Let’s take a moment to examine the title of this article before proceeding any further. The conventional approach to active killer incidents is the oft-repeated slogan, “Run, Hide, Fight.” However, I deliberately chose a different title because I refuse to accept yet another ineffective strategy that has not prevented a single such incident.
You may be thinking, “Hold on there, buddy! The experts advise us to ‘Run, Hide, Fight!’ Who are you to argue?” Honestly, I am someone who would rather come out victorious in a life-or-death battle instead of entrusting my fate, or that of my loved ones, to a lunatic.
The flaws in Run, Hide, Fight
What’s the issue with relying on the “Run, Hide, Fight” response plan?
The reality is that it falls short in practicality. Running away can result in getting shot in the back, as we’ve seen in incidents like Columbine and Westgate Mall. Hiding may work temporarily, but if discovered, it can lead to the same fatal outcome. It’s commonly argued that fighting should only be used as a last resort since the attackers are armed, but that’s not a sufficient solution. Criminals are evolving and may have access to weapons like bombs in the future.
At the start of an attack, the attackers’ force capability is metaphorically on the 100th floor of a skyscraper, while the victims’ force options are in the parking garage, typically located in “No Guns Zones,” which are essentially “Criminal Safe Zones.” Waiting to fight until it’s the only option will likely result in failure. Therefore, it’s necessary to take a different approach to the problem and find a more effective tactic from a tactical standpoint.
Where did the concept of “Run, Hide, Fight” originate?
It came from the so-called “experts,” specifically those at the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies that largely consist of academics studying classroom violence. However, their decision-making was not based on successful handling of real-world incidents because this strategy has proven to be ineffective and dangerous.
Instead, I believe their choices were influenced by political correctness. It’s not considered politically correct to encourage people to fight back. We frequently hear the typical justifications for a passive response, such as “someone might get hurt,” “fighting back will only escalate the situation,” “using violence makes us no better than the terrorists,” and “citizens fighting back will make it more difficult and dangerous for the police.”
In short, to promote a cowardly agenda and create dependence, regardless of how many innocent people perish, many have embraced the flawed “Run, Hide, Fight” strategy.
Let’s apply some critical thinking to this situation. Firstly, the notion that somebody might get hurt is already a reality. Innocent men, women, and children are being killed. If all the good guys are running and hiding, then the bad guys will continue to cause harm without any consequences. Secondly, the idea that fighting back will make things worse is ridiculous.
Worse for whom?
We already have a lunatic roaming around shooting innocent people.
If I or a group of my friends take action to stop him, how could that possibly make things worse?
We would be protecting innocent people from further harm. So, when people argue that fighting back only makes things worse, they seem to be valuing the life of the killer over the lives of the victims.
Finally, the argument that fighting back makes you no better than the terrorist is flawed. My use of violence is limited in scope and aimed solely at stopping the perpetrator. The terrorist’s actions are indiscriminate and harm anyone in their path, regardless of age or gender.
I will stop once my mission is accomplished, and the terrorist is neutralized. They won’t stop until they run out of victims or ammunition, take their own life, or are stopped by individuals willing to take them on. This is a clear-cut case of good versus evil, and I know which side I am on.
As a trained law enforcement officer, I find it absurd that people claim fighting back makes it more dangerous for responding police officers. If citizens take the initiative and stop the active shooter before the police arrive, there will be no shooting when the police show up. The good guys will have accomplished their mission, and there will be no need for them to continue fighting alongside the police. So how exactly did the citizens willing to counter-attack make it more dangerous for the police?
The notion that the good guys will turn on the police when they arrive is also ridiculous. As someone who has served in law enforcement for over 30 years, I know that the good guys can be easily distinguished from the bad guys with guns. The good guys are not the ones causing chaos and leaving a pile of bodies in their wake. Rather, they are the ones who are fighting back against the active shooter.
It is important for off-duty police officers, plain-clothes officers, and private citizens with concealed carry permits to have a practiced plan in place to de-conflict the situation and establish a safe link-up with responding officers. Responding police officers also need to understand the principles of target discrimination, especially as it applies to demeanor.
I firmly believe that the “Run, Hide, Fight” approach is based on cowardice. It takes courage to run towards the sound of gunfire and empower the population to do the same. Encouraging violent resistance to evil will likely make evil seek easier targets. Politicians need to relinquish responsibility for personal safety to the individual and admit they cannot protect everyone all the time. An active response is necessary to create a society that is not to be messed with.
There’s always a better way
The only way to prevent a criminal/terrorist from killing innocent people is through an overwhelming, decisive, and violent counter force that is sufficient to render the attacker incapable of any viable action. Until the attacker is neutralized, innocent lives are at risk. So how can we, as a willing populace, respond effectively?
