The Fort Hood Shooting, and the knifing incident in Pennsylvania caught my attention and the attention of the nation of course.
I hate the words lock down–I would prefer the words “take a defensive position.” Patrick Cook Complained that as a former MP he was demoralized to be lying on the floor with 14 others at Fort Hood in an office with Lopez trying to kick the door down, waiting for armed assistance from either MPs or Fort Hood Police.
His point is that Bill Clinton and W and now Obama should never have disarmed the soldiers at a high visibility target like Fort Hood, with the Armored III Corps and the largest number of troops of any base in the world. More than 50,000 active duty troops are on a base of more than 75 square miles, home of the 1st Cavalry Division.
I have a friend, Dr. Tom Stein, Colonel in the Army Reserves from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He had a career as an active duty officer and physician trained in Emergency Medicine, now is in private practice. 2 years ago Tom was at Fort Hood for a long reserve duty assignment and I talked to him at length about his interest in active shooter situations.
He was scheduled to give a visiting lecture on Fort Hood the day of the Luby’s shooting so he was the first physician on the scene of the slaughter. 50 were shot, 23 killed.
From that time to the present Tom has researched mass casualty incidents, including reviewing all the old FBI files going back decades. Fascinating guy. He has designed and puts on instructional programs for law enforcement and other security people on active shooter incidents. He believes that certain strategies will reduce the carnage.
My interest in shooter incidents is as an emergency physician, but I had a heightened interest since I was at the back door of the Emergency Department on the day of the Hasan massacre, Nov 5, 2009. I wrote about it here.
Stein says the best strategy on a knife attacker is move out-of-the-way and put up a defensive block, followed by action to disable. The best strategy on an active shooter is duck and cover then swarm and attack using defensive protection.
The Pennsylvania School knifing incident with 20 victims is what made me decide to write here, because the author made good sense–no reason to be knifed if you can defend yourself with a chair and if you organize your defense with other like-minded individuals, but it depends on what’s in between your ears. It’s about attitude. Lock down is the reaction of weaklings and sheep. More has to be done than hide when people are in danger. That’s why we need sheepdogs for intervention and sometimes we have to be our own sheepdogs to help our weaker friends.
Lock Down and hide can result in more people killed or injured. Most of these big public incidents are put on by lone fanatics who can be neutralized in many cases. Hasan got off almost 100 rounds, Lopez loaded and fired his 45 and moved from one place to another.
No simple answers, but Lock Down and Hide?
Thanks Tom, for your advice–might be good to put you on tour.