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 VA Tech shoot: Lessons Learned 
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Chibi-Czar
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Post VA Tech shoot: Lessons Learned
As mentioned in the VA Tech thread in Current Events, it looks like the lessons to be learned about preventing a repeat are going to be lost. In a case of bitter irony, Amazon.com just delivered my back-ordered copy of Terror at Beslan. Nobody here seems to have absorbed the lessons from the terrorist takeover of a school, which means to me that we're going to suffer a similar bloodbath when it happens here. It occurs to me that, if the lessons from VA Tech aren't going to be similarly lost, we need to study it some.

I don't expect to have a global impact, obviously, but if, God forbid, it happens here, somebody reading this board just might be able to survive it id they get the chance to think it through beforehand.

Here's the deal: I want an honest analysis. Monday-morning quarterbacking is neither desired, nor will it be tolerated. What would you do differently, were you in the position of the professors, the Uni admin, the campus PD, or the students? For background: Cop board's story archive on VA Tech

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"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:25 pm
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First off... When you have a student that is writing disturbing works, that should throw up a warning flag right then... and instead of suggesting conselling, being the teacher, I would have scheduled a sit down with said student, to find out WHY... the issue of it would not have been ignored...

In hindsight, the ONLY reason I would try this, is that I have had friends VERY much like that student, and in the end, I lost two friends because of it, both to suicide. ALL of the warning signs of something not being right, were sitting there under everyone's nose, and all anyone ever did was to suggest to this kid that he needed to talk to someone... I will tell you this, sometimes, the ONLY way to get a person to open up is to open up yourself, MAKE them trust you.

When you have a person that is obviously disturbed, you cant just sit idly by and watch the events unfold... WAY too many of today's parents and teachers are just into the mood of "dont give a shit" that they let everything go by, and when you have a quiet, smart kid sitting the back, you never stop to wonder WHY they would choose to be alone...

I USE to be that person. and if it werent for my Freshman english teacher, I would have stayed that way...

Look at the crap behind Colmibine (however the fuck its spelled) everyone was blaming Manson, and pointing fingers, but its the parents and teachers fault, they never stopped to talk to the kids, to find out WHY they didnt socialize with others... they didnt try to stop the preps and jocks from their constant bullying...

This WHOLE thing boils down to an uncaring society that would rather have their children sit in front of a damn tv or computer all day, and not care what went on with their day.

~I think I went on a rant... but I think I got my point across... sorry bout the rant~

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:57 pm
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That's not a bad suggestion. So long as "disturbed kids" aren't instantly assumed to be mass-murderers-to-be, I think you're on the ball with them needing to be talked with, and reasons/motives/problems identified before it turns into something harmful to themselves or others. Suicide...shit...how many suicides happen for every school shoot-out, I wonder? My guess is a LOT more...suicide rarely makes the news.

The Teachers and Admin have the greatest power to assist in preventing these internal and external disasters for students in need. Apathy, unfortunately, as well as a shift to blame teachers who try too hard and reward them with criticism and suspension are major hurtles to overcome.

However, just identifying a "at risk" person is key. In the case of Virginia Tech, the identification was done...and in a happier world, it would have led to better things happening. But so many times you hear only the after-the-fact, armchair-quarterback, heindsight-20/20 talk "Oh, yeah, I guess he WAS kinda creepy..." instead of "We tried to get him into councilling, the Teachers were all concerned, and the cops/security force busted him for stalking"

Teachers/Admin/Parents need to be aware of risks...but not assume the worst. I posted a while back a "Violent Fanfic" news story where a kid used his school as a backdrop for a story involving...I believe...a Zombie-Invasion fight, and he eneded up being dragged to the cop-shop under suspicion for planning a shoot-out. In this case, a simple discussion with a counciller or teacher probably would have cleared up the whole mess.

It's a tight rope to walk, really. Freedom VS Safety. Do we assume everyone we'll pass by on the street is going to wait until they are out of our line of sight and then pull a gun, put on a hockey mask and turn around to rob us? Before that happens, I'll barracade myself in a bunker somewhere. At least then I won't feel so trapped by life. 8) Just concrete and metal.

