How to safely defend yourself during an active shooter event
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    How to safely defend yourself during an active shooter event

    I have a concealed carry license and carry daily with weekly practice at the range. With the recent spate of active shooter events, I have been trying to wrestle with what would be the best/preferred way to defend myself and someone with me if I were to find myself shopping in a Walmart when an active shooter decides to start shooting. If the shooter is not in my immediate area and there is an Exit close by, I'm exiting stage left! But what if the shooter is between me and the nearest Exit and hiding to wait for LE to arrive is not an option. How should the armed good guy engage the bad guy without getting shot by the responding police?

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    IMO, there are too many variables that would decide this for you. I already said my opinion in the El Paso thread that under the circumstances where the shooter is using an assault weapon, your window of opportunity is very small. If you couldn't flee, then that kinda takes away your choices and you have to stand and fight.

    I've been giving this a lot of thought since the shootings, and I'm done carrying too little gun. Texas being an open carry state, I'm going to be carrying at the very least my Shield 9mm with two backup mags. If I print, or somebody can tell I'm carrying, well I'm not too concerned anymore because I need to feel like I would have a chance if some idiot and his AK came into the store I happened to be frequenting.

    I'll probably start carrying my 1911's more, as well. And my full sized Sig P226. I've got backup mags galore for all of these guns, and while I would still be messing my pants about having to go up against an assault rifle, I'd have a much better chance than if I was carrying my Ruger LCP with a spare mag. That much I know.
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    When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

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    A few months ago my wife and I went to a 'how to survive and active shoot' seminar put on by the Plano PD. Their advice was;
    1. PRIOR to any incident and just as a matter of daily life MAINTAIN SITATIONAL AWARENESS. Glance left and right when walking, look around for anything 'odd' etc.. know your surroundings, where are the exits, where are potential laces to hide.
    2. If an incident does happen, TAKE COVER. Secured cover if possible.
    3. Determine where the gunfire is coming from and (their words) SEEK EGRESS. Meaning find a place to flee.
    4. If it is not possible to flee, be prepared to LODGE IN PLACE if required. You may be there a while and if you are in a secured safe place DO NOT exit until the police find YOU.
    5. Assuming you are armed, DO NOT ENGAGE THE ACTIVE SHOOTER. Follow the above protocols if possible. The extreme last resort is to engage, but if you must their recommendation was per police procedure for armed self defense: clear the area behind point of aim, engage close enough for any encounter to be meaningful, and shoot to kill. If successful, ground your weapon, raise your hands over your head and shout "CALL 911. CALL THE POLICE."

    Or course the above is a list of recommendations. In reality, all hell would break loose and for civilians it would be mayhem.
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    First, recall the famous quote from von Moltke: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." But, as I like to say, if you have a plan at least you have something to deviate from.

    I would paraphrase the chef's post above in terms most often stated for this situation: Run, hide, fight. Handgun against long gun is not a fair fight and the odds are heavily stacked against you. And showing a firearm in the vicinity of an active shooting situation is a good way to get shot yourself, either from the police or another armed citizen who mistakes you for the villain. If your egress route is blocked, look for a good hideout. And stay until the police find you. That way you will know the situation is stable. Lastly, you fight. Better to die a lion than a sheep. And unless you have an absolutely 100% chance of success, don't take a passing shot. If it fails you are in the cross-hairs.

    And, of course, recall the first paragraph above.
    Whatever adjective or verb comes to mind, I am...NotSo.

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    Three things,
    Engage
    Retreat
    Take cover and wait.
    It would be fluid and situational. Know yourself and your limitations. Training will help with both if lacking knowing these things. When it happens you don't need to be figuring this out. Play it out while at the store next time.
    What's your back stop if you engage.
    What's a defendable position.
    Best way to egress out of the front, garden, auto, stock room...
    Last edited by Ickthus; 08-05-2019 at 05:44 AM.

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    It may not be the smart move, but if I were witnessing innocent people getting slaughtered and I had the ability to do something to stop it I think I would have to at least try. Right or wrong, I would forever count myself a coward if I had to live with the fact that I did nothing while innocent people were being killed. My best advice would be to shoot from a position behind cover, if it were available.
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    A pistol vs. a rifle is hardly fair to begin with. Your tactics would have to come into play and personally, I'm about tacticed out. Currently carrying a 7 shot .380. I may want to rethink that.
    Now, I will say this, when the shots start flying back toward them, they tend to run.
    texastaurusguy and BigBlue like this.
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    Today the news has been showing the story of the soldier who guided a lot of kids out of that situation. His comment was I am a soldier and I have a CCL, I felt I should be doing something. Notice that heroes come in all colors.

    The one thing I would add to what has already been said, is to engage from cover. Cover means something that protects you from fire, like a hard counter, wall, etc. Concealment hides you, but will not stop bullets, know the difference. Present as small a target to the shooter as possible. Most of these guys plan for no resistance, so you do have an initial advantage, make that first shot count. Don't show your weapon until you are ready to use it. If you can draw the bad guy out in the open, as you engage from cover, the advantage is yours and it tends to offset the advantage that a long gun gives. Also, your ammo will be limited, make every shot count.

    BTW, suppression is something you do so your other guy can move in to take the objective. If you are by yourself, suppression does not work. Don't fire unless you have a target that you think you can hit. Let the BG waste his ammo, you need to make every shot count.
    Last edited by GreenWolf70; 08-05-2019 at 11:30 AM.
    Battle of Wanat: 10 years ago last 13 July, 1LT Brostram was killed in combat killing the last enemy combatant in the outpost. The LT went to the point of decision and made the difference that turned the tide of the battle. The original investigation found the Bde Cmdr, the Bn Cmdr and the Co Cmdr at fault for dereliction of duty. If you want to see what a sarcastic silver star citation reads like, pull up the company commander's silver star.

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    There is no way to know what the sequence of events will be when something like this happens, but one thing is sure. Don’t have a firearm in your hand when the authorities arrive, because if you do, you’re likely to be shot.
    olfarhors, DA-Auto and dogchild like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLShutterbug View Post
    I have a concealed carry license and carry daily with weekly practice at the range. With the recent spate of active shooter events, I have been trying to wrestle with what would be the best/preferred way to defend myself and someone with me if I were to find myself shopping in a Walmart when an active shooter decides to start shooting. If the shooter is not in my immediate area and there is an Exit close by, I'm exiting stage left! But what if the shooter is between me and the nearest Exit and hiding to wait for LE to arrive is not an option. How should the armed good guy engage the bad guy without getting shot by the responding police?
    In the circumstances you mentioned in the bolded part I would deal with the immediate threat in front of me first. Even if it takes the police a minute to arrive you could be dead in seconds. Then after the immediate threat is reduced I would find cover and not be holding a gun, have my hands open and visual, calling 911 to let the dispatcher know how I am dressed, where I'm at, what the active shooter looks like or how he is dressed, where the active shooter is or was at, which way the shooter went if he is on the move, etc.

    If you have the opportunity to take it force on force training can be very helpful.
    Last edited by pegasus; 08-05-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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