KILLING THE ACTIVE SHOOTER
The frequency of these events is increasing. The reasons for that are above my pay grade, but I suspect we will see the increase continue.
The bad guys can be categorized into two distinct camps; Evil People (who can justify their actions with politics or religion), and Crazy People. I am being simplistic because there is no need to complicate the situation from a motivational perspective.
Evil people are perfectly sane and make rational decisions. They differ from us only in their view of what is good and what is evil. It is tempting to claim that evil guys are crazy, but that is not so..but quite often they are terrorists.
I wonder of all the "evil guy" mass shootings, how many can be attributed to terrorists claiming to be on a Jihad of some sort?
Then we have the crazy people. Today the tendency to medicate everyone and make everything a disease to be addressed with drugs. There was a time when crazy people were removed from society because they were dangerous to themselves and everyone else. Today, having become a softer and weaker society, we give them a pill, hope they take it, and move on to other things.
I wonder if we did a study on all of the "lone gunman" active shooter types, such as Cho and Lanza, how many were on some sort of mental disorder medication?
Every time something happens the talk turns to prevention. Well, in the case of the Islamic Jihadist, I suppose that can have an effect. The judicious use of HUMINT has probably stopped many such events pre-inception. But we still have Mumbai and Nairobi as exceptions. Nothing will be 100%.
Moreover, the so called "lone wolf jihadist" will not be stopped beforehand anymore than the crazy guy will be stopped beforehand. Unless they publish a manifesto online and send it with a date of action to the local police, everything that happens will be reactive in nature.
Short of a Minority Report technology, or an extremely intrusive role of government authority into everyone's life (far more than is already taking place) there will never be a 100% prevention.
But what we can do is this. We can study the profiles of both evil and crazy active shooters as well as the dynamics, timing, and execution of such events and be prepared to take steps to minimize the crossing of paths with such people. As well, if those plans prove fruitless, have the mental alertness to escape with our protected ones if possible, or eliminate the threat with extreme terminal force if necessary.