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How to survive an active shooter

A few months ago I shared what I learned about how to survive a nuclear attack after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I want to be prepared and know what to do when disaster strikes. The horrible Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting on 5/25/22 is the 30th K-12 school shooting just this year alone and many more shootings will probably occur. So to be prepared, I wanted to learn more about them and what I can do. This isn’t the ultimate guide, but just what I learned after a few hours of research. Please correct or add to what I have.

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The motive of an active shooter is to kill and maim as many people as possible to draw attention to their cause. They often target theaters, shopping malls, supermarkets, and schools because they are considered soft targets, which means they have low security and can include mass casualties of unarmed citizens including women and children. When attending these locations, be on extra alert of any suspicious activity.

Shootings can just be a spur of the moment heated argument that is unplanned or can be a coordinated attack that has been months in the making. In a worst case scenario, multiple gunmen might chain off exits to trap their victims and increase the casualty count, may deploy explosive devices for more damage, smoke bombs to create confusion, wear body armor to increase the time they have to hurt others before they are stopped, and may use modified and automatic high power rifles and other weapons to cause as much death as quickly as possible.

As soon as you hear gunfire, get down low and seek cover. Hesitation will get you killed. The three natural responses to immense stress like this are fight, flight, or freeze. Freezing is the worst, fighting is the next best option if fleeing is not. To avoid the tendency to freeze, play out scenarios in your mind and what you may do if something were to happen, know what gun fire sounds like and maybe even go to a gun range and just listen to what a gun sounds like in person when you don’t have hearing protection on. If you see people freezing and you wish to be the hero, use basic commands, hand signals, commanding voice, or even physically grab and move them to snap them out of the mental roadblock they are stuck on. If they put up a fight or resist, move on and don’t risk your life.

This may sound a little silly, but playing shooter video games and paintball can be valuable learning experiences against an active shooter situation. In these games you will learn how to hide behind cover and move from location to location without getting shot. The times I have played paintball really did feel like a war zone where you don’t know where the bullets are flying from, you have to constantly be moving, and it even teaches you a little on how to fight back. The adrenaline and pain you will experience by getting hit by a paintball is not lethal but will be a strong reminder that you might have just lost your life if this was real.

Avoid piling up with multiple people (like is commonly taught in schools). This just creates an appealing and larger target for the gunman to fire into. A single bullet can also pierce through multiple bodies. Spread out and be a smaller and harder target. Do not “play dead”, there are so many bullets flying around that you can easily get hit. Get out of there as soon as possible.

When entering a building, familiarize yourself with the layout. Know where are the entrances, exits, and places of cover and concealment. Cover is something that can stop bullets like a brick wall or vehicle. Concealment still hides you from being visible but will not stop a bullet, like a curtain or bush. Move from cover to cover until you are able to exit the building. If you do have to move from one cover to another cover and will be exposed in the open for a while, wait until there is a lull in the firing while they are reloading. When traveling down a hallway or open area, stay at least a foot away from the walls. If there is any shooting in your general direction and the bullets graze off the walls, you won’t get clipped by a ricochet.

Don’t get caught out in the open or huddled down behind something. The shooters will take out as many people as possible within the first few seconds and then sweep the building looking for those who are hiding. You need to get out and away from the building.

If you are in a supermarket or shopping mall, you may want to avoid running out the way that you came in. The gunmen will know that is where everyone will be fleeing and that is everyone’s natural instinct because that is the only way they know. Every store is required by law to have a back door, even the small shops in the mall have a back door leading to a network of fire escape hallways. The gunmen might not know about these or may not be in those areas because they think that no one would go there.

Be aware of some of the warning signs of individuals who may have active shooter tendencies and report them immediately. Each person who has ever become a killer has family and friends who if they were aware and close to the person, might have been able to intervene and prevent the situation from happening. Be brave and report that classmate, co-worker, or even spouse if you feel they may be a danger to themselves or others.

If you are a parent, talk to your kid’s school board or even teacher and know what their policy is. Recommend items such as a door brace that can be quickly deployed and add additional resistance to people entering your child’s classroom. The Desperate Hour is a recent show I watched where a mom hears of an active shooter situation going on in her child’s school as does everything she can to save him. Not the best movie (filmed during covid and social distancing), but definitely makes you think about what you would do in her situation.

Carry a tourniquet, and IFAK. Have your workplace upgrade their $20 first aid kit to one that can handle an actual emergency.