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:17 pm
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Agreed. First step in prevention is, "Give a shit." It's bitterly frustrating that it wasn't until he got to Virginia Tech that anybody gave enough of a shit to try to intervene for him. It's also bitterly frustrating that he wouldn't accept help. Even more so that, when he was finally court-ordered into counseling after his refusal to go on his own, the court and/or the facility didn't report it into the National Instant Check System, which would've blocked his gun purchases. (In their defense, I've read that Virginia and Federal laws don't necessarily require reporting into NICS unless the subject is involuntarily committed to an institution. Reporting otherwise gets into privacy issues, which leaves a tough call between letting go a possible disaster in the making or starting a series ridiculous prosecutions. I never did hear what happened to that kid who took a felony pop for that story, BTW.)

I don't have a magic answer for that. We can try to do basic human decency as best we can and offer help, but, ultimately, the guy has to want to be helped at some level, or our efforts will bounce off. Always, we have to keep in mind that over-reacting and under-reacting both can have tragic consequences.

So, better or worse, he got his weapons through a gray area at the interface between Safety and Privacy. Something else I find troubling - I've deliberately avoided watching the shooter's video, but I gather he filmed at least part of it in the common area of his dorm - in violation of state law banning guns on campus property. Did somebody know he'd brought the guns on-campus beforehand? Did he cache them in his room, or his vehicle? I don't know. If they did, I understand being reluctant to tell anybody in Admin or the Campus PD - after all, "nobody wants to be a snitch" -

BUT there's a difference between a snitch and a concerned citizen. A snitch is a participant who rolls over on his co-conspirators. A citizen has no part in the crime, and has a duty to report criminal actions. Somewhere, we lost sight of that. (Blue Humor - "Did you see who did this?" I dunno, some dudes, officer." The Dude brothers are the most prolific criminals in history...) I think we need to get the difference between snitch and citizen reinstalled firmly in our minds, and be prepared to go ahead and call it in if we see something wrong.

I don't know if that happened in this case, as I said. But if it had happened, and one of his dorm-mates knew about the guns... I wouldn't want to be him at two in the morning, asking myself what-ifs...

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Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:42 pm
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I think police and a lot of the professors and students didn?t fully take his crazed writings and actions as a serious threat was because simply put this type of thing does not happen all that often. Also given the fact this is the first time this has never happened at a college adds even more of an unexpected affect to this situation. As for what the professors did, they really did all they could on the news one of his English teachers was said to of reported him to the university and after that there isn?t much she could do. As a student in that situation I would hope I would be able to do the right thing and either try to get the hell away from the guy or if not able to escape, try to disarm the guy.

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Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:29 pm
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But, it has happened at colleges before:

Appalachian School of Law,2002

Montreal1989. 1992, and 2006

Massachusetts, also 1992

Iowa, 1991

...and that's just scratching the surface of a quick Wikipedia search.

The professors who tried to intervene appear to have acted within the bounds of Uni policy, and indeed, a little above and beyond. They tried to do the right thing, and I give them all credit for their efforts. Some have argued they coulda-shoulda-woulda done more, but that's more of the Monday-morning quarterbacking Drax and I both complained about in Current Events.

The problem is that damn' river in Egypt - Denial. And, you're right, school shootings are rare - which feeds into denial. "It can't happen here!" is the name of several towns. They are now called Grundy, VA; Montreal, QC; Iowa City, IA... also Paducah, KY; Eugene, OR; Littleton, CO; Red Lake, MN... *sigh* O, my people, my people... it CAN happen here.

---------------------------

So, first thing is to "give a shit" - If you see somebody hurting, try to help. Be prepared to - in fact, expect to - be rebuffed the first several times you reach out. Do what you can, anyway.

Second thing, which flows from the first, mental health support and intervention needs to be something more than the afterthought it currently seems to be. Remember that at your next election.

Third thing, get realistic: school and workplace rampages are (thankfully) rare - statistically, you're probably more likely to break your neck slipping in the shower. But, they do happen, and we need to realistically assess what we can and should do, if we happen to hit the bad-luck jackpot.

