Today’s article is a guest contribution from my friend Ed Monk. Ed is a police officer, retired Army officer, and owner of the Last Resort Firearms training company. In this article, Ed shares some valuable active killer research. I will be posting my thoughts on the Orlando massacre tomorrow.
By Ed Monk
June 12, 2016
We now have a new high score. The mass murder inside a gay nightclub in Orlando has surpassed the Aurora, CO theater shooting as having the highest number of victims and highest number of murders among active shooter attacks in the US.
Political gamesmanship will fill the media for the weeks to follow the massacre, but will government leaders, business owners or education administrators do anything that will actually save lives? History suggests most will not. But they should.
In a quote attributed to Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
-28 people were shot inside Sandy Hook Elementary School while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
– 31 people were shot inside a San Bernardino, CA government building while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
-34 people were shot at Columbine High School while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
-43 people were shot at Fort Hood, TX while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
-47 people were shot in an academic building at Virginia Tech University while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
-70 people were shot inside a movie theater in Aurora, CO while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
-And now, 102 people have been shot in a nightclub in Orlando, FL while they waited on police to arrive and stop the killing.
In addition to mass casualties, all of these crime scenes have one thing in common. They are all places where law prohibited law-abiding adults from carrying handguns for self-defense. This made everyone present a compulsory victim, a sitting duck, a fish in a barrel, once the killer chose that location and started his attack. It forced everyone to wait on police to arrive and stop the killing. The pattern and trend is obvious. A LOT of people can be shot in the time it takes police to arrive after a mass public shooting begins. The norm seems to be between three and eight minutes.
So, for government leaders, for people who manage offices, businesses and schools, if your plan to respond to an active shooter attack is to wait on police to arrive and stop the killing, history tells us you will have a high body count. How aggressive the shooter is, and maybe how many shooters there are, will determine if the body count is closer to 20, or 100, or worse. This is not what we want, but it is what the facts predict.
No one wants 20, 30, 50, 70 or 100 innocent people shot. So what can we do to limit the number of victims in future attacks? What has actually worked? What has proven it can save lives?
In every single active shooter attack where a good, armed person was present when the attack began and acted aggressively to stop the killer, the body count was less than 10, single-digits. Every time. 100%. Having a good, armed person present who will act to stop the killer, whether it’s a cop, armed security guard, or armed citizen, ends the attack in the first 1 – 2 minutes. This prevents the killer from having the time needed to amass a high body count. Waiting on police to arrive and stop the killing gives the killer plenty of time to shoot a lot of people.
Despite this, waiting on police to arrive and stop the killing is still the “plan” for far too many government offices, businesses, and schools. If we know what that plan gets us, and we do – high body counts, why do so many continue to have that plan? Why do so many leaders want to “keep getting what we’ve always got?” Unless an organization’s plan is to actively and aggressively stop the active shooter in the first 1 – 2 minutes of the attack, it will likely get what we’ve always got – a high number of shot victims.
History and facts show us a plan that will save lives. Not prevent all murders, but limit the number of victims. That is to have good, armed people present who will confront the killer and end the attack quickly. This can be police officers or armed security guards in sufficient numbers to protect any given organization or crowd. Where sufficient police or armed guards are not provided, law-abiding adults should be allowed to protect themselves and other innocent people. It worked at Pearl, MS. It worked at Edinboro, PA. It worked at Colorado Springs, CO. It worked at Darby, PA. It has worked 100% of the time. 100%. In the South, we say, “Thems is good odds.”
Why would a politician, a business leader, or a school administrator, responsible for the safety of other people, choose a plan that almost guarantees a high body count, instead of a plan that has saved lives every time it has been tested? We should start asking them.
It’s time to start thinking and acting logically, not politically or emotionally. It’s time to finally act to save lives.
Ed Monk is a retired Army officer, a law enforcement officer, a professional instructor of firearm skills, and a former high school teacher.
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