OP-ED: Keep Your Head On A Swivel

JB Shurk: This is an essay about survival. We should be living our lives today with an expectation that something bad will soon happen. That feeling should not dominate our existence or preclude us from pursuing rich and joyful lives, but it should keep us mentally vigilant and physically prepared before disaster strikes.



n this Obama-Biden America of open borders, out-of-control violent crime, economic fragility, and international provocations, it is only a matter of time before conflicts abroad become conflicts at home.  It is vitally important to keep your head on a swivel.

The October 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israeli civilians serve as a shocking reminder that evil is raring to go when & where people are least likely to expect it. One second, concertgoers were enjoying festival music, the next second they were struggling to escape slaughter. One moment, families were asleep in their beds, and the next moment gunmen were breaking into their homes. Life-and-death situations require critical thinking without the luxury of time; therefore, those who have already mentally prepared for the worst will put themselves in the best position to prevail.

Unfortunately, Americans are at a disadvantage today because they have been conditioned to depend entirely upon government institutions for protection. A culture which values strength and self-reliance produces citizens who are capable of defending themselves when necessary. A culture which embraces victimhood, views masculinity as “toxic,” finds language to be “triggering,” and insists that only government agents should be armed with weapons is a culture ripe for swift defeat.  

Furthermore, too many official U.S. Government policies are intentionally geared toward harming Americans. No sane nation interested in the safety of its citizens would open its borders to tens of millions of illegal aliens, refuse to prosecute violent criminals, or secretly resettle anti-American, military-aged “refugees” into unsuspecting American communities. No sane nation wastes its resources harassing patriotic citizens as “domestic enemies,” while turning a blind eye to the damage caused by Antifa and BLM riots and the very real threats from Islamic terrorism.  

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FBI Director Wray admitted just the other day that his agency is not tracking “currently operating” foreign terror cells in the United States, that “the gaps in our intelligence are real, and that’s something we have concerns about.”  At this point, nobody is denying that foreign terrorists are using America’s illegal immigration crisis to slip into the country. During Biden’s time in office, border patrol officers have “encountered” nearly seven million immigrants, while over two million “known gotaways” evaded initial detection. Tens of thousands of Middle Easterners have successfully entered the country illegally. In 2023 alone, nearly one thousand people on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist have been apprehended, but nobody knows the true scope of terrorist “gotaways.”  

The cold, hard truth is this: through its open border policies and refugee resettlement programs, the Federal Government is actively aiding and abetting the next terrorist attack on the United States. The FBI has proved time and again that it has no interest in preventing Islamic terrorism inside America’s borders. While it directs its funding resources and agents’ time toward targeting Trump supporters for their political beliefs, it has repeatedly failed to act on intelligence that would have prevented every Islamic terror attack since 9/11. Neither the FBI nor the larger Intelligence Community is motivated by the prospect of saving American lives.

Why would the U.S. Government see Americans as expendable? The most straightforward answer is that it does not serve the American people but is instead interested exclusively in expanding its own powers. What 9/11 confirmed for the Intelligence Community is that even its worst failures can be used to institute unconstitutional laws, such as the Patriot Act, which only serve to broaden government authority. In the subsequent two decades, the Federal Government has created a complex surveillance system that enables it to spy on every citizen of the United States. Not only has freedom been foolishly traded for the promise of security, but also that promise proved to be a lie.  

Every attack on American citizens is another excuse to disarm them, monitor and censor their speech. The Federal Government has a vested interest in enabling terrorism: it provides a prepackaged rationale for eliminating Americans’ First, Second and Fourth Amendment rights. Concomitantly, the Federal Government has a vested interest in targeting Trump supporters as “domestic extremists” as they represent the largest group of Americans fighting for the preservation of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

That said, the danger of our situation is stark: the U.S. Government cannot be trusted to protect Americans. We are on our own. Accept this fact and plan accordingly.

Situational awareness has never been more important. Be leery of large public gatherings, especially those in gun-free zones. Approach every new setting with caution. Immediately do two things: (1) locate every available exit, and (2) if you are not already in possession of a weapon, identify what you could use in a pinch. A sturdy glass jar or bottle is just as deadly as a brick. If you can legally carry a firearm, do so. If you are comfortable with a knife, carry one that locks into place. If you are uncomfortable with both firearms and knives, wear a thick belt with a weighty buckle. Not only does a belt make an ideal tourniquet, but also it can be used as both a whip to keep an attacker at bay or as something to wind around your wrist and forearm for protection.

Always think about your footwear. Before heading out in flip-flops or high heels, ask yourself if you are prepared to run away from danger. Even when in a car, make sure you have appropriate footwear. Should you be forced to flee your vehicle, however far away you are from home might be the distance you will be trekking during a serious emergency.

Spend time discussing various scenarios with your family. Should communication networks go down, know exactly where each member will go during an emergency.  Should home base no longer be a safe option, have a backup location where everyone knows to go. Plan ahead, so that you are not scrambling during chaos.

Organize gear and supplies for three different emergencies: (1) a “Get Home Bag” that will help you should you be stranded; (2) a “Go Bag” that provides you with the tools, medicines, and money to last about a day, and (3) a “Bug Out Bag” that includes sufficient food and resources for potable water to survive at least three days. Have these ready to go at a moment’s notice.

For most people, home is a much more secure retreat during an emergency than facing potential dangers on the road. That being the case, now is the time to stock up and fortify your castle. Expect loss of electricity, heat, and running water. Know exactly how many weeks (hopefully months) of food and prescription medicines you have on hand. Know how you will get water. Know how you will stay warm. Know how you will defend yourself and your loved ones from home invasion. Think through everything today, so that executing contingency plans during an emergency becomes second nature.

Run away from danger whenever possible. Barricade yourself behind closed doors if you must hide. If you have no other choice, fight for your life. Make an attacker pay dearly. Work with others to overwhelm any threat. Be decisive and fight dirty. Make yourself a risky target. Do not expect government help; you must be prepared to defend your own life. ✪


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