If you carry a concealed weapon, do not go hunting after the gunman. Get out and use that weapon only if the bad guy is between you and the exit. Be ready to drop the gun instantly when you get out so the police don’t think you are the shooter.

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  • Comments (55)

    • 4

      Thank you for the timely post!! The info about back doors and ricochet is also much appreciated!! My siblings and I all had separate gun threats at school this year (one of us had at least four), so I’ve done a lot of reading on this. 

      The last few years, they’ve been teaching Run Hide Fight in schools. It’s not very different from what you posted, but I’ve found the framework to be helpful for split second decision making. 

      Even though it feels counterintuitive, you have a better chance of living if you run rather than hide unless you’re running into the line of fire. Know how your building will go into lockdown. My campus has central, open stairways that they close a steel door over (for fire spread control). I doubt those close for a shooter, but I’m not running towards them just to be safe. Jumping out second story* windows is totally reasonable here. 

      *American second story, European first story

      Practicing how to barricade a door, especially in places like your office or classroom, can be helpful. Our classrooms have long, heavy tables with locking wheels that you’d need to latch if you wanted to actually barricade. That cabinet next to the door might be too heavy to realistically move, so do check! Also, make sure that the lights are off and that everyone has their phone on silent. If the doors have windows, hide out of view. You want the room to look as empty as possible. 

      Be very careful about who you open that door for. Shooters have pretended to be police. Hiding in a cabinet is great if that’s an option, but don’t count on being able to dump everything out of a cabinet to get inside it. Remember shooters are more likely to target places they’re familiar with, especially for schools, so don’t rely on established safety codes to be all that safe. The shooter could easily have taken the safety training with you and probably knows the response plan. 

      Fighting is the absolute last option for obvious reasons, but it’s an option. The plan at my middle/high school was to have someone stand just to the side of the door, against the wall so you can’t see them from the hallway, and whack the shooter with a chair really hard if they broke down the door. That idea sounds horribly useless in retrospect, but we couldn’t handle just huddling in a corner and waiting to die. I know shooters have been successfully tackled before, but the tackler was shot repeatedly in the process. 

      This probably goes without saying, but first responders are not there to help survivors. The first responders are a SWAT team, and you do not want them to get confused about what role you played. 

      Also, playing dead isn’t a great strategy because shooters will re-shoot bodies. It might work until the shooter leaves the room the first time (and has saved people’s lives when they were shot in the leg before), but you still need to try leaving ASAP. 

      When it comes to noticing potential shooters, you want as much information as possible. My sister saw another kid walk down the hallway and pretend to shoot into classrooms and reported it, but they couldn’t identify the student because she didn’t remember the time of the incident to check the security cameras for. Her school had four shooting threats later in graffiti that haven’t come to anything yet but have caused several lockdowns and canceled days. We still don’t know who wrote the graffiti. 

      Stay safe out there, y’all!

      • 3

        Very good tips, especially that SWAT isn’t there to attend to you but to neutralize the threat. Obey their orders and stay out of their way so they can do their job and prevent more harm from happening.

        I just had a thought while reading your post, if I was a student and there was an active shooter, I would stuff my textbooks into my shirt or in my backpack and turn it around to the front and act as body armor. It may stop a small handgun round or even a ricochet and is better than nothing.

      • 4

        You say: “Also, playing dead isn’t a great strategy because shooters will re-shoot bodies. It might work until the shooter leaves the room the first time (and has saved people’s lives when they were shot in the leg before), but you still need to try leaving ASAP.”

        I agree with you and my first thought is to leave ASAP, but it is interesting to see that a 11 year old girl in the Uvalde shooting did survive by putting blood on herself and playing dead. I wonder where she got an idea like that.

        Something that hasn’t been mentioned is to seek counseling after a disaster like this, even if you feel like you are okay. Especially if your 11 year old daughter had to resort to putting the blood of her dead classmate on her body in order to survive, that has got to cause permanent mental scarring for life, get the help after the fact.

      • 1

        Great advice! I’m surprised that this is such a common ever now that you and your siblings have all had threats in your schools only this year!

        i think Run is in first place for a good reason. I read that at Columbine several students were in the school library with the school librarian at the time. She told them to get under tables. There was a door leading outside in the library. One of the students said Why don’t we just leave? The librarian said to just stay still under the tables. Some students ran out the door anyway and survived. The others stayed under the tables as directed until the killers got there and were all killed. 

