My hat is off to Jon Meis, the student security guard who stopped this active killer on his campus! Excellent Active Self Protection to protect himself and every student on campus that day.
Original video of the active killer stopped by a student security guard: https://get-asp.com/68wy
News story with more details on the active killer: https://get-asp.com/xhss
Timeline from local news of the entire active killer event from start to finish, which is pretty eye-opening: https://get-asp.com/ocf8
What does this brave student security guard teach us about defending ourselves against an active killer like this?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. This active killer was deranged and bent on killing people. He succeeded once and doubtless would have succeeded again if he wasn’t stopped by the brave student.
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. Most of us live our lives thinking that an active killer like this could never happen to us, and for most it won’t happen. But if it does, you need to be ready. Active killer situations are unfortunately no longer unheard of, and being ready to defend ourselves as this student was is critical.
- To defend against this kind of attack, 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. Meis had incredible emotional fitness to counter-ambush the active killer and put a stop to his attack. Nicely done!!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it 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. Imagine how many people this active killer could have shot if an unarmed student didn’t step in and end it.
- Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim (or bystander, as this student was) finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the active killer and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched.
- Against an active killer, the most popular paradigm for defending yourself is Ready Houston’s Run-Hide-Fight approach. If you can get out of the danger zone, run. If running is not an option, hide because the bad guy won’t shoot what he can’t see. If running and hiding are not an option, then fight with everything you have with whatever you have on you. Greg Ellifritz has some good thoughts about the limits of the Run-Hide-Fight mentality, which to me are more discussion of its limits than whether it is useful or not. This active killer was stopped because the student was willing and ready to fight.
- The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves, such as happened against this active killer. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
- Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed or exposed like this student was! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself. I wouldn’t like to fight an active killer with a pepper spray, but if it’s all you have, use it effectively.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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