Tragically, mass shootings are becoming more and more common. The Orlando massacre at Pulse nightclub reminds us that it could happen anywhere, anytime where people gather. You need a plan, If and when faced with an assassin, there will be little time to react or think.
The US Department of Homeland Security advises civilians to “Run, Hide and then Fight”, leaving fighting as a last resort. In reality, it’s more complicated than that. Run to a safer place. Hide in a secure place with a secure exit . Fight as soon as you can do so effectively.
If disabled, hurt or elderly, hiding may be your only option. Don’t forget to close the blinds and windows. Lock, barricade doors and identify escape routes. Turn off electronic devises. Be very quiet. Use the cover of walls and structures.
For most unarmed people, running is probably the safest option. If running is your plan, know your route. Be careful not to run into a dead end. Make it a habit to see the way out in every closed space you enter. Don’t worry about your stuff. Leave it. Don’t go alone. And don’t stay alone. Don’t use escalators or elevators, if possible.
If everyone runs, the assailant remains on the rampage, a danger to all. A few need to immediately fight back. Consider the thwarted Paris train disaster in August 2015. If not for the actions of three brave Americans many would have certainly died. Similarly, passenger revolt on United flight 93 likely saved many on the in buildings from a deadly airplane strike. But automatic assault style weapons are nearly impossible to rebuke without a firefight. Even the president of the NRA does not support arming night club patrons. While politicians debate the solution offering “thoughts and prayers”, more die.
Something needs to change. No, we don’t need to repeal the second amendment. We need a creative solution that identifies, treats and neutralizes the dangerous psychology of would be assailants before tragedy erupts. The solution should also recognize the need for certain able, trusted civilians to promptly and effectively fight back. Congress should finally face up to the issue, not simply run and hide, again.