Firstly, it’s essential to understand the nature of the attacker. They are often poor at their craft and rely on attacking helpless victim populations. Their tactical abilities and weapon handling skills are usually minimal. In most cases, they run or cower when faced with even minimal counter force. Aggressive action and fast response increase the likelihood of success. We can look to the example of two US service members and their childhood friend on a train in France.
It’s crucial to accept that these events can happen and to orient oneself toward the threat both physically and mentally. Move toward cover, assess the situation, and mentally prepare to fight. Look for opportunities to apply your fighting capability to the problem and strike at any moment an opportunity presents itself. Getting ahead of the adversary in the decision-making race and staying there is key.
While the odds of being caught in an active killer event are small, it only takes one unlucky day to make the situation 100 percent real. Therefore, it’s vital to accept the situation and prepare to respond effectively.
In a situation where an active killer is present and posing a threat to innocent people, the only response that can prevent further casualties is an overwhelming and decisive counter force. This means using violence to neutralize the attacker until they are rendered incapable of any viable action.
It is important to understand the nature of these attackers. While they may be willing to carry out acts of violence, they are often inexperienced and not highly skilled in handling weapons or tactical situations. They may have been successful in the past against helpless victim populations, but when faced with even minimal counter force, they tend to run, cower, or kill themselves.
The odds of being caught in an active killer event may be small, but it is important to accept the reality of the situation and not talk yourself out of the obvious. By orienting yourself toward the threat, mentally preparing to fight, and looking for opportunities to improve your tactical situation, you increase your chances of survival.
If the opportunity to strike the attacker is not immediately present, you should look for ways to improve your tactical situation. This may mean moving from cover point to cover point, or “bounding forward,” until you can either exfiltrate the area or engage and disable the attacker. If forward movement is not viable, you can “break contact” by moving away from the crisis point and going cover point to cover point until you can either exfiltrate or engage the active killer.
It is important to remember that you should always be prepared to fight, as this is the only way to be absolutely sure that the attacker will be stopped. You must stay ahead of the attacker’s attack capability and fight at any moment the opportunity presents itself. If you do not fight back at the first available moment, you risk losing the initiative and becoming a casualty.
It is recommended to maintain an aggressive, proactive mindset that puts you ahead of your adversary. Running away is a passive response that does nothing to negatively impact the killer’s ability to create victims. Instead, you should fight your way onto the target, fight while on the target, and fight your way off the target.
If you find yourself trapped in an area with the attacker, it is important to avoid hiding and instead set an ambush. Establish the best tactical position possible, arm yourself, and as soon as the killer enters your battle space, strike. If you allow the attacker to enter your space and establish control, you and your dependents are at risk of being killed.
Training, as always, is vital!
The concept I am introducing emphasizes the importance of an aggressive mindset that leads to a proactive response, positioning you ahead of the criminal or terrorist’s response curve. However, mindset alone is insufficient to present a viable response. It is crucial to possess the mental, physical, and equipment capabilities necessary to carry out the response effectively. Focusing on only one of these elements will impede your ability to respond appropriately.
It is essential to receive proper training from a reputable source to develop the necessary skills. Merely discussing or reading about skills or watching online videos will not suffice. It requires investing sufficient time and effort to create mental overlays and a physical-mental balance to succeed.
Various active killer response programs designed for civilians cover everything from basic shooting skills to medical and movement techniques, as well as strategies for de-conflicting or linking up with law enforcement. Many people are unaware of what they do not know until someone points it out to them. Therefore, investing in training and education in this area is critical.
The crux of the matter is that the most effective way to stop an active killer event is through ballistic intervention. This means that individuals who are armed and trained should be ready to act when necessary.
It is crucial to avoid establishments that do not allow legal firearms on their premises and to let them know why you do not support their policy. Additionally, voting for politicians who uphold your unalienable right to self-protection is important. Carrying a modern pistol and having a carry permit is also essential, as you never know when you might need to defend yourself or others.
Unfortunately, there are those who believe that imposing more restrictions on guns will prevent active killer attacks and crime in general. However, this is an emotion-driven false narrative that is used to limit access to modern firearms.
As a law-abiding citizen who is willing to step up and protect others, it is unfair to expect you to defend yourself with equipment that is less capable than your attacker’s. We need to resist these attempts to limit our access to firearms and stand strong against this rhetoric.
Time and time again, we have seen that strict gun laws did not prevent attacks in Paris, Brussels, Kenya, Australia, China, or any other location. Criminals will always find a way to acquire the means to carry out their heinous acts. It is up to law-abiding citizens to be prepared to protect themselves and others.
Instead of merely expressing sympathy for victims or advocating for increased gun control, it is time for our leaders to encourage Americans to defend themselves. We need to adopt a more proactive and empowered stance against terrorist and active killer threats.
The world we live in is unfortunately one in which innocent individuals can become targets of disgruntled individuals seeking to inflict as much harm as possible. It is our responsibility to advocate for a response to such events that puts the public in a better position to defend itself.
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