Posts Tagged ‘Aurora Colorado’

There was an incident in New york City this week involving a shooter and his subsequent death at the hands of veteran police officers.  My intent is to not analyze or criticize the actions of the police officers, on the contrary, I want to use it to prove a point that I brought out last month in Think Before You Speak.  During the Aurora, Colorado shooting last month there was a backlash of loudmouths who expressed their opinion that had people been carrying guns in the theatre the shooter would not have had the effect that he did.  In fact most of the loudest expressed that he would not have shot anyone had they been there and allowed to carry their firearms.  Again, I say bullshit.

Before I go any further take a read at some of the latest information coming out. http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/25/justice/new-york-empire-state-shooting/index.html

Now keep in mind, this is two trained, veteran officers of one of the most proficient police forces in the world.  A force that has exceptional standards and has trained its officers to react appropriately in situations just like this. So a few facts in this case:

16 rounds fired by the police officers (9 from one, 7 from the other)
3 rounds reported hitting the suspect

9 bystanders hit by shrapnel or directly by bullets

So, these veteran, well-trained police officers were not able to put all their rounds in the target.  The target was standing, in the open, full daylight.  Now turn this around to that night in Colorado, it was movie theatre black, smoke grenades had been thrown in and the shooter was in the front unleashing his evil.  Now all the loudmouths out there say they could have taken him out, I repeat, bullshit.

I know each and every situation is unique, no matter what your level of weapons training.  Bad things can happen in a firefight, they usually do.  There is a reason why elite military units and law enforcement special weapons teams use extreme violence and train as thoroughly and as disciplined as they do.  It gives them the advantage and allows them to command the situation, it provides dominance over the untrained.  The casual shooter or gun enthusiast does not have the level of training and dispassion required to act in those situations.  They may be able to overcome a burglar or someone wishing to do them home when confronted face to face, but a situation like Colorado is a different beast.

Those cops in NYC kept many more people from being killed thanks to their actions.  I realize there were casualties associated with those actions, but they were not done because they were careless.  They happened in a blink of the eye and as a result of the heat of battle.  Those officers are going to deal with their psychological situation for some time to come.  There will probably be some additional civil fallout, that I would hope the City would shield them from.

There is a fine line between training and acting.  There are times that no matter what the amount of training that something bad can happen.  Putting a bullet in someone, when you can look at them is not something we, as humans, are inclined to do.  Training, repetitive and constant helps to overcome that, but the average civilian or crazy ass, loudmouth militiaman does not have it.  Sociopaths and psychos are a different story, they do not have the limits that most of society does.  So, next time something horrible happens, it will just a matter of where and when, do not open your mouth and spout your ill-advised Second Amendment crap, think more about what you can do to limit something happening to you or your family.  Develop a sense of what is around you and seek some guidance on what should be done when a tragedy happens in a public forum.  I bring things up to my family all the time when we are out and about.  I do not address it as a paranoid person, but I disguise it as someone who likes to know what the options are given the environment I am in.  The best thing sometimes is to simply take yourself out of the way and be as observant as possible.  As a last resort or if the opportunity is survivable, act, but think about what the consequences are to those around should you fail.

I am an advocate for the Second Amendment.  I am also an advocate for gun control.  I do not believe they are exclusive of each other.  Targets are paper, people are not.  Targets do not shoot back, people do.

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Our wonderful friends of the Westboro Baptist Church have released plans to picket an upcoming prayer vigil for the victims of the tragic shooting Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado.  We are all accustom to hearing about their brand of bigoted religiosity and their perverted interpretations of the Bill of Rights when it comes to the military.  This time however, they are bringing their venom to bear on the civilian population that we all swore an oath to protect when we joined the military.

Time and time again, volunteers have willingly placed themselves, in massive human walls, between these monsters and the grieving family members of our fallen comrades.  Many, if not most of these volunteers have been members of our civilian population.  They gather for our comrades and their families, they take their time to say thank you in their own way, more often than not never having met anyone related to the service member.  It is their way of showing respect and solidarity in the face of what is wrong with our freedoms.