I'll reserve my thoughts for the moment.

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"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:03 pm
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ah my mistake its weird that those shootings werent in the headlines or mentioned during all the coverage though. also mentioning the mental health issue i really think there is still a sort of stigma in going in for professional help. though the removal of this stigma most likely wouldnt of helped in this case their are most likely many cases in which this option could of prevented a tragedy

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Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:46 pm
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Yours Truly wrote:
...School and workplace rampages are (thankfully) rare - statistically, you're probably more likely to break your neck slipping in the shower. But, they do happen, and we need to realistically assess what we can and should do, if we happen to hit the bad-luck jackpot.

I'll reserve my thoughts for the moment.

Nobody going to bite?

Okay, foundation of what we euphemistically call "Critical Incident Survival" is very simple: Will to Live. I'm not talking about desire to live - everybody (even a suicide, at some level) desires to live. I'm talking about the conscious decision that, if it hits the fan, no matter what, You Are Going To Make It - you're going to go home to your family tonight.

Caveat: I'm not preaching survival at the expense of the people around you - that's the mark of a sociopath, and anybody who thinks that way, I don't care if they go home or not, and I'd frankly prefer they didn't. What I'm saying is that you have to choose to survive ahead of time, and think matters through before it happens, because you're not going to have any time left to think if and when things go to hell around you.

That simple decision, that act of Will, is where it all starts. Everything else - planning, preparation, skillage, tactics - everything else flows from that.

The floor is open - more information as events permit.

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"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:09 pm
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No questions? No comments? No feedback? No gripes, bitches, or complaints? Okay, then.

In our previous meeting, we considered the Will to Live, and making the commitment to do what was necessary to survive a critical incident. Today, we ask the question: How's your Situational Awareness?

Scenario: you're sitting at your desk, deeply into whatever you're doing. You hear a loud noise and a loud voice. The less time it takes you to process:

loud noise = gunshot;
loud voice = scream;
gunshot + scream = shit hitting fan


the more time you will have to act to save lives - your own and those around you.

In today's lesson, we crib from Jeff Cooper's Color Codes. It's a useful way of thinking about situational awareness and alertness. Briefly summarized and abridged, it goes like this:
Quote:
Condition White: Oblivious. Unaware of the world around you - either asleep, zoned out, or completely wrapped up in what you're doing at the moment. Do not allow yourself to fall into this condition unless you are in a secure environment, e.g., in your home with the doors locked.

Condition Yellow: Engaged. Relaxed and focused on what you're doing, but consciously aware of what's happening in your surroundings, and fully capable of processing new events. This is the condition you should be in any time you are out in public.

Condition Orange: Alert. Aware of a potential threat, evaluating it, considering options, and preparing to take action. You go into this condition when, consciously or intuitively, you perceive something isn't right, and don't relax back until you've determined the new situation poses no threat.

Condition Red: Combat. In the fight, focused on the threat, and taking decisive action to reduce the threat. You stay in this condition, and stay in the fight until you're safe again.


It's actually fairly easy to stay in Condition Yellow indefinitely, once you've learned the trick. The difficulty is in training yourself to "live in Yellow." In legend, martial arts masters would beat the shit out of their students without warning, at any time, until they either learned to live in Yellow, or had a nervous breakdown, but, in this modern age, we've found that is neither necessary, nor practical, nor desireable. :P Two games you can play that'll help you sharpen your perceptions and awareness without the bruises:

Kim's Game: Have a friend take a large box and arrange a number of small items inside it. Have him lift the lid for a few seconds, then cover it back up. Sketch out what was inside the box and where. You owe him a quarter for every item you missed, every item you sketched out-of-position, and every item you described wrong. Now, switch sides and see if you can win some of your money back. Variation: As you're going down the street, glance into a shop window, and look away. Now, without looking back, take a notepad and a pen and describe, in as much detail as possible, what you just saw in that shop window. Now, turn around and see what you missed.

The Game of X's and O's (from Principles of Personal Defense*): in your notebook, agenda, or journal, have a scorecard. Mark an "X" every time you see someone you know before they see you. Mark an "O" every time someone greets you before you're aware of them. Try to keep the X's ahead of the O's. A month with all X's and no O's indicates the formation of good habits.

