Surviving An Active Shooter


I tried to put things into the perspective of what would I do or hope to do if I find myself an any kind of emergency situation.  When I drop my son off at school, I think for a minute, what if I was in school still and what if while in class I heard gunshots.  I ignore the fact that my son is five and pretend for that moment that I would have the knowledge and experience that I do now. What would I do? As mass casualty incidents are increasing in their frequency and the face of the horrific crimes change, shouldn’t the way respond to them adapt and change also?

In the past, students and some adults have been taught to “hide,” or “take shelter in place” when lets say gunshots are heard. On June 6, 2018 I did a quick google search to see what the other resources on the web were saying about responding to an active shooter.  The following is an exact expert from the site that I found in the top five of my google searches:

“Because workplace violence can happen without warning, recommends that when gunfire is suspected, employees should find a hiding place and stay quiet. If possible, workers should hide in a room (preferably under a desk and away from doors and windows) and lock and barricade the door.”

WHAT? Is this the information that people out there are getting and following. Like a pig at a slaughterhouse? Just hide, pull the covers over your head and the bad guy will go away.  When did this really become acceptable? Did we learn nothing from Sandy Hook, when our children were mowed down in piles trying to find safety inside classroom closets and under desk?

Listen, I’m going to die, it’s inevitable, I understand that, but I will be goddamned if I’ll go down without a fight and at the hands of someone that can’t handle life. Let’s also be clear here, the question is not “Why did this happen?”  “Is it gun laws or mental health?” It’s society, it’s life, it’s our world now. You want to analyze and study all these horrible incidents, that’s fine, do it, but do it after you prepare yourself and those that you love not become victims without a fight.

Here’s what I tell my son, you hear gun fire in school, catch your breath, think for long enough to understand what’s happening and run the opposite direction. He’ll be taught to “tactical” about it, to pretend it’s a game.

I’m a cop, guns are present in my life and the life of my children and they always will be. This in my opinion gives them an advantage to the children whose parents believe that guns should not be anywhere and shelter their children from the idea of them. My oldest son has heard gun shots since he was two years old, he’s familiar with them, he’s understands the concept. This makes life a little less shocking if he hears one in real life. I’m not saying he’ll turn into a superhero and unarm the masked gunman at five years old. I’m saying that it gives him a little leg up, at least that is my hope.

These animals that commit these crimes and create these horrible situations, taking thousands of people from the earth and from their loved ones are not trained. Understand this. Law enforcement trains and shoots multiple times throughout the year, we are required so many hours of training each year. But, how many stories do you hear of cops, missing their targets, panicking and shooting an innocent person or themselves by accident? It happens, unfortunately, often. But, your mind may be telling you that if I’m in a public place and a shooter comes in, every round that he fires is going to kill someone. That’s simply not the case, sure some of them have had firearms experience, some have been around firearms their whole life. But, none of them have shot and killed someone before, it’s a brand-new experience for them and they like you have no idea what to expect.

Take a minute and think like a bad guy, seriously, the next time you are out in a public place and have some time to waste, run the scenario through your head.  If you were a bad guy and wanted to hurt the most amount of people in that area as possible, how would you do it? Let’s be clear, I’m not encouraging you to commit that act, I’m saying, allow your brain to stop think like the straight edge that you are. Because criminals don’t think like you and I do. Criminals have a skewed sense of reality and each one of them that commits violent crimes against others have their own reason, right, wrong or indifferent, to do them.  

Think like the enemy. Act like the enemy. Become the enemy. I’ve said so many times after these incidents, how are more people not killed. How did the shooter not gun down more victims?  Honestly, read the stories, their guns jams because they’re firing too quickly for that particular weapon to handle it. They can’t reload under the stress of the situation. Their aim sucks.  They’re not tactically firing they are just randomly firing with no real target in the cross hairs.

You get put in the middle of these situations you must find your opportunity to save lives. Whether it be yours, others or as many people as possible, you must act. You must collect yourself, take a deep breath and realize that yes, it is happening to you.  Because, yes it can happen to you. Don’t be the person hiding under the wooden desk, or behind the hollow core wood closet door. Take some action, find what motivates you to fight and remember that yes, life sucks sometimes. But you have to decide not to be a victim, not to puddle in the corner and certainly not to allow some other person to decide how your die, or how your children lose their mother or father.  

Find your fight. Prepare yourself to defend yourself.  Prepare yourself to realize that you can survive, you do have the balls to do it.  

Don’t be the statistic, be the hero.

Chris MarcianoComment