This was a refreshing piece to see reported in the mainstream news.
Austin NBC affiliate KXAN posted an article, Fighting for your life in an active shooter situation.
SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Theaters, malls and schools are places you’re not supposed to be afraid of. But none are immune to active shooter situations.
Experts with Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program (ALERRT) say they don’t want people to live in fear but to understand these situations can happen. By taking a few minutes to think how you would react right now, may save your life later.
The article starts right off acknowledging the reality. And even better, suggesting that a little bit of forethought would be a wise and potentially life-saving action.
This is refreshing to see!
“It’s natural to be scared, everybody is scared when someone’s trying to cause them harm,” said ALERRT executive director, Pete Blaire. “Our first recommendation is to avoid the attacker, if you can do that. If for some reason you can’t, deny access to your location, keep them from getting to you. And that defending yourself is the last resort.”
Open spaces, like a movie theater, leave you with the fewest options. ALERRT trainers say it’s alright to duck down, but don’t stay put.
“One thing we don’t want to see you do is what we call ‘hide and hope.’ Which is where someone hides behind something and hopes the shooter doesn’t find them. If the shooter does find you, doesn’t leave many options,” said Blaire.
This is all solid stuff. The suggested course of action is essentially: “Run. Hide. Fight”. About 3 years ago the City of Houston with funds from DHS created an excellent video on that course of action. It’s becoming the mantra for dealing with active shooter events, and with good reason. Yes I know, you’ve got your CHL and you’re just ready to save the day. Well, we all draw our lines in different places in terms of what we will and won’t be willing to die for, and how context and personal situation matter. Whatever your decision, just determine your line ahead of time and be well-prepared to execute your plan.
The article continues:
He says if it does come down to defending yourself, better to fight back than to do nothing.
Blaire teaches people to grab a hold of the gun and get it pointed away from you.
He says when you’re fighting for your life, you don’t have to fight fairly.
And this is such a great thing to see printed in the mainstream media. That it’s better to fight back than to do nothing. Or to more clearly phrase this: it’s better to fight back than to die… better to fight back than to be murdered… better to fight back than be executed. Yeah, fighting back is no guarantee you’ll live, but not fighting back is a fair assurance you’ll die. At least for me, I choose to live.
I also like that KXAN was willing to print that you don’t have to fight fair! It’s reasonable for people to expect fairness and to abide by some sort of “code” of behavior/ethics. And usually people expect others in society to have some sort of “code” as well, and that likely our codes are somewhat in the same ballpark. Realize that if someone is trying to kill you, they have demonstrated they do not have the same code as you; they may have some code, but it’s nothing like yours. There is nothing to say they will “fight fair”, and essentially that means you have to be willing to fight “unfair”. It’s the sort of thing where it’s considered bad form to hit a guy in the crotch, but an active shooter situation is not a time to practice gentlemanly manners, y’know? You need to give yourself permission ahead of time that should you find yourself in an active shooter situation, you allow yourself to do whatever it takes to come out alive.
What really got me about the article? The closing statement:
Right now, ALERRT only trains law enforcement, but has recently partnered with a company to bring the training to the public.
KXAN will keep you posted on when that training begins.
They will keep us posted when such training for the public begins.
It’s great to see the mainstream media supporting and encouraging activities to help people stay alive and stay safe.