Acts Of Manliness

My internal monologue gone external. Thoughts and ideas put on paper regarding the dearth of true heroes in the world; liberty & freedom; my responses to current trends and tragedies as well as commentary about the State of the Union.

To The Man Who Killed My Mother

She was taken from us on March 14th, 1999.

Pi day. A day of whimsical merriment in the minds of many nerds and a great sales day for many bakeries and pastry shops across the world.

For our family though, it holds a different meaning.

Some days are harder than others, but no single day holds any more hurt or pain than any other, even the anniversary date.

Mom, I miss you.

I wish I had been able to give you one last hug, tell you one last time how much you mean to me, or how much I love you.

You wouldn’t believe how much you have missed in the years since you were taken from us. All three of us are married and you now have three beautiful grandchildren.

The kids will never know how amazing you were, they will never be hugged by you, they’ll never have you be there for their little league games, ballet recitals, graduations or marriages.

I only knew you for 15 years, but those remain the most formative years of my life.

It feels like Jackson will soon be the same age I was when you were taken from us – time just moves so fast. He’s five now. Emily will soon be four. Rachel, Daniel and Abby’s little girl, will have her first birthday this summer.

I love you and I miss you. And I know that I am a better person for having had you as my mom.

To the man who killed my mother:

David Andres,

Today dawned upon us like any other, the sun slowly moved across the sky from east to west and soon it will set and another day will begin for us all.

16 years ago your decisions resulted in the death of one of the most wonderful people to ever grace this planet with her presence. An amazing person was murdered. By you.

Whatever was going on in your life apparently was so horrible that you decided to drink yourself into oblivion and then go screaming down the freeway in what amounted to a small monster truck.

The troopers said that your blood alcohol level was .32 – after you had been taken from the scene and to the hospital. Who knows how drunk you really were.

You killed her and literally walked away – you suffered minor injuries and your prison sentence seemed like a slap in the face to those of us who would have to deal with the trauma and aftermath.

I had to learn how to walk again. My family had to learn how to laugh again. We had to learn how to be happy again. It took us years to begin to recover and will spend the rest of our lives wondering what might have been.

I barely remember the court room appearances or the sentencing. I do, however, remember vividly the next time I would encounter you in my life.

I didn’t even know you had been released from prison when I answered that 911 call. You were terrified: a meth-crazed junkie was trying to kick down your door to do who-knows-what. As I asked you for your name and address it clicked: “I’m talking to the man who killed my best friend.”

For what seemed like an eternity, but was likely only fractions of a second, I contemplated simply hanging up the phone and walking away. Let that tweaker do whatever he wanted to you – he deserves it, doesn’t he?

Then you told me that you were alone in the house with just your children and had no means by which to defend them if this animal made it into your home.

David, do you know how badly I wanted to turn my back on you and let you be killed?

It was your children who saved your life that day and you never knew it. They didn’t deserve to be hurt or to live their lives without their father.

The same way my father didn’t deserve to have his best friend taken from him and the way my brother and sister and I didn’t deserve to have our mother killed.

I dispatched a Jefferson County deputy and a Port Townsend officer to your house and, after fighting with the suspect, they took him to jail.

I don’t know where you are or who you’ve become over the past 16 years, but I do know one thing:

David Andres…… I forgive you.

http://web.kitsapsun.com/archive/1999/03-16/0004_fatal_accident__church_community_.html

Tales from the Radio

I just started a new blog about my life and experiences as a 911 operator and dispatcher over the past decade.  Check it out at Tales from the Radio and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button!

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

I was speechless and I was devastated.  I was broken inside when that thought first came into my mind and echoed there for what felt like an eternity.  Yet it wasn’t I who was speechless.  It was my son.  My little boy.

As I drove home from work a little over a year ago my wife, Jennifer, called and delivered to me news that would break any parent’s heart: our son probably had what we would later learn was called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, or CAS.  CAS is a motor speech disorder in which the developing brain is unable to create a pathway to communicate with the jaw, tongue and lips.  In essence, while a child knows what they want to say, the ability to deliver that message from the brain to the mouth is interrupted.

