Mass Shooting Defense

As we move into the holiday season, social events will start to increase, along with personal stresses for many individuals. If you combine these two elements, you get the formula of possible mass shootings.

Many organizations along with government guidelines have adopted the “Run, Hide, Fight” model for how to defend yourself in these violent scenarios. However, instead of giving those basic terms, I thought I would dive deeper into each option, noting that you could choose one of these, but need to mutate to another option if circumstances demand it.

The first option is to run, such as simply escape the premise as quickly as possible. Depending on the venue, exiting may be more difficult than just walking out a door. Therefore, while in any building, know where the exits are. Ask yourself which ones might clog first, and find an alternate. Knowing which ones might sound an alarm if you need to exit is important if you need to exit without notice.

If you’re not an employee at the venue, think like one, and figure out where exits are which they may use for deliveries or employee only entrances. Realize however, if the employee is the shooter, they may know the ins and outs of the location as well. Finally, ask yourself if there are soft exits, such as walls which can be climbed or even windows that could be busted out if you need to find a creative way to exit.

Hiding might be easier if you work at the location, as you probably know the nooks and places people use to get a second for themselves, or escape prying eyes. Understand that the length of time you can stay in that hiding place is a factor. For example, can you stay safely hidden in an indent in a hallway or should you move to a more covered place like a closet. Decerning hiding places with multiple entries also should be taken into account if you don’t want to be pinned down to a specific spot. Lastly, if you do decide to hide, look for improvised weapons you can use if the attacker should find you.

Fighting may be a conscious choice or a forced action, but having family and friends around could motivate you to take action which you ordinarily not might have done. If you choose to engage, find a weapon. Bar stools, broom sticks, binders, kitchen knives or rolled up magazines all count. Be aware there could be multiple attackers, and plan on how you can always keep your head on a swivel. If and when law enforcement or other “helpers” show up, you need to clearly identify who you are and what your intentions are with proper postures and verbal communication of someone who is non aggressive. You need to make sure they know you are not the attacker.

Although these are not concerns we want to think about around the holidays, by reviewing these options and their details, tips and tricks, we can stay ahead of the game, make better decisions, and survive.

Sifu Matt Numrich

Sifu Matt Numrich is a martial artist and self-defense expert, renowned for his training in Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts.