Sunday, June 12, 2016

Here We Go Again

I had other, nicer topics to discuss today but once again we get preempted by yet another mass shooting.  So far it looks like a terrorism attack, it is now the worst mass shooting in US history, and once again, the shooting took place in a gun-free zone (not that I think having a bunch of drunk people in a bar carrying guns is a good idea but it seems as if shooters particularly pick places where they know people won't be shooting back at them).

Although the details are still being determined, it is currently Ramadan and ISIS had threatened more attacks during the holy month so that could be part of what happened.  

What can you do to protect yourself from such an incident?

  • Arm yourself.  The only way to stop someone with a gun is with a gun.  Obviously learn how to efficiently and effectively use any sort of firearm you may own.  Also, obviously, have a concealed carry license so you can carry legally.
  • Study up on active shooter response.  Sources here, here, here, here, and here.
  • Consider the places you go (size of crowd, type of crowd) and how well security is handled at the place/event.  My nightclub days are long gone, mostly because the type of music I like (hip hop) tends to draw a crowd I don't care to be around (young and prone to violence).  These days I generally avoid large crowds all together.
  • Learn some facts about mass shootings.
  • When politicians start calling for gun control, encourage them to enforce the laws that are currently on the books.  I am all for law abiding citizens owning guns but violent and mentally unstable people should definitely NOT be allowed to have access to firearms (note that while this is currently the law, there is no way to prevent the mentally ill or violent folks from buying legal firearms unless they check a box on the form which they are--duh--unlikely to do).
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, know where the exits are, watch how people are acting and what they are doing, and report anything suspicious.
  • I am also all for profiling people, racially and otherwise.  I'm sure that is highly offensive to the PC crowd but it has worked for years in Israel and has been proven effective.  When I am watching a crowd I pay less attention to less threatening people (very old, very young, female) and more attention to people who, statistically, pose more of a threat (male, 15-45).
  • You could barricade yourself in your home and become a hermit.  This is becoming more of an option personally.  We moved to Las Vegas on a whim and now that we are up to 72 homicides so far this year I am now looking to buy a house on acreage in a rural area...more on that later.
  • Be in good physical shape.  The way to escape from a shooter is to "run, hide, or fight".  People who get no more exercise than moving from the sofa to the fridge are going to be unable to do any of those things.  The larger you are (74% of Americans are overweight or obese) the less likely you will be able to do those things.  The older you are, the less likely you are able to do those things.  So exercise daily (cardio, stretching, strength) so that should you need to run you can, should you need to hide, you can, and should you need to fight, you can.
  • Realize that a mass shooting can happen anytime and anywhere, never let down your vigilance, even if you are at a senior knitting class.  
  • Mass shooter drills in schools and the workplace should become standard practice.
  • Play the "what if" game when you are in public places.  What if a shooter came in right now, what would you do?  Where could you run to?  Where could you hide?  What could you use as a weapon?

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