Will we ever talk about cars, or space, or God?

Little is known about why CAS occurs or who it chooses to affect.  However, what is known is that on occasion, some children never develop the ability to speak clearly or articulately.  They live with speech impediments and, in extreme cases, never speak at all.

When Jackson was only a couple months old my wife and I noticed that he wasn’t babbling or jabbering the way we thought he should.  His “baby talk” was missing certain sounds and he never really developed the ability to create certain combinations of consonants and vowels.  Frequently he would substitute one sound for another, using the language development that he did have in place of the proper and correct sounds.  Silently we both wondered, what was wrong with our precious little boy?  Why wasn’t he talking and babbling the way other children his age were?

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

These silent fears were easily explained away as, in our joy as parents, we simply overlooked any issues.  I would say to myself, “Oh, he’s just taking a little longer to develop than other kids.” Or, “It’s not a big deal; his older brother was a late talker, too!”  In my desire to be the father of “just another normal boy”, it became easy to justify and rationalize to myself why he wasn’t talking and developing speech at the rate that he should.

At his two year annual physical, Jackson’s pediatrician recommended that we explore speech therapy as a way to develop and nurture his speaking ability.  At that time we weren’t sure what was causing his delay in speech and neither was his doctor.  The pediatrician mentioned that there were any number of causes for a delay in speech development and Jackson could likely benefit a great deal from it.  In every other way he was developing perfectly: he was right where he was supposed to be on every chart from height and weight to physical motor skills to his cognitive abilities.  Jackson clearly understood things that were being said to him and was able to do all the things other children his age could do: he could follow directions, he could pick out objects that were spoken about in books, he could feed himself, he could run and jump and play with the best of them and he could throw some tantrums to make any other toddler jealous!  What he was lacking however, was the ability to articulate what he so clearly wanted to say.

When, oh when, will you tell me that you don’t like eating broccoli?*

As Jackson was growing older and he was exposed to other children his age we noticed that often times he would play alone and not join in with the larger groups.  At the mall play areas and on the playground, he was always on the other side of the jungle gym from the crowd and if the group would move in his direction, he would deftly and quietly move away from them.  He never cried or whined about it, he just nonchalantly drifted the other direction.  As we would watch from a distance my wife and I would reason to ourselves and one another: “Oh, we’re both introverted people and always the wall flowers in crowds, Jack is just uncomfortable in large groups, too.”  It became easier and easier to explain away why it was that he never seemed comfortable around other children.  Even as they laughed, played and hollered in glee, Jackson would quietly climb and jump and slide, never joining in the group as a whole.

In a one on one environment or in a group of people that Jackson was familiar with, he would communicate by pointing and grunting.  We, the adults in his life, would then begin a grand guessing game, trying to figure out what it was that he wanted.  “Do you want juice? Do you want to read?  Do you want to get another toy?”  and so on until he nodded his approval after we finally guessed correctly at what it was that he was wanting.

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

We began to introduce sign language to Jackson and he readily learned, picking signs up quickly and using them to great success.  It was clear to us and to the doctor that his understanding and reasoning was excellent.  Why then, would he not talk to us?  Didn’t he know how much I longed to hear him tell me that he loved me?  Why, oh why, oh why, won’t you talk to me, Jackson?  My son, I want so badly to hear your voice!  Just once, I would pray, just once to hear him say, “good night, daddy” or “more juice, please, mommy!”

Instead, the only words that we heard were those that easily indicate frustration or anger.  Those words that, as my wife and I learned, came from a different place in the brain.  Jackson could say “no” very easily.  He could also yell and cut loose on us with a tantrum of all sorts of consonant and vowel combinations in his frustration and anger.  Why then, we would wonder, can he not use those combinations to form words and complete sentences?

Are you ever going to be able to ask to watch Toy Story for the sixteenth time this week?

