I am sure this will raise significant questions from many businesses this week. What do you recommend should be done? Those of you in Europe who have been providing guidance after the Paris attacks, what have you recommended?
Training and vigilance seem to be keys. The days of hiring burly types to man the doors are/should be over. Training and retaining good security people is as important in the entertainment industry as it is in LE.
I recall reading that there was on off duty police officer, in uniform working the door to the club. This might be a small deterrent but most likely even an experienced officer would not be able to identify someone with small weapons...
Like so many others, there were warning signs about Mateen that were ignored. This has to stop. Companies must take these complaints seriously and look into them. The G4S security company that Mateen worked for knew about these issues and ignored them. Reports came from a coworker. G4S also has several US government contracts that frankly need to be suspended in my opinion, until they can demonstrate HR processes be put in place to address coworker complaints. As it stands now, they will probably be sued out of existence by the victims families.
I would agree that G4S has a responsibility to evaluate their employees. I know G4S pretty well. They take their responsibilities pretty seriously. They do as good of a job as any other company in the market. I am not an employee or a fan, just being fair and honest here. You say "they ignored the warnings". You don't know that. We collectively don't really know much at all. Let's say they did suspend him. Let's say they reassigned him or even fired him. Then what?? Tell us what you would have them do exactly? Report him to the authorities? He was already on an FBI watchlist and determined "not a threat". Do you honestly think that firing him or reassigning him would have thwarted this event?
If I have an employee that drives a company vehicle and he has a drinking issue, it is incumbent upon me to make sure he does not operate any of my vehicles. It is not only legally the correct thing to do, it is morally the correct thing to do. But my responsibility to my fellow man does not stop there. I can and should encourage him/her to seek counseling or intervene in some meaningful way. But I don't have the authority to mandate that they go. I can't force them to stop drinking. If they want to drink and operate a vehicle, they will no matter if it is my vehicle or one they bought all by themselves, legally.
This guy was going to shoot someone. It is clear what he witnessed in Miami pushed him over the line. He had become radical after that point. He was going to shoot someone whether or not he was working for GS4, Sanyo, GE, Best Buy or whomever. With all due respect, I don't see how you hold GS4 responsible at all in this case.
Had he been on duty, and used his gun while on assignment, yes, they are partly responsible. But that is not the case here. This person was on his own time with his own legally purchased weapon. How is GS4 responsible?
The San Bernadino shooters were employed by the state. At least one of them worked at the same facility where the shooting took place. Are they responsible??
I do not know personally, but I think Gilroy is credible hence my position. GS4 has to take action, I do not think it is unreasonable for them to look into his background and investigate him internally. Instead they did nothing as far as I know. If it comes out later that they did all of these things then great I will back off my stance but for now as I see it, they were made aware of the issue and did nothing.
Where do the inspections stop? Thousands of Walmarts across the country have hundreds of people in checkout lines during busy times on the weekends, with several hundred more shoppers in other areas of the store.
If this begins to happen in the heartland (areas often without great police response or top medical facilities) and in venues that many of us go to weekly, it will ratchet up terror to even greater levels.
I agree with the concept of inspections and/or entry control being the number one action that needs to be considered to a much greater degree than currently exists. I just believe we have to look at venues in a much broader sense than we often do.
Doing so will significantly change our way of life.
Faster response times are the key to lessening the loss of life in active shooter events. I'm thinking there will usually be a fair amount of armed citizens at the average Walmart. Not the best target. Gun Free Zones have been favored, likely due to being target rich with a low probability of adequate resistance.
In Texas as in most states, there is a provision in the license to carry laws that say firearms cannot be carried in establishments where 51% of the business revenue is from sale of alcoholic beverages. Legally no one can carry in a bar or nightclub.
The terrorist / murder worked as a security guard at some point, according to the NY Times:
Mr. Mateen, who court records show was born in New York and had been married and divorced, had drawn the attention of the F.B.I. in the past, law enforcement officials said, but they could not provide details. Yet he was able to work as a security guard.
