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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Being Prepared to Act

For John, BLUFThe default to passivity seems to be costing lives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the on-line magazine, Small Wars Journal, yesterday, by Messrs Ryan Hoover and Daniel Shaw.

Here are some excerpts from the article, which is a short read and well worth the couple of minutes it takes:

Today, in the wake of the Orlando massacre, it's time to come to grips with the reality of active killer events.  …[L]et us not repeat the unfortunate mistake of passivity in Orlando.  We know how these events end, too, and we cannot continue to ignore this fact.
* * *

[T]he victims at the club in Orlando did what the experts told them to do.  They followed the run-hide philosophy, just like they were taught.  And because of that, dozens died.  …  They were told that someone else would come to save them. They did exactly as they were trained to do. That modus operandi failed them, and it failed to the tune of the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

That failure isn't their fault, however.  Most Americans are complicit through our individual and collective passivity.  When the Orlando killer check his smartphone social media accounts, spent 28 minutes on the phone with 911, or reloaded his weapons, there were opportunities to intervene, but no one chose to.  Now it is time for an awakening, like we had after 9/11.

* * *

Running and hiding are fine, if they are viable options, dictated by the totality of the circumstance, but ultimately, fighting back might be the difference in your surviving such an event.

  • Tackling a gunman has worked many times over in these events, and it is one strategy we employ when teaching active killer defense. Obviously, tackling from behind is most desirable, but we may not be able to choose a direction or angle.
  • We teach students to hit the killer low, at the knees, and drive through with as much force and weight as possible, forcing the killer to the ground.
  • Once he is down, our goal is to not allow him back to his feet, since killers typically carry more than one weapon and we may have additional assailants to engage.
  • Students are taught to use strikes once the killer is down, to neutralize the possibility of any further attacks.
There are more steps in the article, at the URL, above.  Check them out.  I don't think you have to be able to beat the shooter.  You just have to rally a couple of people in the crowd to pin him down and take away his weapon.

And here is a very important point the police and EMTs are not the "first responders".  YOU are.

Because those on the scene – often civilians - are the first responders, knowledge of basic trauma care is also essential.

  • Primarily, responders should know how to keep blood in the body, since massive hemorrhaging is the number one cause of death in these events.
  • Assuming the threat has been neutralized, apply direct pressure to the bleeding wounds of the injured. If a tourniquet is available, apply it as high and as tight as possible on the injured limb.
  • If no tourniquet is available or the injury is not to a limb, pack the wound with as much gauze as possible, direct someone else to hold pressure and move on to the next victim.
So, here is the "bottom line":
As stated, training matters, and whether responders are armed, unarmed, incidentally armed, environmentally armed, or otherwise, practicing engagement in realistic scenarios is ideal, but having a plan of action beyond running and/or hiding is an absolute must.
When you are driving down the street, don't be on someone's bumper.  Leave enough room to pull into another lane if you have to.  When you walk into a room, glance around for the exits, in case you need to exit.  Not just for an active shooter, but in the event of a fire, or if you are on the Other Coast, an earthquake.

Don't just be passive.  Think about your surroundings.

Regards  —  Cliff

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