One of the reasons we live in an increasingly dangerous world is because of the easy access to firearms. When we talk about armed shooters, the first thing that many people think about are school shootings.
This is a very divisive topic with many people asking for gun control and others saying that gun control doesn’t solve the problem. This article is not about debating the topic 'til the cows come home because the matter is very complex.
However, it will give you several tips on increasing your chances of survival if there’s an armed lunatic in the same building that you’re in. Random shooting incidents don’t just happen in schools.
It can happen at the workplace, in a diner, or anywhere, for that matter. Terrorists could be homegrown or foreign, but the situation is always the same:
Bullets are being rapidly sprayed into a crowd to cause as much loss of human life as possible.
This is one of the most chaotic situations anyone could ever be in and there is very little room for error. Follow the tips below and immediately react should someone start firing away.
The first thing you should do is escape. NEVER try to lock yourself in a room or some broom closet and hope that the shooter will not find you. Even if the door is locked, he can still spray bullets into the door and kill you.
Always look for an emergency exit strategy. However, do not throw yourself through a glass window in an attempt to escape. This is not the movies. You might end up slashing your own throat on the glass shards while jumping out. Instead, use a chair to smash the glass first and then jump out.
Where is the firing coming from?
Shootings escalate very fast. The shooter will keep proceeding forward as long as people are dropping like flies. Your goal is to make a dash in a 90-degree angle away from the line of fire. Just make sure there’s an exit and you’re not cornered.
Plan of action
As mentioned, the most important thing is to run away. Do not try to be heroic and take the shooter down if you’re at a distance away. He’ll most likely cut you down before you can reach him.
If there’s nowhere to run, find a place to hide that he wouldn’t think of looking in. If there are dark areas in the building, go hide there. Shooters need well-lit spots to hit their targets.
If the shooter tries shooting at you when you’re escaping, run in a zig-zag manner that’s unpredictable. It’ll make it harder for him to hit you. Very often, shooters don’t chase those running away because it’s tiring to run with a weapon. They’re lunatics and not trained soldiers. So, running off usually is your best course of action.
If you have no choice and nowhere to go, lie on your belly and play dead. If there’s blood around you, roll in it and get some on yourself. It doesn’t sound pretty, but it could save your life. Breathe shallowly and try to let your body go limp. If the shooter prods you with his feet to check whether you’re dead, your body will feel lifeless. This is really the last resort.
Once you get in this position, never look up to check where the shooter has gone. The shooter may be cowering in the in the same room as you because law enforcement has the building surrounded.
So, any movement from you may be noticed immediately. Remain in your ‘play dead’ position until law enforcement arrives and takes down the shooter.
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