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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Not really about this...just to catch your attention.

Last night a masked gunman killed 12 people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in a suburb of Denver.

Entering the theater, he hurled a gas canister into the auditorium and opened fire on moviegoers!

How do we better prepare ourselves for these types of scenarios?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:36 am 
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I try to imagine being called to the scene of a massacre. The screams and the sirens fading into the background, while the pools and splashes and smell of blood unleash a primal shout for attention. In the poor lighting, I see the bodies of men, women, and children tangled and trapped in rows of chairs, sprawled in dumped popcorn, and spilled soda pop. I try to imagine the specter of a gunman or even an accomplice around the corner ready to kill and die for who knows what. I try to push the possibility of booby traps among the victims out of my mind. The adrenaline's rushing, and everything goes back to basics. Triage. Treat. Transport. When it all goes to hell, all you have left is what you're trained to do. I don't want to think about what they're going to go through in the months ahead. It's not something they'll just go home and wash their hands of.

My hat's off to the police, who I read responded within minutes. I have nothing but respect for an entire class of people that will run in when everyone else is running out. When ambulances didn't arrive right away, they started taking the victims to the hospital themselves. The fewer light injuries on-scene, the easier it is to triage and help the ones who really need it. Good on them.

My thoughts go out to my brothers and sisters in arms, Navy, Army, and Air Force, who were caught in the carnage, and to the families of those who were killed, or who now lay in ICU beds, clinging to life.

I'm watching as everyone's talking about more security at theaters. There's an answer, for you. It's not just closing the barn door after the horses escape. It's more like replacing the door with a screen. The man was armed with a rifle and two handguns, a flak vest, a gas mask, and enough rounds to shoot seventy people and more (he had purchased some 1-3,000 rounds on-line). Maybe a rent-a-cop and a metal detector will scare a guy like this away. I doubt it.

It's hard to stomach the idea that just going to a movie can end up being a trip to a warzone. Even after all the high school, college, and church shootings, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing... the list goes on and on. Our society doesn't deal with death well, and our litigious nature always ends up looking to hold someone responsible, but we never, ever look at ourselves. How many of us tell our kids what to do in the event of a shooter? A kidnapping? We want our kids to be kids, but they're getting the talk about strangers and sexual misconduct at a tender age in cub scouts and brownies. I don't think it's 'strange' anymore to do what we have to do to keep our kids safe. There's a fine line between giving up on the ability of a government to provide some semblance of safety, and clinging to the idea that government can somehow keep us safe from ourselves.

I find it amusing and sad that the same people advocating gun control are the same ones saying the war on drugs is failed, that we should legalize them, citing the failure of Prohibition. Apparently the idea that we can't keep things like illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing our border doesn't transfer to guns, except when going the other way (thanks, ATF).

So how do we prepare for something like this? Is it possible? Conventional wisdom says 'get out fast...' but this shooter was shooting at anyone moving, whether towards the exits, or through the theater. Perhaps in this case it would have been safer to lay down in the aisles and play dead. Best-case scenario, two or three armed citizens start shooting the (insert your favorite derogatory name here) until he doesn't move anymore. How many lives could have been saved? Can people carrying pistols outshoot a man with an AR-15 without a plan/flanking? One may not have made a difference, but the more guns on target, the more rounds will hit.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Thank you for the fine and well articulated post, Jason. I think you could write for a living.

Here we have some articles with somber observations:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/opinion/f ... index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/us/commen ... le_sidebar

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:47 pm 
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In such an event, we'll see three groups of people.

  • The vast majority will flee for their lives. Perhaps these are the "smart" ones.
    ...
  • Some will freeze and even "play dead". More than a few have survived recent shooting tragedies by doing just that. They describe hearing a gunman passing over them, inspecting their "dead" carcasses.
    ...
  • Because populations survive from genetic variability - allowing said population to respond to unknowable environmental perturbations - we find that another outlier group will choose a paradoxically different approach. A very few or even a single one may choose to confront the threat, knowing full well that death may be imminent.

I remember once telling someone that when my first son was born, it was the first day I knew that I could easily die for something or someone. These days when I am in town with my family, Friday night is one-on-one movie night with number 2 son. I could have been there in that theater. And his life would be my primary concern.

I've actually thought about this very scenario. Churches and theaters are filled with seats. Seats give you cover. Not protection, mind you, but cover. There is a difference. I could easily imagine telling number 2 son that this might be the last time I would see him, and to remember forever that I loved him. Then I'd send him with the nearest neighbor and work my way under cover of seats to the front. It would be the last thing the gunman expected. And I would perhaps be uniquely qualified to disarm him, or give my life trying to do so. In such a situation, it paradoxically could be my best chance of survival.

Uechi Ryu teaches us that there's safety in the eye of the hurricane. Bobby Campbell showed me a technique he used in the Philippines on someone who threatened him with a baseball bat. It was brilliant, and it was effective. To this day I teach it in class in the context of the Sanseiryu from whence the principle comes.

I've also received extensive training with firearms. I've participated in the Tueller drill - on the gun-holding end. Jimmy Malone and I are the only people I know who have "defeated" the Tueller drill. I know what I did and what Jimmy did. He would very likely not know what to do. All I would need is to get close enough before being noticed...

I don't think I would hesitate applying lethal force. Unlike someone in special forces, I'd probably suffer from the consequences of it all for the rest of my life. But there would be no hesitation.

It would be the least I could do for my son under the circumstances. And if I failed but he survived, he'd know how much I loved him.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:06 pm 
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The scenario I describe would have a greater chance of success with two rather than one.

