Saturday, December 08, 2007

Remembering Omaha

I saw her standin' on her front lawn
Just twirlin' her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir
And ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska
With a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming
I killed everything in my path...

In the past week, we've read about a disturbed teenage boy who walked into a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska, killing a number of innocent people -- nine, as I remember -- before taking his own life. As I understand it, he lost his job at McDonalds, his girlfriend left him, and there was nothing left for him that he should be remembered, but to be turned over to the Darkness. There are those who, as we remember from the writings of Milton, may prefer to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven. Such is a sad commentary on the human condition.

We wonder why there is evil in the world, why things like this happen. But it has been this way since Adam and Eve left the Garden, and it will be this way until the Second Coming. But until "that great and terrible day," the folks at Confederate Yankee have some good advice for people caught in that situation. This writer remembers that blog as the only source of wisdom, concerning Vice President Cheney's hunting accident a couple of years ago. Dad29 reprinted the main points earlier this week, and we here at mwbh give a Tip of the Black Hat while doing the same:

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Get in. The long, wide corridors and hallways lined with stores in a mall provide us with easy access from one store to another. In situations where a shooter is on the loose, they are also going to be the first route of escape for shoppers. The panicked rush of people attempting to use these corridors to escape increases the risk of being trampled in a mob. It goes without saying that these long open hallways provide next to no cover from any bullets fired. If you happen to be walking in the mall and a shooting occurs, get into the nearest store or side hallway.

Get low. Firearms, be they handguns, rifles, or shotguns, are typically fired from the shoulder. Most bullets or pellets travel roughly on a horizontal plane from shoulder to waist high. By going prone, you decrease your chances of getting hit. Once down, stay down. Bullets have no problem penetrating multiple layers of building materials. Just because you do not see the shooter does not mean you are out of danger.

Get out. Stores do not bring their merchandise in through the front door. Almost all have loading docks, and to comply with fire codes, an emergency exit that leads either to a back hallway, or provide directs access to the outside of the building. Look up for the "exit" sign on the ceiling at the back of the store, and make your way there as fast as possible, keeping as low as possible.

Keep moving. Once you make it outside, keep moving. Put as much physical space and as many physical objects between you and the scene as possible.

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So there you have it. And for the more proactive in our reading audience (especially those in Texas, Virginia, and other states that don't have too many issues with the Second Amendment), "Dad" has some additional advice: "DO NOT be an idiot by drawing and attempting to take out the shooter from 50 yards with hundreds of people running around. Take him out from 10 yards instead."


They declared me unfit to live
Said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world.

-- Lyrics to "Nebraska" by Bruce Springsteen, 1982


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