me. Why? I liked guns and to shoot. I competed in matches. No one ever expressed a desire to do anything dangerous or anything, but the only real explanation was because I was too scary.

This morning, I woke up with a reminder of just why I want to be scary.

By now, I suspect most of you have heard about what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand.

I’m not getting into the politics that led to such a vicious, brutal, and senseless attack. I’m not getting into the politics of the aftermath, either.

Instead, I’m talking about becoming terrifying and how it can save your life.

Melodramatic much?

Yeah, it sounds melodramatic, but the truth is that in the event of a mass shooting, especially like what took place in New Zealand, you’re far better off fighting than just rolling over and waiting to die.

If you’re a terrifying person–legitimately terrifying and not just someone that makes sensitive types clutch their pearls over–you stand a much better chance of surviving.

Killers like these jackasses have the advantage. They pick the time and place for the attack. They have the initiative. That means you have to have the advantage in some other way if you want to win the day.

Waiting until that day, though, isn’t exactly a winning strategy. You need to get ready now in the remote possibility that you may need to be in the future.


That’s the big question, right?

The truth is, there are many paths to achieve this, like there in most things, but the first thing you need to do is embrace the understanding that it’s not just one or two things you need to do.

It’s not enough to take up shooting or to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s not enough to learn how to find multiple exits or sit facing the door.

Instead, it’s about a holistic approach to dealing with threats. It’s training like a Barbarian. Once you understand that violence isn’t something to be shunned, once you embrace it as a potential in your life, you start to shape your world.

You don’t hide from the world and pretend everything is going to be fine. What you do is step up and start internalizing that. Make it part of your world.

Don’t let it rule you, but simply make it conscious and internalize the idea that you do these things as part of who you are, then go about your life once the habit sets in.

Look at all the ways violence happens and learn how to deal with it should it happen through physical training. Study the means to fight back. Learn about the psychological and physiological impacts of violent encounters. Wargame options available should you find yourself in a bad situation.

I’m not about to say that you should make this your whole life or anything. I’ve said before not to go down that road. But you do need to make it a part of your life.

If, God forbid, you find yourself in a situation like those people in Christchurch, New Zealand, act. Act quickly and decisively.

Chances are, you won’t. Even if you have a violent encounter, it’s not likely to be anything quite like that. But on the same token, if you’re ready, you’re read.

Be ready. Be terrifying.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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