6 Takeaways From the Paris Terrorist Attacks That Could Save Your Life


As you all probably know by now, multiple terrorist attacks have been acted out throughout different parts of the world within the last few months –

Kenya, Afghanistan, Beirut, and Paris with Paris being the most publicized. The last time I wrote about something like this was in regard to the Boston Marathon bombing back in April of 2013. It doesn’t seem like it has already been 2.5 years since then. These are all evil acts performed by evil men; however, there are lessons to be learned from this tragedy.

1. No place is inherently safe.
Going to a concert on a Friday night seems harmless enough with some drunk people as your main safety concern right? Well, that’s what they thought in Paris, and you know how that ended. 129 dead. 352 wounded. This is a reminder to always be on your guard. Places that you might think are especially safe – U.S. Embassies, the Pentagon, etc. – might be even more of a target because we typically believe those types of places to be safer than normal. The moment you let your guard down for a second is all the enemy needs to strike.

2. Everyone is a potential threat.

New reports are coming out about one of the alleged attackers. He grew up in a small town a short drive away from downtown Paris. I’m sure all of his neighbors and family members are in shock. He looked like them, talked like them, grew up with them – how could he be a terrorist? Terrorists come in all sorts of nationalities and backgrounds. Ever heard of “Jihadi John?” Up until last week, he was a British national turned high profile terrorist beheading hostages. You can Google dozens of stories where natural-born Americans turn terrorists and move to the Middle East to fight on the side of ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. Don’t assume just because you work with, grew up with, or live beside certain people that they won’t do you harm. To quote General (Retired) Mattis, “Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” Personally, I’m not going to literally make a plan to kill everyone, but I will keep in the back of my mind that every person I meet is a potential threat.

3. Your hometown could be the next Paris.
ISIS released a “kill list” shortly after the attacks on Paris naming different cities that they were going to hit next. Here’s my question – were Paris, Kabul, Beirut, Benghazi on hit lists before the attacks? These terrorists may very well plan on attacking the cities they named, but it could also very easily be a diversion. Do not for one second think that just because they named a city 100 miles from you means that they won’t show up on your streets.

4. These attacks were well planned with one intention – killing as many people as possible.
There were three separate attacks in France on the same day. At least 8 people have been indentified as the attackers. Of the 129 people killed, most of them were originally taken hostage inside the concert hall. Every single hostage was then systematically executed with no remorse or concern for human life. There’s a difference between your common bank robber and these scum. In a bank robbery, their goal is usually to get in, get the cash, and get out, so your best chance of survival would be to go along with what they say and remain calm. When people just come in guns blazing, you know they do not care if you live or die. Do not surrender. Do not go down without a fight. Your only hopes for staying alive are to get out, hide, or fight back. I beg you – do not surrender in this kind of situation. They will show no mercy.

5. To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.
That is a quote from George Washington that still holds true today. Take self-defense classes. Get your concealed handgun license. Go to the shooting range and/or take classes on how to shoot properly. Make a bug out plan. Create supply caches in strategic areas around your home or along the route to your bug out location. No good person will truly want to kill another human being, but not being prepared to fight to the death to protect yourself and your family is a mistake that could get you all killed.

6. What would you have done?
You’re enjoying your favorite band at your local concert hall. Gun fire erupts and sounds like a daisy chain of

fire crackers going off. People start screaming and running in every direction. You see people falling to ground covered in blood. Suddenly, you spot a masked man wearing dark clothes, a vest, and see the muzzle flash from his gun. What do you do? Not sure? Too late – you’re dead. Run different scenarios like that through your head for every place you go. I go more in depth on different tactics to surviving a mass shooting like this here. The best thing you can do right now is to start thinking about how you would react in different situations and practice what you can – do bug out runs, go to the shooting range, etc. No life and death situation will ever be the same. Training and thinking ahead will increase your odds of surviving.

photo credit: Eiffel Tower, another view. via photopin (license)

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