How to survive an active shooter (must read)

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Although active shooter situations are fairly rare, they are becoming more and more frequent.  We have witnessed several in the past few years, the theater shooting in Colorado, the church shooting in South Carolina and the most recent in Las Vegas.

There are no guarantees you won’t be a casualty at one of these events if an active shooting situation breaks out.  Rather that these tactics will put some of the variables and odds in your favor.

  • Situational Awareness. Everywhere you go, you should be looking at things and how they are laid out.  Try and put yourself in an advantageous areas where you can exit quickly and find safety as quick as possible.  Try to notice who is around you and if anything suspicious is going on.
  • It always your best bet to run and seek safety rather than trying to get into a shoot-out when you are clearly out gunned.  This piggy backs on with the first, but get to an exit and fast.  Everything is situational, but seek safety first before you decide to go Rambo and take on the shooter.
  • Avoid Gun Free Events. You will see at a lot of the mass casualty shootings, they are at venues or events that don’t allow guns.  If you can carry, you should.  A “gun free” zone, is only for people who are law abiding.  Not the nut jobs who want to kill innocent people.
  • Take Cover. If you are trapped or can’t exit the situation, seek out cover.  Remember cover will stop a bullet.  Don’t hide behind a folding chair unless that is all that you have.  Try to find concrete or metal to get behind.
  • Arm yourself. If you can’t escape or effectively hide, arm yourself.  Draw your weapon and try to find the shooter and how you can take him down.  Remember at this point it is about survival.
  • This is an absolute last resort.  Now that it is time to fight, you had better fight like the 3rd monkey showing up to Noah’s ark.  You have committed to trying to stop the shooter by violence of action and by all means do so.  You are still responsible for your bullets wherever they go, and you don’t have a green light to pray and spray rounds striking innocent people that are trying to flee.  More than likely the shooter will have on a bullet proof vest or other protective devices, so be prepared for head shots or other areas not covered by a vest such as the legs and groin.
  • Keep your head on a swivel. Other people at the event, may feel as though you are with the shooter and turn and fire on you.  You don’t have on a badge or uniform, so there is no way to distinguish you from the shooter.  Don’t give up your 6 unless you have to.  Always keep your back secured to prevent an ambush.
  • Not the time to film. During an active shooter situation, please don’t be so shallow as to risk your life or others’ lives to film the attack.  Get to safety and help people that are injured and call the police.

In a nutshell, I go with the 3 basic principles I have been taught.

  1. RUN
  2. HIDE
  3. FIGHT

Always try and be prepared for a situation like this and try to keep your wits about you during the chaos around you.  It is sad to say, but we will see more of these in the future, so try and read and apply these things if you are ever put in an active shooter situation.

Fortuna Paratus Remunerat= Fortune Favors the Prepared

Shane Smith


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