    • 4

      As a mom, I have been crying on and off since the news broke about Uvalde. It’s nauseating.

      Run/Hide/Fight makes a ton of sense from an individual perspective, but I’m wondering about whether or not it is giving us the results we need as a society. It is definitely the way to go for saving your own skin in the heat of the moment, but it does nothing to effectively save others given that there are always individuals who can’t run/hide/fight (like say, a classroom filled with 19 school children). A big reason our mass shootings are so deadly, it seems to me, is precisely because we all run to save ourselves rather than rounding on the attacker as a team immediately, the way some animal species handle threats. When we are all running to save ourselves, the attacker has minutes of unimpeded violence on those left behind. When they are left staring down the barrel of a gun alone, they can try to fight, but they will be fighting alone because we all ran away. If instead we all ran towards a threat to stop the attack as quickly as possible as a group, we would probably lose fewer lives overall and might even deter future shooters from attempting these things. In other words, perhaps a collectivist response would be far better overall, but it would come at the cost of the individual.

      I don’t have any answers and I won’t pretend to know what to do in an emergency like this (probably freeze up or become hysterical most likely). All I know is that as a mom to little kids who can’t run/hide/fight, it seems to me that the general “plan” everyone has for us is that we are just expected to be cannon fodder while everyone else saves themselves. 

      • 6

        I’m afraid in most these cases, survival is just a matter of chance.  As in this latest shooting, seems like he locked himself in a double classroom and exterminated those inside.  How does anyone survive that?  I doubt anyone in that room had time to fight and it seems lack of police action allowed him plenty of time to finish his deed.

        In one case playing dead could work, but in another, like this one, it would not help much.  Being able to fight back depends on you having the time to do so.  Once again, in this situation, I doubt that was even possible in that room.

        I wish we could find the root cause of this new trend.  Something has changed in our society but I don’t see anyone trying to figure this out.  One side says we have too many guns.  The other says we need more.  The Texas governor says we need better mental health care yet he just last month cut over 200 million dollars from that department.  But even then, there is nothing to say that this kid would have even been reported for mental health issues.

        But I still go back to what makes these mostly young men act this way?  What is different today than when I grew up?  I’m sure we can come up with lots of possible factors.  Maybe the decline of the family, with so many people divorced & families torn apart?  Maybe the fact many kids raise themselves as both parents work now.  This was not common in my day.

        I personally have a guess and I’ve never seen it discussed before.  I wonder if gaming has rewired the brains of many of our youth of today?  There was nothing like this when I was a kid.  I know years ago, when the first games came out, I tried one & almost got addicted.  It was not realistic but just a space game with your ship trying to blast as many alien ships as possible.  Doing good was rewarded with new levels of action.  I noticed something in myself after playing.  I found myself VERY AGGRESSIVE for a bit after stopping… and I’m very much not an aggressive person.  Far from it.  If I were to drive somewhere after playing, I wanted to hit other cars.  So I stopped.  I didn’t like the way it changed me.  It scared me.

        From my recent experience with being around youth (I worked with youth in our church), I found out basically all of them game… and especially the boys.  And it seemed the boys were more into the extremely violent games, where you were shooting people or other life forms… with lots of blood & gore.  So I postulate that massive amounts of violent gaming, with limited or no parental supervision, can rewire a young brain.  After so much death, blood & gore, I wonder if many youth are not freaked out by blood & violence… and actually are attracted to it.  I understand many of these young shooters start out by torturing animals.

        When I was young, there were no computers, no internet and no gaming.  There was almost nothing to watch on TV, so we all spent our hours outside doing social activities & sports.  I know for a fact the youth of today are completely attached to their phones, the internet & their gaming.  I know the vast majority are not supervised by parents.  Even country kids nowadays spend little time outside.  So many kids now stay locked in their room, constantly on their phone or computer.

        Long story short.  I don’t think we can fix this.  I would like to see any violent gaming be adult only, like alcohol, but then again, I know from personal experience kids get all the alcohol they want.  Guess I’m just too damn old.  I don’t see any way to solve this.  I’m afraid such incidents will only just increase greatly.

      • 2

        Redneck, I agree with so much of this and I too grew up without computer games (I am 62).

