Mass Murder

San Bernardino April 10, 2017: An estranged husband enters his separated wife’s school where she is a special needs teacher, goes to her classroom and immediately opens fire on her using a “large-caliber revolver*”. The wife was the intended target, sadly however, two young children were also injured, one of which later died at the hospital.

A few years back a town just down the road from where I live experienced a similar event. A woman who was in fear for her life from an abusive boyfriend ended the relationship. He went to her place of work ( a place he knew she would be) and shot her multiple times with a shotgun, her fears were justified. These events are truly tragic on multiple levels and yet, not that uncommon…

We are going to look at this from two angles. First from a avoiding a dangerous person angle, next a “how does this effect me” angle. It is hugely important that when dating and interacting with the What general populace that you are aware of some common and easily recognizable warning signs to a dangerous or potentially dangerous person. Disclaimer: Just because someone exhibits one or more of these behaviors, it does not mean that they are dangerous, they may just be nosy. Warning signs are just that, signs.  However, you can begin to see the image when you start putting puzzle pieces together.

One of the easiest and most recognizable signs is over inquisitiveness. If someone is asking too many questions, or out-of-place questions that should send red flags, especially if they are not offering any information themselves. For example: Where do you work, what time do you get off, do you carpool, do you live alone, etc. Those are obvious, but the smart ones are subtle in gathering this information. They may ask: What do you do? Oh, nice, a 9-5 Mon-Fri job huh? A subtle and innocuous way of gathering personal information they don’t need.

The other sign we are going to discuss is control. If someone is trying to control you in any way you need to pay close attention for other signs! While some control may be overt, this does not typically come until the relationship has some time on. Not letting you leave, controlling all of the money, controlling friends, etc are all overt. Some of the covert methods they use early on are harder to see, but there none the less. Try texting a friend in their presence ignore them, and laugh a lot. If they keep asking questions about who it is, what you are talking about, what’s so funny, or something along those lines, pay attention! All the more so if they seem serious or bothered at all by the test.

The second angle  is “how does this effect me?”. Well, read the opening story again. An 8-year-old that was not targeted was killed and another seriously wounded. Have you figured it out yet? Collateral damage… If you are in the area of a domestic event, you may be in danger. If a co-worker is separated from a potentially dangerous subject, take heed. The worst part is, you may not even know it. People all around us, including our coworkers and friends may not share those kinds of things with us. This is one reason I think you should take time to invest in your friends, but I digress.

This topic is two-fold and overlapping. Not only preventative but also reactionary. If you can recognize danger signs and avoid the threat, do it! Sometimes we find ourselves around those who did not see the warning signs, or walking through an area with a domestic event in progress. Either way we need to be prepared to protect ourselves in a proportionate way against the threat.

 

 

What can we learn?

  1. You do not have to be the target of an event to be a victim
  2. Domestic Overflow is real, and can be dangerous
  3. Work, recreation, public, etc are all venues that domestic overflow can happen
  4. Know what the warning signs are, and look for them, it is a passive process and simple
  5. What are you doing in the life of those around you to stay plugged in and help them
    • If you are taking care of a friend and “one-anothering” you will likely know something is going on and can help them through it, including help keep them safe.

Stay Sharp,

Adam

 

 

*Police One

One round started with Christina Grimmie. In the weeks that followed her murder in Orlando we saw several sensationalized murders. Thanks to the news media, and America’s sometimes disturbing infatuation with murder, murders are often sensationalized. If anyone famous is killed, commits suicide, some form of mass murder, and or critical incident occur, the media pours all resources and attention into the incident for days and weeks.

The compound danger of this sensationalization is when there is one publicized mass murder the likely hood of a secondary event goes through the roof! I told my wife that we can expect to see another incident very soon, just hours before the Pulse Orlando Shooting. Mass murder, assassinations, stalkers upping the ante, and so on all cause a ripple effect. It emboldens those planning a similar attack. It shows them that such attacks can be successful, that there are others out there doing the same thing, and that they will be “insta-famous”.

When people are looking at or planning an attack, they may be deterred by security, police, or threat of punishment. However, when one person carries out a successful attack it proves to the person that, up to this point has been hesitant to carry out any fantasies, it can be done after all. So, in an effort to ride the media frenzy started by the other person the next murder is ready to move forward.

In mass murder cases, these psychopaths are striving to break the previous body count record. They will be famous and everyone will know their name if they kill the most. Their names will go down in history as carrying out this act. Without digressing into another topic about the psychology of a mass murderer, suffice it to say, they need to be seen and heard, even if it is their last act on earth.

The same concept is applied with group mentality. A group is far more dangerous than an individual; because the individual in the group will do more that he/she would ever do on their own. All it takes is one person to start the train moving, then we have an explosion of incidents. Just a week after Christina Grimmie’s murder, we saw another Voice competitor killed.

