Active Shooter: Run, Hide, Fight
Just a couple minor points that I include in my training classes that I don't see in other places: 1. I have not seen a case in which someone who begins shooting inside a building pursues anyone who runs outside. We advise people to run, this fact helps reinforce it. 2. Although fighting a shooter is the last resort, there are not many tips for doing so. For instance, people tend to use stick-like objects (from pens to broomsticks) for hitting when they are much more effective as stabbing weapons. Even rolled magazines can be stabbed into eyes, throats, etc. 3. Then, there is tunnel vision. In my law enforcement days, I witnessed this phenomenon and have taken advantage of it to subdue criminals. Too often we see brave individuals die because they attacked a shooter from the front. But, a shooter is intent on his activities and tunnel vision reduces his peripheral vision and hearing. Not every circumstance allows you to get behind a shooter, but if it can be arranged, he is not likely to notice your approach. Then, apply hard objects to soft places. Personally, I prefer live heroes to dead ones.
What message would you say is the right message? "Stand there and be a passive target," "Do nothing to protect those in you care," "We don't trust you"? These are messages we send by prohibiting teachers from carrying weapons.
By ALLOWING teachers to carry we would send the message that they are respected citizens of the United States of America, a country with a meaningful constitution and history. We would send the message that we TRUST TEACHERS to make good decisions. We would send the message that they and the students in their classrooms are at least as valuable as the money we willingly protect with firearms. We would acknowledge that having someone armed on scene is a vastly superior deterrant to having someone who can be there in a few minutes.
As an educator, emergency manager, responder, and mental health professional, I believe it is time we develop some trust in our professionals, including teachers, to make good decisions. Train them and trust them.
Not every teacher would want to be armed, but some teachers want to protect those around them and we should not stand in their way.
Excellent comments! Not all teachers would accept that responsibility, but why should we deny those that would? Following the same guidelines for non-teachers in order to establish a training baseline and fundamental background check, and expanding the training on discretion to emphasize the need in the class room are also good plans.
Not a good idea, because the lunatic would then know to find the principle's office and start there. That's also why having an armed policeman in every school is not optimal. You also don't want a teacher carrying a firearm if they don't know what to do with it or are likely to drop it in a firefight. Mass murderers are essentially cowards, and if they see a teacher and are not sure if they are armed or not, they will go away and attack somebody else in a gun-free zone.
I live in a suburb of Houston. Our school district does not, and will not, allow teacher or anyone to carry weapons on school grounds. The policy states: “Firearms are prohibited on all property of the ___ School District. The prohibition includes firearms in vehicle on School property. Licensed Peace Officers who are serving in their official capacities are the only persons excepted from this prohibition”. The policy goes on to state: “…employees who are licensed handgun holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or on the license holder’s person, while on the premises or grounds...”.
The school practices several drills this year, one including an "armed intruder" and the school going into lock down mode. The School District has a district security person pretend to be an intruder to ensure that the District plans that are in place is working if an unknown person walks onto campus. This year the District has added a District Police Department. There is always at least one (if not more) District Peace Officer between the local elementary, middle school, and high school.
Teachers were hired to teach, not shoot the "bad guys"! If people want to improve the security of our schools, then speak with your State Legislature. Teachers are some of our most underpaid and over worked professionals in this country.
I think allowing teachers to carry isn't the answer but maybe an assign security company at each school. Its nice that Houston has such a policy to prohibit firearms but when do criminals obey policy. Lets face it, this country is broken. I received my first rifle when I turned sixteen and it never once crossed my mind to use it to commit a crime. The gun was for target shooting and we were taught respect for it and use it correctly. As a kid we never had any problems with gun violence as we do today. I think we need to start looking at the underlying causes of this increased violence. Society as a whole has become more violent. Some blame the violent games kids play, increased violence on TV, illegal immigration and increase influx of drugs. Where do you start? I for one do not condon restricting our freedoms as some politians are advocating. If anything statistics have shown that gun ownership has reduced crime, not increased it. The bottom line is that there is no one clear answer to stem the violence. Society must change back to the ways in past.
Mr. Anderton in his reply gave the web site for the Homeland Security booklet. That's as good as I've seen. Ideally, you want to catch these things in the planning stages, or even heading off disturbed individuals before they reach that point. If a school wants to spend money on countering an active shooter, I would recommend a trained German shepherd. I worked with guard dogs in the military and believe them to be much safer in a crowd situation than any sort of human intervention.
I was listening to a law officer talk about five actions that could save your life if there was a shooter in your house/building etc.
1. Don’t cower – act – run – take action.
2. Run across the line of fire. You want the shooter to have to move and constantly change aim.
3. Distract. If possible throw something at the shooter.
4. Distance – get as far away as possible.
5. Cover – get a brick wall/concrete between you and the bad guy.
Thank you for 5 steps instruction but it is only tactical.You could learn to everyone to alive in these situations but it needs to change laws.There are strategical ways scalable for US.There is no time as for ever.The army made weapon must be confiscated.It may be the first step to strict free access to weapon.
Homeland Security publishes an Active Shooter response booklet (www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/Active_Shooter_Booklet.pdf) as has does ASIS International ( www.asisonline.org) who has a link, on their home page, to all of their resources on the subject.
Few teachers or educational staff have been taught self defense techniques. What most law enforcement teaches is run or hide. A single shooter probably wouldn't survive in an inner city school. Assuming he got past the metal detectors and locked doors the street gangs in the high school I went to (the middle school really had more guns per student) would have gotten him in a stairway.
It is an attitude that says take care of me that has to be overcome. Schools are gun free and drug free zones so there shouldn't be either on the grounds but those pristine bedroom communities are easey targets with one story buildings and lots of doors and glass. It is also a bellief in the Old West that never was, the image of the marshal walking down the center of the street waiting for the bad guy to draw first.
This is urban combat--dirty tricks comefirst--distraction, and then shoot him in the back of the head with something big and slow, like a 45ACP hollow point. A fast light bullet like a 223 does more internal damage but also goes through. Fighter pilots fight that way, why shouldn't school cops? We now go after the shooter in the building, reducing his time to shoot more. The best approach may be to use combat trained guards with suppressed, low energy weapons and really thick body armmor to engage while the teachers ket Kevlar lined doors and better locks.