Update: the terrorist worked as a security guard for G4S for nearly 9 years.
He is mentioned as working in West Palm Beach in this 2012 G4S newsletter. He was probably a local security guard but even that knowledge/experience was likely an asset in committing this terrorist event.
I would give this a high percentage of likelihood. ISIS claimed responsibility, he claimed he did it for ISIS when calling 911 as he attacked and he supposedly yelled "allah hu Akbar" during the attack.
The Amish believe God will punish homosexuals. The difference is if you rationalize such a belief to think you have the right to override the laws of man with what you see as the laws of God, and if you think those views should be forceably imposed on everyone else.
It makes me sad to think that this type of situation can not be stopped. You can not effectively lockdown a soft target like a nightclub. From the reports I heard, this club had an Orlando PD person working security, as a second job, and he engaged the shooter right away. I do not have an answer, I wish I did. We can (and will) do a better job securing schools, ball parks, etc. where there are some controls of whom is entering the facility, but I am at a loss. Tragic story. To further the pain of an event like this, the media and politicians, from all sides, will use this tragedy to push their own agendas.
It could be helpful to have more easy accessible exists. In case of suicide attacks with automatic weapon and/or IED, terrorists can be stopped (at least sometimes) if there are precautions and armed public everywhere (like in Israel), otherwise there is only one option, to give people chance to run.
But more exits increase the number of openings that need to be defended / opportunities for someone to enter, right?
I see the value of helping to get people out but the more typical approach is to tightly limit and control entry/egress.
I don't know. I am curious to see when they disclose / explain how he got in. Did he shoot his way in? Did he get in through a side door? Did he hide his weapons and walk in through the main entrance, etc.?
Are you seriously suggesting that having more of this increasing a probability of a shooter attack?
I will. Maybe not this shooter attack. What about the more common shooter, aka, shoot your estranged wife/girlfriend scenario?
When the person has in mind a specific target, (as opposed to shooting everyone), they want to get as close to that target before using any force.
I agree with you that more exits is better overall, but there is some trade off, since IMHO, there is an undeniable loss of general security with each opening. Even if just from "pedistrian" crime (robberies, muggings etc.)
If security gets alerts on opening of emergency exit(s) does it really make a significant difference how many of the emergency exits place has? "Pedestrian" crime is something that can be handled by security and current technology.
What about the more common shooter, aka, shoot your estranged wife/girlfriend scenario?
Do we talk about prevention of sneaking of an armed person on premises or decreasing number of casualties in a mass shooting? It is not possible to secure all places where "angry husband" can reach his target and I do not think that increasing or decreasing the number of emergency exits will affect on this situation.
Looking at this, I have a hard time believing the number and swing direction of outside doors. Apparently, there are only two outside exits, on the same side of the building.
Also, even more horribly, there apparently are two survivors who blocked people from exiting the club:
“As soon as we got a ten second break, we went through this alleyway, which led for only employees, and me and this random guy tried blocking the door, cause at that point, like I said, the bullets were getting louder and closer. So we blocked this door, and we did hear banging, and I pray it wasn’t anyone trying to escape, because I would forever feel guilty. But at that point there was about 20 people in front of us crammed in this little alleyway, with a big hole in one of the fences, and just trying to topple over, just trying to escape, just trying to run.”
(3m :15s mark)
I think these people misunderstood the risk to those who already had escaped and were trying to prevent the gunman from entering the outside alley they were in.
