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Stratfor gets their heads where the sun don’t shine sometimes. A good example is a free article from today that is wonderful comedy fodder. “The Challenge of the Lone Wolf” is today’s article attempting to hook the public into reading Stratfor’s web site on the back of the Colorado Theater Shooting.

In this article, dear ol’ Fred the Burton holds forth on (mostly men) acting alone. He leads in by going over a slew of examples that are not really lone wolves. Squeaky Fromme, (Manson’s group) the cellular organization proposal of Klansman Louis Beam, etc.   Then he segues over to the Unabomber, who was a lone wolf.

His conclusion is to suggest that counter-surveillance is the cure so that police can be pro-active on these guys. He does this after pointing out that someone without ties may case the joint. (He calls it stalking.) Now, nobody really knows if this idea Fred has is even true. The Unabomber didn’t seem to. Squeaky used the media and just winged it.

But, leaving that aside, I’m sorry Fred, but your cure is ridiculous. First, the amount of coverage required means we have to make the nation into Panopticon. Counter-surveillance good enough to spot someone with no priors just looking at a building?  Or are we to implement Panopticon internet surveillance? First, how many people look at buildings every day? In a movie theater, how many people walk around? How many leave using alternate exits? Is it a crime to walk outside? How many false alarms would there be? What is suspicious?

We can’t possibly put enough people on that task. It would bankrupt the nation at minimum wage. If we could, we couldn’t possibly figure out who was a potential threat versus people who aren’t. To even try, we would have to put low-paid people on the job. And trust me, those low paid people would find ways to use their positions to make money for themselves on the side. Not only that, but the most wealthy would figure out ways to use it too. It would create a police state.

And all that discussion ignores the obvious. What is America about?   I’ll give you a hint Fred. America is a country that was founded against tyranny and for personal liberty. You are seriously suggesting enough counter-surveillance should be implemented to try to stop a lone wolf nut-case. Really? In America?

Statistically, your chances of getting shot or bombed by a lone wolf are lower than getting struck by lightning. You are more likely to drown in your own bathtub or die falling off the curb.

So really, Fred, as a security advisory your article is dishonest. You aren’t leveling with your audience. If you were, you would say that the chances of this happening are infinitesmal and it is nearly impossible to prevent.  The only thing you can do is teach people how to respond if such an incident occurs.

If you are in a location where a lone gunman appears, there is something to be done. Jump him. Everyone within 15 feet can pile onto him and stomp him to death before he gets more than one or two shots off. Seriously, if you rush somebody with a gun, you can cover that distance in less time than he can respond unless he’s already aimed at you. If you throw things at him, it will spoil his aim.

So let’s say you are in a theater and a guy crashes through a side door. That’s your first clue there’s a problem. Then he throws something and it explodes. That is the point when you and everyone in the theater should throw their drinks at him. He will instinctively raise his hands to ward them off. If you have nothing to throw, you rush him, full bore. You rush him with the object of smashing him right through a concrete wall. And not just you, everyone near him.

All that would take roughly 0.5 to 2 seconds. Virtually the entire time it takes is think time.

This guy crashed the door. He threw a tear gas grenade. Then he threw a second one and waited for that to explode. Then he fired a shot into the air to get people to run.

Rushing him even after he fired the first shot would work.

This is just like the people on airplanes who have subdued the bombers they noticed. Folks, you are there. Nobody else is. It is up to you. If you want to maximize the success of a shooter you panic and run. Your odds of survival are lowest then.

If you want to maximize your odds of survival and minimize the success of the shooter, then rush him. Beat the bastard to death right there. Give him a dose of his own medicine.

Another plus? It saves you, the taxpayer, a ton of money if the SOB is dead at the scene.

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