Active Shooters at Public Events and Venues

Active Shooters at Public Events and Venues

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Active Shooters at Public Events and Venues

It has become all too often that we must endure the possibilities of encountering an active shooter in a public place or an event. 

With the most recent events happening in Gilroy, CA, El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH I have decided to talk a little about what you can do to prepare for a situation where you might be present at an active shooter scenario.  I myself will be attending the annual Shrimp Festival in Sneads Ferry, NC this weekend and I have had a great deal of thoughts about this event. 

The first thing we must do is not let these mentally challenged people change our way of life to a negative lifestyle. We must continue to do the things we like, go to the places we enjoy, and most of all NOT fear these people. 

Relying on law enforcement, good citizens who carry concealed, and depending on each other in times of crisis is the key to surviving.

Some of the first things to do in a situation like this is:

  1. Immediately crouch down.
  2. Seek cover and concealment as quickly as possible. 
  3. Bring the silhouette of your body closer to the ground and not be so visible.  This also removes your vital organs from the spray affect of the automatic weapon.
  4.  If possible, navigate laterally from the shooter.  Act like you’re in a rip tide at the ocean and go directly 90 degrees from the shooter.  Once you have distanced yourself from the shooter, go back to where the shooter has been.  They typically do not return to the entrance or area that they have just been in.  This may give you a chance to neutralize the shooter but make this call on what you have at hand, don’t be a dead hero. Remember Law Enforcement is on their way and the shooter wants to inflict as much carnage as possible.  The shooter usually does not go back towards the police or where he has been.  If you choose to do this, be aware that others will be approaching you.
  5. Trying to neutralize the shooter with means that are at your availability is a decision one must make on their own.  Remember that there are others around you and law enforcement is at a very heightened state at this time. 
  6. Assist Law Enforcement by staying concealed and giving them verbal direction as to which direction the shooter was headed.  Only come out of cover when asked by Law Enforcement.
  7. Moving laterally away from the shooter makes your chances much greater of surviving because you are removing yourself from the fatal funnel as we call it in Law Enforcement.  It also requires the shooter to adjust his aim take longer to shoot, and he loses eyesight of more potential targets now. 
  8. If possible, and only if it does not put you in danger, try to give first aid to victims.  Apply pressure to wounds, keep the victim talking, assure them they will make it.  Be positive, try to be as calm as possible.
  9. Remember, these shooters are not balanced, nor are they thinking in a calm frame of mind.  You must never give up!

The idea of going back to where the shooter has commenced his act brings you out of their eyesight and the cross hairs of the rifle or pistol.  Think of it like when a bomb goes off everyone runs away from it.  What are the chances of another bomb going off in the same spot?  Very unlikely!  In fact, in the case of a bomb, they would probably have pre-planned the next one on your escape route. 

Preparing for an Active Shooter:

There are many ways to prepare for a tragic event so that you increase your survival rate.  The number one thing is to be very aware of your surroundings.  When you go to an event take a few minutes and see where the exits are of the venue.  Then look for the areas you can exit without all the crowds.  Don’t follow the crowd, they usually are making their decision in a panic mode.  Look for objects that you can use for cover and concealment.  Talk to whomever you are attending the event with and have a plan, a meet up area, who is going with who if separated.  Utilize your cell phone if wounded to communicate between each other.  If a family member needs medical attention text where you are going.  Then plan to meet there or on the way.  Know where the medical facility is for the venue.  Know where the hospital is in proximity to the venue.  Locate ambulances at the venue for future reference.    

Mental Toughness:

Start practicing building your mental toughness.  When an event happens like this its chaotic.  Think to yourself each time you depart your residence that you may be walking into an active shooter situation.  I said think!  Not worried, paranoid or feared!  Thinking puts you in the proactive mode and not the reaction mode.  

Start taking a self defense class that will give you the confidence to act at a higher level of awareness and response time to an event.  Many self defense principles carry over into everyday life and in critical situations. 

Buy a weapon and apply for a concealed carry permit.  Take a class on shooting.  Train with the weapon and be responsible with it and be willing to use it if necessary if the time should arise.

Having spent 20 years in the US Secret Service, I can say confidently that if you train or even train in your mind by running through scenarios you will have a better chance.  You have a plan, work your plan, adjust when necessary and be successful.  That’s why police and military are successful……THEY TRAIN!  You should too!

Until next time, be safe and smart and be aware!  Have a safe summer!

Tim

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