The American people by in large have an extremely short attention span and can only focus on one thing at a time. So, when the media decides to dump all of its resources into sensationalizing a particular event, everybody will hear about it, in turn, the murder becomes famous and a house hold name. If I was willing to spread the names of those murders (which I will not do unless necessary) you would likely have heard all of their names before.

When one crazed man with a gun shoots up a mall the chance of other events, similar in nature increases. So, what does this mean for you and protection of yourself? A few things. You need to keep your eyes and ears open, look for pre-attack indicators, take threats seriously, and be prepared to run, hide, or fight. You have to have a plan for every place you go. When you go to a restaurant, know all of the exits, look for cover and concealment. When you go to the “game” be very aware of what is going on in common areas, report abandon bags and suspicious people. Above all, trust your gut. We are designed with this amazing thing called intuition, learn to trust it and embrace it.

What can we learn?

  • The media causes a lot of problems. They create problems that don’t even exist.
  • Mass murderers want to be famous, and stalkers want to “be with” their victims.
  • There is compounding danger in sensationalizing murders.
  • It only takes one killer to be successful to ignite an explosion of incidents.
  • Be engaged in your environment and pay attention.
  • Trust your gut, if something does not feel right or look right, trust yourself.

Stay Sharp,

Adam

Is there any way to predict the imminent danger of an attack? Absolutely! Can this be done with 100% accuracy? Nope. However, we can gather data, add it together, and compute a likelihood and probability. We do this by looking at past events, their outcome, and comparing that with our current circumstances.

Each and every incident is unique, but more than that, they are ever evolving and changing as they unfold. We are going to look at some “pre-attack indicators”. So called for their purpose and function. We look at pre-attack indicators prior to an attack to help us calculate its outcome.

Here is an incomplete, but sizable list of pre-attack indicators:

  • Darting glances (looking escape or friends)
  • Target Glance (looking at weapons, or targets)
  • Face wipe
  • Grooming (adjusting hair, picking at nose ears, etc)
  • Removing clothes (seriously, taking off the shirt is common)
  • Cracking Knuckles (preparing the fists)
  • Pacing back and forth (unsettled and nervous)
  • Pointing fingers (admitting target)
  • Shouting and screaming
  • Threats (obvious)

The above list is not exhaustive, but it is a good start. When you find yourself in a sketchy situation, look for some or all of the above cues. They may or may not be present in any and all combinations. A calm, cool, and experienced head, is not likely to show signs of a fight, so this is not a guarantee, just a likelihood.

Once we have looked for pre-attack indicators we need to make an assessment. This is where we move from information to intelligence. Let us do a quick hypothetical: You and some guy are having words, never mind the reason. He is becoming hostile and you are getting nervous about the whole thing. You observe him pacing, screaming, pointing fingers, and looking around. You have someone call 911, but now what? What can you do while waiting for the cops?

First, create a reactionary gap. This allows us more room and time to react. Now that we have that, we begin to plan. What are we going to do if he does “this”? That is why we have so much time going through mental simulations, right? We are going through and over our capabilities. Legally, we cannot take preemptive action. Just because you observe a few pre-attack indicators does not mean you can shoot, stab, slash, or through punch the guy.

What we can do it assess the subject. We can identify weak points, vulnerabilities, ability and skill,  and tools.  Once the fight is on, if it ever comes, we can and will be much more prepared than the bad guy, and that is everything in a fight.

Pre-attack indicators are a fantastic tool and should be used regularly. One neat thing about this is you can do it anywhere, anytime. You can master this art in a relatively short time. Once you have, you will become fluid in reading people. You will be able to tell just by looking at someone if something is not right.

Take the time, and make the effort to learn and practice pre-attack indicators. They may just save your life. You will be less likely to be caught off guard and more likely to win, prevent, avoid, or run away from a fight.

What can we learn?

  • Pre-attack indicators are good, but not a guarantee.
  • We cannot attack based on indicators, we can, however, plan our attack.
  • Once we have seen indicators, we have to assess the threat and ourselves.
  • Get police in route anytime we can in such a situation.
  • Use reactionary gap, and mental simulations to help you win the fight if it comes to that.

Stay Sharp,

Adam

First of all, let us get our terms correct. When someone uses a gun to kill en mass, they are not active shooters; this is for two reasons. First, anyone that is engaged in shooting a firearm in a safe and legal manor is an “active shooter”, that is about 99.999% of gun owners and shooters. Secondly, quit desensitizing these sick acts! Call it what it is! MURDER, HOMICIDE and so on; by creating light weight euphemisms, we take away what the victims went through, while simultaneously removing the severity of the heinous crime. These sick, hate filled people who go in to an area, to take children from parents and parents from children are murders not shooters.

