Mass shootings and concealed carry in the wake of the Lafayette theater shooting
There is no simple answer to solving an active shooter. A part of the solution for protecting Americans is the rights guaranteed to us under the 2nd amendment. I know for many who are not 2nd amendment supporters, this sounds counterintuitive because they believe that the gun is the problem, not the underlying mental instability that almost every active shooter possesses. I am a strong 2nd amendment supporter. The amendment was specifically crafted to ensure that none of the other rights spelled out in our constitution could be taken away through the action of tyrannical governments and also the quickest remedy to defend our most fundamental right, The right to life. All of the other remedies require long drawn out legal processes or outsourcing the protection of your life to a third party. I am also a realist with what a firearm can and cannot do. A firearm does not have any magical powers. It should never be construed as a status symbol and it should never be used to fill a void for ones own perceived inadequacies. A gun is a tool used to accomplish a specific task. Nothing more, nothing less. In reality, the weapon which people are looking for is one they already have, just underused. That weapon is a well trained mind. Personal and professional experience has shown me that active shooters and terrorist almost always chose targets that are “Gun Free” or soft for a reason. I’ve learned some very hard lessons from my policing career, tactical experience as a counter-terrorism instructor in the Middle-East and providing High Threat close protection in some of the most dangerous places on earth. Every act of violence, whether it’s an active shooter, act of terrorism, an armed robbery or a fist fight will alway’s have pre-incident indicators. They always exist. The reality is that we as Americans live in a predominately “Soft” society. This soft society is a blessing because I can think of no other place on earth that I would want to raise my kids. It’s also a curse. The blessing is that our country through all of its troubles is remarkably stable. Meaning that acts of violence like the one in Lafayette and Chattanooga are the exception and not the rule. The blessing is that because of our freedoms which the 2nd Amendment helps guarantee provides for a remarkably “stable” country. Because of this stability, we no longer recognize predatory or as we call it “outlier” behavior in our fellow man. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the menu if you catch my drift. Unless you grew up in a violent neighborhood were criminality and predatory behavior was rampant, or served in combat where you are forced to be Hyper-aware, you are simply not tuned in to the environment. The American populace does not readily recognize when something is amiss. That unfortunately is the curse. We will find as we have in every single mass shooting that the killers told the world what they were going to do either through direct statements, writings or through indirect means what he had in mind. Just nobody in his immediate sphere of influence was listening or took his statements and actions seriously.
**Updated July 25th: CNN reports that he had a history of mental illness and made threats of violence and his family had sought legal remedies that proved impotent. We still have not addressed what we can do to prevent mentally unstable people who clearly represent a danger to society from owning and possessing a firearm. You will not solve the problem by penalizing the rest of us for their actions and taking away our ability to defend ourselves.
I can say with quite certainty that he will have surveilled or staked out the theater several times and may have done a dry run or two. I haven’t seen the surveillance footage, but it will be there as it almost always is. Just prior to the shooting he had staged his car and had planned to escape using disguises and alternate plates on the car. That means that he had learned the internals of the theater, A check of his credit/Debit history may show when he was there and this may prove useful for an after action report. If there is internal surveillance footage of his activities in the theater prior to the shooting, this may yield some useful information.