Certainly the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have brought to mind how regular people can protect themselves from an active shooter, and this video does show some strategies for that. Practicing Active Self Protection is certainly better than just waiting for your turn to die!
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of the active shooter in Paris with a full interview with the lucky women: https://get-asp.com/2e09
While the Run, Hide Fight approach (popularized by Ready Houston: https://get-asp.com/x0en ) is good in general, it’s not always perfect. Greg Ellifritz has a good counterpoint to their approach here: https://get-asp.com/3grz. He also has some good advice for fighting an active shooter if you’re unarmed here: https://get-asp.com/dh8p.
How do I protect myself from an active shooter?
- First, I believe that the best response to an active shooter is to have the attitude, skills, and plan to defend yourself. That means being properly trained and appropriately armed. I know that the people of France are effectively disarmed, but this terrorist attack shows the folly of that strategy. (note that the active shooter somehow got his AK without a problem) Be trained, be armed if at all possible, be ready.
- To defend against an active shooter, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. An active shooter is worst-case scenario emotionally, so being able to process it and stay mentally engaged to defend yourself is important.
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. In this active shooter incident the women were unarmed, but had they had empty-handed skills they might have been able to disable that gunman!
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. An active shooter is by definition a time of deadly force, and you won’t get time then. So love your family and make peace with God so that you’re prepared on a spiritual level.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from an active shooter. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from an active shooter when one comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
- Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it, especially with an active shooter. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)