The intersection of insanity and dread purpose that resulted in the murder of six people, including a nine-year-old girl, was destined from the moment it happened to be a political and social firestorm.
Blame is flying far and freely, with the bulk of the discourse being meaningless to any kind of discussion we could have here.
But most of all I didn’t want to get involved in any “Monday morning quarterbacking” with the whole woulda-coulda-shoulda nonsense that entails.
So I’m not doing any of that.
What I want to do instead is highlight the actions of those who changed everything that day… the ones who acted to take down the gunman and removed his ability to do further harm.
These people “pushed through the invisible membrane” as my friend Derrick, a Marine and Navy veteran and medical doctor, likes to say. They experienced the “oh shit” moment and had the choice to observe, run or act on the threat.
They chose to go for it and separated the operator from his tool, preventing him from reloading and killing more people. (Reports say he brought three extra magazines with him, so he was prepared to do far more than he did.)
They were, I think you’ll agree, not the most likely people for the task:
- Bill Badger, 74
- Roger Salzgeber, 61
- Patricia Maisch, 61
But they were the ones who were there.
You can read about, and see videos of, their stories here:
This is why we train, and what we train for. Not for competition, or a bar fight, or the intractable social pissing match.
We train for the true outliers, the thankfully rare — but deadly — situation where direct action can make all the difference.
We train because it’s much easier for the brain to go
where it’s been before.
If you put yourself in that situation ahead of time, thinking about it, practicing physically how you want it to go with another person, you grease the pathway to action instead of leaving it up to chance and instinct.
This is why we spend the better part of the second morning of every 2-day seminar practicing injuring people who are holding firearms – to make that the most likely course of action over observing, shocked, from behind the “invisible membrane.”
Luckily for everyone involved, when it came down to it Bill, Roger, and Patricia (& others who provided first aid to the fallen) pushed through and took direct action.
I wish the same for myself… and that is why I train.