My sister lives on the edge of the Santa Anna desert. She used to have cats... Nature has coyotes. Bye bye cats. However, she raises Great Danes as a hobby.

Because all of them are "intact" and have their sexual behaviors about them, she and/or her husband would let them out of their pens and onto the fenced property only 2 at a time to do their business and stretch their legs. Great care is taken not to release the two alpha males at the same time.

When the Danes saw a coyote, they predictably demonstrated an interesting "pack" behavior. Rather than both of them head straight for the coyote, they would part ways and go in two different directions. And almost as if planned like a precision military operation, they would converge from opposite directions on the coyote. If the coyote noticed one of them - and he usually did - he would turn and run in the other direction. Oops!

United Flight 93 had four (4) individuals - one a martial artist - who chose to confront their hijackers. They died attempting to do so, as the hostage-taking pilots flew the plane into the ground. But they got to choose the way they died, and they saved the lives of many on the ground.

An airplane scenario presents fewer convergence options. A theater is ideal. And you only need two.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Good post Bill, lots to think about. This deranged killer was well protected by flack vest, head enclosed by gas mask, groin protection etc., and was firing 40 to 60 rounds per minute.

What are some of the ways to kill this shooter, assuming we make it to him without being shot?

If we are carrying a handgun, where do we aim it and how close do we need to be before we fire it.

What if the guy is as big, tall, and strong as a NFL linebacker in addition to all his equipment he was wearing?

I often think of what can we do with our training to stop/kill such a
threat, even with a weapon/handgun we might have on us.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
What are some of the ways to kill this shooter, assuming we make it to him without being shot?

Having worked with the likes of Rory Miller and having seen a very different interpretation of Kanbun's style than what the Okinawan's saw, I'd have a non-striking approach to the situation. In short... I would break his neck.

Years ago I learned an "alternate" version of Seichin kata. In it - after the two circles and rear-leg front kicks - was a move that apparently was removed. It's not that the move was ineffective. Far from it. I heard that the move was removed because folks were using it on their sparring partners' arms and hyper-extending their elbows.

That which works on one appendage works quite well on another. The power comes from the legs and the technique takes advantage of a sound understanding of leverage. Once in close, it's quite easy to do.

Unlike Rory whose goal is to handcuff rather than maim his opponent, I would have the advantage of no badge and the context of facing a preponderance of force. I wouldn't need to hold back, and I wouldn't. I'm frankly not good enough to get cute.

A man's got to understand his limitations. (With apologies to a Hollywoood screenwriter)

Van Canna wrote:
If we are carrying a handgun, where do we aim it and how close do we need to be before we fire it.

Iraqi insurgents taught their soldiers how to kill properly-shielded Americans. They'd aim for the neck. Without a helmet, the head would be the bigger target. Up close and personal, this would be much easier. Again... I would know my limitations. I'd want to be so close that his rifle or shotgun would be a liability. My gun instructor would have been able to pull this off from the back of the theater.

Van Canna wrote:
What if the guy is as big, tall, and strong as a NFL linebacker in addition to all his equipment he was wearing?

NFL players go down as well - many times in a ballgame.

I practice this all the time. From behind it's very easy to break someone's center. The backs of the knees are magic buttons on the human body.

And face-to-face, a big man's body is a liability when moving his head. Once you get the person to bend over - and the kata teaches how - the neck is the weak link. It's more difficult, but the principles which make the original neck wrench work still hold.

By the way... I'm not suggesting any of this is easy to do. I'm only suggesting that it's possible. And with my son in the room, I wouldn't hesitate to try.

Without someone else to protect, I might be a coward just like the next guy. ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Good post Bill. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Thanks, Van, for your kind words.

Bill, awesome stuff.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Quote:
In May, he began buying guns and apparently stocking up on the body armor that police said he wore during the shooting: a ballistic helmet and vest, ballistic leggings, throat and groin protector, a gas mask and black tactical gloves.


Image

This guy will have been much harder to 'take out' than what anyone here thinks. 8O

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:03 pm 
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'No gun zone'

Even if having had one would have made no difference most likely.


http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/colorado-the ... free-zone/

One thing for sure...

There will be wrongful death actions and all kinds of physical and mental injury claims/suits against the theatre.

Let's see how deep their pockets really are. They may also be self insured for a portion of the risk. :P

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:06 pm 
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When your time is up.

Quote:
Jessica Redfield, who narrowly survived the Eaton Centre Mall shooting in Toronto last month, is among the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. An aspiring sports blogger, Jessica Redfield was among the 12 victims killed in the shooting at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” as 24-year-old James Holmes threw explosives into the theater then began opening fire. Redfield had blogged about her experiences in the Toronto mall shooting, where she was in the food court and left just ahead of the shooter.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:28 am 
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A Real Life 'Final Destination.'

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:50 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
This guy will have been much harder to 'take out' than what anyone here thinks. 8O

No doubt. Oy, methinks this science nerd spent way too much time playing video games.

If his legs can bend, he can be bent and/or taken down at the folds of the knees and hips. (Thank you, Mayamiya san!) If his arms can bend, his elbows can be collapsed or hyperextended. And if his head can turn, his neck can be broken. It reminds me of a child's story where they face a door with a dozen locks on it. They remove the door at the hinges.

It's not easy, but it's not impossible. You know me, Van. I can't stand thinking about the barriers; I look for the possibilities. I may go down, but I'm going down trying. 8)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:10 am 
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Precisely Bill, the reason why I bring up these arguments, as I always have…

There is always some way, unortodox as it might be _ to fight for your life.

The smart ones would come back with the thinking of more alternatives or possibilities….

The weak get 'dissed' and would run to George for help to untie the knots in their pantyhoses that Van tied up. :P

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