“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.” Dave Grossman

There were two general reactions to the cowardly shooting in Colorado. The sheep thought “Thank God I was not in that theater, I would have died”. The sheep dogs thought “If I had been in the theater, maybe I could have done something to stop him”.

No one can plan a response to such an unpredictable attack. We can, however, think about how to think. We can prepare and strengthen ourselves so that when we are there, we will be prepared to do all that we can do. I don’t want to speculate about what happened or second guess anyone’s actions, but we can have a discussion about what we should think about for the next time.

I have seen film of the Nazi’s leading people to the edge of a hole where they were executed. One body would fall in and the next victim walked to the edge and repeated the process. I always wondered why they didn’t fight. They were in denial and hoped that things would turn out OK if they just cooperated.