Many people think the quote “marching to the sounds of the guns” came from our Revolutionary War. But it’s actually older than that, having been first uttered by an officer in Napoleon’s army. Whether it was actually repeated by an officer in the Continental Army is something that’s not really known.
Either way, it’s somewhat of a romantic quote to those of us who consider ourselves hero material and think back fondly to the day where valor actually counted for something. We like to think that we would not only be the one marching to the sound of the guns, but running towards it, while encouraging others alongside us.
But in reality, that’s a rather foolish idea. While there might be times when it is necessary, especially in times of war, as civilians, there really isn’t any legitimate reason for us to march to the sound of the guns, unless our own family is in danger.
There are people who are paid to march to the sound of those guns and unless you’re a law enforcement officer, you’re not one of them. I’m not, but that doesn’t keep me from doing just that.
A couple of days ago, I heard what could have been a gunshot outside my home. So what did I do? You got it; I went out to see what was going on. It turned out that it was probably nothing more than a car backfiring. I told myself I was a fool for going out and went back to work, only to repeat the same scene a few hours later.
In self-justification, I’d like to say that I live on a major street where there are a lot of accidents and a lot of fools racing their cars. There have been a few times when I was the first on the scene of an accident, calling it in to the police. Nevertheless, there’s a huge difference between running to render aid in the event of an accident and running to render aid because of a gunshot.
I won’t say that you shouldn’t run to the sounds of the guns, simply because I won’t take that advice either. Carrying concealed requires that we are cognizant of the sound of gunfire and the need to know whether or not we need to react to it pushes us to investigate, seeing what is happening. At the same time, we need to recognize the danger of doing so.
This means changing our strategy in how we react to these situations. While we need to investigate, we also need to do so in such a way as to avoid making a target of ourselves. If there really is a shooter out there, perhaps taking pot shots at a neighbor’s home, we certainly don’t want to attract their attention.
That means scouting out ways we can leave our home and investigate what is going on in our neighborhood, without having to expose ourselves to any gunfire that may or may not be happening. Depending on the configuration of your home and where the suspected gunfire is coming from, that may very well mean going out the back door, into your yard and then coming around the house from there.
This may require making some modifications to your fence, such as putting in a gate. But that’s a minor inconvenience, in comparison to getting shot by accident. Safety may not come first, but it needs to be high up on our list.
If you have ballistic armor, this might be a good time to use it. Yes, you’ll look ridiculous sneaking out through the back door and then the gate beside the house; but at least you’ll be safe. If the neighbors ask, you can always do what the government does, and call it a training exercise.
But the real point is to stay under cover, if at all possible. If that can’t be done, then we want to use concealment to our advantage, staying out of sight of any shooters who might be out there. The last thing we want to do is just walk out our door to see what’s happening, like there’s nothing wrong. We already suspect something is wrong, so we need to act like it; not like tourists.
Let’s say that there is someone out there, shooting at a neighbor’s house or shooting at someone in another car. I seriously doubt they would be concerned about protecting innocent life. They’re more likely to shoot first and not even bother asking questions afterwards. Walking up on someone like that, even from a distance, could result in becoming a target, albeit an unintended one.
Yet just letting things happen and pretending to ignore it is not socially responsible. Since so many of us carry out of a sense of social responsibility, that just goes against the grain. What we need, is to find a way to be socially responsible, safely.
Be ready to help; but do so in a way that doesn’t put yourself in unnecessary danger. That just seems to line up with keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.