active shooter

Today an email arrived for a required training course. Usually we learn to separate capital from expense or avoid offending everyone about anything ( ie don’t try to be funny .) This one said “Active Shooter Training.” I thought it would be about using bar-code scanners.

Active Shooter is the term Homeland Security chose to describe a person trying to kill people in an enclosed area. The training consisted of a video and a quiz, produced in some part by Homeland Security. The video was compelling, intense and troubling. This subject should be.

People should have a plan. That’s me. I read the exit brochure on airplanes, try to get in the exit row, check the stairways in hotels, wash my hands in restrooms. People who don’t have a plan are more likely to panic and do nothing. People who have a plan have a chance. It should be you too. Make it a habit.

This film says there are three choices: Run, hide, fight

Run if you can get out without being in the line of fire. Don’t take your stuff, it’s just stuff. Warn others, but if they won’t act, get yourself out. Once out, call 911. Interesting that coming out they advise keep your hands in plain sight since rescuers won’t know good guys from the bad.

Hide if your exit route may take you into danger lock the door and barricade it if possible. Turn off the lights and silence phones. Wait for help to arrive.

Fight when there is no alternative. Improvise weapons, a fire extinguisher can be blinding or the tank a weapon. Mankind can make almost anything a weapon. When you fight, fight with as much aggression as you can muster.

Don’t try to reason with a person in this state.

So that’s how part of my afternoon went. What a statement to the malaise of the world that this term even exists and is treated like a tornado or other natural disaster.

If you are one of those guys who’ve watched a zillion movies or played thousand of hours of shoot-em-ups on the computer. The people who do this are not brave and not a hero. It is a cowardly act perpetrated by a coward. Be better than that. Protect the less fortunate, help the weak. We all need that.


37 Comments on “active shooter”

  1. I shared on FB and twitter. Good stuff.

  2. Tessa says:

    In that situation I wouldn’t need a plan, I would simply faint 😦 Good writing though!

  3. This is indeed a perilous time. My mom would send me out to play in the morning with instructions to be back in the house by dark. I would visit my grandparents and they did not know where the key to their front door was because they never locked it. There was no need. They always left the key in the ignition of their old car, that way they would always know where it was. Now that neighborhood has bars on the windows and is the capital of auto theft.
    What happened?

  4. Shannon says:

    It’s a crazy world. It’s sad that we need to consider this a normal workplace hazard.

  5. This almost sounds like a joke. It’s too bad that it isn’t. I appreciate the conclusion especially, Bill.

  6. That’s so crazy, Bill! I hope I never have to face the scenario. If I do, I hope i have somewhere to run to.
    I’m thankful at this point that gun violence is much less prevalent in Canada! Take care!

  7. bert0001 says:

    I read this with some interest. I will try to remember run/hide/run again/fight?-perhaps-shouldn’t be a sitting duck either.

  8. Eric says:

    Reblogged this on Eric M. Vogt: Life-Writings and commented:
    This was my response to this very important active shooter issue:

    This is my business, was my business, for 33 years, Bill. Let me tell you a story of the last job I resigned from. I worked as a contractor for an unnamed state. But, knowing you, you can probably guess. It was a welfare application building, which, as you can imagine, invites into its environs many types of people off the street. Most good people, down on their luck. But a significant portion of the dangerous. As economies get worse, it seems, like a full moon, to draw out the worst in some.

    I was one man, working a mere 12 hours a week at my “volunteer” job (pay barely paid for my gas and other expenses), a retiree just wanting to give back to a community that had treated me well. I stopped over 1,000 weapons from entering that facility in one year by simply using a hand wand and my experience.

    One day a state case worker decides he wants to help make up their emergency response plan for active shooters. Well, I had trained officers in that subject before. So I got him information on procedures from DHS and did an informal walkthrough of the facility with my written recommendations for improvements. I thought it was great that a regular employee was taking measures to be proactive.

    Not long afterward some wonderful caregivers in the state capitol decided that metal detector use should not be done in the facility at all. I resigned immediately with a detailed, written explanation, a copy of which I gave to their union. I am now on the state’s blacklist.

    I believe in being an active target for an active shooter. Not a sitting target at a desk. It pains me that state and local governments in their quest for budget cutting and appeasement of disruptive patrons place their hard-working staff at such wanton risk. The social security office and federal courthouse in town has ten times the security of the state and local offices

    I know. It’s a shame that our society has become one that even has to write an emergency plan for such things as an active shooter or an act of terrorism. Yet here we sit. Hopefully not in our chairs.