As we began to look for a speech therapist for Jackson we also began to learn about how speech and language development worked in the human brain.  While I silently fumed at the world about how unfair it was that my son couldn’t speak, my wife began to read about language and to educate herself on early childhood development.  Her innumerable hours combing the internet and speaking with speech language pathologists found her some of the answers, which she patiently and lovingly relayed to me.  She told me that when a person or child is upset or frustrated, the communication that is able to be channeled outward in loud outbursts or yelling comes from a different place in our brain than does the language that we use for effective communication.  When we yell or scream in anger, rage, sadness or frustration, those words take a different path to exit our mouths than the language that we use to speak to one another in normal conversation.

During Jen’s quest to find the best speech and language development training for Jackson, she found Birth to Three.  Birth to Three is an organization in King County, Washington that specializes in children who have developmental delays from, as the name says, birth to the age of three.  After an initial consultation with several speech language pathologists (SLP) which involved them talking to and with both Jackson and us (which he saw as lots and lots of playing) a learning plan was developed.  Jackson would meet with an SLP twice a week and she would begin to work with him, coaching him and teaching those parts of speech that he was struggling with.

Just say train!!!!  Why won’t you say train?  Why do you say choooo chooooo?

His SLP began coming to our home routinely and would work with him in all manner of ways.  Primarily by playing with toys she began to coach Jackson in how to formulate sounds and words.  It was incredible to watch, and in turn, learn how the development of speech happens.  Those words and sounds that we both use and misuse so many hundreds and thousands of times per day all must begin somewhere and some place.  Jackson, after nearly two years, had not developed many of the tools of speech that we take for granted every waking hour.  Most of us grow, and in the earliest and most formative of months of our lives we watch those around us speak and watch how their mouths and lips move in order to formulate sounds and words.  Jackson, however, had watched all of this, seeing his mom and I talk, listening to his grandparents speak, his brother telling him how much he loved him and yet, he had not been able to make his mouth work the same way.

Imagine how immensely frustrating a process that must have been!  To know and to understand so clearly what it was that you wanted to say yet to be so utterly helpless to communicate back to those who are around you.  Jackson knew what it was that he wanted to say, but was helpless to say it.  He knew by sight what everything was but couldn’t speak the word itself.  As he tried to adapt and make do in the world around him he began to substitute sounds for words: when he saw a dog, he would say, “Woof woof!” or when he saw a car or truck he would say, “Vrooooom!”

Will we ever be able to talk about why the designated hitter is a bad idea?

As he worked with his SLP he began to develop the building blocks of our English language and began to use them.  Jen and I were delighted to see him learn and grow and to use his sounds more and more proficiently.  Yet the process was agonizingly slow.

Then came the news.  While at our home on her routine visit, Jack’s SLP shared with Jen her concern.  She tried in every way to let us know that it was something that could be dealt with via sufficient intensive therapy sessions, but she was concerned that Jackson’s speech delay was something greater than the normal slow-to-speak issue common with young children.  Her thoughts were that he could possibly have Childhood Apraxia of Speech, which differs from normal speech delays in that it will not go away on its own.  CAS is a condition that he will carry with him forever and will, likely, always have some effect on his life.  Jen asked, as every parent would, what this meant.  She shared with Jen that in some cases children have never developed the ability to speak normally.

The meeting ended at the normal time and Jen promptly called me, nearly in tears.  I could tell instantly that something was bothering her a great deal, and she relayed to me what she had been told.  I asked what the end result could be.  When she told me, my first, and only, thought was:

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

What kind of unfair world was this, I asked myself.  Inside I raged and seethed, not knowing what to say to my wife.  I don’t recall what, if anything at all, I said.  I simply remember arriving home and hugging both my wife and son as I had never hugged them before.

After spending a few selfish hours wondering why me, why us and how are we going to deal with this situation, reality began to dawn on me.  Why was I feeling like this was the end of the world?  It’s not like my son had been taken from us.  No, he was the same little boy that he had been earlier in the day and he was the same little boy that he was always going to be.  And my wife and I now had a quest.  We had a mission and we now knew what the enemy was.  All that remained was a strategy of how to defeat this dragon that had arisen.

