A Commentary: “Being Safe in Public from a Mass Shooting”
Recently I read an article (linked below) posted on the Web by USA Today discussing the danger of mass shootings and the sense of fear or lack of safety this threat leaves us with.
The following is a direct quote from the aforementioned article:
“Experts told USA TODAY that while the likelihood of falling victim to a mass shooting is incredibly small, the fact they happen in such unpredictable locations triggers an ongoing trauma response for many people.
Even when it’s not your grocery store, your school, your movie theater, the reminders feel inescapable.
It’s only human to ask ourselves questions like, ‘Is it safe for me to go to the grocery store? Is it safe for me to drop my kids off at school? Is it safe for me to go out to dinner? Am I safe being in public?’”
The article follows the two most recent mass shootings in the US, one at a nightclub in Colorado and another at a Walmart in Virginia.
Earlier this year I posted an article, Five Non Gun Defense Techniques for Daily Living that goes directly to the heart and soul of the concern expressed in USA Today article.
A quick recap of key points in every day defensive living outlined in that article are as follows:
- Stay aware of your environment
- Avoid a potential confrontation or problem if you see it developing
- Leave or escape the confrontation if you can do so safely
- Create distance if you cannot escape and be prepared to fight
- Posturing is a no go
While I realize fear of one’s own safety can affect each one of us in a different way, I do not believe you should allow it to control your life.
Realize that your safety and survival in any active shooter situation rests on your shoulders. Do not walk through your daily life expecting that government officials are going to save you. In all likelihood the incident will be over before the first law enforcement official arrives.
So, what to do?
Accept the fact that you are responsible for yourself and your family’s safety to the extent possible. Any of us can be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Aside from following the guidelines listed above, let’s take your readiness to the next level. Consider the following for your daily every day carry and proactive training:
- Be armed and stay armed. This requires much training and dedication along with knowledge of self-defense laws in your state.
- Refuse to be a victim, if you cannot escape, be prepared to fight with anything and everything you’ve got. Mental tenacity is critical.
- Consider taking training on emergency medical procedures, especially blood stoppage, i.e., tourniquet use. Carry a tourniquet on your person daily.
- Visualize a threat scenario in your day-to-day environment and then visualize how you will prevail, survive, and win.
- There are reality-based training courses available through qualified trainers, take one.
- Good verbalization skills may help you get out of a life-threatening situation, but then again, they may not.
- Stay as fit as you possibly can.
- Do not find yourself in disbelief that the bad thing is happening to you, but rather, I knew this day might come and I am ready to respond accordingly.
- Bottom line, training and preparedness is the key.
For many years now my every day carry has consisted of the following:
- Concealed handgun
- A second pistol magazine when possible
- Compact flashlight (many uses aside from finding your way through the dark, i.e., signaling, blinding, striking, identifying threat)
- At least one blade
- Cell phone
Some say that sounds as if I am paranoid or fearful. I would suggest however that my approach is prepared and confident.
How you choose to walk through life every day is up to you, but I refuse to live in fear of being a victim of a mass shooting or any other criminal attack. Neither should you.