Could there be a better sign of how accustomed to mass shootings we have become? We no longer view these atrocities as surprising.  We actually expect them.

What else can be concluded from a six-minute public service video, produced by the City of Houston with a $200,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that suggests methods for surviving a mass shooting.

The city released the video Friday, a few weeks after a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. that left 12 dead and two days before another killing spree at a Sikh temple in a small Wisconsin town.

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The video does its job. It’s scary, engaging and memorable. Has there ever been a publicly funded video of an armed wacko blowing away innocent people with a shotgun? It cost a pricey $200,000, maybe they got Quentin Tarantino to ghost-write this thing.

“Run. Hide. Fight,” the ominous narrator tells us, the catch-phrase meant to become the  “stop, drop and roll” for those trying to escape death at the hands of armed-to-the-teeth crazies. You know, the ones that shoot up public places with increasing frequency these days.

My favorite part? Convince anyone around to get the heck out of there rather than hide, but “don’t let them slow you down with indecision.” Yeah, seriously! I mean, that guy’s got a friggin” shotgun! Move it or lose it, honey!

Such is the current climate in America, the home of more burgers, baseball games and mass shootings than any other country, and perhaps the only one that would substitute a substantive discussion about gun control with a video suggesting people fight back against a killer with a pump shotgun.

Predictably, gun rights activists lamented after the Aurora shooting that no one in the movie theater had a gun to shoot back through the dark, gas-clouded movie theater full of people. And despite the video’s suggestion to fight back, they still complained because it didn’t give more information about what kinds of weapons, i.e. guns, to use.

From the Associated Press:

The video’s lack of information about using a weapon in self-defense was a “glaring shortcoming,” said Danny Davis, director of a homeland security graduate program at Texas A&M University. He noted Texas’ concealed weapons law. Davis suggested that the Colorado shooting, which killed 12 people, may have ended differently had someone in the theater been armed and fired back.

At this point, both political parties have become generally terrified of discussing gun control. To suggest that it might be possible to prevent mentally unstable psychos from getting a hold of assault rifles in the first place is now more controversial than the repeated mass murders they carry out with those weapons.

No, the only option left to us by a cowardly, gridlocked Congress is what’s recommended by the National Rifle Association: Get armed and stay that way, whether you’re going to a movie, school or church.

Oh, and a video making sure you remember to run away. Check it out:


  1. The video is a waste of $200,000. While a lot of people today really are stupid enough that they need someone to tell them to run/hide/fight, they also probably need someone to remind them to keep their heads up so they don’t drown in their own drool. (Can that video be far behind?)

    For those who really ARE that stupid, I sort of hope the bad guy gets them. After all, who needs that kind of pollution in the gene pool? Fortunately, they’ll never see the video and won’t be warned because they’re too busy watching “Jersey Shore” reruns.

  2. Single gunman, multiple victims, running is not the answer, unless you want to get shot in the back. Bumrush that MF , take his gun, and beat him to death with it. Less casualties that way. But it requires everyone to react, and people have been trained to wait for someone else to take care of it. 99% of the time cops are not there until after the fact. Kids should be taught proactive measures from kindergarten on up. Grab a desk, bash the shooter when he comes through the door. Sure, a few people may die, but it’ll be a lot less than if everyone cowers and waits their turn to be shot.

  3. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that the author strides past the obvious on his way to his ideological conclusion? What stops a crazed shooter from from escalating his mayhem? People with guns. Invariably. The author’s opinion is that those “people” should be limited to only the police, however, in the immediacy of the crisis, such a position is untenable. The shooter will continue until the police arrive or he runs out of ammunition. That provides little solace to dead victims, and the reality is that the police are eliminated by circumstances as “the” viable solution.

    So, what’s the answer? (rhetorical)

    This stuff is so simple to understand that one must wonder why an ostensibly “intelligent” person such as the author will effectively neuter his intelligence by blind adherence to a flawed, misguided ideology.

    • I normally don’t comment, but I’d like to point something out. Many people frequently use the word “ideology” to suggest that someone is blindly following an established way of thinking, thereby negating their argument without making their own counter-argument. I’m glad you are one of the people who takes the time to make a real point, but I’d ask that you consider I too am thinking for myself. I’m not suggesting we ban guns. That would be absurd. But to my thinking, it’s equally obvious that we could do more to prevent certifiably crazy people like James Holmes from getting a hold of heavy weaponry in the first place. That seems like a reasonable question to me, even if you don’t think it’s possible. Anyway, food for thought. Thanks for yours.

      • Define “certifiably crazy” and explain the process through which Holmes should have been certified as such, and the Constitutional justification for infringing his rights in the absence of any actual criminal activity.

        • That’s a good question. Weeks before the killings, Holmes was a patient of his university psychologist, who told colleagues he was a potential danger to others. The school did not follow up on this assessment or contact police. If they had, it wouldn’t have required much effort to find out that this person diagnosed as mentally unstable had purchased gas canisters, an assault rifle and a good amount of ammo, for starters. That’s enough circumstantial evidence to at least ask him to agree to questioning. It’s enough to motivate police to pursue some degree of monitoring of his activities. We allow far more intrusive surveillance for suspected domestic terrorists buying bomb materials online or potential drug dealers gathering materials for meth labs. They too are American citizens with the same Constitutional protections. Why should Holmes be exempt? We outlaw felons from carrying any gun at all, yet allow those diagnosed as violent and mentally unsound to buy as many as they want? Holmes isn’t unique. There were very similar circumstances for the VA Tech shooter. And rather than just argue with my points here, what would you suggest? It sounds like you’re suggesting there is no way we could prevent some of these mass shootings. I’m interested. Let me know.

    • Theoretically, BHirsh is correct. An armed person in the theater could have taken the shooter out and reduced the loss of life. Theoretically. In actuality, unless that person had extensive weapons training, a high degree of proficiency, and combat experience, the odds are that person would have fired wildly, hitting others and actually increasing the carnage. Even police officers in a fire fight often fire wildly, just as soldiers new to combat. It takes a while to get used to being shot at to return fire calmly, deliberately AND accurately, which is what must be done if the person defending against the shooter is to avoid “collateral damage” by himself shooting others. Thus, while BHirsh, theoretically, is correct, in ACTUALITY, he probably is wrong. If a person with a carry permit is in such a situation, and has not been in a combat situation and taken human life while being shot at, he would be well advised to leave his firearm in his drawers and “get the hell out of dodge” like everyone else.