When will he be able to talk with me?

Now armed with a preliminary set of information, we set about learning everything we could about CAS.  We read and read and read, we asked questions and we scheduled appointments.  We took Jackson in to his pediatrician who spoke with us openly and frankly and gave us some great peace of mind when he told us that he had never had a CAS patient who never spoke.  Every single one of them developed speech and language skills through vigorous therapy and practice.

So practice we did.  At home, at grandma and grandpa’s house, at Target, in the car, and in line at the super market, we would work with Jackson, coaching him in his language development.  No longer would pointing and grunting be sufficient, we were now on a mission to help him develop beyond the CAS limitations.  Our overall goal was to help him learn the skills he would need later in life to function fluidly in this bitter world.  The last thing that the world needed was a gap in his armor in which vulnerabilities could be exploited.  Life can be hard enough without giving some ignorant fool the ammunition with which they could hurt him.

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

We increased Jackson’s speech therapy sessions to three times a week, extending the sessions from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and at home we worked and worked and worked.  Some days went better than others.  There were days where he was either too tired to really work hard pronouncing things and his frustration would show.  On “school days”, as we referred to the days when he had speech therapy, we would bring him home and he would be exhausted; sometimes so much that he was asleep before we had buckled him into his car seat.  But the progress he was making was incredible!

By this time Jackson was attending group speech therapy classes at Holly Ridge Center in Bremerton, Washington.  How they changed his life!  Through patient and exhausting classroom sessions, the teachers and instructors worked with Jackson and other children his age at mastering the basics and fundamentals of speech.

Will I ever hear you read me a story, son?

Slowly his vocabulary grew.  From five words to ten words, and then to twenty, and then to forty, and then fifty!  As Jackson learned to speak new words, one at a time, he would first form them slowly, hesitantly.  There were some words that he would speak aloud just once, then it would disappear into the recesses of his mind for a day or two, sometimes a week.  Then, suddenly, BLAM!  There it was, in regular, every day usage.  It was as if he had to try it out once or twice, then internalize and study it and figure out the right time to surprise me or Jen or his grandparents.  And surprise us he did!  Over and over he brought out new words, adding to his repertoire words that were slowly increasing in difficulty.  Multiple syllable words, of course, being more difficult for him to master than one or two syllable words, they were few and far between in the beginning.  Now though…..

Now, he just won’t stop.  He’s a diesel engine: slow to warm up and get running, but once that fire was lit, it never died.  Jackson is now speaking in near full sentences and can make himself understood by complete strangers, some of whom will never know that they encountered a child with a speech delay.  His hard work pays dividends every single day and it is amazing to watch him smile as he knows he is able to communicate better and better with every speech therapy session and every new word he learns to say.

I will never hear my little boy say, “I love you, daddy.”

There are words and sounds that Jackson still struggles with, but he doesn’t back down or shy away from any challenges.  He tries and tries and tries again to find just the right placement for his tongue, how to align his lips in order to make that oh so small change necessary for the right sounds to come out in the right order.  He’s always surprising us with his ability to learn and master new things, and when Jen or I worry about something, he’s quick to use his new favorite phrase, “No worries mom, no worries!”

So, in the end, it really is about no worries.  Jackson is going to be just fine.  He’s going to learn to adapt and overcome whatever it is that life sees fit to throw his way.  This dragon that he has stared right in the eye and still fights against will lose to him.  His tenacity and work ethic are being formed and refined even now, just as his speech is developing.  As he learns and grows, he teaches me every day to never under estimate what a three year can do.  If he can overcome this at such a young age, what will he overcome next year or ten years from now?  How about twenty?

Son, why won’t you tell me “Good night!”?

Three days ago as I prepared to leave for work, Jackson came up to me, as he often does, and smiled.  I paused for a moment and looked him in the eye and asked him, “What do you need, bud?”  I was expecting him, as he does most times, to ask me for juice or to watch Mickey Mouse or for some popcorn.  I was perplexed as he didn’t say anything at all.  He just stood there, looking up at me, smiling.  I knelt down and looked into his eyes and, as he maintained the biggest grin I’ve ever seen, he said to me, “I love you, daddy.”

