SOFREPs Brandon Webb Shares Lessons Learned From Aurora, Colo. Attack

A memorial near the Century 16 theater where the massacre occurred Friday just after midnight. (Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)

The country has had a weekend for the tragic Aurora, Colo., shooting to sink in. During that time, many have probably gone from shock, to anger, to grief, and several other stages. Some are also contemplating the lessons that can be learned. The editor-in-chief of SOFREP (the Special Operations Forces Report) is one who has considered the latter, and he has felt compelled to share “some lessons” from his time as a Navy SEAL that he “can pass on to the average citizen.” In other words, he has some advice for people going forward that could help protect you should you ever find yourself in such a situation.

(Related: See other coverage on The Blaze related to the Aurora “Dark Knight” shooting)

Brandon Webb, who was apart of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Class 215, told TheBlaze that he, like many, was “angry that this sick individual could just stroll into this theater and open fire on innocent, unsuspecting people.”

However sickened Webb was by the news, while flying to New York and contemplating the events, advice “just poured out” of him about how to react — as much as possible — in dangerous situations.

“I wanted to do something to help that could possibly better prepare people in the future,” Webb said. “Having any plan in place will better prepare people …”

In a blog post, Webb first offers advice on how to lower your profile as a target should you find yourself in such a horrific event. He writes that one can achieve this at public venues by choosing seats that would allow for a “hasty exit.” For example, Webb states that he “still combat [parks] (backs into a space) and [sits] with my back to the wall when I’m eating.”

If a violent event, such as a shooting, were to occur, Webb then explains the difference between taking cover and concealment. He says that “concealment” merely hides oneself, while “cover” would hide and protect.

“It’s the difference between hiding behind a movie seat or a concrete wall,” he writes. “Think and move. A good decision executed quickly is better than a great one never executed. Violence of action, as we call it in the Spec Ops community, will often change the odds in your favor.”

From an offensive perspective, Webb points out that in the Aurora case specifically, the shooter — who police have identified as 24-year-old James Holmes — was heavily covered in body armor and other gear. Webb says that this could be used to the victim’s advantage. He suggests if one had a flashlight with a high lumens, they use it to blind the assailant:

The high powered beam would have taken away his vision for 3-4 seconds, which is an eternity and enough time to flight or fight. There’s also no shame in surviving and getting you and your loved ones out of harm – especially little ones.

Webb recommends a 200+ lumens flashlight that is waterproof, LED and runs off a 3-volt lithium battery. He says they are light, non-lethal and can be carried anywhere (including through airport security). For this tool, Webb said “I can’t recommend this purchase enough.”

He also advises those serious about protection to look up classes by former military or law enforcement in their area. If you are truly concerned about an attack, he recommends avoiding high-profile places with large crowds in the first place.

Webb cautiously points out the usefulness of a concealed carry weapon in this situation. He says for one to effectively use a concealed carry weapon they should “rehearse … use scenarios both physically and mentally.” He also points out that one should consider whether or not a jury within the state would likely rule in favor of the person using a weapon as a form of self defense.

Still, he told TheBlaze that he worries about this tragedy being used to bring up the issue of gun regulations.

(Related: AP: Renewed Calls for Stricter Gun Laws Getting ‘Little Support’)

“…[T]hey’re barking up the wrong tree,” Webb said. “Bad people will find a way to do harm whether it’s homemade explosives, illegal weapons or flying planes into buildings. Restricting law abiding citizens right to bear arms is not the answer.”

Read Webb’s full post on SOFREP for more details and tips to prevent and protect yourself from attacks here.