When one of these events takes place it is imperative for us to learn from them should we hope to prevent or interdict the next one. Sadly, this is rarely done to a true operational level. It may be too soon to do this, but we have had three major events in the last three weeks. I do not think it is too soon. These points were brought to the discussion on my forum warriortalk.com by one of its members -
FACT 1: Shooter visited the site five days prior to the attack. This was probably a reconnaissance of the site. We know that both terrorists as well as "crazy people" have done this prior to their initiation of attack. Alternatively, he may not have decided to attack yet and was working up to it
LEARNING POINT: In today's tech world it is an easy thing to have 24-7 passive surveillance. We have it at home and at Suarez HQ. This can run all the time and can be monitored remotely. An alternative is the use of game cameras. Any after hours suspicious visitors can be scrutinized at length. These cameras can be elaborate and expensive or quite simple and cost effective. Here is an Amazon link for such items for your convenience. We live in a time of war and such steps, specially if you work at a desirable target, are not only simple and cost effective, but essential in your safety. And anyone seen doing surveillance should be taken seriously.
FACT 2: Shooter had sent threatening texts to his mother-in-law prior to the attack.
LEARNING POINT: I will bet the threats were waved off as nothing serious. In today's environment, everything must be taken at face value, whether it is a man walking into a public venue dressed like an active shooter, or a threat made by text.
FACT 3: Shooter posted on FB that he was not thinking clearly and had a headache. Shooter did not show up for work on Saturday and Sunday due to headache.
LEARNING POINT: This will be discussed at length, but honestly...it is irrelevant because nobody is going to call the police because someone's strange post. Moreover, no police agency will investigate it further than an information-received report. And truly, do we want the police coming and visiting us if we call in sick, or have an angry discussion with someone? Hardly.
FACT 4: Shooter was wearing body armor (type unknown) and a helmet. Same situation in many other events.
LEARNING POINT: So this one is simple. We used to say, "If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck...its a duck". So that man walking up to the church wearing armor and carrying a rifle is nothing but a freaking duck and should be treated as such. Today we need to go on first impressions, because second impressions will be paid for with the lives of the innocent.
On weapons - Yes, I know Willeford used a rifle to kill the gunman (he gets the score, I am not buying the suicide thing). But that was a fortunate happenstance. These events will invariably be handled with the pistol that is already in your belt rather than the rifle you go and get. And given that armor is prevalent, the traditional notion of center of mass shots is no longer valid.
The face is the target. The ear canal is the target. The base of the neck is the target. And those may be preceded by shots to any exposed body part vis-a-vis counter-armor tactics.
FACT 5: The good guy that responded was unprepared practically (no mag, barefoot), but was mentally ready to go anyway.
LEARNING POINT: Willeford, the man who intervened acted heroically. Of that there is no doubt. And for his actions we applaud him strongly. But we still need to learn from the conclusion of the event. Regardless of his heroism, he was totally unready. I understand being comfortable at home, etc., but the only firearm being in a safe and unloaded? I think that may have been NRA programming. I know that my staff and I - and hopefully my students - are armed all the time, and at home, there are loaded weapons ready to go nearby. It takes time to go and get a rifle, and then to load it. Could that time have been better used?
FACT 6: The shooter had slipped through a myriad of cracks.
LEARNING POINT: No matter how much humans try, their systems will never be 100% foolproof. And in the age of the offended, people like him will often be overlooked so as to not be discriminatory, judgemental, or mean spirited. In short, we cannot really prevent such things. The only thing we can do is interdict them with extreme and surgical violence when they erupt the next time.
FACT 7: The liberals, communists, and the soft, lotiony-handed snowflakes are again bleating about the presence of weapons in their little snow globe worlds. And they are rattling their...ah...hash pipes (they do not have sabers apparently), calling for bans and such.
LEARNING POINT: Not so much a learning point but rather a statement to those people. No. We are not going to get rid of our guns so you and your stupid little empty nut sacked friends can feel better about sodomizing America even further. No. So go sit down and sulk. Reach for my blaster and you will end up with no teeth and blood all over your Che t-shirt. Transmission ends.
It is only a matter of time until the next terrorist event or crazy guy rampage. Lets learn our lessons and stand ready. The next one may be at your church or at your school.