I have heard my little boy say, “I love you, daddy!”

 

 

*Jackson loves broccoli

Today’s act of manliness: Persevere, no matter how hard those days are.  And always remember, “No worries!”

 

To My Daughter

Oh how I love you, little one.

I fear for you.

I worry, I cry,

and I wonder: why?

Why was I the one

who God so richly blessed?

Why am I the one

to whom you give such blind trust?

If you only knew, my dear

how every day I fear.

How will I protect you?

How will I guide you?

How will I teach you?

When I have yet to find my own way.

Your laugh, your smile,

your blond curly hair.

Your big blue eyes

and that freckle on our left feet that we both share!

So alike,

yet still so unique.

When first I held you in my arms

one June day not so long ago,

you looked into my eyes

and were the greatest gift

that any man could hope to receive.

Your laughs, your giggles and your squirmy little squeals.

These are the sounds

that I love to hear.

You are a miracle, my precious little girl.

Your smile shines brighter than this whole world.

I take this pledge, this vow, this solemn promise.

To do my best to earn your love,

each and every day.

To tell you how much you mean to me,

in everything I say.

Always remember, my sweet little girl:

When you are sad, and when you are lonely,

I was there from the beginning,

and I will never leave your side.

When your heart is broken

and people are at their worst,

You are my little girl and I loved you first.

Today’s acts of manliness: love your children unconditionally, for it is how they love you.

To My Congressman and Senators:

Senators Murray and Cantwell and Congressman Kilmer,

In the hours to follow my penning this letter to you, it is possible that the landscape of America may be changed forever.  And not for the better.

President Obama has made it clear that unilateral action in the form of an Executive Order is, to him, an acceptable course of action regarding the disarmament of the Citizens of the United States of America. 

This idea cannot be entertained, tolerated or allowed in any way, shape or form.  You, Senator Murray, are our elected voice in the government of the United States.  Mr. Obama represents a separate yet equal branch of the government.  It’s all about checks and balances and this type of misguided attempt at singlehandedly usurping the natural rights of all people is exactly why the Founders framed this nation as a Republic, not as a monarchy.  Consequently, they laid out the Bill of Rights which made quite clear those Rights that they feared would be trampled first and, by name, enumerated them for all to see and hear.  There can be no mistaking why they saw fit to provide us with the text of the Second Amendment: it is not about target shooting or hunting, it was expressly articulated to protect the people from an oppressive government.

Senator Murray, I urge you to stand with the citizens of the United States and make your voice heard loudly in the halls of the Capitol: there will be no disarmament of the American people.  To this end, there should be no further restrictions placed upon magazine capacity, cosmetic features, or types of arms allowed to be built, sold or imported.

Gun control, as it is incorrectly called, is yet another step down the road toward tyranny.  When governments forget where their power is derived (from the consent of the governed ie, the Citizens) and begin to pass laws and decrees depriving their citizens of their natural rights, they begin to tread dangerously. 

I do not want any sort of rebellion or revolt to occur in this great land of ours.  Unfortunately, with the recent declarations and usurpations that have been handed down from on high (read: Washington, DC) I fear that there are those in this country moving toward that end.  People will not stand idly by as the Republic is systematically looted and turned into yet another Marxist and socialist state.  The Declaration of Independence makes it quite clear that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.  Ma’am, I fear that we are dangerously close to crossing the line in the sand that delineates light and transient causes from absolute Despotism and tyranny. 

The history of the present President of the United States of America is building a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

You were elected to be the voice of the people in Washington.  Please be that voice and make yourself heard.  Do not allow yourself to be overridden by another branch of the government.  Be the check and balance that offsets the current holder of the office of the President.

