Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It’s All About the Narrative

On Monday, November 28, 2016, there was a terror event on the campus of Ohio State University.  It involved an OSU student, a young Somali immigrant, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, attacking others with his car, and then a knife.  This attack was similar to what we’ve seen in Palestinian attacks in Israel. He was engaged and killed by an OSU police officer, Alan Horujko, who reported “shots fired” as he called for assistance.  This led the OSU emergency response team to declare an active shooter event and broadcast it via social media to all the students.  Its Twitter message read, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.

It took about an hour from the first notification for the OSU administration to determine the only shooter was the police officer, and the student body should be notified of the all clear, but the twitter responses make a rather telling commentary on the thinking of the average student, others who followed the feed, as well as those who will use any such event to push their political narrative.

On the one hand, there were a significant number of individuals who could not fathom why the OSU team would advocate “fight” as one of the responses.  If someone has a gun how could you possibly fight them?  The concept of actively participating in their own defense appeared to be completely alien to them.
For the record, the advice advocating fight comes only if there are no other options.  You are trapped and about to be shot.  In this instance the advice is to be as violent as possible to disrupt the shooter and either disarm them or escape.

Then there were those who used the events of the day to talk about the need for everyone to have a gun and how OSU should not be a gun free zone.  @Tradecraft Ltd offered this great opinion, “Apparently colleges would prefer their innocent students to just be good little victims.

Finally, there were politicians and others from California, Virginia, and elsewhere around the world, who weighed in about how too many people have guns and that this never would have happened if we had better gun control laws.

Senator Tim Kaine, D-VA (Clinton VP candidate), found it necessary to weigh in before he had the facts (I assume) with “Deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning. Praying for the injured and the entire Buckeye community

I am not a twitter user, and looking at the dialogues on this medium I am convinced my choice was a good one, for civility and respect don’t seem to be its forte. 

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