    Eric M. Vogt, CHS-V

  9. Eric says:

    This is my business, was my business, for 33 years, Bill. Let me tell you a story of the last job I resigned from. I worked as a contractor for an unnamed state. But, knowing you, you can probably guess. It was a welfare application building, which, as you can imagine, invites into its environs many types of people off the street. Most good people, down on their luck. But a significant portion of the dangerous. As economies get worse, it seems, like a full moon, to draw out the worst in some.

    I was one man, working a mere 12 hours a week at my “volunteer” job (pay barely paid for my gas and other expenses), a retiree just wanting to give back to a community that had treated me well. I stopped over 1,000 weapons from entering that facility in one year by simply using a hand wand and my experience.

    One day a state case worker decides he wants to help make up their emergency response plan for active shooters. Well, I had trained officers in that subject before. So I got him information on procedures from DHS and did an informal walkthrough of the facility with my written recommendations for improvements. I thought it was great that a regular employee was taking measures to be proactive.

    Not long afterward some wonderful caregivers in the state capitol decided that metal detector use should not be done in the facility at all. I resigned immediately with a detailed, written explanation, a copy of which I gave to their union. I am now on the state’s blacklist.

    I believe in being an active target for an active shooter. Not a sitting target at a desk. It pains me that state and local governments in their quest for budget cutting and appeasement of disruptive patrons place their hard-working staff at such wanton risk. The social security office and federal courthouse in town has ten times the security of the state and local offices

    I know. It’s a shame that our society has become one that even has to write an emergency plan for such things as an active shooter or an act of terrorism. Yet here we sit. Hopefully not in our chairs.

    Eric M. Vogt, CHS-V

  10. vb holmes says:

    Thanks for the information, Bill–hoping that you and your readers never have to follow any of this advice!

  11. I have never thought of being in this situation to the point of thinking what to do, I have always been the fighter first…perhaps I should rethink and study on this. reblogging

  12. I have plans about many what ifs but have not really thought about this scenario, run, hide or fight…I will give this some thought…

    • billgncs says:

      first option ( run )

      • I think if possible that’s the best option! But that’s why I need to think about things like this because my natural instinct is to fight especially if I feel like someone is trying to belittle or control me or anyone else!

        • billgncs says:

          he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day 🙂

          some bad things are best avoided, unless you are equally armed.

        • I took some martial arts classes “back in the day” and the instructors said to try to get away if at all possible; only fight if you must. But if you must, fight like you mean it and no trick is a bad trick.

          • billgncs says:

            that’s kinda like how I play twister …. take to prisoners 🙂

          • Good advice! No rules if it comes to that. 🙂

          • Interesting post, and comments – and agree with this one. I would also add from my backgound years ago – make your decision and stick to it, your decisions will become less sensible the longer you wait, and faced with danger, hit early and hit hard, don’t wait – if faced with the situation. You may also have to TELL other people what to do, loud and clear, as many are frozen in shock when violence spins out of control.
            I don’t share your pessimism, and think basically people are good. Just because a couple of very unpleasant idiots feel they can do this doesn’t mean society lost its way. We can argue that there is less a feeling of community – but thinking as a community brings other dangers, the worst being, off the head, honour killings,by all religions in places like, well, Chechnya.
            Yes, a shock to the system, which I do not want to belittle, but it will happen again, and already did around the world as we speak. To not learn from it is terrible. We learnt that ye again these acts are carried out by people WITHOUT grievances. Those 2 idiots had nothing to complain about. We also learnt about awareness in public spaces, without all turning into private cops ready to shoot. Now we must also learn to 1. put it into perspective and 2,you said it, have your plan(s) and carry on.

  13. Thanks, interesting post.. Wow.

    Free lunches and tips on how to save your arse. Doesn’t seem to get any better than this.
    I want this job – 5 levels up or down!!!!

  14. Clanmother says:

    An excellent post – there is nothing that can compare to the horror of facing danger. You are so right – “Be better than that. Protect the less fortunate, help the weak. We all need that.”

    “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”Dalai Lama

  15. Eric Alagan says:

    Instructional post Bill – thank you, Eric


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