We know he used an AR-15, likely with 30 round magazines that are easier to conceal. Apparently there were some 102 patrons that sustained gunshot wounds with several patrons having more than 10 wounds individually. If we assume for the moment approximately 5 rounds per wounded patron were discharged this would be about 500 rounds (this count does not include rounds exchanged with the police later that morning). Mateen would have had to have 500/30 = 17 magazines minimum and probably over 20. How did he get those in there? Larger mags are available but much harder to conceal. A 100 round circular mag is available but he would need five of those minimum. Also, it takes about 3-4 seconds for the average person to drop and empty mag, load another and charge the weapon. Given the small quarters of the club you would think he would be rushed during the reload cycle that had to happen often. Further given the police response was close to an hour, I tend to think there was a second or third shooter in the club that left before police arrived... Shooters in the military are taught to cover each other when reloading. The carnage in that club would be nightmarish.
Actually, reports are saying that he used a Sig Sauger MCX, which at a high level is very similar to an AR-15, but is really a much different weapon.
I don't know if his weapon was setup for 5.56, or 300BLK. The ability to use 300BLK is a common selling point of the MCX.
It's possible, given the close quarters and density of people, that multiple people could have sustained injuries from a single round. It's also possible that some injuries classified as gunshot wounds were actually from other fragments of flying debris. Either of these scenarios would significantly decrease the number of rounds he would have needed to have fired to get to the number of injuries counted.
I have also heard reports that some of the deaths were execution-style single-round shots, bringing the number of rounds likely fired down as well.
Overall, I think 5rds per injured person is a high average, but the number of rounds fired is likely at least 60, which would be 2 magazines.
With 3 total 30rd magazines, 1 in the weapon and two carried in pockets or otherwise a shooter could easily get to the casualty counts seen here.
The MCX has a folding stock, making it overall fairly easy to conceal the weapon and 2 magazines, IMO.
On top of everything else, the realization that the individual worked as a security guard presents another challenge. While the guard industry has improved in some aspects of the past three decades (more training, better screening at hire, better pay) it hasn't been enough.
And, in light of this attack, the increased need for security professionals to monitor/inspect/secure a venue also means an increased need to insure those doing so are not going to become the threat or weakest link.
And to do it right, the screening has to be often--not just at hire. People's lives change (same applies to police officers) and things like polygraphs, credit checks, criminal history checks, likely need to be ongoing. My first polygraph was at about 20 years old and over time it seems the private security industry has gotten away from them for a variety of reasons.
In short, it is likely time to ensure those being hired to control access and provide a first line of defense are more closely and routinely scrutinized/reviewed themselves.
What about psychological evaluations? Because it's ultimately a person's behavior we are trying mitigate. I think thorough, well done psychological screenings can be beneficial to assessing someone's predisposition to commit a violent act out of a deeply rooted belief, but the challenge is if someone is disqualified for a job because they have a deep emotional beliefs that could used to self-rationalize a criminal act, a person can claim it's part of their religious belief and then psychological screenings will be politically under attack as being discriminatory.
Look how long the warnings signs for Nidal Hasan went unheeded, and he was in a very sensitive military position.
I am finishing up a degree in psychology and currently hold a BS in engineering. I do not yet consider myself an expert in psychology, but I am working on it. A particular area of interest to me in psychology is the study of psychopathology. This is a study of diseases and disorders of the mind. In all likelihood, Mateen was a psychopath. Characteristics of psychopaths are a distinct lack of empathy for others, narcissism, lack of responsibility for actions, poor judgment, short duration relationships, tendency toward violence and yes when they want to, they can present themselves are perfectly normal. They are cunning and generally quite intelligent. The statistical and diagnostic manual that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists use to diagnose has other characteristics. They are not necessarily loners as evidenced by psychopathic serial killers like Ted Bundy who was very personable. The other important point is that seasoned professionals cannot have a conversation with a psychopath or sociopath and tell that they are such. Only an analysis of their history where these characteristics have be demonstrated over time can a a diagnosis be given. This is why it is so important to take seriously coworker reports. Any one report does not mean anything however multiple reports that are reasonable consistent may point to such a diagnosis.
