Hiding under a table or desk might be the natural response when there is an active shooter in the school or office building, but in reality, it can actually increase the chances of getting shot – this is according to experts who studied shootings and train people to survive these types of situations.
Basically, what people found was a lockdown training, it does not reduce or minimize casualties. It actually increases the number of victims in a room, according to experts who train police officers and other law enforcers who respond to actie shooter cases.
The mass shooting situations have changed and grown as the years go by. It is the same with thinking about how to survive it the best way possible. Experts suggest that there is no individual response that perfectly works in every circumstance since everyone is different.
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The best advice that we can give is to keep your options open. It is also known as a multi-option response. These options include to evacuate, to barricade, and to attack, also known as run, hide, and fight. The first one is evacuating or running to get away from possible danger, according to companies that train churches, businesses, schools, and other establishments react to any forms of attacks.
Experts say that people with the chance to get out of the structure with an active shooter needs to run immediately and let the law enforcers confront the suspect. But experts acknowledge that is not always possible, especially if people are on the upper floor and the suspect is between them and the exit.
In this case, experts suggest that hiding can help, although it needs to be planned in advance. People in a school, house of worship, or in the workplace need to know all the exits, what doors and walls are made of, and plan in advance.
Do not go into a room that has glass walls. Barricading the room means more than merely putting tables on the door and locking it. It means moving every furniture in the room at the front door and covering every window so the shooter cannot see the people inside the room.
For more information about this topic, click here or do your due diligence and research everything you need to know about surviving an active shooting.
Attacking the shooter is the last resort
When barricading the room or running away from the shooter is not an option, experts suggest that attacking the shooter can be an option to save lives. The success of the attack on the shooter depends on spatial proximity. If there are people near the shooter, maybe 20 feet from him, those people will lose the option of barricading the space unless those people happen to be in the other room, and they can close the door immediately.
When this happens, the best thing to do is to attack the shooter using whatever things that are around: desk chairs, fire extinguisher, a pen, a flower vase, or even a television set. According to research, at this range, it is a lot easier for the shooter to shoot people in the back, people that are running away compared to shooting someone who is planning to attack them.
Shooters are operating with little to no resistance, their stress level is a lot lower, their accuracy is a lot higher, but if someone is charging at them, their stress level will go up. When police reviewed the Close-Circuit Television of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 people were shot dead, they found out that not one person resisted the shooter, and that is a big problem.
Because if you are using a gun right, sooner or later, you will run out of bullet and need to reload, or your weapon will malfunction. If only someone resisted the shooter, the people inside the club could have taken the bad guy down. It would not have prevented the bad guy from killing everyone, but it could have prevented some of it.
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Do not freeze
According to experts, the biggest hurdle that needs to be overcome by people under these situations is psychological. Getting frozen because of fear is bad news and a recipe for disaster. Undergoing proper training can help people prepare for when these types of situations confront them. It is best to take as much practice as possible.
Take a concealed pistol class, even if you do not like having a gun on you. Take a CPR training or a disaster response class from medical organizations like the Red Cross. It is a pressure inoculator. Do your due diligence in researching the best ways to respond to a shooting situation. Make sure to do it regularly since active shooter response is always evolving, but some trends are pretty clear.
First law enforcer on the scene is to seek the shooter
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate or also known as Alice training is considered one of the best training courses that can help people when there is a shooting incident. A company developed it, and it is used by a lot of law enforcement agencies all over the world. Texas State University also developed a program to train police officers, known as ALERRT or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
Police departments, like Detroit PD, use them for training their police officers. According to experts, training manuals for law enforcers have also evolved over time. In the past, the first officer on the scene might need to wait for a backup or for the SWAT team to arrive before helping the people inside the building.
Today, police officers are adequately trained to seek out the shooter as soon as they arrive at the scene. The government changed their training routine to neutralize and insert as soon as the officers get on the scene. Go inside, find the shooter, listen for shots, go the area where the gunshot comes from, and neutralize the suspect. That is a different mindset.
Every program has variation, but a lot of these techniques overlap each other. Law enforcers not only need to respond to these types of incidents when it arises, but they also need to train or tell the public how to react to an active shooting adequately.