A Matter of Minutes: Gunfire, Chaos and Death

A Matter of Minutes: Gunfire, Chaos and Death:

Three takeaways from the Las Vegas shooting:

1) Many times when a shooting occurs, confusion reigns. There were reports of multiple shooters, that the shooting was coming from other locations, and other inaccurate info. In military parlance, this is called the “fog of war”, but it applies equally to people caught in the terrible event of a mass shooting. Put simply, in chaotic situations it can be very hard to know with certainty what is happening, and what to do.

2) With that in mind, the old standby advice of run-hide-fight still seems like the best course of action. Experts have opined on the inadequacy of run-hide-fight in the last few days (”how are you supposed to easily run out of a crowded concert?”. To our eyes, while it couldn’t guarantee safety, it’s still the best advice if only because any other options would be worse. No one in the concert space could have effectively fought back, so that should be the last option. There were few spaces to hide, and again due to the fog of war it wasn’t clear to everyone where the shots were coming from. Concertgoers also couldn’t have known what type of firearm and ammunition the shooter was using, and by extension whether it would be able to penetrate whatever objects they chose as cover. So that leaves run-hide-fight, as shitty as it is, as the best option.

If circumstances permit, it also makes sense to try to combine the first two options: get away from the scene of the shooting using available cars, trees, buildings etc. as cover. 

3) The most effective way to prevent tragedies like this is: meaningful gun regulation. Ban bump stocks and similar devices, ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, and institute proper national licensing and ID requirements.