In the aftermath of the latest shooting spree MANY people have wondered what to do if it ever happened to or near them. There are a few things that you can do to minimize this but NO ONE can predict when or where this kind of psychotic behavior will erupt. If it ever does there are a few tips that can improve your chances of not being a statistic.
The FIRST thing is to get off the cell phone, ignore the many texts and PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings. Look for the oddball , or the person who is in WAAAAYY too big of a hurry for a normal situation. Be aware of the guy/gal that is dead set on reaching a person or destination with no regard to anything else. Also watch for the loner off to the side that seems completely innocuos BUT also has no real reason to be in THAT certain place.
BEFORE the mayhem begins know the exits and places that provide COVER, not concealment. Cover will protect you from stray bullets or ricochets, concealment will only hide you from the psycho. Jumping behind a wooden desk might seem like a good idea but modern bullets usually cut through wood like butter. Look for concrete walls or steel columns. Things that can stop a bullet or seriously reduce it's velocity.
IF the shooting ever does occur close to you then having used the 2 steps above you will be in a better mindset to deal with it. If it is a "random" shooter...move to cover and stay there. Movement attracts the human eye and you will draw fire. If you find yourself in the open then move as quickly and erratically as you can. Move laterally (lateral movement actually increases distance exponentially faster than a straight line) away from the shooter to the closest cover available. Shooters typically look for as many victims as possible so stay still behind cover. When the shooter stops to reload or moves towards you THEN it is time to get the hell out of dodge. The Army calls it "drop and move". Run about 10-15 feet then hit the ground rolling. Roll laterally and do it over until you are clear (or in the next county whichever is closer).
The last thing is children. Have them move ahead of you or you tell the child to stay under cover and YOU draw the shooter away from your kid. Make noise or scream or simply throw something...ANYTHING to keep them worried about you and not your child.
Last and very much LEAST is attacking the shooter yourself. DO NOT DO IT unless you are trained or it is the very LAST option you have. I know it is controversial but I will be damned if I will just sit there and wait to die if cornered. You fight with any and every thing you can possibly find. Sticks, metal cans of foods, purse, your shoes or your bare hands but by God you fight. NEVER QUIT!!!!
You have a family that loves and needs you so if you can run and get away then DO IT! Leave the apprehension or take down to law enforcement or others that are trained for this situation. If you do decide that you are cornered or there is no other option then you fight like a mama bear defending her cubs. Accept that someone is likely to die and then make the OTHER guy do it. (Or as they say in the movies.."Somebody is going to get hurt and it ain't gonna be me".)
**My thanks to Dear Husband for providing this information. Let's face it folks, Your BRAIN is ALWAYS your best defense. PAY ATTENTION- ALWAYS! Situational awareness will save your life. Intelligence will keep you alive, and your children alive.
Very nice post, thank you for the information - there is a book called "The Gift of Fear" that I think everyone should read, especially women. Cover in it is this stuff along with many other situations. I would just like to through that out there.
I agree Stephanie...it is on the reading list for my Refuse To Be A Victim classes. MRS MOM asked me to to a quick and dirty post about some basics so I tried to stay out of too much detail or it can quickly turn into a book.
Stephanie - "The Gift of Fear" is like my personal bible, along with all of its companions. The second book, "Protecting the Gift" is a book I give to all new parents because it just makes sense.
DH, thanks for posting this and it all ties into Attitude (again and again). I've gotten so used to looking around that I don't even realize I do it. During the Writers' Police Academy last year, I spotted the shooter without immediately even though nothing had happened yet. It was crazy, we were lining up and I noticed he had ear protection on (ear plugs, not earphones - everyone would have noticed that). Who notices stuff like that? It was out of place, and I've gotten used to noticing out of place things. With practice, anyone can do it.
I also want to add that we need to instill a deep sense of self-survival in our children. Just because an adult tells them to do something doesn't mean they should; we should be teaching our children to yell and scream and bite and claw when appropriate.
I did indeed have this talk with Mercy, and she knew instinctively what to do. Had the right answers and admitted she didn't know for sure, no one had ever told her, but that's what she'd do. I don't shield her from stuff like this, I want her ready, cause chances are she'll have to deal with it sometime.
