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The common misconception that we live within well-disposed, nonviolent communities is a self-destructive dogma that repeatedly endangers not only our own lives but the lives of those around us. Society’s collective decision to deliberately ignore pragmatic threats has built our communities on the fundamental and false premise that we are always safe and that threats do not exist. However, history shows us quite the opposite, proving the existence of consistent threats to our safety.
Mass shootings, such as Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Orlando, and most recently Las Vegas, show us that our personal safety can be threatened anywhere, regardless of how arguably “safe” you believe your location to be. That being said, the threat of active shooters is REAL and more common than we choose to acknowledge. Naturally, this poses the question – What should I do in the event of an active shooter? Here’s a quick guideline:
Establish Your Plan – Without endangering yourself, the first thing you’ll need to do is to figure out what exactly is going on. This means assessing not only the threat but also your current situation and the situation of those around you. Do you have the ability to get yourself to safety? Should you remain in place and harden your defenses? Will my actions endanger those around me?
Execute Your Plan – Your primary goal should be SAFETY, whether that means you have to run to it or stay where you are. Do your best to remove yourself and others (if possible) from the situation so that you are safely out of harm’s way.
Communicate – If others are around you, let them know your plan. If you must flee your location, share your escape route with others. If you choose to say and hide, cooperate with others to harden your defenses to ensure you’ve made effective barricades and cover. Communication also includes working with law enforcement or first responders to notify them of your situation, whether that be any injuries or immediate threats.
Don’t Be A Hero – Just because you sank $2k into your tricked out 1911 and look like a badass doing your static weaver stance at your bi-monthly range visit, doesn’t mean you should be taking on an active shooter. The shooter has planned his attack and hopes get the drop on you, most likely have studied the lay of the land and having firepower superiority. You also don’t want to be mistaken by law enforcement as an active shooter. Fighting should always be a last resort, used only when your immediate safety is threatened. Let the cops do their job and focus on getting out alive.
Ultimately, you can never be 100% prepared for an active shooter, as your situation will always dictate your response. However, understanding the present situation and prioritizing your safety will increase your chances of survival.
Remember – complacency kills and vigilance is constant.