How would you have dealt with the car full of this guy’s buddies? Certainly there are a lot of Active Self Protection lessons from this shooting at a club, so let’s not miss them.
Original video of the shooting: https://get-asp.com/rko5
Police news conference on the shooting: https://get-asp.com/4bm2
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves in a shooting?
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. Doorways and parking lots are BOTH transitional spaces, and this shooting shows how fast danger can develop in them. When you’re approaching a transitional space, be more aware and more careful.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. The guards here didn’t notice the man with a gun in his hand until he was sticking that gun into their space to shoot into the club. That could have been fatal.
- I think that the Rules of Stupid come into play here. The Rules of Stupid state that you should never (1) go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things. You can usually get away with breaking one Rule of Stupid, but two or more really increase the odds of bad things happening. In this shooting, the people broke at LEAST two Rules: they were at a club (a Stupid place) at 1:30AM (a Stupid time). Clubs are also Stupid people magnets because people get drunk, making them Stupid. So two and possibly three Rules of Stupid were broken here. If you follow the Rules of Stupid your chance of being attacked go down.
- 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. In this shooting the police were literally ONE MINUTE away, which is amazingly fast, and yet they couldn’t stop the shooting. Only the people there in the moment could. You must be the primary agent in your own rescue.
- If you run from a shooting, don’t just run AWAY from danger. Run TO something. Run TO the corner where you can fight one at a time. Run TO a store where a guard can help you. Run TO your house where you can lock the door. Run TO a place where you can better defend yourself from attack. Running FROM danger is great, but running TO safety is better!
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.