This is how you avoid mass shootings, but if the unthinkable happens and you end up in an active shooter situation, do these things . . .
Mass shootings are becoming more commonplace.
From the Vegas shooting, to the wide-spread terrorist attacks across Europe, to endless school shootings, we have to be ready to protect ourselves.
Crazed madmen will always exist, so will their desire for fame and “glory”.
As long as mainstream media gives these mentally unstable criminals a spotlight we will continue to have mass shootings.
Prepping for an active shooter is different than most scenarios we prep for. You can’t just be aware of this risks, read survival books on it, make a plan, stick some stuff on a shelf, and go about your regular life.
Nor should we be afraid of these mass shooters and hide in constant fear. Preparing for an active shooter scenario requires knowledge and building a few simple habits.
Trust Your Instincts
Survivors of the Batman shooting in Colorodo admitted they had a terrible feeling as they watched the shooter walk into the building.
However, the majority brushed off their feelings and figured it was most likely a publicity stunt. Even after the shooter began to fire, many folks said they still believed “it had to be a part of the show.”
Listen to your instincts. If something or someone seems out of place, or if a situation seems unusual, or if your gut tells you something is not right… listen to it.
Situational Awareness Is Key
Before walking into a public place, you need to check out the situation. If something appears out of place, or maybe your gut says something is not right, listen to your instincts.
Part of being mindful of your surroundings means figuring out how you can leave if things go south. When walking into any new place, the very first thing you should do is look for the exits and escape routes.
Building this one simple habit can make a huge difference in your suitability rate. Make it a habit and soon you won’t even realize you’re doing it.
Avoid Gun-Free Zones
Almost all mass shootings take place in gun free zones. The murderers that commit mass shootings do not want a fight. They realize they will find very little opposition in “gun free zones”, so they choose these targets on purpose.
A gun-free sign or a sticker on the window will not stop them. They do not care for the law, nor are they concerned with it.
Where Else To Avoid
Some places and events are now known to attract shooters. Places like movie theaters, night clubs, concerts, and public gatherings are heavy targets. Try to stay away from those events and situations.
Predicting the next place an an active shooter will target is virtually impossible, but we can look at the common threads between them all.
Mass shooters are seeking attention from mainstream media. Because of this they wait for special days and events, so avoid:
- Stay home on opening nights
- Stay away from sold out concerts, shows, or sporting events
- Don’t go to high profile events, protest gatherings, or political rallies
- Skip school dances and special occasions
You’re likely thinking that means you’re going to miss out on some things. If you must go to these events, be sure you select seats near an exit and on the end of an isle at least.
Don’t set yourself up to be trapped in the center of a row of seats, or in the midst of a crowd. Be sure there are no obstacles between you and your chosen exit.
Don’t stand out from the crowd either. Bright orange shirts will draw a shooter’s eye right to you.
Get Propper Training
Some concealed carry gun owners train themselves for an active shooter situation, but it’s usually very basic. Maybe they shoot some easy targets at the range, or go through an obstacle course shooting range, but that’s about it.
Look for a course that works with real life situations and stress responses.
You have to think about every element of an active shooter situation when training. That means going further than shooting a freestanding target through a makeshift window.
These are things like…
- contacting the police while maintaining your gun on the target
- creating and using improvised weapons
- knowing your every decision could mean life or death
- learning defensive fighting skills
- knowing the right way to deal with the immense pressure and stress of the situation
These are a small sample of the many aspects that are a part of any good training program.
Surviving A Mass Shooting
If the unthinkable takes place, and you end up in a mass shooting, do these things:
Get Out – The very first thing you should do is escape. Get far away from the shooter.
This is why you should know the exits and plan an escape route in your head. If you can make it out, don’t draw unwanted attention to yourself in the process. Once you reach the exit, don’t drop your guard and don’t stop. There may be other shooters.
Find Cover – If you cannot escape, then take cover. This does not mean hide behind some ridiculous object like in the movies. A table or other piece of furniture will not stop a bullet.
In real life, these objects offer no real protection. Even something like a car offers very little actual protection from flying bullets. Take cover behind a good shield, like a thick concrete wall.
When All Else Fails
If, and only if, you cannot run and cannot hide should you engage the shooter.
The truth is, in a mass shooter scenario, there may not be any options. You are not Rambo and this is not a movie, but if you have no choice, you have to act decisively and quickly to disable the shooter.
You can’t just read about this one and be ready for it, so I won’t get into the details. Nothing I say here can prepare you. If you have a weapon on you, then hopefully you’ve taken the training I suggested above. If so you’re more prepared than 90% of the people around you.
Only proper education, both mentally and physically, can prepare you for this kind of encounter.
What To Do After You Escape
After you’ve escaped, don’t lower your guard and don’t stop running. There may be more shooters waiting around the exits. What if the shooter wasn’t exactly where you thought he was, or he’s moved?
Do not stop running to film it either. I’m upset I even have to tell you this. The amount of people (idiots) who stop running away so they can record a shooting is shocking. There’s no better way to get yourself killed than to hang around an active shooting. It’s a dumb strategy; don’t be dumb.
Find a safe zone far away from the shooting and quickly check yourself for injuries. Contact the police and let them know any details you can remember, like where you last saw the shooter.
If you approach any police officers make sure your hands are in the air and don’t make any quick movements. They have no idea if you are the shooter or not.
While active shooter events continue to be rare and uncommon, it is a trend that appears to be rising. Because they are so devastating, it’s something we should be well prepared to react to.
Being aware of and understanding your surroundings is one of the most important habits you can build. Being ready to defend against a mass shooter starts with knowing what is happening around you.
Learn more about situational awareness and make the practices talked about in this post a part of your day to day life.