I don't go anywhere without some type of concealed handgun. Carry a compact yet powerful caliber firearm, properly and safely concealed. Make sure you can handle and fire your weapon, otherwise you are more likely to cause harm rather than help yourself, your loved ones, and others. Train often. If you don't train with your concealed weapon, your are less likely to be able to use it safely and accurately during an emergency situation. As always, before considering a concealed handgun, check your local state laws.
WHEREVER YOU GO, POSITION YOURSELF IN A STRATEGIC LOCATION
Whether you're going to a restaurant with your family or partner, attending a football game, a concert, or any other public venue, always do your best to position yourself strategically. In the case of a mass shooting, finding a spot where you can be proactive, yet safe, can safe your life and that of your loved ones. I always position myself near an entrance or exit to ensure I have a quick escape route, or in case I have to confront the shooter. Positioning yourself in a key location allows you to have better situational awareness about your surroundings, it helps you identify exit options, and puts you at an advantage to react quicker before a shooting.
BE QUICK IN IDENTIFYING THE SITUATION
In my experience, with the exception of a home invasion, there are always a few seconds before the shit hits the fan and it is clear that something bad is about to go down. When time is of the essence, knowing how to identify a situation or scenario could save your life. It could be a sound, a smell, or something visual, but knowing how to identify when something bad is about to happen will put you at an advantage. You may not even have a minute, but having situational awareness will help you act quickly, whether your approach is to escape or to engage.
IF POSSIBLE, BLOCK THE SHOOTER'S ENTRY POINT
If you always position yourself strategically, then you might have a few golden seconds before the shit hits the fan. If so, find a way to barricade any possible entryway between the shooter and your location. If it's a door, lock it and/or close it, and if possible, find a large object, such as furniture, to block the shooter's access. After you block the shooter's access to you, find a safe place to seek cover. By doing this, you are making it more difficult for the shooter to make you and your loved ones a target.
DON'T HESITATE, MOVE FAST
Whether you decide to hide, charge, or run during a mass shooting or other major public emergency situation, do not hesitate or second guess your decision and move fast. If you delay your reaction you are lowering your chances of survival. Decide what your course of action is going to be and act fast. Whatever you do, don't sit there like a deer staring at headlights because chances are you are not going to survive.
JUST LIKE FIRE SAFETY CLASS, GET LOW AND GO!
When children are small, we teach them fire safety by telling them to "get low and go" to get out of a smoke filled home that is on fire. In the case of a mass shooting, it will serve you good to go back to the basics of getting to the ground and crawl to avoid becoming an easy target. Make sure you keep yourself as low to the ground as possible and start putting distance between you and the shooter by crawling toward the nearest exit.
CALL FOR HELP, ASAP!
After you have acted on your decision, be that to stay, hide, fight back, or run, call 911. In emergency situations, the sooner help arrives, the better. The shooter or shooters need to be neutralized and wounded must be cared for. Waiting to call 911, when minutes matter, could increase the number of casualties from additional gunshot wounds or victims that could be on the verge of bleeding to death.
GATHER OTHERS AND WORK AS A TEAM
If you're in a public place when a mass shooting begins, chances are other people are there with you. In an emergency situation, is it important to understand that others around you become your instant team members. You must learn to work within that unit and use it as a fighting force, whether you are forced to stay and fight or run to safety. Teaming up and working with others will give you and your loved ones better chances of surviving. Whether you choose to be the leader, or someone else takes on the task, follow the leader and try to help in any way you can. If you are not the type of person who would take control and lead in these emergency situations, there are many ways to make yourself useful. It could be barricading the door, helping to take the shooter to the ground, or helping panicked and frozen bystanders snap out of it and take action. Whatever your decision is, work as a team with those around you and fight together.
KEEP A TOURNIQUET HANDY
The moment you decide to carry a firearm, you should purchase a tourniquet. Period. While concealed carry gives you the power to defend yourself, a tourniquet could be a lifesaver for you, your loved ones, or anyone else around you who is the victim of a gunshot wound. A tourniquet is a small item, no bigger than your cell phone, that should be part of every person's emergency kit, especially if you're a gun owner.
NO WEAPON, NO ESCAPE, NO WAY OF GETTING LOW, AND NO OTHER OPTION: TIME TO CHARGE!
Let's say you decided not to carry a firearm, you were unable to obstruct the shooter's access to you and your family, there is no way out, and you cannot get low and crawl toward an exit. If this is the case, you and your family are about to encounter the shooter face to face and your only option it to charge. You must understand that there is a lunatic in front of you ready to harm you and the people you love. This is when your fight or flight response kicks in and you charge at that rat like there is not tomorrow, with all you have and whatever you can find. Weapons of opportunity can be life savers, but I don't recommend taking the risk of finding the perfect weapon lying around in an emergency situation, such a a mass shooting. That shit only happens in movies, so be prepared. Always.
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