Mass Shooting vs. Bombing

Mass Shooting vs. Bombing

This is a discussion on Mass Shooting vs. Bombing within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Whenever we have one of these big shootings like the recent ones at the church and the nursing home, I've always figured that people this ...

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Thread: Mass Shooting vs. Bombing

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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Mass Shooting vs. Bombing

    Whenever we have one of these big shootings like the recent ones at the church and the nursing home, I've always figured that people this messed up would use other means to inflict casualties if they didn't have access to firearms. Light the place on fire, improvised explosive, etc...

    But that got me wondering; why is it in other countries, it seems these terrorists DO turn to explosives rather than firearms? I know in some countries, firearms ARE harder to get hold of. But looking at Iraq, I believe there are ample firearms available and yet they usually turn to some form of explosives.

    I'd rather they had access to a gun, because at least I have a chance at defending myself when they come in shooting compared to a suicide bombing.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Whenever we have one of these big shootings like the recent ones at the church and the nursing home, I've always figured that people this messed up would use other means to inflict casualties if they didn't have access to firearms. Light the place on fire, improvised explosive, etc...

    But that got me wondering; why is it in other countries, it seems these terrorists DO turn to explosives rather than firearms? I know in some countries, firearms ARE harder to get hold of. But looking at Iraq, I believe there are ample firearms available and yet they usually turn to some form of explosives.

    I'd rather they had access to a gun, because at least I have a chance at defending myself when they come in shooting compared to a suicide bombing.
    The objective and materials available will usually determine the method of attack.

    The latest shooting at the nursing home is a case in point.

    Shooters wife is employed there. Shooter enters home, shoots people once or twice, then finds a male nurse - who he shoots 12 times.Clearly the male nurse was a primary objective, if not the only objective. He didn't want to kill a bunch of people (explosives/fire), he wanted to make sure he killed specific people.
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    Member Array AgentX's Avatar
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    Complex attacks involving firearms and explosives together are the new norm.

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    As I was pondering your question, I thought about the fact that the terrorists seemed readily willing to walk in wearing the explosives and very willing to die...they attack with that in mind.

    Then I noticed that some (not all) of these shooting wackos are also killing themselves, but most of them are after they are cornered.

    In many cases the explosives create a larger and more effective killing field, not to mention that everything else is also destroyed (buildings, etc.) The guns only target individuals.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Along the lines of what Matiki said, the objective will determine the tool used.
    Firearms are specific and relatively labor intensive. If you don't line up the sights you don't hit your target. Also they are time consuming. You engage one target at a time, and there is the possibility of being overpowered or of someone else with a gun taking you out.
    Using an explosive is very random but instantanious. The device will be bulkier than a fire arm and ammo would be for the same body count, but unless it is detected before detonation there is no defensive response to it. It goes boom and in a couple thousandths of a second it is over. That is part of the terror aspect of it. Other than early detection there is nothing you can do. And they of course have demonstrated they can hit any time, any place.
    Part of it is a culture thing too. If it is a martyrdom operation there is no higher honor than dying for the cause. Walking into your target area and pushing the button wired to your vest is in theory quick and painless and you are off to paradise. With a gun there is the chance you might be wounded instead of killed. And then you get to be interviewed by some not very nice people.
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    Explosives destroy infrastructure, which can be a statement in and of itself, especially if the infrastructure is somehow symbolic (an embassy or official facility--or the WTC...). But shooting people then blowing stuff up is even better from a statement point of view. Of course, simply shooting people can be a statement, too, as in the Mumbai attacks. That's a newer method people have been fearing would emerge for a long time.

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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    In short speed and mass casualties. In the time it takes to shoot as many as they can blow up they could be stopped.
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    In countries like Iraq it is much much easier to get ahold of military grade explosives, the stuff is literally everywhere. And you have a majority of the population that can make simple (at the least) explosive devices out of the munitions. I don't think I've ever seen munitions just sitting in a field in America.

    They have easy access to firearms as well, but as stated explosions make more of a statement.
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Blatant plagiarism of LTC Grossman:

    Humans have a natural aversion to killing each other. This is overcome by distance. LTC Grossman in 'On Killing' described 3 types of distance: physical, mechanical, and social.

