Facing an Active Shooter
In the movies, on TV, books, and video games we see and witness shoot outs. They are literally everywhere. In our current society you have to have a big shoot out if the material is to be successful! And of course, every writer, film maker, actor, hip-hop artist, and video game designer wants it to be successful, to make money.
But who wants to witness an active shooter in their place of employment, especially when you may be the target? I think I can fully say with confidence, no one. And to add a bit to this…No one wants to see real blood, guts, and brain matter splattered all over the walls and floors. Great in fiction, not so much in reality.
Let me attempt to give you my nickel’s worth of advice;
Some states allow citizens to openly carry their firearms. If you want to, and you live in such a state, by all means do so. (States with the least restrictive firearm laws usually see the fewest firearm crimes. And rarely do mass shootings occur in a state that allows open carry).
But if you’re at work, school, or out and about, that may not be an option for you or your cohorts. However, a useful methodology has developed over the past few years or so: it’s called “Run, Hide, or Fight.”
1: Run if you can, because it’s the safest thing to do. If you can get out of the line of fire and away from the area where the shooter is, do it. This is why evacuation plans exist in most businesses. Although only 17% of businesses have an active shooter evacuation plan, it still makes sense.
If your employer doesn’t have such a plan, then do what you can to make up your own. If you know that the shooter is a current/former employee, then take this advice; DO NOT take the planned evacuation routes.
What? How crazy is that? But think: who knows the evacuation route better than a current/former employee? If that shooter is going to target specific people, then they’ll know which routes to cover and began shooting at those who are running to get out.
2: Hide if you can take cover do it. Find a good “hidey hole” and stay there until the police or other emergency personnel come looking for you and everyone else. It doesn’t matter where this “hidey hole” is, just as long as it will keep you safe and sound.
Once you’re in the hidey-hole, , stay quiet. It does no good to hide away from a shooter, but then make a sound that gives away your location. If you have asthma or a cold, that may not be possible, so in that case, for the safety of your friends and co-workers, find another place to hide.
- Fight. If you decide you can make it out of your hidey hole and be safe, then by all means make a run for it. But you must face the reality of possibly confronting the shooter. Use whatever is at hand to distract them and get the sights off yourself. Throw stuff. Staplers, cups, vases, books, folders, binders, phones, even chairs — anything freestanding you can get your hands on — make excellent weapons at a moment’s notice.
Remember that most active shooter incidents are targeted. If people other than the intended victims get shot, it’s because the shooter’s aim was off or people accidentally got in the way.
Despite what the media and talking heads would have you believe most shooters will not just randomly start shooting at anyone and everyone.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at: 480-251-5197
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