“It’s said that security is like oxygen; when you have enough of it, you pay no attention to it. But when you don’t have enough, you can think of nothing else.” – SECDEF, James Mattis, paraphrasing Professor Joseph Nye
Today in Texas, a 17-year-old male student at Santa Fe High School opened fire on his classmates and teachers, murdering 10, and wounding another 10.
Of course, laws were ignored by the felon, and warning signs were ignored at home.
Recently at a Rapid Mass Murderer [RRM] panel presentation during the ILEETA Conference, retired Olympia Fields Chief of Police, Jeff Chudwin, pointed out the 5 stages of such events.
1 – Fantasy
2 – Planning
3 – Preparation
4 – Approach
5 – Implementation
Fantasy = Manifesting intent and identifying intended victims. This occurs through social media posts, diaries and journals, as well as casual conversation with others.
Planning = They write out their plans, sometimes including time tables, maps, and diagrams.
Preparation = Steal/buy/acquire whatever equipment and weapons they need.
Approach = The trip to the crime scene and entry into it.
Implementation = The act itself.
Most of us only become aware of the event when we hear about stage 5 on the news. However, the other 4 are consistently ignored by those in close and casual contact with the perpetrator(s.) There has yet to be an instance of RMM that 1, or more, of the first 4 stages have not been observed by friends, family, acquaintances, facility management/administration, security personnel, and/or law enforcement.
These events don’t just drop from the sky!
In the case of the Parkland, FL, high school, everyone related to the event had ample warning! The murder had been expelled for violent threats, the local police had visited him at home over 25 times, the FBI was aware of his on-line threats, he took an Uber to the scene, and he was observed by a security guard carrying a duffel bag and back pack into the building.
What we know so far about the Texas murderer is that he posted a picture of his “Born to Kill” T-shirt on line, kept a journal outlining his plans, and, according to investigators, was “a young man obsessed with violence.”
The weapons he used were reported to be a shotgun and a .38 revolver. Both stolen from his father, who was in legal possession.
Improvised explosive devices were also reported on scene – none were detonated during the attack.
Now, we have a murderer who manifested intent and wrote his plans down, made social media posts, obtained the materials and built IED’s, and also stole weapons – weapons which were the most common style of hunting and self-defense firearms manufactured and owned in the US for the last 160-years. Yet, I bet the narrative over the next week will follow some form of this:
“It’s the NRA’s fault! Who, as the terrorist organization baby-killers they are, stand in the way of immediately banning the sale and possession of the AR15. Which, by-the-way, holds a magical power to convert otherwise normal teens into homicidal maniacs, just as it did Friday in Texas [even though a rifle wasn’t used]! And we don’t care who ignored any of the warning signs, and we don’t care about finding any real answer. In fact, we love it when this happens because we hate guns and actually want all private firearm ownership banned but pretend otherwise because we’re projecting our own darkness onto others!”
What I will do today and tomorrow, just like every day, will be to walk the Earth armed. I will have, on my person, a way to start bleeding and a way to stop bleeding. Next weekend I’ll be teaching a sold-out Level I Handgun class, and two of the students attending will be school teachers who legally carry at work. The weekend after I will be attending, as a student, an advanced wound treatment course.
That’s my contribution to “society” and “the common good.” That’s what I do “for the children.”
What I won’t do is engage in Twitter wars or suggest that my personal security is anyone’s responsibility but my own.
What I can’t do is reverse 50-years of broken homes, public education, absentee parenting, progressive social experiments, or any of the other issues feeding this trend of murdering cowards who prey en masse on the defenseless. That will not be remedied in my lifetime.
So, my advice: Get training, and carry your gun.
“You may be whatever you resolve to be” – Gen. Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson