In light of the latest active shooter terror attacks, one must think of what they would do if in that situation. They say the chances are slim, but what if you just happen to be in that so called slim chance? What if it becomes more and more common? Let’s think of what we should do when in the presence of an active shooter.
If you hear gun shots, first thing you should do is run the opposite direction. Chances are, you’re a regular civilian, not some war trained killing machine heavily armed to take out the active shooter (or shooters) alone. This isn’t the movies, don’t engage the shooter(s). Therefore, run. Grab your friends, family, co-workers or whomever, and get away.
Once in a safe spot, immediately call 911 or emergency services. Likely someone else already has, but don’t assume. Just call.
If you find yourself trapped, that the only exit is towards the gun shots, close and lock any doors in between you and the shooter(s). If you can, barricade the door or entrance. Likely, you won’t have enough time. Now find something you think would stop/deflect bullets and hide behind it. Something like a metal door, bathroom stall door or desk. Yes, there are bullets that can penetrate many different surfaces, and knowing which they do and don’t penetrate is difficult, but right now you’re trying to better your chances of not getting shot. So anything is better than standing in the open.
When you can’t find anything you think would stop bullets, then it is time to find the best hiding spot possible. This is ANYWHERE you think the active shooter(s) will either not look or don’t know to look. This could be in a box with a pile of boxes, in the ceiling, or as simple as behind curtains. Anywhere you believe you can’t be seen, and somewhere not obvious where someone would be hiding.
It will be very hard to do in this stressful situation but you MUST be silent. You might be shaking, heart pounding and wanting to cry, but you must refrain from making any noise. Your life might depend on it.
In the unfortunate event you are stuck in a room or area with the active shooter(s), and have nowhere to go, now and only now is when you must fight for your life. Pleading for your life will not work if an active shooter is on a rampage shooting any and every one. The harsh reality is you must fight or be killed. If you are with other people in this situation, try and get everyone to charge the shooter(s) at once. This will give everyone a better chance of over taking the shooter(s). You won’t have much time so you must charge right away. But if you are hiding behind something and they are coming towards you, and is inevitable they will find you, if you see a window of opportunity (like pausing to reload a gun), then that is when you should attack. Active shooters aren’t expecting anyone to fight back.
Ideally, this is when you’d want to be carrying a concealed firearm. To better defend yourself. But more than likely you won’t be, so if you can get ahold of anything like a pocket knife, envelope opener, pen, screw driver etc, you will be more effective than fighting without anything.
Hopefully nothing like this ever happens to you, but if it does, I hope this has helped a little in what things to look for and think about.
Until next time.