    In this case we are dealing with the mechanical. It's easier psychologically to kill a man with a gun than with a knife, easier still if that gun has a scope, easier still if it has thermal imaging. A bomb does not target, and doesn't identify anyone who is going to be killed.

    This means that the mass murderers in the US are more psychologically conditioned to killing than our third world counterparts.

    So it's probably the video games.

    Please note this is theory only; I am a non-expert that has read one book.
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    Not at odds with anyone but you need to consider how easy it is to obtain explosive components overseas and how difficult it is in the US. Think the ones in the ME are raised that way and we are primarily raised with guns.
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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy Warcrimes View Post
    Blatant plagiarism of LTC Grossman:

    Humans have a natural aversion to killing each other. This is overcome by distance. LTC Grossman in 'On Killing' described 3 types of distance: physical, mechanical, and social.

    In this case we are dealing with the mechanical. It's easier psychologically to kill a man with a gun than with a knife, easier still if that gun has a scope, easier still if it has thermal imaging. A bomb does not target, and doesn't identify anyone who is going to be killed.

    This means that the mass murderers in the US are more psychologically conditioned to killing than our third world counterparts.

    So it's probably the video games.

    Please note this is theory only; I am a non-expert that has read one book.
    Interesting theory, however I have a hard time buying that the folks doing suicide bombings are not averse to killing and many of them would be just as happy to slit your throat. Look at the 9-11 hijackers with boxcutters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Der Alte View Post
    Not at odds with anyone but you need to consider how easy it is to obtain explosive components overseas and how difficult it is in the US. Think the ones in the ME are raised that way and we are primarily raised with guns.
    come on, you didn't know how to make a pipe bomb out of match heads as a kid? Black powder is readilly available too.

    Maybe it is the more personal connection the shooters want. They want the satisfaction of seeing the people they kill?
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post

    come on, you didn't know how to make a pipe bomb out of match heads as a kid? Black powder is readilly available too.

    Maybe it is the more personal connection the shooters want. They want the satisfaction of seeing the people they kill?
    Homemade bombs are easy to make, but you can do a lot more damage with readily available military munitions in other countries. It takes a lot more home made explosives to get the same amount of force out of the device (generally speaking).

    Bombers in Iraq usually see their victims, and video-tape it for others to watch. The majority are not suicide bombers.

    However, in most foreign countries homemade bombs are used against infrastructure and harder targets, like military personnel. A bomber has a better chance of surviving an encounted with a squad of troops and inflicting casualties than 3-4 insurgents with AKs.

    In America most people are soft targets, and usually not in a cohesive unit which can defend itself.
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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Interesting theory, however I have a hard time buying that the folks doing suicide bombings are not averse to killing and many of them would be just as happy to slit your throat. Look at the 9-11 hijackers with boxcutters.



    come on, you didn't know how to make a pipe bomb out of match heads as a kid? Black powder is readilly available too.

    Maybe it is the more personal connection the shooters want. They want the satisfaction of seeing the people they kill?
    I think you are right, the shooter gets to see the pain and suffering he is inflicting on his victims and the fear he creates. To see the fear is the real object of their desire and to have the final control over who lives and who dies.
    Last edited by rottkeeper; March 31st, 2009 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Highlight
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Whenever we have one of these big shootings like the recent ones at the church and the nursing home, I've always figured that people this messed up would use other means to inflict casualties if they didn't have access to firearms. Light the place on fire, improvised explosive, etc...

    But that got me wondering; why is it in other countries, it seems these terrorists DO turn to explosives rather than firearms? I know in some countries, firearms ARE harder to get hold of. But looking at Iraq, I believe there are ample firearms available and yet they usually turn to some form of explosives.

    I'd rather they had access to a gun, because at least I have a chance at defending myself when they come in shooting compared to a suicide bombing.
    And therein lies your answer.
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    Mass shootings give the lawmakers more and more excuses for anti-gun legislation. How many times have you heard we need more explosives control?
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