I woke this morning to hear the news of the terrible shooting in Las Vegas last night. Among the many stories of horror and confusion, one really stood out to me. It was the story of Instagram star, Dan Bilzerian. I have seen him on Instagram and not been impressed with him. He is not someone to who I have looked up or aspired to emulate. GQ wrote a very illuminating article on the man.
As I said, I don’t follow him or his antics (in fact, I don’t really like anything about him), yet I am familiar with his story of rigorous military training and his practise of using firearms. In spite of all his bravado, I was shocked when I saw the video footage he filmed as he ran from the shooting, describing a girl being killed.
Thankfully, this is something I have never experienced, and hopefully never will. That said, I am confused as to my feelings towards Dan Bilzerian after his actions. On one hand, I think it shows him as having little fortitude or courage… on the other I totally understand his running.
I say little fortitude, as there were people all around him that I am sure needed help. With approximately 59 people killed and nearly 600 injured, there were plenty of people needing assistance. I saw footage of him after he ran, where he talked about his intention was to run to get guns and then return. I feel this is not very believable… it is most likely he regretted his actions and tried to make an effort after the fact. How can I know this?
I have been in situations where people have been killed, or possibly injured. I recall one instance where I was near (several metres) where a person landed after jumping to commit suicide. This happened around 15 years ago, yet I remember it very vividly. At the time, my brain failed to understand the situation and I convinced myself it was a stupid stunt for a local radio station. I had been walking when the person jumped and I heard a scream (I don’t know who screamed, it was either the jumper or someone who saw it) and when they landed I just kept walking. It wasn’t until I had walked away and several minutes had passed when I realised what had happened. I turned around and when I returned the area, it was secured and medical personal were in attendance (although the person died). I felt disgusted with myself afterwards and it took some time to work out my feelings of guilt for not acting. I suspect that is what Dan is going through now.
I don’t think you can truly prepare for such situations. I know that you may think you can handle a terrible situation, and you may be sure that whatever happens you can keep it together and be the hero, yet I know it doesn’t always play out like you would like it. I think that you can try to be prepared, yet when it happens you have to be ready for your reaction and try to make a difference if you can.
Maybe that is what being prepared is all about… giving yourself the room to manoeuvre and get yourself together when something bad happens. Sometimes normalcy bias makes it hard to work out what is going on, and being prepared could be what makes all the difference.