[*Principles of Personal Defense is a slim volume that encompasses all aspects of mindset, with applicability well beyond simply gunfighting. Highly recommended.]

In our series on critical incident response, we have considered: The will to live and commitment to survival; and situational awareness, alertness, and perception. We will continue with generalized skillsets for action.

Meanwhile, the floor is now open for discussion.

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"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:46 am
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Shit, I learned Living in Yellow from Highschool. 8) Probably the most important thing I learned from that place...

Being aware...not just coasting through life...is a big thing to a lot of people who have let the daily schedule rule their mind. Oddly enough, the only time most people pay attention is if they are in a very unfamiliar place, or they're driving. Focusing on details is important, but it's even better to be able to scan the world and pick out 'problems'. Cars that look like they're going too fast to stop safely, a person who stumbles in the crowded cross walk, a guy dressed in a concealing parka on a warm summers day, that kind of thing. Learning to focus your mind...not to cataloge every detail you'll ever see (unless you're really REALLY bored/Hyperactive/ADD)...will give you an edge when your subconcious sees something bad happening before the Shit has hit the Fan, so to speak.


Sudden, massive destructive events, you pretty much have to depend on luck. A plane crashes into you on the street, well, you're fubar. But seeing that car careening or sliding on ice a half-second sooner will save your ass.

School shooting/something like that? I'd block the door, then run for the window, all the while shouting for others to do the same. That doesn't work so well if the gunshots are next door and you're going "Hey? What's going on?" for 30 seconds before acting. Based on that plan, from now on, I'll probably try to see low-to-ground escape routes, and large, easily-overturned furnature near doors. :P

One of the things I do almost naturally now is watch the way a person is walking when they're either approaching me or Senie/friends while we're walking down the street. Before they get within 10 feet of me, I've done my best to see how fast he or she could sprint forward to harm me, and where would be the best place to knock them off ballance/trip them.

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:15 pm
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Mmm-Hmm. Catching the things that don't look right is the objective. I threw Kim's Game into the mix because it's a good way to learn to quickly notice subtle details (or, to borrow from Musashi, "Learn to see right, at once"). Combined with the X-and-O Game to teach awareness of your surroundings, it can make things almost highlight themselves in your vision. Case-in-point: after a while on the Job, the guy in the crowd who keeps brushing his beltline with his forearm jumps out at you - because he probably has a gun or knife stuffed into his waistband, and he keeps checking it to make sure it hasn't slipped out of position... In similar fashion, being able to pick up on subtleties and notice the unusual ones can save your ass.

(This is not to disparage the senses of hearing, smell, touch, or taste - but, since we pick up most information about our surroundings through our eyes, sight is a good place to start.)

Spending a minimum amount of time recognizing what's happening, gives you more time to decide what to do about it, and do it before it's too late. Basic Decision Cycle theory, and a core principle of Combat Dynamics (see The OODA Loop)

Chris wrote:
One of the things I do almost naturally now is watch the way a person is walking when they're either approaching me or Senie/friends while we're walking down the street. Before they get within 10 feet of me, I've done my best to see how fast he or she could sprint forward to harm me, and where would be the best place to knock them off ballance/trip them.
Good example of situational awareness, plus the skillsets I'd planned for later discussion.

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"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:02 pm
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A nice real life example would be how my mom just recently avoided being creamed by a car this last winter. She was out walking with a group of ladies trying to get some fresh air, and she was the only one watching the road while they waited for a walk signal to cross a busy and icy highway. A car loses control and literally slides into the entire group of 8 joggers. My mom did a Matrix-worthy leap-to-safety and another woman did the same when she saw my mom do it. The others were all focused elsewhere and, while there were thankfully no fatailities, many broken bones and even some serious internal bleeding was the result in some of the others.

All it takes is that little bit of care and attention and you save yourself and others from serious harm. Especially in an inherantly dangerous situation...sidewalks do not have a magical force-field to prevent cars from hopping the curb, and when the road is icy as all hell, I'd consider that a pretty bad mix.