Now that we have that settled, we can move on to the intended topic.

Every time we have a mass murder emotions run high, which is understandable; especially regarding those that were directly affected by the event. This is a time for healing and grieving; not political conversations. To take such a tragedy and politicize it is both disgusting and revolting. A serious, well informed, and intelligent conversation cannot and should not take place until the investigation regarding the incident is complete, understood, and the event is not a fresh wound.

The conversation, typically in the hours that follow, after such an atrocity is committed using a firearm, turns to “gun control”. For some reason, many elected officials and uninformed citizens say that banning guns would make these kinds of shootings go away (see The Paris Shooting that took place in 2015; the guns used are highly illegal and monitored in France).

This writing is not about gun control, I could write quite a book on that topic, I will say two things on the matter: 1) Let’s make drugs illegal that would solve the drug problem, cause, you know, that has worked… ha! False! 2) Guns are tools, inanimate objects, not capable of making decisions. To ban guns addresses a symptom, not the cause. Would you continue to go to a doctor who kept treating a seeping, infected wound by just putting a bandage on it? I certainly hope not! A good doctor looks for the cause and treats to cure. The seeping wound is simply a symptom of a larger, much more serious problem.

In actuality, this is what no one seems to be talking about. The root cause. Elected officials know that the best time to get stuff done, is when people are emotional. This is when they can push their agenda. Instead of talking about the problems that lead to such a tragedy, they ( being media and politicians) talk about what they want, not what needs to be said.

Abuse can be found in most every single mass murderer, and serial killer. Physical, verbal, sexual; victim or perpetrator, in any combination, typically multiple. Why are we not addressing this!? This is one of a very few common denominators among killers. The recent Pulse Orlando murderer ( I refuse to lend to mass murderers’ fame by using their names) physically abused his first wife.

Root causes are the true concern regarding such incidents. There are too many to discuss with any depth in this venue and truly warrants a book on the matter. Root causes are however, the true topic that needs to be addressed and fixed. When the infection is stopped, the wound can heal, but not until then. We have a serious heart problem in this country. We have strayed from God for so long, man has been allowed to go his own way, which leaves us where we are today; in a dark, dismal place that will only worsen. We desperately need to look at the heart and start our work there. Once a murder has happened it is too late, for every one. We can prevent violent crime, not only that, we can predict it.

They (again, media & politicians) say these kinds of things are “unpredictable”. That is bogus. No one just all of the sudden decides to go on a killing spree. It takes time and a series of events. There are many people who make a living by predicting violent crime, and successfully I might add. (That is a service we offer at Strategic Defense Group by the way.) After every mass murder, some neighbor, or friend of the killer gets on camera and says “he was a really nice guy, he was quiet and kept to himself, never bothered anyone” and so on. HELLO! Those are signs of a sociopath with antisocial personality, a major component to an individual predisposed to mass murder!

If you think “banning” a tool will solve a problem you are terribly mistaken. It is a half-hearted attempt to cure an infection with a bandage. Mass murder can be, and is often done with any array of tools. just look at the data below taken from the FBI. As you will see, getting rid of a particular style of rifles will not stop murders…

FBI Uniform Crime Report Table 8

In 2011 (the most recent year provided by the FBI for this data) the following tools were used to commit murder:

  • Rifles: 323
  • Shotguns ( the type gun that Vice President Biden recommend you buy ): 356
  • Edged weapons: 1694
  • Blunt Weapons: 496
  • Personal Weapons ( hands, feet, etc.): 728

Why do we as a nation, as states, and as citizens always seem to look to make major changes by addressing a symptom? If you want to see a major change in culture, go for the roots! Think of it this way: Your flower garden is plagued with weeds. You constantly are cutting them but they seem to come back, in even greater numbers! Then, one day you decide to dedicate some real time to treat the problem. You get on your hands an knees, grab the base of the weed, and pull hard and slow to ensure you get the  whole root. After a little time, your garden is lovely and thriving! You have no more weeds, and with a little maintenance, your garden in continually beautiful!

When we as a culture are truly ready to end mass murders, we will begin to address the root cause and not the symptom. Let me know when you are ready to end this tragedies, we are ready and waiting…

What can we learn:

  • Not active shooter, Mass Murderer! Do not negate the victims, and certainly do not desensitize the crime!
  • We should never make decisions based on emotions. Emotions are temporary, decisions typically are not.
  • Treating a symptom will only cause us to die from infection. We cannot heal by treating symptoms.
  • Root causes. This is how we can effect an entire generation, and generations beyond.
  • Violent crimes can be and typically are predictable. For a crime such as mass murder to be truly unpredictable, is a phenomenon.

 

Stay Sharp,

Adam