In a state filled with guns, a city filled with cops, a hotel filled with a small army – Stephen Paddock was able to rain down hell from the 32nd floor of the Bellagio hotel into an outdoor music festival, (his second attempt after failing to secure a room with a similar view for a previous attempt) killing almost 60 and wounding over 500.
Invincible for 75 minutes
From 10:05 until SWAT blew the door off and confirmed him down at 11:20 he could have and did whatever he wanted and no one could stop him. It wasn’t until 7 minutes later when they breached the 2nd door to his suite, was the all clear given and work continued looking for additional shooters on other floors and in other locations as was reported, while the dead and dying waiting for help that often came too late in the confusion and circumstances.
While this is no slam against the men and women of law enforcement and emergency services, they did a phenomenal job during the worst mass shooting in US history, the fact is they were unable to prevent or stop it before things turned out the way they did.
I don’t plan to debate gun ownership or the legality of a device which duplicates things you can do with your thumb and a belt loop or a tree branch, guns are a way of life in the US and beyond, that freed us of Brittish occupation and prevented German and Japanese occupation during the last World War.
While they do take over 7000 lives in police and crime related shootings and assist in over 17,000 suicides a year. The fact is there are nearly 270 million in this country alone, a huge increase in recent times, while shootings have fallen since the early 90’s. Even if you could use a giant magnet to get all of them, someone would make more plastic guns and train all the biggest and most devoted people in the use of knives, explosives and vehicular homicide as seen elsewhere. Just like Japans suicide rate is double ours without any guns.
Killers will kill
All we can really do is make the penalty more horrific than death if they are ready to die. Extreme people who take extreme measures must face extreme consequences – the whole basis for any true deterrence and historically the former basis for our justice system.
We can and will pass many new laws, most of them misguided, that will simply punish the good guys. But maybe a few good things will come of this. Such as dedicated counter snipers for these events, that can target people in high rises with technology that already is in use to pick up and pinpoint gun shots, backed up by thermal and infrared sighting systems to end these things as soon as technologically possible.
As it was the shooter was actively shooting at the crowd for only 10 minutes from an elevated position, without the assistance of his firing aids he still had more than enough time to shoot through all the same amount of ammunition, so I am not sure how much could have been changed in this circumstance but like the saying goes.
When seconds count the police are minutes away
Which brings me to the point, people need to be responsible for themselves and there loved ones.
Even when it became clear that gunfire was being heard, many people shuffled around, apparently confused, uncaring or taking time to document the scene. Sometimes minutes after being told that’s gunfire and seeing people go down around them. No.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
It’s much harder to hit a moving target and if you even think you hear gunfire, get yourself and your loved ones away. Even if you make a mistake and it’s fireworks, whats the downside, a funny story?
Do not stop and try to help, some of those killed tried to do the same thing. Bravely stopping or running towards the injured, desperately trying to save their lives and they deserve every praise they get x10.
Hide until it’s safe. If you are running away and someone needs a ride to the hospital, please do the right thing and take them, but your life should be the most important thing to you as it is to your family.
Every capable adult needs to be responsible for themselves
While it’s an infinitesimally small chance that you will ever be faced remotely similar circumstances
Guns are used in the country 1.2 million times every year to defend lives
The rules are the same.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
Now is the time to pray for the survivors and donate blood if you can to help offset the huge amount that is needed during a tragedy like this.
Eidtors note: handling a firearm in a situation as chaotic as the Las Vegas shooting can be fatal for those not clearly identifiable as law enforcement, anything but precise aimed shots by a sniper with night vision would have resulted in potentially lethal blind fire aimed at an occupied structure. Which is why police on the ground didn’t light the building up in the first place. Sadly it’s possible that plain clothes or off duty officers and armed citizens may have been the target of law enforcement during the shooting, something that would likely stay hidden, did that occur.
The last step and one I won’t dwell on is the fight portion, which I do not recommend if at all possible. As once told personally by several representatives of the Tip of the Spear dept for the US military.
In a knife fight, everyone get’s cut
You do not want to fight a professional criminal, determined individual or skilled combatant, it’s a roll of the dice – run.
Failing that, which is often the case, it’s helps to have the skills and tools to do what is necessary for yourself and the people you are responsible for IE family.
Consider if you are not already a member joining the NRA, an organization, though vilified by the uniformed, politically motivated and commercial interests seeking revenue or spread fear for the purposes of ratings and revenue is one of, if not the oldest rights organization in America. Tasked with ensuring you have the right to choose, they now have over 5 million members in America and growing. I know several people personally that detest and would never own guns that are members simply from understanding these are god given, inalienable rights, that are constantly under threat. While unlike almost all other organizations they do not bribe or force anyone in power to bend to their will, their power is knowledge, education and speaking with a unified voice for there members and people who believe in the right to defend themselves.
Diane Feinstein isn’t whipping out her revolver and running with her armed guards to protect you, ultimately you are alone with your challenges long enough for them to become nightmares,so think hard about leaving it up to police in an emergency to stop it.
Remember it’s 100,000x more likely that you will need the protection of a firearm than those earthquake supplies in any one year. You are actually 100x more likely to die from heart disease, that be murdered with a gun or even 5x more likely to die in an accidental poisoning this year too, so it always pays to be vigilant.
I will talk about that more in a future post, in the meantime consider taking a course on self defense at the very least.