A guy like Hasan, is even more cunning because as I recall he was a psychiatrist. So he knows all the tricks and how to fool the system. However in the wiki link you gave above Hasan cannot escape history and the fact others also reported concerns about his behavior before the active shooting incident.
Mateen might have been a psychopath, but there are multiple factors that can lead a person to commit murder. If he lived in very confined socialization with a heavy dose of a social value system that is contrary to civilized living, very similar to a cult mentality, mixed in with not a small degree of emotional problems and a strong need for self-actualization, and you have someone who could have committed any kind of murder or serious crime, mostly for notoriety.
People find it so hard to think there are groups that have their "own law" inside the US or other civilized countries, but if you have seen any of the reality shows on the Gypsy/Roma communities in the US, many get married and sometimes divorced according to their own community rules even if legally it is not recognized by official government. But then so what? Roma are not picking up guns to go on shooting sprees.
I certainly agree with that. I do not mean to excuse the behavior, only to explain it as best I understand it. Social influences are profound and especially in young men and women from ages 16 - say... 28 or so. They are very impressionable during that age. Mateen is responsible for his actions but even more so I hold those radical islamic teachers who preach this kind of crap to their youngsters. Their happy to see their own youth killed off while they themselves remain at a safe distance... Its cowardly.
It is my opinion that there is no practical way to prevent these types of 'crazy mf'ers with a gun' incidents. Sure, you can harden perimeters, etc - but you certainly can't feasibly harden them all - and weak ass losers that seek to inflict the most harm will simply avoid the hardened sites and hit the weakest spots they can find.
I also don't think this was 'really' an Islamic terrorist event - though I do believe that ISIS will certainly claim that 'they' inspired this loser to do what he did.
It's clear that he had been exposed to radicalization - but that in and of itself doesn't mandate arrest... queue the Mohammed Ali clips.
What I think, is that 'life losers' - like the Boston bombing brothers (at least the older one) and this guy - use events like this to try and 'show the world' that they aren't the insignificant losers that their current stature in life's pecking order deems that they are. By latching onto these radical Islamic beliefs, they can then 'become someone' by perpetrating whatever vile acts will give them the most media exposure.
As others have said here, soft targets, aka Gun Free Zones, will continue to be targets for these types of terrorist attacks. They can inflict maximum damage before being confronted. I'm unsure if the security/cop on site ran out of ammo or what. I don't understand how he couldn't contain a noob with a BFG.
Maybe I don't know much about GS4, but aren't they run of the mill Paul Blart types? I don't mean to demean them, just wondering how much weapons training your average security guard receives. I don't know many who are even allowed to carry.
You take my vision of a Paul Blart type vs an active duty police officer and it should be apparent that the cop should have a large edge.
Also, they said the terrorist had just bought the assault rifle. Where did he become so efficient with it?
Omar Mateen and his wife, Noor Zahi Salman, visited Walt Disney World in April, the source says. Salman told federal authorities on Sunday that her husband had more recently been "scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse [nightclub] for attacks."
Unlike the four Disney World theme parks, Downtown Disney, which was recently renamed Disney Springs, doesn't have security and bag check before entry.
Just one thought coming from North of the 49th....why are assault rifles even available to the general public? I don't understand why such weapons are required....start here maybe and then as others have mentioned, secure public sites and offer egress - even if it's just for Fire Codes?? 350 people in any room need to identify exits to flee to in the event of any emergency. Terrible tragedy in Orlando and our thoughts are with the families of the fallen.
This wasn't an assault rifle. This was a Sig Sauer MCX, which is no more lethal or effective than an ordinary hunting rifle. It just looks fancy and has a little rail on the top allowing you to add accessories like a light or a scope or whatever.
IMHO, this term is better left unused. Historically, assault rifles are selective fire, meaning switchable between auto and semi modes on the fly. This ability to switch was a huge improvement of either the fully auto or the fully semi. This is all the term ever meant for 50+ years.
