Gun World - - Cleared Hot -

You hear some small or large pops. It might sound like back­fires or a door slam­ming to the un­trained ear. Or, you might hear noth­ing at all. At first, it might only draw your cu­rios­ity in­stead of your sur­vival in­stinct.

Dur­ing those sec­onds or min­utes that you are try­ing to fig­ure out what is go­ing on, an ac­tive shooter could be mov­ing to your lo­ca­tion. The av­er­age ac­tive shooter sit­u­a­tion is about 12 min­utes long (many, fewer than five), with an av­er­age law en­force­ment re­sponse in the neigh­bor­hood of 18 min­utes. So, be­ing pre­pared is the first step to get­ting out alive.


Ev­ery­one should al­ways know where ex­its are. While we might not pay at­ten­tion as ev­ery­day life con­sumes us, it is an im­por­tant item to re­mem­ber on your men­tal sur­vival list. Know the routes to the var­i­ous ex­its, and en­vi­sion dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios in which it might be blocked. In other words: Have an al­ter­nate route/plan.

In many of­fice and school ac­tive-shooter re­sponse plans, there is a pre­de­ter­mined cen­tral lo­ca­tion for ev­ery­one to as­sem­ble to get a head count. I don’t think this is a good idea, be­cause often, the ac­tive shooter is some­one in­ter­nal to the or­ga­ni­za­tion or school and could be fa­mil­iar with the re­sponse plan. It would be

like shoot­ing fish in a bar­rel to use the assem­bly area as a fo­cal point to tar­get a con­fined crowd for max­i­mum in­jury or kills.

In­stead, once you check in, move to a safer area away from the ini­tial shooter’s lo­ca­tion. As you move through hall­ways and stair­wells, check first to make sure you are not go­ing to run into the at­tacker.


If your abil­ity to exit your lo­ca­tion is not an op­tion, find­ing a place to hide will likely be your next choice. Hope­fully, you have al­ready thought about this pos­si­bil­ity. If not, do it now. Find­ing a place to hide could in­clude bar­ri­cad­ing the place you are in. Things to con­sider are the direc­tion that doors open (if you have doors), the thick­ness of walls and doors, and if there is any­thing in your vicin­ity that will stop bul­lets.

There are field-ex­pe­di­ent meth­ods of bar­ri­cad­ing, and there are man­u­fac­tured meth­ods.

FIELD-EX­PE­DI­ENT BAR­RI­CADES. Us­ing your belt or other ma­te­rial can help to keep an au­to­matic door-clos­ing mech­a­nism from be­ing able to open. You can also use purse or back­pack straps. Push­ing fur­ni­ture and other items against a door that opens in­ward can also stop or slow an ac­tive shooter from gain­ing en­try.

MAN­U­FAC­TURED BAR­RI­CADES. Sev­eral com­pa­nies make easyto-in­stall op­tions to keep doors from open­ing as an ad­di­tion to locks or in the event there is a door that does not have a lock. Night­lock (www.Night­, Bilco (, Master­lock (www. Master­lock) or BoloStick ( all make a de­vice that can be eas­ily in­stalled that will not sig­nif­i­cantly change how the door works for ev­ery­day use.


When look­ing for a place to hide, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that con­ceal­ment is not your only con­cern. If an ac­tive shooter is fir­ing ran­domly, it is pos­si­ble that even while hid­den, you could suf­fer a di­rect shot or the im­pact of de­bris as a re­sult of shat­tered ma­te­rial. Find­ing a lo­ca­tion that pro­tects from both of these is im­por­tant.

Com­mon of­fice, school or shop­ping items can pro­tect you in this event. Look for solid ma­te­ri­als such as con­crete planters in a mall, safes or con­crete benches.


