Knife to a Gunfight, Take Two

A disgruntled student in California came up with a plan to commit mass murder.  He tried to carry out that plan the other day.  There are several important takeaways from this story which will probably be missed by the main stream media. California cops demonstrated, once again, it is not a good idea to bring a knife to a gunfight.

According to Fox news, link here, a Knife Attack suspect intended to use what turned out to be an 8 to 10 inch knife as his primary weapon.  He was going to smear vaseline on the floor inside the doorway to a classroom, in the belief that police officers would come charging in, slip and fall and thus provide him with a firearm.  Takeaway #1 bad guys will build their plan around what is available and within their capability.  No gun, no problem.  This guy made use of a knife, it could have been a molotov cocktail, other explosive device or a baseball bat.

A construction worker, upon hearing the commotion, responded and initiated a counter attack.  Police credit him with disrupting the attacker’s plan and causing him to flee. Takeaway #2 it may not realistic but bad guys plan for success, they choreograph in their mind how everything is supposed to flow.  When everything does not go as planned they abandon the attack and either commit suicide or flee. Resistance is not futile, in over 56.3% of mass shooting events the suspect abandons the scheme prior to the arrival of law enforcement, (FBI Study of Mass Shooting Events).

Takeaway #3 the nature of the attack is part of the message.  The Palestinians have tried sophisticated hijackings of airliners, guerrilla tactics, rock throwing, rocket attacks and now knife attacks.  From a military goal standpoint sending idiots out with knives to randomly attack the Israelis is next to useless.  But with the connivence of a willing press, random acts of murder, become the desperate acts of freedom fighters with nothing left to lose against an occupation army.  The Palestinians have turned a military failure into a public relations victory.

Takeaway #4 there is no indication that any terrorist organization would touch the suspect with a ten foot pole, let alone direct and support his activities.  However as a terrorist, if your messaging is on target then the fat, the stupid, the ugly, the crazy and the dedicated will flock to your banner.  If the fat, stupid, ugly and crazy can be convinced to self cull through random acts of violence, then the organization has won twice, without expense or compromise of valuable assets.

Takeaway #5 these attacks will increase because they are cost effective. The attacks reinforce the narrative of terrorist organizations that these “lone wolves” have made a rational decision to reject western values.  People under the thrall of these organizations will receive moral support and validation for their thoughts and actions. When they act out they will be the hero of their own story, probably for the first time in the lives.

Throughout history you can find examples of  individuals acting under color of politics to justify what is essentially the workings of a deranged mind. This is nothing new or unique.