By Mike Lander on
Pay attention folks. The advice that I am going to give you may save your life and the those closest to you one day. You need to be more aware of persons and things in your environment that may put you in harm’s way. You must train your senses to recognize potential dangers whenever and wherever they may occur. We have all heard the slogan “If you see something say something”, but you need to institutionalize this type of thinking upon yourself on a daily basis.
A man wearing a winter coat in the heat of the summer is an obvious no-brainer. Something is wrong with that picture. But most times danger is not that obvious. When you enter a building you should automatically scan the layout for the exits. In case of fire you need to know how to get to safety. We face continuing dangers from disturbed individuals as well as terrorists. It is, unfortunately, a fact of life. To remain safe you have to stay several steps ahead of these people. You have to train yourself to think like them and not to become a victim acting after the fact. We do not need to become a paranoid society. Accidents do occur which are not the work of deranged individuals. Then again “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. So said Benjamin Franklin.
The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas serves to drive home a salient point. “Take the high ground”. Active shooters look to take the high ground if a situation presents itself. It is much easier to shoot downward than upward. Reference Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. We present images from our collection to support this contention. The lead photo is “Mandalay Bay“; Las Vegas, Nevada (September 1999) looking much as it does today except all of the windows are intact. The location is high above the crowds below even without a music concert in progress. McCarran Airport is a stone’s throw away and Mandalay Bay is the closest hotel to the airport.
Perhaps the most infamous site where an active shooter was located above street level was the “Texas School Book Depository“; Dallas, Texas (June 4, 1964). This photo was taken just months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald from a sixth floor perch.
Finally, “Texas Tower“; Austin Texas c.1940. The famous tower at the University of Texas at Austin where Charles Whitman fired on the people below in 1966. In all of these incidents the shooter sought the high ground. We need to be aware of potential dangers lurking in high places.