After some manufacturers started making semi-only versions of the military ones, the term began to be applied to those guns that LOOKED like the military selective fire models. But despite their looks, they discharge similar ammo at a similar rate to modern hunting weapons, as Ari was saying. It's true they have adult features that allow shooting from the hip etc, but compared to fully auto shooting this is minor.
SIG SAUER developed the MCX rifle for America’s special forces.
Marketing hyperbole. This rifle isn't functionally different from an ordinary hunting rifle.
Assault rifle has a very specific meaning. Assault rifle means a rifle capable of full auto or burst fire. A rifle only capable of firing single shots is, by definition, not an assault rifle, even if it has a fancy body, is made of plastic instead of wood, and has a rail.
Yes, it is certainly possible that a military unit somewhere would find this weapon useful for something, but not for the reasons you're thinking- and this guy could not have legally purchased the variety of rifle that would have appealed to the military. Therefore, this rifle isn't different than an ordinary hunting rifle.
When I was much younger, we had guns. I still have mine, my father's, and some collectibles. None of those are capable of this kind of carnage. There was a day, in my lifetime, that these kinds of guns were only available to Military personnel (M1's for example). The M1 was not an assault rifle, but good enough for our military for a generation or more. The guns we are talking about, be they assault or otherwise are far more deadly than ever before. Even if he had been carrying an M1 ( and I own one), I doubt he could have inflicted this kind of damage in that amount of time. When do we, as a Country, start addressing that side of this equation and stop dancing around one, not all, but one of the major issues at play here?
There is a legal limit (at least in my state) to the size of a knife you can carry, but no meaningful limits on guns.
While I am at it (soap box time I suppose), where are the metal detectors in these clubs?? I know there are many that will not set off metal detectors, but there are far more that would, than not.
While I am at it (soap box time I suppose), where are the metal detectors in these clubs?? I know there are many that will not set off metal detectors, but there are far more that would, than not.
Agreed. Metal detectors, security at the doors, and so on. Although that still leaves people lined up for the door vulnerable to attack, like the 2011 attack on a Tel Aviv nightclub, where a cab driver ran his vehicle into a crowd, then jumped out and started stabbing people.
Ari, I think you are correct. Assault rifles were originally developed before WW2 for the purpose of storming enemy positions. I seem to recall reading somewhere that in both the German and US Armies, paratroops were given priority on the weapons you describe. When rushing an enemy position, an attacking force wants to project overwhelming firepower in an effort to minimize the effectiveness of the defenses and to close the distance between the forces as quickly as possible because the attacking force is exposed while advancing. There is a difference between the military M4 rifle (full auto capability means pull and hold the trigger and multiple rounds are discharged) and its civilian counterpart the AR-15 which has no full auto capability. The confusion comes from how they both look the same.
Now his father is saying "That club should have had good security," Seddique Mateen told Sky News. "The club, [with] 300 or 400 people ... coming - they should have good security. If there was good security, he wouldn't have had this opportunity."
It basically promotes "Run, Hide, fight", with perhaps the first two being more relevant to our discussion.
"...put as much distance between themselves and the threat..."
"a typical drywall construction interior wall can provide concealment but not cover, meaning a shooter will still be able to fire through the walls and door. Still, if the shooter cannot see his or her target, they will be firing blindly rather than aiming their weapon, reducing the probability of hitting a target"
He also states it is important to first ascertain the location of the threat.
"...before he can decide to run, hide or fight: He must determine where the gunfire or threat is coming from. Still, if the shooter cannot see his or her target, they will be firing blindly rather than aiming their weapon, reducing the probability of hitting a target..."
So perhaps venues in the future should be designed with this in mind.
1) More one-way exits
2) more places to hide that can also provide protection from bullets, and
3) As many of these places are dark, to help potential victims locate the source of the threat/gunfire, have the lights activated by gunshot detectors, or at least light up the area around the threat. This could also help nearby victims launch a counter attack.