A Response for Mass Murderers
As I read the front page story in last week’s Sheet about a shooting threat thwarted at an area school, I was struck by the statement made by the Principal of another area high school: that in active assailant/shooter events “the neutralizing of the threat is best left to the experts.”
This “conventional wisdom” that has pervaded our culture for decades needs to be recognized for the stupidity that it is. It is equivalent to saying “CPR is best left to the Paramedics.” The fact is: someone in full arrest will be brain dead in five minutes unless chest compressions are started immediately by someone on the scene. Similarly, when an active shooter event is underway, dozens of victims may be killed before the experts can get there.
We need to wake up to the facts. Law enforcement can’t keep us safe; no President: current or future, can keep us safe and no laws Congress can pass can keep us safe. When these kinds of attacks happen, the safety of ourselves and our fellow citizens is up to US!
It doesn’t matter whether an attacker is religiously/ideologically motivated, or a psychopath – three things seem to characterize active assailant attacks:
1. They happen in places where there are large numbers of people. Why? Because these terrorists want to kill large numbers of people.
2. They happen in “murderer safe havens” (read “Gun Free Zones”). Why? Because terrorists are not brave warriors looking for a fight: they are cowards who don’t want resistance as they slaughter as many vulnerable victims as possible.
3. They happen in confined spaces such as schools, theaters, office buildings, etc. Why? Because it limits avenues of escape and keeps the victim pool at close range.
So what can be done to reduce the carnage of these horrific events?
Anyone who has the physical ability to run 10 yards; kick a soccer ball; hit a punching bag; pick up a chair; use a fire extinguisher; firmly grasp a piece of tableware or writing instrument; or even participate in a lively pillow fight, has what is necessary to be part of an effective counter attack with his/her fellow citizens against an armed attacker.
How is this possible against a heavily armed assailant?
1. By sheer force of numbers. In these incidents, the good people outnumber the bad ones by 15/1; 30/1 or 100/1. All it takes is for one person to wrap up the knees; another to tip him over and control the weapon, and the rest to pile on. Then, wait for the experts to arrive with handcuffs.
2. Because of the close proximity inside buildings where these events usually occur. It has been demonstrated in police training that the average person can rush and strike another from a distance of 7 yards in 1.5 to 2 seconds. That means that even in a large room like a restaurant or theater, an attacker could be overpowered in a few seconds, stopping the killing, if even a handful of intended victims reacted decisively.
In order for this tide to turn, there needs to be a drastic change in our individual and collective mindset. The ignominious fallacy of “leave it to the experts” which has resulted in the terrible body counts in Paris; San Bernardino; Aurora; Virginia Tech, etc. has to be repudiated at every level of our society from the White House down to the family.
We have to face the reality that these events are unfortunately part of our world now and we have to prepare our minds ahead of time that we are not going to behave like sheep penned in for the slaughter, but be like shepherd dogs: reacting quickly to threats against us all.
I hope for the day when someone intending to methodically murder a bunch of people in the USA, or anywhere in the world, will himself experience the terror of a mass of his intended victims swarming him, as a football quarterback that suddenly has no blockers.