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:55 pm
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I gotta agree with the boys (wow how often does that happen?)

People get their whole flow of life, and slip into complacency, and when something bad happens around them, they are thrown for a loop... Why? Because they were more interested in their own lives, to give a flying fuck about others around them...

Why are crime rates up? Murders? Thefts?

Because so many people are afraid to stop someone, for fear of getting hurt, they figure as long as it doesnt happen to their family and friends, then its not their problem...

Big scale analogy, 9/11 dude... that was one big ass wake-up call to America and the world... but, while I dont agree with Bush (have I ever?) I do believe that some of the countries that we had helped in the past (WWII anyone? granted that took Pearl Harbor for us to get involved) should have stepped up and said, "These guys went through our airlines to yours," or "these guys are known Al-whatever, but since they werent staying in our country, we just let them go..."

As always, the first step to solving any problem, is, GIVE A DAMN...

Man, I live in a SMALL town, but if I see someone at the park or something, that is alone, or looks upset, I will at least stop and say hello, and ask them how they are. A smile and a hello can turn anyone's day around.

And if said person you notice, does have a real problem, let yourself be a shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear.

After that, its rather simple, sometimes just being there for someone to talk to is enough, other times they need counseling and/or medication. NEVER EVER tell someone they need help, simply suggest to them (and this works GREAT for me, or anything that has been to counseling before) that you of a great person to talk to, that might be able to help out more than you could. In my case, I generally refer them to my crazy Jewish of a Shrink, Schmidt, and he is MORE than happy for me to refer people to him.

Generally, that is all it takes, to prevent something like VA happening, just give a damn, be a friend to someone...

~Happy now Doyle? I posted :P~

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:17 pm
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[Yes, kiddo, glad to have you back in the discussion... *hugs*]

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"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:40 pm
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~Ima start smacking you everytime you call me kiddo... wtf do I look like, a 5 year old?~

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:46 pm
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I think the distinguished Mr. Doyle is one of the more vetran posters here. He's allowed to call ME kiddo if he wants. :P So long as he can take the Old Man barbs right back. Heheh

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:23 pm
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He can call you kiddo all he wants then Fiss... I just keep having Kill Bill flashes in my head everytime I hear it... and it seems that if it goes too far, all the WAR boys will call me that (sometimes I feel like the only chick around here), and that'll just be annoying...

~Dude, did we ever get off topic~

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:28 pm
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Christopher Fiss wrote:
I think the distinguished Mr. Doyle is one of the more vetran posters here. He's allowed to call ME kiddo if he wants. :P So long as he can take the Old Man barbs right back. Heheh
Like I told her, when I was born, Jack Kennedy was in office. So, I am old. Now, mind your manners you whippersnappers, or I'll whack you with my cane... :P

And, you're right - we are WAY the hell off-topic. A little focus, please

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"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:40 pm
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*ahem* An-n-n-yway, moving on... Slight change of precedence: today's topic is mental preparedness. We'll do skill-building later.

So, we've established that the best response to a spree-killing is prevention - i.e., not to have it happen in the first place. Good plan, but not always in our control. When it does happen, we need to recognize it as fast as possible, so that we can do something about it. ("Don't be a deer in the headlights of the Kenworth of life!" - Clint Smith). Next issue, of course, is what are we going to be able to do about it? Well, if you're going in cold, not much. But...

Here, we confront the Rule of the Seven Ps: "Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance" IOW, we have to think things through beforehand. Think through the problem you're facing, and build your mental toolbox accordingly - you wouldn't use carpenter's tools to fix a car, after all. When confronted with an mass-murder in progress, you've basically got four tactical options:

    Fight - counterattack the aggressor. This is a very chancy proposition when the other guy has the gun, but you simply may not have another option

    Flight - escape the area where the incident is taking place. Probably your best option, IF you have an escape route available.

    Fortify - bar the doors and windows between you and the aggressor. If escape is not immediately available, probably your next-best option after fleeing, assuming the architecture of the building you're in permits it.

