I am likely guilty of oversimplifying the Left of Bang principles. If so, I suggest you purchase the book of the same title. If you are concerned with preventing violence or even a catastrophe, it will open your eyes. It will blow your mind. It may be your first step in becoming a Combat Profiler, or being able to recognize when someone is planning on bringing harm to your congregation, your classroom, yourself…
Perhaps a true story will illustrate the importance of abiding by some of the principles of Left of Bang that I have been advocating literally for decades. This story will, I hope, prove the efficacy of establishing a Yellow State of Mind (see previous post), identifying an anomaly (from a baseline, also talked about in previous posts) and being able to move from Yellow to Orange (identifying a specific threat and matching that with a specific plan of action if that threat materializes in the Red State of Mind!
In other words, being aware, assessing what you are aware of, and once you do, anticipating what might or will happen in the immediate future unless you do something, and, then, here’s the trick: doing something about it!
Don’t expect specific details. I know about Tara from my research I did for one of my books. She was part of a security team for a Baptist church in the Denver, Colorado area. Tara had a hardline baseline for her church. Meaning, she knew everyone in the congregation, knew them well. Called many of them “friend,” some were even relatives. Tara was nowhere close to being an expert in combat profiling, or just plain, ordinary profiling. All she was was a security team volunteer.
Oh, yeah, she was determined. She really, truly cared that no harm would ever come to any of her friends or relatives. There was that.
This Autumn Sunday upon which I am focused began like any other Sunday. The pastor waxed eloquent, she noted in her report. The congregation appeared in high spirits. Well, most of the congregants were anyways. There was the Brewster family (I am making up this name; my notes don’t cover this). Mother and twin daughters. Something about them was simply “not right (anomalous).” They constantly looked around and from time to time the mother had to comfort the twins by stroking their hair and hugging them.
The other thing: Mister Brewster. He had never missed a service before. Not as long as tara had been part of the church family. Tara was beginning to get a “real bad feeling.”
Mister Brewster never showed up throughout the service, and, just as it was about to end, Tara walked from the prayer session to the lobby where she was able to observe the parking lot. There she saw the husband pacing back and forth, forth and back around his pickup truck parked sideways – unusual – away from the scores of cars owned by the usual congregants.
When the services were over, as usual, the church doors opened and several families avoided shaking hands with the pastor, which was not that unusual, but the others gathered in the usual “reception line” around the pastor with a few families departing.
Tara noticed Mister Brewster immediately going to the back of his truck and pulling out an object covered with a white towel.
Something really really was out of whack. Tara stopped the Brewsters from leaving. She wanted to interview the mother. Ask about the domestic situation, but there was no time. She alerted the pastor and the others from the security team. No one was permitted to leave (lockdown) and the police were called. Two of the security team, who were armed and trained, took up position.
Probably sensing something was awry, Mr. Brewster got back into his truck and rocketed out of the parking lot. He was stopped a mile or so away. The cops didn’t have to search hard to find the loaded shotguns and one 357 Magnum. When interrogated, Brewster admitted being determined to gun down his wife, his children, and for undetermined reasons, the pastor.
Be Aware, Assess, Anticipate and Act.
Until next time, Stay safe.