Engage or Retreat Active Shooter situation

Thankfully, statistically, it is very, very unlikely that you will be in the same place, at the same time, with an “active shooter”.

Even though we have witnessed a number of active shooter tragedies of late, we are far more likely to ‘bite the dust’ in a car accident, for example.

Unfortunately though there are crazy people in this world. We definitely have a people violence problem.

My question for today is this: What would you do if you were on the premises of an active shooter situation in progress?

I know, don’t bother to say it (I’ll say it for you)… “Stay away from crowds” “Then it won’t happen”. That may be good general advice. However lets just say it happened. It’s a good thing to ponder. What if… and what would you do?

Until it happens, most of us won’t know for sure how we would handle it. One’s best plans might go straight out the window. But maybe a discussion in the comments below might inspire some constructive dialogue on this subject.

I’ll start by throwing a few thoughts out there:

LEO’s Duty | Active Shooter

The duty of a law enforcement officer is to go TO the threat. It is not the duty of a civilian to engage the threat. If a LEO is on premises, the LEO will likely engage the shooter as quickly as reasonably possible. Though we know that’s not always the case. Human behavior under extreme stress…

Civilian Engagement?

With that said, many believe (I’m talking about those who ‘carry’) that they will engage the shooter and take him down. That sure is easy to say. Maybe you will, or maybe you will be killed. Will your carry pistol be adequate for that task (for example)?

Barrier Between You and the Active Shooter

Especially if engaging with the threat, first thing is COVER!, coupled with, “Where’s the threat located?” Position yourself with barrier between you and the shooter! Logical, right?

Evaluate, Take the shot?

If you’ve decided to engage, and have placed yourself in a relative position of cover (assuming there was any), it’s time to evaluate. Quickly.

Is the target clear? What’s behind the target? Civilians? Is the active shooter wearing body armor? Are you a good enough shot to overcome the body armor issue?

You do know that once you commence, that you will become an immediate target, right? How overpowered are you in relation to the active shooter’s weapon?

Retreat | Get Outta Dodge…

Another way of saying it, “get the heck outta there”…

Are you by yourself or with your spouse and/or family? Will it be your instinct to protect and get them (and you) away from the active shooter?

Don’t Panic – Everyone Else Is

Obviously, there will be complete panic as people run every which way trying to get out or away. Your heart will be pounding and adrenaline will be dumping.

Know where the Exits are located

Identify Direction of Active Shooter (Sound – Gunfire)

Seek Barriers For Cover on the Way Out

Caution (If you Carry)

Whether you are engaging with the active shooter or retreating, be aware of the following:

If you have a firearm in your hand, law enforcement may presume that you are a threat too! Don’t get yourself shot by friendly fire. Trying to be a ‘hero’ may get you killed.



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