    Fast-talk - negotiate with the aggressor. Nice idea, but realistically speaking, once the aggressor starts shooting, he's almost certainly not going to be talked out of what he's doing.

These are not mutually exclusive. For example, you may have to bar the doors in order to buy time to escape, or you may have to try to talk with your attacker to lull him into an opening you can exploit to counterattack, Or any combination of these. You'll have to start assessing now.

If you're going to try to escape, where are the emergency exits? - all of them, because the shooter may be between you and the primary exit, or (as in VA Tech) he may have barred the primary. Needs must, can you get out through a window, or are you on an upper floor? For that matter, do the windows open, or are they solidly anchored in place?

If you're going to barricade, does the door lock? Is it solid, or does it have a largish panel of glass in it? Or is it flimsy enough that he can simply shoot through it? What can you use to block the door if it doesn't lock?

If you're going to try to talk him down, do you know him? How likely is he to listen? And how good are you at commmunicating, quickly, clearly, calmly, and concisely? Now, how good are you under life-or-death stress?

If you're going to try to fight, how's your Martial Arts - realistically? What improvised weapons do you have available? And can you get close enough to deploy them without being shot?

Crisis Rehearsal - the practice of imagining a crisis, then mentally gaming out a detailed response to it - comes into play here, as it does with other forms of emergencies. For example, Crisis Rehearsal for a fire might work like this: "If the fire alarm goes off, the exit is on the right, four doors down. If I can't get to the exit, the emergency door is at the end of the hall on the left. Remember, the guy on crutches is going to need help getting down those steps. If I can't get out of the room, we're on the second floor, but there's a large window ledge I can hang off of to drop to the ground. There's an extinguisher on the wall at the back of the room - dry chemical type, and I can use it on a small fire that breaks out here, needs must..."

For an active shooter: "Okay, if I hear gunfire in the hallway, the exit is probably too far away to get to before he spots me. The door is solid hardwood which should stand up to battering, but it wont stop bullets. Shove the desk in front of the door and stay out of direct line. We'll have to use the windows to get out, but the guy on crutches is going to need help - and he's probably going to get hurt dropping, so be ready for that. If the shooter manages to get into the room, I can use the fire extinguisher to blind him - that just might give me the edge I need to disarm or disable him..."

The most valuable thing in a critical incident is time. The first way to gain time is through situational awareness - recognizing the threat as quickly as possible, with no time wasted on being startled. The second way to gain time is in mental preparation, and critical response - no time wasted in floundering about trying to think. NOT "Oh, God, what do I do?!?" INSTEAD: "Oh, God, I was hoping this wouldn't happen, but at least I know what to do about it..."

Floor open for discussion...

_________________
"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

Token Reactionary S.O.B.


Sat May 05, 2007 4:40 pm
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Me doing the stupid person that I am... and my strong desire to to protect others... I would probably try to disarm the fucker...

Luckily, because I am smaller than most people, and when I was taught to fight, it was mostly against people who outweighted me and had a good 4in or more on me... I am pretty sure I can still flip a 300lb person if need be... Plus I generally go everywhere with a very small, very deadly dagger on me (yup I have a license to carry it)

If I cant fight the guy, then I will distract the dude, so others can escape... Whats one life lost, compared to the safety of a dozen other lives?

~Happy to be back on topic, Old Man? :P

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Sat May 05, 2007 7:18 pm
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NekoChan wrote:
Me doing the stupid person that I am... and my strong desire to to protect others... I would probably try to disarm the fucker...

Luckily, because I am smaller than most people, and when I was taught to fight, it was mostly against people who outweighted me and had a good 4in or more on me... I am pretty sure I can still flip a 300lb person if need be... Plus I generally go everywhere with a very small, very deadly dagger on me (yup I have a license to carry it)

If I cant fight the guy, then I will distract the dude, so others can escape... Whats one life lost, compared to the safety of a dozen other lives?