        There are many studies published that show the neurological effect of porn and I think gaming would be similar. Male aggression is triggered by these games and kids feel they know their way around a throw down but they literally have no skin in the game.

        Too many neighborhoods are empty of kids playing outside – and learning how to get along with each other. These kids are not able to learn social skills in Fortnite or Destiny2.  They need to see adults model socially acceptable behavior.

        Bullying online is huge part of the problem for kids – witness the huge rise in teenage suicide among girls due to ‘shaming’. Shame or ridicule a boy who is spending 20 hours a week on Fortnite and don’t be surprised at the result.

        Many of these shooters are also on SSRI medication – and this needs to be looked at more but the pharmaceutical industry will not like it one bit.

      • -2

        I think it’s the decline of religion, an awareness of moral standards and chastisement on every level for those who do not live by them. And awareness of social structures with similar standards: schools, the workplace, and social groups. Of the family and of the extended family. Most people no longer feel secure and confident of reward if they follow these rules. 

      • 4

        “I personally have a guess and I’ve never seen it discussed before.  I wonder if gaming has rewired the brains of many of our youth of today?”

        This is at least the 5th time this week that I’ve heard someone bring up this idea. It might be part of the problem, but seems unlikely to be a full answer. Hunting was popular in previous generations, and seems like it would be at least as effective in desensitizing violence/killing.

        But it doesn’t need to be just one answer. Maybe video games contribute to desensitizing and developing relevant skills. Maybe kids today are more stressed. Maybe there are more broken homes with inadequate adult supervision. Maybe social media is driving people towards extremist worldviews.

        It’s also pretty much guaranteed that the available tools are at least part of the issue. Mass shooters are all choosing AR-15s, which are a really good tool for killing lots of people quickly. These and similar guns did exist in previous generations, but were not nearly as common in American homes prior to a few decades ago when these mass shootings started. As common as guns in general were throughout American history, you just can’t kill 20 people with a shotgun without one of those people punching you while you’re reloading.

      • 5

        You’re totally right. The model might work for older students, but it does nothing for young students and nothing to stop this from happening. It also doesn’t help much if you can’t physically run (like my sister and I). This model replaced the older model I went to middle school with (mostly lockdown dependent), but it clearly hasn’t stopped deaths from shootings. I mostly shared it in case some people had grown up with the older model and hadn’t heard the revised one yet. Maybe it could be adapted on a policy level in grade schools to evacuate classrooms, but it does nothing for you and your kids right now. 

        Sending your kids to school right now must be nerve wracking. I’m so sorry you’re in that position. 

        As far as the collectivist response, I don’t know enough about guns to know whether that would work or whether that would just make it easier for people to be shot in large numbers. We definitely need a better response to prevent and stop shootings, but I’m wildly unqualified to even begin thinking through how to do that. 

    • 2

      Thanks for the post. This is a timely topic.

      About 10 years ago I was working at a large community college and during an in-service day we had an active shooter drill so staff and faculty would know what to expect.

      The college was in a semi-rural, unincorporated area supported by state police only. However, if an active shooter was at the school, 2 nearby towns’ police departments would also respond.

      Everyone was assigned to a classroom and state troopers acted as the ‘shooters’. Their goal was to lure people out and ‘shoot’ them so we would have some experience with what to expect in a real event. We used the classrooms in a 3 story 50k sq ft building. Each classroom had a ‘teacher’ assigned and they were instructed to line everyone up on the wall with the door so the shooter could not see anyone if they looked through the narrow door window. The lights were turned off. Some faculty were upset with the tactics the actors used but the real fireworks were yet to come.

      Everyone went to an auditorium for the debrief.

      The police advised us that in a real event everyone would stay in the classroom until the building had been cleared.

      Someone asked how long that would take and the trooper advised that a typical building would take 4 hours. Many gasps from the audience.

      Someone asked what they were expected to do if a student had to use the bathroom during that time and we were told to instruct them to go on the floor – 1 or 2…yuck

      Someone asked how soon police would start searching and we were told they would not go on campus until they could muster a 4-man diamond formation and they estimated it would take 45 minutes from the first troopers’ arrival. That led to lots of grumbling but the best was yet to come.

      Someone asked how long the recent Virginia Tech shooting took and one of the IT guys Googled it and said ‘9 minutes’.  Lots of grumbling and someone asked why the campus police wouldn’t engage with the potential ‘shooter’ and the trooper said the college president would not let campus police be armed because he did not believe in violence.