I will continue to make my voice known to you and to the other representatives of our great state of Washington, for it is my earnest belief that change is best accomplished through a polite and proper discourse and dialogue.  Hopefully, with luck and God on our side, we can effect a positive change in the halls of our government and correct the wayward course this country seems to be spiraling toward.  Maybe, in the course of a generation or so, we can restore this country to the greatness that it once held and restore the liberty and freedom the citizens are owed by their natural and unalienable rights.

Respectfully,

Matthew Brooks

 

Today’s acts of manliness: when fighting for a righteous and just cause, don’t back down

Enemy of the State

Distressed Tattered-flag

Bill Keller in his blog at Eastern Iowa Firearms Training expounds upon his view of things.  It is well worth your time to read his words, as I believe there is a large number of United States citizens who concur with him, and that number grows larger everyday with every usurpation and incursion suffered by We the People.

A short excerpt:

And . . . . again . . . . I seem to be but a couple of votes and a signature away from being an official “enemy of the state”.

I’ve done what I could – called my Senators, called my Representative, talked to my state Senator and Representative, supported the NRA and state groups, written articles, posted on my blog . . . . . simply one small part of those that support the 2nd Amendment’s God given right for all people . . . .

I have fought true enemies . . . . . I remember the fear, the sounds, the chaos . . . . I remember the basics – good or evil, right or wrong . . . . I remember what it is like to commit 100% in an instant to defeat evil.

There are millions that share my views, that share my commitment . . . . .

I pray the reason and good sense prevail in this debate . . . .

. . . . you do not want me as your enemy.

How else can it be said?  Well, here’s one way:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence?  I mean really read it?  I’ll bet it was a long time ago.  Please, take the time to re-read it and then ponder what it meant then and what it means now.  With only a few changes here and there in a document written well over two-hundred years ago one could easily apply this exact same document to the situation that we presently find ourselves in as a nation.

One thing is certain about the intent and understanding of our Founders: they knew that the basic human condition was one of depravity.  They knew that without a moral baseline and divine influence, it was inevitable that corruption and despotism would begin to rear their ugly heads.

Like Benjamin Franklin said in response to Dr. James Mchenry’s question:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Someday, maybe even in the relatively near future, people with certain beliefs may find themselves declared “enemies of the state”.  When this day comes, they would do well to remember that sometimes it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.

If we can keep it indeed.

Today’s acts of manliness: Keep the Republic

9/11, a re-write

Earlier tonight, while cleaning out some old files and folders in my ongoing attempts to prevent myself from becoming a digital pack-rat, I ran across a short article I penned several years ago.

What follows is a “what should have been” newspaper article that could have been written the afternoon of September 11th, 2001 had our nation not allowed itself to continue down the path of Europe.

Instead, we are all too familiar with the atrocities that were actually committed on that fateful day 11 years ago.

Terrorist Attacks Thwarted By Red-Blooded Americans


New York, NY-What is thought to be the most complex terror attack ever planned was thwarted today.

At approximately 8:40 am this morning passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 were on their way to Los Angeles, having just departed Boston, when a group of five middle-eastern men attempted to skyjack the airplane.

At roughly the same time, United Airlines Flight 175, also en route to Los Angeles from Boston, underwent a similar incident when five men of middle-eastern descent attempted to overtake their aircraft.

Also airborne at the time was American Airlines Flight 77, flying out of Washington D.C. inbound to Los Angeles and United Airlines Flight 93, traveling to San Francisco from New Jersey.

FLIGHT 11
The five men on board Flight 11 were seen talking together and heard chanting what was believed to be prayers of some type before they abruptly stood up and began shouting at the passengers and aircrew. Their leader, Muhammad Ata as-Sayyid, began telling the passengers and flight attendants that in order to better serve Allah, they were all going to sacrifice themselves in the “new holy war”.

Ata and his fellow terrorists then produced box-cutters and attempted to storm the cockpit, where they were shot down by passenger Col. Charles Jones (ret.) of the United States Air Force. Jones, when interviewed by reporters afterward stated, “They were obviously intent on killing all of us, so I killed them first. I just wish I had another GLOCK to carry home, because the FBI confiscated mine as evidence.”