~Happy to be back on topic, Old Man? :P
(Well, now that you mention it, "happy" isn't the word. Try "relieved" - Kiddo :P )

And, you're getting ahead of yourself here. I'm preaching the concept of preparation - not specific preparations. Here's why: because Combat Dynamics is so situation-driven, I consider it to be worse than useless to attempt to prescribe general remedies for specific situations. I have deliberately limited the scope of today's post to how one might respond to an Active Shooter in a classroom or office setting. You have to do the Tactical Thinking and Crisis Rehearsal for your own situation - since I don't know your situation, any advice I could give on it is liable to be wrong. Add in that a significant fraction of the people on this board live in jurisdictions where you are absolutely forbidden from carrying weapons for defense, and any advice I could give would be shafting them.

And now, I'm going to have to get all mean and heartless on you and chew you out for the misplaced mercy in your proposed response. The other guy has a gun - and the demonstrated willingness to do murder with it. You do not. He (Active Shooters have thus far been exclusively male) forfeited all moral claim to mercy the instant they decided to do murder. If, out of misguided mercy, you allow yourself to be killed, who is going to take care of your little boy?

Dammit, I don't train people to die - I train winners! If it happens to you, " ...You're not fighting for God and Country any more. You're fighting for yourself. I. Me. The chance to see your kid again..."

Burn that thought into your mind. Focus your Will to Live. Get ruthless. If you have to break the fucker's arms, you do that. If you have to bash his brains out - you do that. If you have to gouge out his heart and eat it in front of him as the life leaks out of his eyes - you fucking well do that! Don't let some bastard waste you and leave your boy without his mother....

Here endeth the ass-chewing. Don't let me hear misplaced mercy out of you again.

_________________
"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

Token Reactionary S.O.B.


Last edited by Michael J Doyle on Sat May 05, 2007 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sat May 05, 2007 9:09 pm
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*giggles* He dont know me very well do he? *points at Doyle*

Hunni, I am a mix of Irish, Scot and German... I have a temper... and there is VERY good reason I dont get into fights very often... I DO NOT HAVE MERCY... especially for fuckheads that want to threaten my son...

Granted, if I did end up being killed, Jim-Jim would go to Azer, no questions asked. ^-^

But since I am borderline berserker when I get into a fight... the chances of me walking away, and the other guy not... are pretty good.

Dont mess with us Angry Small Folk! *growls*

~Side note-ish~
*salutes* Aye Aye Sir! Can I have a flamethrower now?

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Sat May 05, 2007 9:16 pm
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Just so's the lesson takes... :wink:

Semper Fi. Carry on.

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"Charlie was a policeman, Nick-san. If you steal, you disgrace him. And me. And yourself..."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

Token Reactionary S.O.B.


Sat May 05, 2007 9:28 pm
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Semper Fi? Wha?

Do I get a flamethrower or not?

~Haha, I have again gone off topic... Oh well...~

Anyone want me to discuss the other possible ways of living through a fuckhead killing spree?

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Sat May 05, 2007 9:44 pm
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Michael J Doyle wrote:
And now, I'm going to have to get all mean and heartless on you and chew you out for the misplaced mercy in your proposed response. The other guy has a gun - and the demonstrated willingness to do murder with it. You do not. He (Active Shooters have thus far been exclusively male) forfeited all moral claim to mercy the instant they decided to do murder. If, out of misguided mercy, you allow yourself to be killed, who is going to take care of your little boy?


If I was in the situation, knowing my own paranoid mind, what I would like to think I would do is first acknowledge the shit hitting the fan and then seeing if other people are reacting equally concerned. Like House said, "Just because you hear hooves doesn't mean it can't be zebras instead of horses." I paraphrased there but my high school wasn't far from a rock quarry so feeling blasts there didn't mean someone had detonated a car bomb on the front steps. Of course, it would be prudent to cautiously inquire.

In inquiring, you'd either hear or notice the shooter. After placing him as the threat, the next step for me would be to see if I could arm myself and go over the terrain in my head. depending on whether those two factors along with how dangerous the shooter is, I'd do one of the options mentioned; fight, flight, etc.

If I did have the chance to go after him, wait for the reload or weapon swap and go for the hands, head, and any other avaliable shot that would hopefully take him down quickly based on my limited fighting experience.