      Several faculty stood up and said that if this is the case then the students are better off running out all the exits.

      Lessons learned: RUN or FIGHT.

      I am now much older and my wife is retired. She is also disabled and can’t run. As a result, if we are in a mall or restaurant and a shooting begins we are not able to run with everyone else. Our risk is much greater and we will likely be facing a HIDE or FIGHT decision.  For this reason we are well aware that we have to remain in Condition Yellow all the time and move at the first sign of danger.

      Also, I took Massad Ayoob’s LFI many years ago and school shootings came up. At one point he told us that Israel had a serious problem with terrorists attacking schools but then the problem went away. He explained the problem was solved by a new program. Schools were manned with family members, mostly grandparents, that were trained and armed to reduce the risk of an attack. They were in plainclothes and much harder for an attacker to identify. Their grandkids were in the school and therefore motivated.  Attackers also did not know how many each school had so the risk was much higher.

      American schools should do the same thing IMO.

      • 1

        In Israeli schools, all teachers and staff are trained and armed, with periodic retraining. I think that’s what we should do here. I have thought several times about the lives saved if one or both of the teachers had been armed.

      • 2

        But remember, all Israeli, male and female, are required to serve in the military.  That means, all these teachers and staff are highly trained ex military.  It is a whole different matter of just arming any ole teacher, even if they have had a bit of training.

        I personally prefer reworking schools like a prison, where there is controlled access and highly trained guards watching over this access area.  Might seem odd to treat a school like a prison, however how many shootings do you hear of in prisons?  I’d prefer seeing less guns, with those in the hands of higher trained professionals.

      • 2

        I agree in principle but the cost to duplicate that security environment might be prohibitive. Uniforms would also betray OPSEC. I have also read recently that the average US police officer shoots about 300 rounds per year.

      • 2

        Well our government can find the money to send billions of dollars to the Ukraine.  I’d like to think we could find the money to protect our kids.

        In such a controlled access situation, OPSEC is not a factor.  Was not a factor with my security police guarding our missile sites.  Not a factor in guards controlling access to a prison.

      • 1

        I said the same thing the other day, that if we think we can afford to send seventy billion to Ukraine, we could afford to protect American schoolchildren. 

        Ultimately, I think they should just start trying out different strategies, see what works and what could be improved. The one certain thing is that there will be more attempted school shootings. 

      • 1

        I think most people could be trained adequately. I read the other day about a 70 year old woman who shot and killed a burglar. In a case like in Uvalde, I’d like to at least give them a good chance at survival and saving the children. You could say that the shooter might grab the teachers gun and use it against them, but shooters often seem to kill everyone anyway with their own gun. 

        But I also agree about making it hard for bad people to get into schools. My daughters schools all had only one permitted entrance, which was locked. To get in, you had to push a button and talk to the receptionist, giving your name and business. Then she pressed a button to unlock the door. Why don’t they do that at all schools? Maybe as a federal program and give it to even poorer schools. We talked about that after Parkland. Why has nothing been done to implement this?

        i support both ideas. They would really cut down on school shootings.

      • 3

        I think most people could be trained adequately.

        Adequately? You are talking loaded firearms in the presence of kids.  You are talking about a civilian needing to engage a determined attacker in a room full of kids and with other kids in the next rooms & hallways.  Where do the bullets go when the teacher misses?  This close quarter combat is probably the hardest shooting scenario to train for.  Heck I shoot thousands of rounds a year & am very proficient (trained) with both handguns & AR styled rifles.  Yet I would be completely out of water engaging a shooter in a crowded classroom, with screaming kids running all over the place.   Any missed shot has the potential to kill other students in other rooms.  I personally wouldn’t trust many teachers I know with a gun.  Many wouldn’t take one anyway.

        IMO, it would be better not to have a gun battle inside the school… inside classrooms.  It is better to first deter any attacker and then better to engage one in the locked access area.

      • 1

        Yes, it would be better not to shoot inside a school, but that means they need the intercom system at the very least. We haven’t had a school shooting here, maybe because of that. 

        I think Israeli teachers keep the gun in a drawer in their desk. Has there been a problem from that? I understand the potential for a problem, but there are safeguards and solutions for many of the problems.

        We’re forced to plan for a scenario like this, in which everyone in the room was shot, 19 of them killed. It may be that we’ve reached the point that marksmanship should be a required series of courses to get a teaching degree. 

