Now fast forward to Virginia Tech. Did everyone in all those classrooms sit quietly and wait to be executed? No. The people in the first room, taken utterly by surprise, never had the time to have a chance. The people in the other rooms had a few seconds to process and identify the sounds they were hearing and take action; people in at least two rooms managed to barricade the door with heavy tables, arms and legs, just before the shooter tried to force his way in. It didn't work in each case, but it demonstrates that given just a little time, average people will indeed do what they can to fight back. If someone bursts into a room down the hall from John Derbyshire and opens up with a gun, he'll probably have sprung into action by the time the shooter reaches his door a minute later. If the gunman bursts into Derbyshire's office first, he'll be cowering on the floor and soiling himself like the rest of us.
Yes, yes, I know it's easy to say these things: but didn't the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything?Yeah. They taught us that time and information are crucial self-defense weapons. And that lacking both doesn't make you a coward. It just makes you supremely unlucky.