It would be a flagrant violation of regulations to show up in uniform to stand tall in a human wall.  Would it not be nice though to see hundreds of service members show up and give one last defense of the victims before they are laid to rest?  I can only hope that members of the military that are stationed in Colorado can band together and place themselves in the way, in the same way many civilians have supported us over the last decade.

One of the things that truly amazes me about this country is the complete inclusiveness that is experienced in the aftermath of tragedy.  It does not matter what your religious beliefs are, what your sexuality is, what color, race or any other normally exclusive factor you can find; Americans, real Americans, come through for those in need.  They do it at the grass roots level and they come together simply because that is what we do.

I hope to see in the coming days the monstrous response I expect in stark contrast to what miniscule protest WBC is normally capable of producing.  Americans standing together in protest of what we all know is wrong.  That is what gained us our independence and what has spurred change through our short history as a republic.  It is what will sustain us through changes we still need to make and lend voice to conquer what we know to be wrong.

I am going to take a rash of crap for this one, but I am going to fire away at it anyhow.  There has been a ton of postings on various blogs, television and Facebook Meme’s that extol the virtues of gun ownership, particularly the concealed carry ability and how if there had been people in the audience at the premiere of Dark Knight this Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado, that the shooter would never have been able to do what he did.  I am actually of the opposite mindset and I firmly believe that had there been people who were willing to draw down on the shooter, we would have had more folks hurt or killed and the ballistics would have matched up to the “do-gooders” weapons and not the original shooters.

You may ask if I am for the Second Amendment and if I have something against gun ownership.  I will answer yes, and no.  The no however comes with a couple of caveats which I will not get very in depth with here.  That is a topic for another blog at a more appropriate time.  My concern for this blog is the mindless people who think simply having a gun on your person is both a deterrent and gives you the ability to stop a madman when he begins his rampage.  Please keep in mind this happened in Aurora, CO, not Fayetteville/FT Bragg, NC or FT Lewis, WA, or Camp Pendelton, CA or Camp Lejeune, NC; places where the majority of the citizens have had real training and have faced the rigors of combat.  In all these other locations you can find in any venue, multiple people who have moved through the fog of war to close with and engage the enemy.  These people know what to look at and for when the “shit hits the fan”, they know how to engage.  Soldiers (used universally here) can move through the smoke and as much as we may hate it, we have exposure to gas environments through training.  Chances are in one of these locations, it would have been multiple people taking down the shooter without killing him (outright anyway) because they are smart enough and well trained enough to know that you, DO NOT SHOOT AT WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE!!!  It is beaten into the lowest ranking individual.

So all you ass-hats that think you would have just whipped out your pistol when the smoke started rolling and the shooter started wreaking havoc, you are both full of crap and inexperienced.  Chances are had you brought a weapon to bear you would never even know until long after the fact that you were responsible for the wounding or death of someone else.  I say this not to make light of what happened or to deny anyone their Constitutional right to bear arms, I say this as a professional who knows that it all sounds great when you are planning it, but it never happens the way you plan it.  All of your concealed carry folks out there (my people that I know are trained well, you know this does not refer to you) you need to do a little more than plink at paper targets to get to the point where you can knowingly draw your weapon and take someone down.  It definitely takes more than plinking at paper targets to do so under extreme stress, especially that in which you cannot see and someone is actually shooting at you.

My thoughts and sympathies lie with the victims and their families of this tragedy.  Whatever the shooters reasons may be, it is too bad he did not challenge the police when they arrested him, it would be much better had he done so, it would have been a swift justice.  Fortunately, most police officers in this country maintain their proficiency with their weapons to defend themselves and others around them, they do not train to the point in which callous disregard for the laws they enforce will allow them to simply kill the perpetrator, no matter how justified the public in general may feel about it.  Had they simply just blown him away, there may have been additional casualties from law enforcement because they would not have been told of the bombs he had set up at his apartment.  So despite my personal thoughts stated earlier that killing the shooter would have been a swift justice, good job to the police officers for showing the restraint needed in such a situation.

Simply owning the gun and saying you have the will to use it is not enough.  When things are going to hell it takes more than basic proficiencies in order to function in the void.