      • 1

        I agree we can do better and there may be more than one solution, multiple defenses. CCW has been shown to be highly effective over many years.

        Another tact to take is why are there so many school shootings now? It is a relatively recent phenomenon.

        Here is a good summary of the history (but not the last word): https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2022-05-26/american-school-shootings-arent-gun-issue

      • 0

        Interesting article. Lots of speculation about causes. I think it’s a misplaced sense of entitlement and resentment encouraged by our new culture. 

        I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it deliberately. I think older values will become more attractive again and eventually change the culture. 

    • 3

      It’s a very sad website, but https://massshootingtracker.site/ tells of many mass shootings that never make the news. Did you know there was another shooting the day after the elementary school in Texas that wounded four? And there have been 253 shootings in 2022 so far?

      • 1

        Wow! I didn’t know that it was that many! We need to take steps urgently to harden every school.

    • 8

      The cops were afraid to go in to save those kids, yet people suggest arming teachers?

      Arming teachers is not the answer. All you will get is fewer teachers, what Israel does is irrelevant.

      More guns and more carry is not the answer. In MO you can carry anything, anywhere without training, restriction or permit—and MO has one of the highest gun death rates in the country, right behind LA, MS, WY, all also “constitutional carry” states.

      This isn’t just a school problem, guns are now the number one cause of death in children 1+. Almost 3,000 kids in 2020.

      I grew up in the country, everyone had guns. Nobody that I knew had ever seen a semi-auto centerfire rifle aside from a few M1 Garands. Certainly none had ever posed with them for the family christmas card.

      As a response to the “sporting” semi being promoted, and taken up by bad guys (see the N Hollywood shootout) the cops become a para-military. The trend amplified when surplus military equipment started being handed out to local cops post gulf and especially Iraq—because: Muslims. My backwoods 5k town has an MRAP and a whole cache of neat army surplus, ARs in every trunk.

      Today, not an insignificant proportion of Americans believe they may need to kill their fellow citizens, mainly because they willingly believe lies told by politicians and media:
      ““Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country,” including 30 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of independents.” Another link

      Democracy is on the rocks. Rampaging kids with black guns isn’t some isolated, unknowable aberration… it is a reflection of a society in turmoil.

      This is not simply a problem of a few disaffected young men playing too many video games.

      There is nowhere to run and hide.

      • 1

        Everyone agrees now that the police acted badly, taking the absolute worst course of action. So you can’t rely on police.

        If Israelis can do it, we can do it. Why is their success story irrelevant? Need training? So, train. With school shootings happening every day, everyone needs to be prepared to defend himself and those around him. 

      • 5

        Social media contributes to our problems in that we can choose whatever alternative facts best fits our preconceived beliefs. Take the Israeli bit, it is a lie, told on facebook for obvious reason (protect the gun lobby) and no doubt now believed by millions. Factcheck:

        Security guards are armed at Israeli schools, not teachers

        But on a basic level do you think teachers should carry semi-auto rifles, wear ballistic vests and helmets?

        Because the cops had all that fun stuff, but still felt outgunned going one by one through a door against a gun designed for that very situation.

        But you would have elementary school teachers take their place? With what? A little 9mm popgun locked in a drawer? School teachers can’t even be trusted to pick library books.

        There are perhaps 300 million guns in this country. 45000+ people were killed by guns in 2020 alone, over half were suicides. Most of the rest were murders. In 2017 only 298 killings were self defense. So maybe 150 murders and suicides and accidents for every justifiable use.

        The fact is, contrary to the “good guy with a gun” advertising slogan, the higher the number of guns, the higher the likelihood of being killed by someone you know, let alone having one available to kill yourself, which is their most popular use.

        I bought into the hype; I own guns. And I’m not going to give them up unless everyone else does.

        But I would if everyone else did.

        every-time-theres-a-mass-shooting-the-onion-write-2-530-1653514720-8_dblbig

      • 0

        I found this article on the topic. However, I had to use a search engine different from the most common one to get it. The most common one only had hits promoting a certain narrative, at least in the first few pages.

        https://thepoliticalinsider.com/israel-armed-teachers/

        Since 1974, in Maalot, when a terrorist killed children in a school, Israel passed a law mandating armed security in schools, teacher training in firearm use, and frequent active shooter drills in schools. It’s apparently at the teacher’s discretion whether they have a gun in the classroom, but obviously many choose to have one. Since then there have only been two terrorist attacks in schools, and in both cases the TEACHER killed the terrorist. 

