What would you do if an active shooter walked into your place of business, your church, your school or even the grocery store and started shooting, killing the first three people he saw?
Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, San Bernardino, Orlando, Charleston, Fort Hood, Red Lake. We’ve reached a point where we no longer refer to mass shootings by date or context, we simply refer to them by the name of the city, university, military base, high school or elementary school where they took place; no different than we refer to historic battles in far off lands. But those battles carry exotic names like Iwo Jima, Bastongne, and Hue, while the names we use to refer to mass shootings sound as if they are right down the street, and too often, they are.
The federal government defines and active shooter as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area.
A mass shooting is where 4 or more people have been killed during an active shooting event, not including the gunman. Meaning: if an active shooter wounds 43 people and only kills 2 of them, it is not considered a mass shooting.
The primary motive in these incidents appears to be mass murder. That is, the shooting is not a bi-product of an attempt to commit another crime such as in the case of people being killed during a bank or a store robbery.
To quote Dr. Reid Malloy, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of California and a writer for psychology today; Malloy stated, “Historically, one of the central motivations in these mass shooting cases, although not the only one, is a desire for notoriety and a desire for infamy. And now we have a setting through the use of smartphones and social media, a social and cultural setting, where an attacker’s act of multiple homicide will be known world-wide within moments. So, there’s a twisted incentive that exists today that didn’t exist a generation ago”.
Dr. Malloy asserts that social media defiantly played a role in most, if not all of the mass shootings since the Columbine tragedy.
I am here today to empower the people in this room with the knowledge and training needed to counter a mass shooter threat. I am here to instruct you one three things:
· What to do before an active shooting takes place.
· What to do during an active shooting.
· And what to expect after the shooting has stopped.
Active shooter data collected over the past 20 years proves that the faster the shooter can be stopped, the more lives will be saved. Waiting until the police arrive is not an option, and attempting to plead with an active shooter will only get you killed.
Included in the training:
· Securing doors and windows.
· Improvised weapons used to counter the attack.
· To arm or not to arm staff and students.
· Basic triage.
· Basic first aid / tending to the wounded and the dying.
· What to expect when police and EMS arrive.
· Developing and Emergency Operations Plan.
· Implementing the Run, Hide, Fight Methodology
· And much more.
In an active shooter scenario, seconds count. Having a plan in place for an active shooter event should be viewed in the same manner as we view having a plan in place in case a fire broke out. When people know what to do and when to do it, there’s a lot less chaos and more lives are spared.
The F.B.I. has gone on record as stating: “the number of mass shootings (shootings where 4 or more have been killed) is on the rise in America and it’s only going to get worse. Tougher gun laws and stricter background checks will do nothing to stop or even slow this ever-increasing threat”. The F.B.I. went on to state: “at this juncture, we must rely on the quick response of the potential victims to slow or even end a mass shooter threat as quickly and effectively as possible in order to minimize casualties”.
So again, I ask you; what would you do if an active shooter walked in and open fired killing the first 3 people he saw?
Putting together a solid EOP (Emergency Operations Plan) is going to take time, effort and cooperation between all those involved. This is not an amendable training. Any deviation from the instruction put forth by the USCCA can and will result in more lives being lost than need be.