However, and this is why I quoted Doyle at the beginning of this, I wouldn't kill him unless I had to. Call it my fandom of Batman, but i wouldn't want either to let my anger and fear get the better of me to the point that I killed him or find that I had stooped to his level. I'd want him caught, tried, and convicted. Of course, if he was hurt, I wouldn't mind smiling to that either.

However, that's no reason for kid gloves in such a situation. If I had to drop him and make him worm meat, I wouldn't hesitate or waste time.

If things had been different and there was an ex-Marine and current SWAT cop taking a french course that morning, I'm sure he would have killed him if he had to but he would have tried to subdue him first.

My concern is when civilians would be able to subdue him and then automatically equate the "he tried to kill so he deserves mercy" and then do a Lord of the Dance on his skull. Or when they are able to fight off an unarmed car jacker. Or when some crazy Mr. Hobo just looks like he's going to be a threat. People have a tendency to react to let their fear and aggresion go overboard when they're shown that excessive force is acceptable, as in old Western sheriffs who didn't raise a hand when the lynch mob came to hang a man who hadn't even had his day in jail.

I do like the idea of self-training but the proper training is tricky and people don't know where to begin a lot of times. There's also too many greedy and callow people that offer bad or half-assed classes, courses, and books that would basically get people killed in many situations. People are also largely distracted by other things in life that keep them from concidering such training or pre-emptive action, like the guy that's more concerned about his phone call talking about the game last night over driving properly and keeping his attention on the road. It's only after the crash that he truly appreciates proper turn signals the same way that I imagine there's probably a good number of people at the VT campus and all over the country that are now taking self defense classes.

On the note of classes, I think it would be kick-ass if there were courses that offered the level of mental and physical training mentioned in this thread. I think it would be beneficial even beyond such things as what to do when you're being attacked, from how to be a better spouse to how to win in the boardroom. Observation and quick but proper responses are two things many people have no experience with in modern society. Hell, I'd even like to see such classes as mandatory in public schools, of course that seems as likely as having schools teach how to balance a check book and do your taxes. Practical and great ideas but not likely to happen in the system we have now.

Back to the shooting. Tragedies such as this are usually brought on by a number of things. a web of influences, from poor family situation of the kid (Oppie and Anthony did a radio play of one of the shooter's plays and you could tell he had family issues) and poor educational system that should have noticed him to a cultural and social mindset that encourages the self over others.

While the prevention of such things will probably not be prevented 100%, and the causes seem like overwhelming issues to address, improvements can be made, but they must start with the indivdual with a williness to prepare, and if you are prepared, to offer your knowledge and training to others, as well as to have a more open state of mind when it comes to your fellow man, to reach out so that no one becomes so alone and frustrated that they lash out the way the shooter did toward his fellow man.

Being a CSI I fan, I like many of their episodes and scenes but one of my favorites is during the episode where a man on a plane had a medical condition that started with a headache and ended with him being beaten to deal by the crew and passengers while he was desperatly trying to escape a plane in mid air. After they figure out what happened, the CSI crew is sitting around talking about what they would have done if a man had tried to open the door of a plane they were on. Grissom was asked and he said that the whole thing could have been prevented if someone, just anyone, had asked the man who was killed if he needed help when he just had a headache before he went balistic.

Ho was a screwed up kid but we can help prevent his kind if people would tend to their families more, not only in offering help but also accepting it. We can help if we stopped being about the status, fads, and fashion that made this kid feel like he was an outcast and be more accepting of our fellow man. We could rework our educational and medical system more about serving out fellow man and less about meeting quotas and turn over rates that end up with illiterate kids getting passed to the next grade and sick people being discharged while they're still not well, physically or mentally. We can address the problems with careful and reponsible anaylisis and not blaming it on race, political affiliation, or entertainment and hold acountable those that take advantage of such horror for ratings, votes, and the All Mighty Dollar.

Being prepared for such incidents are one half of the equation. The other is prevention.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I apologize if I got too far off the topic of what-would-you-do, as I know since I wasn't there such after-the-shit-went-done commentary is little better then the Monday-morning quarterbacking you wanted to stay away from.


Mon May 07, 2007 1:23 am
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