        In Israel, during the intifada of the knife several years ago, the government told Israeli citizens to not go out without a weapon. I have read several reports of terror attacks begun, but cut short when an ordinary citizen shot and killed him, often with just a pistol.

        i didn’t say I wanted Rambo in every classroom. I want a gun within reach of every teacher. I read that since Australia is an island, it’s easier to control guns coming in. That’s not the case here. One of the articles pointed out that we have close to zero control of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs coming in. We could not control illegal guns. Even states with strict gun control laws, like Cali and NY, have lots of gun attacks and massacres. As do countries with strict gun control laws like the UK, France, and Germany. (Yes, because -.) Every attack could have been cut short by an armed citizen.

        My father had to have a gun on him in his job for the IRS (mafia in Las Vegas). But even in retirement, he ALWAYS had a conceal carry when he left the house. I don’t know if it was legal or not, but it wouldn’t have made any difference. He never used it.

        You say if everyone else did, but in the US, that time will never come. Second Amendment, large numbers of bad guys armed regardless, and the majority of Americans sensibly have a positive view of what may save their lives and that of those around them. I read yesterday that a poll found that the majority supported arming teachers.

      • 2

        Thanks Cia. Take care.

        :^)

      • 1

        You too!

      • 4

        Political Insider is a pure propaganda site. Not even close to a reliable source of information.

        Political Insider

      • 1

        I definitely agree with the mass shootings being a reflection of a f**ked up society, and I feel like anybody blaming violent media or saying ‘banning guns will solve everything!’ isn’t seeing the big picture. This is just speculation on my part, but if there were no guns whatsoever, people would just use some other weapon to cause a massacre, like knives or even their fists.
        While I’m in agreement with there being some limitations added onto guns and the ability to get/use/etcetera them, I would support improving the quality of life in the country far more. I think that would reduce the amount of violence that’s been happening recently because people’s mental health would be in a much better place.
        But I doubt that’ll happen in my lifetime.

    • 8

      Really good points on this thread, involving HUGE consequences for all involved. Let me say up front that I have no military / law enforcement training, but I do carry concealed under permit in my home county. And I have no conclusive answers, just some thoughts.

      It is a different time and culture in this country than it was. When I was in high school, we were never concerned with this kind of thing occurring in our (then) small agricultural town because half the students in school had a rifle or shotgun locked down in their pickups / cars in the school parking lot so they could go dove or pheasant hunting before or after school. And we routinely shot squirrels as a squirrels tunneling holes in the side of dikes and irrigation canals could set off flooding that could quickly spread into being deadly for humans, and cost millions in crop / property losses. Moral of story, it was our miniature version of the “Mutually Assured Destruction” doctrine. Nobody was going to start anything because they knew that if they did, the odds were extremely small that they would make it off the campus alive. It seems to me that making the “Mutually Assured Destruction” principal work in favor of protecting the innocent is wise. As noted in earlier comments, Israel (among other countries) have already done so and it is effective.

      Another earlier comment I would echo is this. If you are competent with firearms and choose to take action to protect the innocent, be VERY good at thinking clearly under stress, and at staying aware of what is going on around you. I have read way too many “after event” reports from way too many countries about folks being taken out by “misdirected friendly fire” because someone did not drop their firearm fast enough, sometimes because they did not hear commands given them due to being exposed to muzzle blast with no hearing protection.

      I would encourage folks to think through (in advance) what they would do if confronted with an attack like this. Trying to think with your heartbeat at 130 and irregular is a really good way to end up dead. I do not consider myself highly trained by any means. But I have talked to dozens of military combat vets, law enforcement types, phycologists, etc. who all tell me the same thing. When a huge threat like this happens, we all think we will rise to the greatest level of our knowledge and abilities. But the fact is that when the huge threat happens, we will only rise to the level of our training. No matter how noble our motives and desires are, over-estimating our abilities will only result in more destruction. Think through what you would want to do in advance, and train for that. And in that line of thought, take time to sort out the truth from the lies that surround an event like this terrible shooting. A lot of what’s being portrayed as truth in this situation is total lies that would not survive examination by a high school level logic student. Be safe out there.

      • 2

        “It seems to me that making the “Mutually Assured Destruction” principal work in favor of protecting the innocent is wise.”

