Monday, October 23, 2017

Las Vegas and Other Mass Shootings - Possible Responses

The Las Vegas machine gun shooting of 10/01/2017 from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel was the carefully premeditated and inhuman murder of 59 innocent people trying to find a moment of joy in an increasingly difficult and violent world at a music concert. It was also attemped murder and wounding of hundreds of others trying to find the same moment of joy. Truly a sick and cowardly deed. How many of the couple thousand people who were there will have PTSD from this event as they go forward with their lives?

On October 23, 2017, more than three weeks after the shooting we still do not know if this guy was crazy, or whether he was radicalized by Daesh (they say he was their soldier). We don't know if perhaps violent video games and movies motivated him or dehumanized other people to him. We don't know if he hated America, or Las Vegas, or country music, or Republicans, or just hated people. Did he have a brain tumor? Did he have a drug or alcohol problem? Was his brain easily susceptible to negative manipulation? Or was he just seeking to become famous for murdering the most people in the shortest amount of time? Where is his manifesto or statement of action? Did he write the plans for his heinous act down somewhere? Did he plan to do this alone? What do the people in his life know about his actions or mental state? I hope we start hearing some answers soon. The families require it. The rest of the United States needs it too.

With love and respect to all of the victims, those who have passed and those who were injured and traumatized, I would like to suggest that in this case (Mandalay Bay shooting) and other future cases, that there is a method that may have worked at stopping or slowing the shooter and reducing the terrible damage that was done. Remember that some concert-goers, maybe many or all, eventually knew where the gunfire was coming from. Some people were able to key in on the sound to locate where the shooting was coming from. In the dark the muzzle fire may have been visible to other people. In videos from that night, people were looking up at the hotel windows and cursing the shooter. I suggest that if one or a few people had a moderately powered laser (from 5 to 500 milliwatts or above) and aimed it up toward the shooter they may have blinded (temporarily or for longer) the man and brought on some relief from the deadly situation. At any rate he would have found it impossible to shoot at targets on the ground with one or more superbright lasers shining up toward that window and his eyes. A gun from down on the concert grounds would have been almost useless unless it were a rifle in very capable hands, but the laser light would have been instant and accurate and the spread of its terminal spot of light at the distance of 300 yards or more would have been enough to cover a wider area in the window more likely flashblinding and at least frustrating the shooter. This may have worked in the Orlando night club shooting, and the Batman movie theater shooting too. In certain other mass shootings a laser will not have worked.

It is my hope that people will begin to carry commercially available lasers (of 5 to 500 milliwatts or more. Lasers of less power than 5 mW will be less effective.) with the intent of using them as defensive weapons in a case like this. And, of course concert venues and sporting events, etc., will need to allow them in if found on someone's person. Bad guys need their eyes to see what they are doing and if someone with a laser is in a life-or-death situation like this and they use their laser and it causes the shooter even just to have to close his eyes, that may make a difference which allows someone to take action. It will certainly be something unplanned for by the shooter and may cause him to make a mistake. It may save a life or lives.

I hope that we soon find out the motive behind this spineless shooter's evil murder of so many innocent people, but whatever the cause ends up being, a lesson that we can take from this is that people need to have something to else to fight back with to save their own lives. The police cannot act instantly in every situation (though they were heroic here) and even concert-goers carrying handguns would not have helped in this situation; neither would mace or a Taser. I contend that one or more moderately powered lasers would help in this sort of situation by blinding or temporarily frustrating an attacker.

Wicked Lasers sells more powerful lasers on their website but 5 milliwatt lasers are also easily available on eBay and Amazon.

Disclaimer: This suggestion is for defensive purposes only and in situations where life or limb are threatened. Any time you hurt someone else you are responsible for your actions and possibly blinding someone is a serious action which will have serious consequences unless it was done for the right defensive reasons. Lasers should never be aimed in a frivolous manner toward any plane, car, or other object where a person or people may be at or near the end of your beam. Check local laws regarding possession of laser emitting devices. Eye protection should be worn when in the presence of or when handling powerful lasers.

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