This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, August 4, 2019:
The reactions following the ghastly atrocity that took place outside and inside a Walmart store in El Paso on Saturday morning were predictable. The president called it hateful and offered his sympathies and prayers, the state’s lieutenant governor warned Antifa to stay out, and Democrats called for more gun control.
Tweeted the President:
Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people. Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News:
I just saw … where Antifa is posting they want to come to El Paso and do a 10-day siege. We don’t need them coming in on September 1.
We didn’t need them to begin with before this happened. I would say to Antifa: scratch Texas off the map and don’t come in. It’s not the time or the place for them to come at any time, but particularly in the aftermath of what just happened in El Paso.
Bodies of slain victims weren’t even cold before Democrats running for president saw another opportunity to burnish their anti-gun credentials. Elizabeth Warren tweeted: “We must act now to end our country’s gun violence.” Bernie Sanders added: “Sadly, after each of these tragedies the Senate does nothing. That has got to change.” Pete Buttigieg expanded: “How many more must grieve before we act?” Julián Castro joined in: “This attack is a tragic reminder of our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives. We need gun reform now.” Cory Booker’s tweet declared: “Enough. We need to end this national nightmare. Praying for everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy, and for our country to find the moral courage to take action to end this carnage.”
The shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius (a resident of Allen, Texas, a nine-hour drive from El Paso), approached the Walmart store in the Cielo Vista Mall on Saturday morning carrying a semi-automatic “AK-47 style” rifle, according to media reports. He began shooting at people in the parking lot and then took his rampage inside the packed store. During the 20 minutes before local police were able to capture him, he had shot 46 shoppers, killing 20 of them.
He expressed his anger at the immigration of Mexicans crossing over the border from Juarez by telling law-enforcement officials that he wanted to inflict the maximum number of Mexican casualties as possible. This squares with his anger reflected in the introduction to a manifesto he allegedly posted online just 27 minutes before launching his attack: “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
The New American wrote about the anger of young men such as Crusius following the Garlic Festival shooting on July 28. That suspect, 19-year-old Santino Legan, said he was shooting up the festival “because I’m really angry.” This was enough for Maureen Callahan to write in the New York Post that this was a major clue to the motive behind that shooting:
He [Legan, and now Crusius] fit the profile of those who’ve come before, the rage-induced young men we first encountered through Columbine and later Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, Virginia Beach, the STEM school shooting in Colorado, Charlotte, the Poway synagogue shooting in California, the Louisiana shootings in two parishes, the Sebring shootings in Florida (those last six this year alone), the Mercy Hospital shooting, the Thousand Oaks shooting, the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting, the Jacksonville Landing shooting, the Art All Night shooting in New Jersey, the Santa Fe HS (Texas) shooting, the Nashville Waffle House shooting, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS shooting — and far too many more to mention, but all with one thing in common….
These young men nurture their anger through first-person shooter games, violent pornography, through racism and a fascination with guns and violence.… [This] is our greatest, most stubborn and pressing threat — more so, I would argue, than Islamic terrorism or Russian hacking or immigration or trade wars.
Daisy Luther, who blogs at The Organic Prepper, thinks it’s long past time for people to recognize the threat being imposed by these angry young men and raise their awareness of their surroundings when they visit public places such as shopping malls, theaters, nightclubs, and sporting events. She wrote:
Mass shootings are happening more and more often in America. Yesterday, there were two mass shootings within 24 hours that claimed the lives of 29 people and injured 52 more. A mass shooting in a Texas Wal-Mart took the lives of 20 people, and a shooting in a popular nightlife area in Dayton, Ohio killed 9 more….
What would you do if you were caught up in a mass shooting? You need to figure this stuff out now because your chances of thinking clearly and making a plan while gunshots are ringing out are practically nil….
First things first: even when you’re there for fun you must be paying attention. You should always scan an area for exits and potential cover. You should pay attention to the people around you….
A higher level of situational awareness can help you in many ways, should you be unfortunate enough to be present during a mass shooting. It can help by:
Allowing you to identify a threat before it becomes active,
Allowing you to locate exits and routes to the exits, and
Allowing you to determine sources of cover.
People shopping at Walmart on Saturday were caught off guard when the shooter entered the store, noted Luther:
A lot of people who were interviewed after the Walmart shooting said that when they first heard the shots, they didn’t realize what it was. They thought it was noise from construction or boxes being dropped.
There were precious seconds when people were frozen targets while they tried to wrap their brains around what was actually happening. During an event like this, a pause of a few seconds could mean the difference between life and death. The faster you take action the more likely you are to survive.
She boils down her survival strategy to three essential points:
If you find yourself suddenly in the midst of a mass shooting, your actions should be one of the following:
1) Escape. Get as far away from the threat as possible. This is where your early observant behavior comes in handy because you’ll already know the escape routes. If you are in charge of vulnerable individuals like children, your first choice of actions should be to get them to safety if at all possible.
2) Take cover. If you can’t get away, get behind something solid and wait for your opportunity to either escape or fight back. This is something else you may have observed when doing your earlier reconnaissance.
3) Take out the threat. If you are armed (and I really hope you are) and/or trained, use your abilities to help remove the threat.
It’s an increasingly dangerous world out there, and expecting law enforcement or security guards to eliminate threats from angry young men is unrealistic. There’s no reason to assume that shootings of unarmed, unaware human beings by angry young men is now over.