Why does nobody ever fight back?

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:49 PM
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Muncle Muncle is offline
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Default Why does nobody ever fight back?

Something’s been bothering me for a few days and I thought I might actually think a bit before typing for a change. If you're looking for jokes, don't bother reading this. First, though, some caveats:

a. I am not advocating discriminately arming students, teachers, and the average citizen. This is a worthy discussion for some future time, but not now.
b. I am not claiming that I would have acted differently that those involved in these situations. Not a religious statement, but I am a confirmed coward, and actually none of us knows how he/she would react in a given situation.

The events at Northern Illinois struck a chord. The truly tragic aspect of the shootings is that we are not really aghast about it. While certainly not commonplace, such events are no longer so rare and so horrifying that they leave us thunderstruck. We almost take them in stride. It’s the same with the serial killers of today. When Charlie Starkweather was on his killing spree in the late ‘50s in Nebraska, the entire nation watched in horror. He killed 11 people. Hickock and Smith killed “only” four members of the Clutter family in ’59 and we still marvel over “In Cold Blood.” In today’s world, killing a family of four or even 11 strangers will get hardly a notice unless the killer has a hook, a “Bind/Torture/Kill” signature like the nut in Kansas or built-in press coverage like the Beltway Sniper. Unless someone kills a good looking blonde, preferably pregnant, woman, nobody really notices once 24 hour news moves on to something else.

But I digress. The overriding reflection I had following the NIU story was “Why didn’t somebody jump the a-hole?” Going back to the Luby’s Cafeteria killings, we have seen a host of multiple victim shootings, normally perpetrated by one or maybe two cretins. They’ve been in stores, offices, churches, subway cars and, most commonly of late, schools. In almost no cases have any of the victims resisted. They’re run, they’ve hidden, but they’ve not fought back. It’s probably happened, but I can’t recall one or two potential victims jumping the gunner and overpowering him. Often you hear of survivors recalling a pause in the shooting while the gunman reloaded. Never has someone taken that opportunity to bash him upside the head with a brick or a stack of text books. The only situation I recall of the victims resisting is Flight 93 and now that action is being debunked by professional conspiracy theorists.

Maybe I watched too many westerns and WWII movies as a kid. Maybe self-preservation and fear have always been such overriding emotions and the shock of the unexpected so great that people do act like deer, freezing in the headlights. Maybe the street-wise guy from Brooklyn or the Iowa farm boy never did throw themselves on the grenade or charge the sniper to save their buds. Maybe the crowd never overpowered the bully. I don’t know.

I’d just like to know why nobody ever fights back.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2008, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: Why does nobody ever fight back?

Think it would be very hard to re-act quickly in that kind of situation. Many people would probably still be in a state of shock unless they had some kind of law enforcement or military training in a situation like the NIU and Virginia Tech killings.

Did not the old gunfighters get by on the fact that even though many people in the Old West wore guns few people were willing to shoot another human being? It would have been different in a military situation like on Little Round Top at Gettysburg but there you have your fellow soldiers with you.

  #3  
Old 02-17-2008, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: Why does nobody ever fight back?

I believe that in a situation like NIU, VT, Columbine, etc, the first reaction is to flee and any break in the action is used to get out of the line of fire. Someone with military or police training or even competitive sports training would probably not flee but look for an opening to attack. But the chances of a military or police trained person involved is remote. Maybe the schools need to include a few classes on self defense
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:51 PM
Taltarzac
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Default Re: Why does nobody ever fight back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckinca
I believe that in a situation like NIU, VT, Columbine, etc, the first reaction is to flee and any break in the action is used to get out of the line of fire. Someone with military or police training or even competitive sports training would probably not flee but look for an opening to attack. But the chances of a military or police trained person involved is remote. Maybe the schools need to include a few classes on self defense
I would not want to see undergrads armed on any campus I might be visiting at least not with anything that has gunpowder in its ammo.

I believe one of the victims in the NIU shooting had just recently been in the military?
  #5  
Old 02-17-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Why does nobody ever fight back?

I said self defense classes - didn't mentioned anyone being armed.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2008, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Why does nobody ever fight back?

I was talking about this subject (the overall esoteric one, not the arming of students or anybody else) today with a neighbor, a retired cop from Michigan. He said that the general guidelines for his department (and all jurisdictions with which he was familiar) was to NEVER expect any assistance from the public, that the only help a cop could expect was from his fellow cops. And in all his years on the street, he got help from the public just a few times. In each of those cases, the person helping was either an off-duty cop or an active or former military.
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