Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mass Shootings: Some Random Thoughts

If you have been anywhere near the news today, you have already heard about the mass shootings that took place yesterday in Germany and Alabama. Here's some random thoughts on the issue:
  • These incidents often lead governments and other authorities to the knee-jerk reaction of more stringent regulations on firearms. This seems counter-intuitive. Laws are followed by law abiding people (the ones who were killed by the shooter--since they were following the law, they were not armed) but they aren't followed by the killers who, um, usually acquire guns illegally in order to go on their killing rampages.
  • Random shootings are by nature, random, so there is no way to know such an event is going to happen.
  • I think everyone should be armed. Mass shootings usually happen at locations where the shooter knows that people won't be armed such as at schools. This makes all of these people sitting ducks for some psychopathic killer.
  • After researching ways to prevent mass shootings, I found basically no concrete information on how to defend against and/or prevent these incidents. Seeking help for those who have expressed a desire to kill and preventing bullying were suggested but many people don't come in contact with the shooter until the incident is happening so preemptive steps are kind of a mute point.
  • Having not experienced such a situation and having no real experience in this area, I nonetheless take some precautions to protect myself and my family against the possibility of this happening: I am usually armed, I am aware of my surroundings, car doors are locked when I am in the car, doors are locked when I am in my home and office, no matter my location I always check for escape routes as well as areas that could provide cover and/or concealment, and I watch people (how are they acting, what are their hands doing, their body language, etc).

If anyone else has better ideas on what to do in this type of situation, please add your suggestions...


  1. I have ballistic vest panels in the kids back packs.

  2. As a form of attention getting, it sure does work. Media eats this up.

    Good observation - it nearly always happens where the aggressor knows there will be no armed people.

    But when you take into account the billions of people in the world, I am rather amazed it does not happen more often. The odds of being taken out by a gun-toting mass murderer are far far less than my being run over while crossing the street.

    Which means...we need to ban cars!

    "Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun".

  3. To give a good couple of ideas for staying clear of harms way. read where most of these shootings have occurred, and understand why.
    All have happened where there is a large mass of unarmed persons. usually because it is illegal to carry a firearm in those places. I recommend avoiding them. This means if you plan to go out top eat, go someplace where the establishment has no problem with a concealed weapon.
    You already said you go armed everywhere. that is one of the first and best defenses for this type of attack, armed response.
    you are going to tell me next, what about schools? I don't go there. I avoided having kids too, so I am not required to go there. I also live where it is not uncommon to see a rifle and shotgun in the window of every passing truck during the right time of year too. it used to be in schools here you could bring your rifle and shotgun to school as you more likely than not contributed to the dinner table with what you shot. My point? Find a school that teaches gun safety, and has armed teachers, and other staff. if that is not possible, I might recommend home schooling, or a private tutor. Check how difficult it is to actually do, and what the state regs are for doing so within the limits of the law. It eliminates that potential threat from your life.
    Next, you are already observant, and obviously have had forethought on this situation, so there is little else to tell, other than look for alternative. if you cannot carry a firearm legally where you live, I would recommend moving to where you can. Good rule to remember, is that an armed society is a polite society.
    Alternatives to firearms are stun guns, tazers, pepper spray, or even a cattle prod. if all else fails, carry a walking stick. As it is better to have a stick than nothing at all. I know some one out there is wondering about the walking sticks that have a sword concealed in them, and no, that is a bad idea. Why you might ask? It is a concealed weapon. You are better off carrying a pistol, As a sword takes room to swing. Try to stay legal if it is at all possible. you do not want to get arrested for something that is meant to protect yourself.
    Last, if you have not done so, a self defense course to learn how to fight unarmed is a good idea. As if you are in a bad place, it is better to know how to respond than to sit waiting to get picked off like a duck on a frozen pond.
    I know it is not much, but it is better than nothing.

  4. I am most often armed when outside my home. But that's only been true in the last couple of years...when I'm certain of myself and my reactions to others. I have bad feelings about returning the the notion of every adult on the street carrying a firearm.

    I'd also like to note that Ted Kennedy's work has done more to improve the lot of others than almost anyone likely to read this blog.

  5. I also don't want EVERY adult to be armed. There are plenty who really shouldn't have firearms at all, however the possibility that everyone you run across could be armed would be a nice deterrant for many situations.