Lead and Gold has a link to a report, short and concise. I'd like to quote one bit:
One of the most important lessons of this attack is the continuing importance of an earlier operational form: the firearms assault. While the counterterrorism world has been focused almost exclusively on explosives, this attack demonstrates that firearms assault, while not as deadly as mass-casualty bombings, can be an effective tactic in creating prolonged chaos in an urban setting.
Put bluntly: in a city full of mostly unarmed people, a small group of terrorists with nothing but some guns, unless law enforcement or security forces are right there and capable, can cause an ungodly mess. Which brings me to something Lawdog wrote a while back:
"But, LawDog, I'm a CCW, not a cop. I'm not going to be responding to bank robberies."
Given that terrorism isn't going away any time soon, I'd not bet the ranch on that, but that's a discussion for another time.
Which is as nice a way as you'll hear of pointing out 'something like Mumbai could happen here. And you might be right there in the middle of it.' A flat-out terrifying thought, ain't it?
One of the things that surprises a lot of (sometimes stupid) critics of CCW is that they'll make some snotty comment about "Got to shoot anybody yet?" and the response is something on the lines of "I devoutly hope I never have to." And, in most self-defense uses of a gun, no shot is fired; bad guy finds out the intended victim is armed and ready to shoot, and decides to exit stage left as fast as possible, or surrenders. But here?
If this happens, and you're there, you've got terrorists who plan on dying; they hope to use their own death to further terrify us. Which means, you get caught in that, it's very simple: you may die if you fight, but you- and maybe a bunch of other people- will die if you don't. And you cannot count on the police. Most cops in the US, I think, will not have a problem with 'shoot the bad guys', but if the bad guys are smart, they'll first shoot any cops they see. Or just strike in an area away from them. And that means, if all goes to hell and you're there, you're it.
In the June issue of Guns, in the Odd Angry Shot column, there's this:
Significant numbers of police officers and other public officials resign or are fired- some, because they realize and admit they are not psychologically equipped to deal with events like this, others because their incompetence or cowardice were spotlighted and magnified by it.
Afterward, scads of citizens complained the police hid and huddled right alongside them, refusing, sometimes profanely, to take action against the shooters.
...He saw two gunmen "calmly stroll across the station concouirse shooting both civilians and policement," who, he said were armed but did not return fire- they only took cover and hid.
As I say, I think the average cop in the US is more likely to draw and shoot; if nothing else, they've had far more training for such than the Mumbai police. But if they're not there when it happens, it doesn't matter if the guy with the badge is William Butler Hickock reborn.
I'll tell you flatly, when I seriously run through "What do I do if-?" in my mind, about a restaurant or mall or store, it scares hell out of me. And I really, really hope those plans/thoughts are never needed. But I'd rather think them through and sweat, than consider it happening and me not be ready because "It was just too terrible to think about."