Taking steps to end violence

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016

As I was sitting in the movie theatre with my wife and in-laws I couldn’t help but start planning what I would do if an active shooter situation ensued.
Many people, especially veterans I have spoken to, do this regularly in all situations. It comes natural to us, to pick out the threats and develop actions or solutions to alleviate the threat. There is an acronym we were taught in the infantry, which was used to develop your defensive position which readily applies in civilian life called OCOKA: (O) Observations of Fields of Fire. (C) Cover and concealment. (O) Obstacles. (K) Key Terrain Features. (A) Avenues of Approach. As I was pondering the situation I was thinking of possible avenues of approach that the enemy could exploit, looking for cover and concealment that could hide and protect me as I maneuvered to kill the threat. I was also scanning the crowd looking for loners and people with bulky clothing that could hide weapons. We did not sit at the top row, but the top row of the theatre gives you the tactical advantage of everything happening below and in front of you and removes the chance of you being attacked from the back. It also allows you to see everyone as they enter the theater and pick out the possible threats. As I was surveying, I began to further think about our responsibility as citizens of this country, especially citizens that have combat training/experience.
I am a veteran of our military, not especially trained in active shooter situations, but nonetheless trained to handle intense situations. Situations involving the chaos resulting in events similar to mass shootings. I couldn’t help but take on the responsibility of protecting my family and the other people attending the movie.
Our government’s political line lately has been to oppress the freedoms of Americans by pushing stricter laws, such as gun control. I do not think this is the solution to the problem. No matter how many guns are removed from society, bad people will find ways to harm the public. Signs stating “No weapons allowed on the premises” will never stop a crazy criminal or terrorist. All Americans, especially combat trained veterans, have an obligation to do their part in keeping America safe from all enemies foreign and domestic. We should not dim our intuition, we should embrace it. We should not let the unknown exist, we should question it, bring it out in the open; that is what we are trained to do.
We will never be able to end mass violence, but we can take steps as citizens of this country to do something about it. We need to send a message to these would-be criminals and terrorists that they better come prepared because they don’t know who is attending the event they plan to attack. We need to obtain the proper licensing to carry concealed weapons, then, we need to carry those weapons. We also need to continue to train with those weapons to become proficient in order to quickly and safely take out the threat. We have a responsibility to our country beyond our military service and we must take ownership of that responsibility.
To the cities and states that plan to expand gun control and make gun ownership illegal, I feel sorry for you. If you live in one of those cities or states I suggest you move to a state that allows the citizen to take ownership of their right to protect themselves and their family. I am for the police, but the police can’t be in all places all the time. It is time to step up and continue to fulfill our oath to our country.
Jonathan Love, Carriere

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