Mass shooter in action

By guest author Dr. Mike Corgan

“Run, Hide, Fight” is a new reality police video promulgated by the Boston University Police for the BU community.

The film, featured on some local news programs, is a powerfully realistic depiction of what could happen if a mass shooter went into action on the campus.

The instructions are clear and disturbing. Learn escape routes from your office. If you sense that an incident like the Aurora theater shooting is occurring. run away, even if others  are too scared to do so. If running isn’t possible, hide or barricade yourself into a secure and presumably bulletproof  area. Finally, be prepared to fight as best you can if trapped.

Is this the stuff of some latter-day paranoid McCarthyite fantasy? Alas, as recent events have all too graphically shown, mass shootings can and do occur anywhere.

Unfortunately, we as a citizenry can’t do much in advance about gunmen intent on violently settling grievances, then adding random killings to their spree.

But we can do something about the amount of killing taking place. So can the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The Second Amendment protects the right to “keep and bear arms” but like others in the Bill of Rights, this right is not absolute. You can’t own a machine gun or many other military grade weapons. Problem is the NRA tries to keep the prohibited list as small as possible and even shrink it.

It is the military grade weaponry (e.g., 100-round magazines for semi-automatic assault-type rifles easily  converted to full automatic firing) that make the mass killings possible. Without abrogating the Second Amendment, we can do something about that.

The NRA is fond of using the “slippery slope” metaphor to argue that any restriction on gun ownership is a step to confiscation.

That argument works the other way, too. The continued loosening of gun laws can also lead–and has certainly already led–to mass killings that have become far too abundant.

Michael T. Corgan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of International Relations, Boston University

This entry was posted in Understanding violence, Weaponry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mass shooter in action

  1. Gold Dust Twin says:

    Some group with the authority to do so must countermand the NRA’s stubborn and blind policies. While they argue about a “slippery slope,” innocent men, women, children and babies are being slaughtered.

  2. Barbara says:

    When I read “Run away, even if others are too scared to do so,” I understood for the first time what terror must feel like–like a deer caught in the headlights, too frozen to dash to safety. These mass killings happen all too often, and one way to reduce them is to tighten the current gun laws.

  3. Gun violence is personal for the physician and academic in this Fox News story about campus shootings in Texas.

    • Dahlia Wasfi says:

      Thank you for that link. I think the reporter’s phrase, “American culture of killing” is an accurate one. We seem to glorify violence and war more than any other society.

      • kathiemm says:

        Thank you, Dahlia. It concerns me that so many decent Americans cannot recognize the glorification of violence and war in our culture and society,
        and don’t see the ways in which the corporate media work to maintain a culture of violence while condemning a few “crazy” individuals for the mass murder events
        that keep cropping up like isolated infections that won’t go away because the fundamental problems producing the infections are not addressed.

  4. Majed Ashy says:

    I think the world is slipping into all forms of violations of human rights and conflicts unless the vast peaceful majority of the world join hands and express rejection to these dividing ideologies. It seems to me that violent individuals use isolation as a method to brain wash their followers.
    When I watch American arts and music, or Arabic arts and music or Russian or of any other nation I can see the good side of people. I wish people learn more about each other’s arts, literature, history, and music. I really think this what can reduce hate in the world, to know about each other, directly and not through the lenses of others.

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