I think if I'd been there with a gun handy, I would not have tried to shoot the shooter. Just too many people and obviously, children around. Only if I could get real close, and in reality, self preservation would be saying GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE.
I might of had it hand though, if he came close and no one had shut him down yet. Again, my priority is getting my child to safety, even if it means shielding her with own body.
I think about all this stuff everyday, hoping it never comes into play, but also hoping if it does, I'll make smart choices.
I don't think anyone who's responsible with a gun would have fired on that guy in that situation. Just too crowded.
In my robbery case, even if I'd had a gun right there (which I didn't) it wouldn't have mattered. He was on me in a flat second. Not a damn thing I could have done.
I always sit where I can watch everyone and see the exits. That goes for McDonald's or anywhere else. It is the only way to keep an eye on the situation that could present itself at any time. Thank you for reminding us of what we need to do in this sort of a situation and the left is going to use this incident to promote their anti-gun stance. It is sad that we have to worry about this sort of thing and about our saftey.
Excellent advise , it all makes perfect sense.I am so saddened that in this time we need to know this typpe of info, but I guess I would rather be educated than to be in effect a sitting duck. Being Canadian, handguns are not an option concealed or otherwise for regular folk, but somehow they are out there all the same. Prayers to those lost and the families
This really is excellent advice that I intend to take to heart. I admit to being more than a bit oblivious to my surroundings more often than not because I tend to think of myself as immune just because of living in the country. And the fact is, none of us is immune. Mr. Fry just took a CaC class and now wants me to get familiar again with handling a gun. My dad insisted we all learn to shoot, but I haven't handled a firearm since I was in my teens.
Good stuff. It's important to remember to practice these awareness skills when things are "normal" because "normal" can become SHTF in a heart beat. Learning what is cover vs. concealment is one of the most important. Concrete, large trees, and large dirt mounds make great cover. Doors, walls, and even cars...not so much. If you're going to hide behind a car, make sure you put the engine block between you and the shooter and hunker down. Next is gettin' out of dodge. Even small distances make a big difference in the actual chances of being hit.
I can only assume that DH is a cop or other form of law enforcement. All of his points make incredible sense from that standpoint.
There must be something wrong with me, though, because my soul was screaming no, no, no! I am NOT so selfish that my life is worth more than that 9 yr olds. I am NOT so selfish as to let an armed gunman with so much ammo have free reign to do as he desires. Getting shot SUCKS! There is no doubt that no one should ever have to be shot, but it's gonna happen in this situation. I'd rather it be ME than that kid. And I want it to be on MY terms. He is going to SEE who he is shooting, and God-willing it'll be the last thing that he does. Every dying breath of mine will be one less that he gets to take 'cause I'm gonna be grappling, guauging, spitting, hitting and generally making a nuisance of myself so he CAN'T focus on anyone else. Then maybe the retired Colonel behind me can finish the job ;)
This is definately NOT the proper attitude for the masses, but I hope to God there are always a few sheepdogs (like those in Tucson) around to keep the wolves at bay. I congratulate and thank all the sheepdogs that took down Jared Loughner...before the police were even notified. They are my kindred spirits and I say God Bless and God Speed.
Flame me if you must. I can take it.
Spoken like a true sheepdog and Marine. The only problem is that in order to keep from being just another shooting victim, you have to be absolutely sure you can stop the person. I agree with both views; yours and DH's. A lot of it, in my mind, has to do with the proximity to the shooter.
DEEJO...I thoroughly agree with you. Gun or not I would have at least slowed him down long enough for help to get there.With my gun it would have been a double tap to the chest and one to the head for good measure. BUT I do have the training and hand to hand as well as CQB skills for exactly this type of situation(Executive Protection). MRS MOM wanted me to write it for the average every day untrained person.
Excellent, excellent advice. Great post that in these days we all need to know. Sad but true. I try to talk with my grandkids without scaring them to death but making them aware of their surroundings and that people aren't always nice. Thanks to hubby for me!!
I shall have to find "The Gift of Fear." In the meantime I still have to figure out how to "teach" Lindsay to deal with such a situation. It's taken years to get her to be aware around the horses and she still has miles to go. I can't imagine teaching her how to be aware of weirdos.
This whole thing just makes my heart hurt on sooooooo many levels.
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