        The shooters in these mass shooting events have no expectation of being alive at the end of the day. They typically either are shot by police or take their own lives.

      • 3

        Sad, but true. Some shooters don’t care if they survive or not. It’s similar to the suicide attackers we see in the middle eastern conflicts. But a “hard target” makes it easier to eliminate the threat they pose before lives are lost. Long term statistics show hard targets have fewer lives lost over time. 

      • 1

        The central idea for why you thought your approach would work has been refuted. You immediately shifted to completely different reasoning for why the same approach is still good. This is a symptom of “rationalizing” in which the reasons you give are just a way of convincing people of something that you unreasonably believe.

        The cure is to pause the argument and spend time looking inward. Find the real reason that you believe as you do. Is it because someone else worked hard to convince you? Because you’re surrounded by other people that believe it? Does this solution make you feel better, even if it doesn’t actually solve the problem? Put aside for a moment whether your preferred solution is actually good or not. Until you understand your own motivation and real reasons, you’re not ready to think honestly about that question.

      • 2

        I will keep my own counsel, thank you. Maybe you want to take this up with the moderator. For me, the matter is closed.

      • 2

        I thought your comments were good, detailed and well thought-out!

      • 1

        Thank you Cia. And I will try to reply sooner next time! I was taking my yearly “week with no internet” last week to stay “centered”. Be safe out there.

      • 1

        HappySoul,

        I’m sorry. I was inappropriately rude. You have been a thoughtful and helpful member of this community, and I should have raised this issue much more gently.

        At a community level, the problem of gun violence can’t be solved just by increasing the number of people with guns. Some of the extra guns will be used to help, while others make it worse. The deterrence part is already there, and some people will still make trouble anyway.

        From a personal preparedness perspective, you’re spot on about training and planning. Kudos for staying on top of that.

        Cheers!

      • 1

        Good evening Eric,

        First, no offense taken! There is nothing wrong with being passionate about your beliefs, and it appears that you and I agree on more than a few things. Second, my apologies for getting back to you after so long. I just finished my yearly “week with no internet” to stay centered. Third, I backed off earlier and suggested the moderator as the answers we all wonder about on this issue (to my way of thinking) would go into talking about subject matter that is not allowed by the rules of this forum. And my favorite thing about The Prepared is that it isn’t a “debate forum”. There are SCADS of places to do that. Be safe out there.

      • 1

        Or a Border Control Agent acting independently of the police and not following the instruction the police were obeying, which is now admitted by everyone to have been a completely wrong tactic, if such it may be called.

      • 2

        Excellent points! There seems to be no explanation for the at least five or six widely-reported crucial events which within days were reported to have been false. Even the governor Abbott said yesterday that he had been operating in the belief that some of these reports were true, and he is angry now that their apparent falsity has been revealed.

        Someone must have deliberately invented and disseminated these false reports. I have not read of any attempts to figure out who and why. That should surely be something we should try to ascertain. 

      • 1

        “That’s fine, but I don’t think it touches the most resentful people.”

        I think the idea is more to help people before they become so resentful, combined with not giving very resentful people the power to kill so many people so quickly.

        It doesn’t need to be a perfect solution, or to save every person, to make a huge difference in the problem.

    • 5

      Run, hide, fight.

      Be aware of your surroundings, in military and law enforcement terms it is called situational awareness. Be ready to act without panic or hesitation.

      Best option, run. A moving target is considerably harder to hit and it’s even harder still to shoot someone who is no longer there. Leave as quickly and quietly as you can, move away from the gunfire to a safe place but make sure the authorities know that you are safe once you have escaped so that LEO’s/firefighters don’t risk their lives looking for you. Pass on as much information as possible.

      Public buildings such as schools or shopping malls have very few hiding places. Hiding is probably a non starter.

      Fighting is only an option if you have a realistic chance of overcoming/disarming your attacker. A co-ordinated group attack stands more chance of success. Unfortunately this really wasn’t an option during the recent school shooting. If you are armed make sure that law enforcement officers know who you are and that you fully comply with their instructions. What they will see is a person with a firearm = shooter = danger = target

      The same principle applies to a burning building, best option is to get out as quickly and calmly as you can. Let the relevant authorities know where you are and that you are safe.

      • 2

        That last tip is important, especially in a school situation so teachers and staff aren’t looking for you.