Col. Jones said that he has been a lifelong gun owner and has carried one daily as part of his normal routine. He has concealed carry permits from several states and always carries them and his firearm in his travels. He told reporters that he was carrying a GLOCK 33, chambered in .357SIG while on board Flight 11 this morning. “It’s a good, solid round that is manageable, concealable and has good capacity,” he told reporters.

FLIGHT 175
At the same time as events were unfolding on Flight 11, similar things were occurring on Flight 175. Marwan al-Shehhi and 4 other accomplices were heard shouting quotes from the Koran and attempted to overpower the aircrew, again, using boxcutters and, new among these terrorists, mace.

Pilot Victor Saracini and co-pilot Michael Horrocks, both recent graduates from the FAA’s new Flight Deck Officer program were carrying sidearms and quickly dispatched the five would-be terrorists.

Saracini, a United pilot since 1985, is a former US Navy pilot and carries the Sig Sauer 226 chambered in 9mm while Horrocks, a former Marine, carries a GLOCK22, chambered in .40S&W. Both pilots were unavailable for comment at print time.

As difficult enough to imagine is two simultaneous hijackings, there was still more going on in the skies of the northeastern United States.

FLIGHT 77
Hani Hanjour and his four fellow conspirators boarded American Airlines Flight 77 this morning thinking that they were going to start a holy war. What they ended up getting was more akin to an upset father takin out the trash. When Hani and his cohorts attempted to take control of Flight 77 by the same means as the inbreds on Flights 11 and 175, they ran into a few problems. Nanmely, Admiral Wilson Flagg of the United States Navy.

Flagg, having noted the five self-proclaimed “holy-warriors” placed himself between them and the cockpit and, with the assistance of his Colt Government Model 1911 (chambered in .45ACP) calmly dropped the first two attackers with well-placed shots to the head. He then performed a tactical reload and finished off the last three.

After landing, he was overheard talking with the pilot of Flight 77, Capt. Charles Burlingame and joking about, “…when I left home this morning, I almost didn’t bring an extra magazine with me, boy I sure am glad I did…”

FLIGHT 93
Better known as United 93, Flight 93 is an international flight that leaves from Newark, NJ stops briefly in San Francisco, CA and then on to it’s eventual destination in Tokyo, Japan. As the passengers this morning boarded United 93, they had no idea what type of day they were going to have.

Led by Ziad Jarrah, a Labanese pilot, a group of 3 terrorists attempted to overpower the aircraft while it was over the skies of eastern Pennsylvania. They were able to overpower the aircrew and managed to gain control of the cockpit, albeit only briefly. After successfully forcing Pilot Jason Dahl and co-Pilot LeRoy Homer out of the cockpit, Jarrah and company were heard yelling “allahu Ackbar” very loudly.

Even though Jarrah and his fellow terrorists told many of the passengers and crew on Flight 93 that they had a bomb and would blow up the plane, the passengers still fought back. Led by Officer Richard Guadagno of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the passengers and crew fought back, overpowering their attackers quickly and regained control of Flight 93.

Officer Guadagno told press after their landing, “…we took them into custody and tried to keep them from hurting anyone else, but their vileness and animal behavior was out of control….we had no choice but defend ourselves with lethal force…”

As of right now, it is believed that the 4 terrorists on Flight 93 died after attempting to open one of the emergency escape doors on the Boeing 757. Several of the passengers on board stated that they were thankful that the FAA had recently changed its rules about allowing firearms on board aircraft.

 

Had the passengers and crew aboard those airplanes been armed that day, would events have been different?  Sadly, we will never know the answer to this question.  What we do know however, is that everyone who died on those airplanes, in the towers and on the ground below could still be with us today had we not allowed our government to create terrorist empowerment zones.

No gun control law has ever contributed in any articulable way to a decrease in crime or public safety.  Conversely, the opposite is true: every time that laws are relaxed and firearm ownership increases, violent crime goes down and public safety increases.

Today’s acts of manliness: always be prepared

 

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