Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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3 lesson’s learned from the Mandalay Bay shooting

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It’s painful to think that a place I visit so often would be home to such a ruthless attack.  But the truth is that Las Vegas is a high-value target and many threats have been made against the city in the past.  There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Mandalay Bay shooting, but there are some conclusions we can come to without waiting for investigations to be completed.

Location of the Mandalay Bay shooting

Mandalay Bay Hotel by Sascha Brück | Creative Commons 2.0 Germany

Automatic Rifles

There’s no doubt that automatic rifles of some sort were used in this attack.  And this time, it’s not the media just showing their ignorance.  The rate of fire was too consistent to be natural.  Yes, people can shoot faster with semi-automatics, but they never have such a consistent space between trigger pulls.

Production of automatic rifles for civilians has been banned since 1986.  Firearms purchased before this time are still transferable but require additional documentation and fees.  This is on top of the background checks required to be performed by FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealers.

There’s already talk in the media about how regular semi-automatics can be modified to be fully automatic.  This is possible.  Most amateurs don’t know how to do it and most professionals don’t want to do it.

It all makes me wonder what we’re going to find out about the killer’s background.  But I am sure about one thing…

If the extreme laws already in place against automatic rifles didn’t stop this guy, applying more stringent laws to other rifles won’t prevent evil people from getting ahold of them.

Increased attacks on large gatherings

We’re seeing a radical increase of attacks on large gatherings across the United States and Europe.  In this case, like others, it doesn’t seem to be caused by religion or politics.  And I don’t think this trend is going to stop.

Everyone needs to start taking action to protect themselves.  It was only a few months ago that I was writing about the Manchester Arena bombing incident.   While it may have been a different type of music, it was still a concert.  In fact, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve written about attacks on large groups.

These concerts generally do the best they can to protect their attendees, but it’s time to accept that they can’t always protect you.  While I don’t recommend you live your life in fear, you need to accept that you put yourself at risk every time you attend a large gathering.  Avoid it whenever possible and plan for the worst when you can’t.

Broken Windows

Although we don’t have all of the details, it is being reported that two windows were broken out before the shooting began with a glass-breaking tool.  This makes sense.  Bullets can go through standard glass quite easily.  However, the glass would have a profound effect on the accuracy and power of the rounds.

I imagine that law enforcement, as well as private security firms, will start using this as an attack indicator in the future.  It’s unknown at this point how far in advance the windows were smashed, but this could have been an advanced indicator.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of last night’s shooting.


  • Robert E. Paz, D.C. says:

    Glad you are okay Mr. Hanson. Henderson local. We previously attended your Stratosphere show this year and have bought many survival items from you. I have read your book repeatedly and was talking to a friend of mine just last week about you and your recommendations and survival techniques.
    Glad to know you are okay, I was actually worried about you since you are a local and while you don’t know me, I believe in your mission and highly respect you and carefully follow your information.
    My close friends son was shot in the leg and a girl next to him was shot several times, he doesn’t know if she survived, but he is an EMT and doesn’t believe so. He actually rescued a few people and got them into the tents and one into a hospital with severe gun shots with a commandeered pick up truck while the guy was bleeding out. Only after he had completed this did he advise that he was also shot. 23 year old Hero.
    Hopefully your message will ring l ouder with people after this attack, many of my friends are lackadaisical about preparing for these moments and roll their eyes at my flashlight stun gun, etc. Keep up the good work

  • Javier says:

    I found this article extremely helpful. I think we live in an age where security and safety need to be at the forefront of people’s minds. Acting with precaution is not fear but using your smarts. When there are people like this in the world that are so selfish and completely unpredictable it makes you think.

    I recently was in a Whole Foods store near the produce aisle and heard someone yell “call 911”! I started to see people run out of the store. My first thought was danger, the second thought was where is the closest exit. Which at that point was through the fish section of the store which leads to the loading docs. Eventually, things calmed down. Apparently, a consumer was assaulted while trying to buy foods by out of the store hoodlums. I often now just walk into restaurants, buildings, movie theaters and look for where the exits are and where am I positioned relative to them. I also practice parkour which allows me to be more agile and dealing obstacles and high walls.

    I am staying tuned to more info you have on all this and what insights you have about all this. Just started listening to your book on Audible. Thanks for putting info out like this.

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