If you have read this far, you are prob­a­bly say­ing to your­self, I would just shoot the ac­tive shooter. For most read­ers, this should be their nor­mal re­sponse. Un­for­tu­nately, ac­cord­ing to the FBI, just 3.1 per­cent of activeshooter in­ci­dents are con­tained or stopped by an “or­di­nary” armed cit­i­zen. While that num­ber seems small, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that most in­ci­dents hap­pen where an armed cit­i­zen is not al­lowed: Schools, gov­ern­ment build­ings and many pri­vate busi­nesses don’t al­low their em­ploy­ees to arm them­selves. As a re­sult, these lo­ca­tions

are the choices of ac­tive shoot­ers. It is more likely that un­armed cit­i­zens will re­strain the shooter (13 per­cent).

In an ac­tive-shooter sit­u­a­tion, it might be wiser to get as many peo­ple around you to safety and cover their move­ments than at­tempt to ac­tively en­gage. What you need to be aware of is that in an ef­fort to seek out an ac­tive shooter, you, your­self, could look like an ac­tive shooter to law en­force­ment and first re­spon­ders. In ad­di­tion, un­less you are highly trained and have com­mu­ni­ca­tion with law en­force­ment, you should re­main on the de­fen­sive and leave the of­fen­sive ma­neu­vers to the pro­fes­sion­als … un­less ac­tively en­gag­ing is your only re­main­ing op­tion.

Here are some ad­di­tional points to think about if you are forced into an en­gage­ment with an ac­tive shooter: Be pre­pared for an as­sailant wear­ing body ar­mor; in that case, head shots might be nec­es­sary. Look for mul­ti­ple shoot­ers, and make sure to do a 360-de­gree check of the area.

There is an ad­van­tage to num­bers: The more peo­ple you have, the eas­ier it is to over­whelm the armed at­tacker, re­gard­less of whether your peo­ple are armed or not. Do not seek out the at­tacker; this puts you at a dis­ad­van­tage. Be aware of what is be­hind the shooter, be­cause while try­ing to save lives, you would not want to take in­no­cent ones.

In all like­li­hood, you will never ex­pe­ri­ence an ac­tive-shooter event. Nev­er­the­less, you should be pre­pared: Pay at­ten­tion to your sur­round­ings, and no­tice when things are out of place. If you see some­thing, no­tify some­one.

Many post-in­ci­dent re­ports con­firm con­firm that peo­ple who came in con­tact with the soon-to-be shooter be­fore the in­ci­dent no­ticed “some­thing dif­fer­ent” about the in­di­vid­ual. Even so, in many cases, they were afraid to say some­thing out of fear of be­ing la­beled as a “racist” or some other name. Nev­er­the­less, we need to take care of each other. It’s the only way we can de­feat the bad guys look­ing to do us harm. GW


Peo­ple with evil in­tent in­ter­pret signs such as this as re­ally say­ing, “Be­yond this sign are vic­tims who can’t shoot back.”

Shown is a typ­i­cal school hall­way. No­tice that there are mul­ti­ple ex­its. When run­ning from an ac­tive-shooter sit­u­a­tion, take no­tice of exit signs to lead you out and away from the build­ing. Try not to en­ter rooms that could trap you with­out an exit....

Source: Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, 2014 I

Far left: The au­thor demon­strates how to use a belt to pre­vent open­ing a door. Re­strict­ing the au­to­matic closer pre­vents the door from open­ing. Near left: The au­thor demon­strates the use of the Master­lock Dual Func­tion Door Se­cu­rity Bar on an...

The Bar­racuda de­fense sys­tem de­vices are de­signed to lock down ver­ti­cal doors in a mat­ter of sec­onds in ac­tive-shooter sit­u­a­tions. Shown here is the Bilco Bar­racuda In­truder De­fense Sys­tem that was de­signed for in­wardswing­ing doors. (Photo: The...

In Novem­ber 2016, Ohio State Univer­sity stu­dents bar­ri­caded them­selves af­ter an at­tacker drove his car into stu­dents and then chased them with a butcher knife. The cam­pus was alerted for an ac­tive-shooter in­ci­dent and locked down.

Shown here is the Bilco Bar­racuda In­truder De­fense Sys­tem for out­ward-swing­ing doors such as those re­quired in most class­rooms due to fire codes. (Photo: The Bilco Com­pany)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.