Ft. Hood is one of largest military installations in the world, with a population of over 50,000 active duty, reserve, and civilian contractors on post. With this second mass shooting by Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, leaving four dead including himself, Ft. Hood has become a symbolic target for active shooters with a personal axe to grind.

In 2009 Army Psychiatrist Major Hasan, ideologically motivated, shot thirteen people dead before being shot and apprehended by base police.

Photo: Major Hasan

2011 saw an AWOL soldier, identified as Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo, arrested in connection with his plot to “get even,” target Ft. Hood.

Abdo, 21, allegedly told law enforcement he wanted to “get even” and was targeting Ft. Hood because of the previous attack there, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News. The documents say he did not plan to attack the base itself, but instead planned to plant two bombs at a nearby restaurant popular with Ft. Hood personnel.

He hoped to detonate both at the target location before using a pistol to shoot survivors, according to the documents. Abdo had gone AWOL over the July 4 weekend from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division in Kentucky, over 800 miles away.
Photo: Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo

When he was arrested, Abdo was in possession of large quantities of ammunition, weapons and what appeared to be the makings of a bomb, according to early accounts from law enforcement. He had also apparently purchased an Army uniform with Fort Hood patches from a local surplus store. –From ABC News

What was Ivan Lopez’ agenda? This remains to be seen, but some clarity should come in the next few days as investigators search through his personal belongings and computer files.

One thing is clear, anti-gun advocates will clearly latch onto this shooting in an attempt to further degrade America’s Second Amendment rights. SOFREP has reported extensively on active shooters and ways to personally protect yourself in these situations. What gun control advocates largely miss is the fact that firearms ownership is fundamental to our cultural heritage in America. Given the pervasive ownership of firearms in this country, it’s not practical to punish law abiding citizens by further eroding their rights under the Second Amendment. To prevent mass shootings we need to focus on the real cause.

Active Shooter Snapshot

Courtesy of the FBI

1) There is no one demographic profile of an active shooter.

2) Many active shooters display observable preattack behaviors, which, if recognized, can lead to the disruption of the planned attack.

3) The pathway to targeted violence typically involves an unresolved real or perceived grievance and an ideation of a violent resolution that eventually moves from thought to research, planning, and preparation.

4) A thorough threat assessment typically necessitates a holistic review of an individual of concern, including historical, clinical, and contextual factors.

5) Human bystanders generally represent the greatest opportunity for the detection and recognition of an active shooter prior to his or her attack.

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6) Concerning active shooters, a person who makes a threat is rarely the same as the person who poses a threat.

7) Successful threat management of a person of concern often involves long-term caretaking and coordination between law enforcement, mental health care, and social services.

8) Exclusionary interventions (e.g., expulsion, termination) do not necessarily represent the end of threat-management efforts.

9) While not every active shooter can be identified and thwarted prior to attacking, many potential active shooters who appear to be on a trajectory toward violence can be stopped.

10) The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit is available to assist state and local agencies in the assessment and management of threatening persons and communications.

The Oklahoma bombing in 1995 is an example that criminals and the mentally ill have means beyond firearms.  The real issue with these incidents is not firearms, it’s people. The majority of shootings are done by people with serious mental health issues, and early warning signs, that if detected, can potentially prevent an incident from occurring.

While the bulk of law enforcement across America appears to be well educated and trained on the issue of Active Shooters, it’s becoming obvious to us that mental health industry professionals should have access to better training on how to identify the early warning signs. The focus should be not on firearms but, how to identify potential shooters who exhibit behavior patterns conducive to carrying out these mass shootings.

Standby, SOFREP will have more updates on this incident as we dig into the situation. We’ll also hear from our partner at Escape the Wolf with actions you can take in the event of an active shooter or terrorist attack.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Heavy)