The amazing thing about reporter Madeleine Baran's Minnesota Public Radio story about a former Navy SEAL who runs a company that reenacts the Osama bin Laden raid is that he can charge people $325 to play pretend, and it's successful.
Sealed Mindset Firearms Studio, which hosts the reenactments in New Hope, Minnesota, also offers legitimate self-defense and firearms training, but the bin Laden raid sounds like it could be put together by a group of kids who saved their allowance for a few months: Role-playing participants use high-end paintball guns to attack a guy wearing pads and a bin Laden costume in what looks on the company's Facebook page like a bare room. There's a lot of "briefings" and creeping around in the company's 10,000 square-foot studio first, not to mention live-ammo target practice. But the actual bin Laden killing sounds pretty simplistic. The amazing thing is that people get so into it they actually panic, such as the former Marine who forgot to shoot, or this lady, per Baran:
All of a sudden, there was bin Laden, ten feet away, screaming. He held a gun in each hand and immediately started firing. Patnaik panicked and started screaming, too. She managed to get off a few shots, and bin Laden slumped to the ground. His robe and turban were covered in blue splotches from Patnaik's paintball gun.
Of course, none of this would probably work if the guy running the whole operation, Commander Larry Yatch, wasn't a former Navy SEAL himself, getting people involved in the fantasy through his own connection to the reality. But the video from MPR shows the minimal gear and trappings it takes to get people's adrenaline all worked up like they just carried out the decade's most important covert operation themselves:
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