We don’t want to get into the argument over whether more or fewer armed people contribute to or detract from a bad situation. However, experts state that if you’re armed, do the same as they suggest for anyone else. Engaging an assailant must be a last resort unless you’re trained to deal with these sorts of situations.
Even then, your first responsibility should be to get the public out of harm’s way before dealing with the threat at hand. Your best bet would be the secure the safety of yourself and as many other folks as you can.
Some folks have their own weapons but you can’t ignore the advantages of tactical knowledge, strategy, training, and experience. Escape must be the main goal for everyone who does not have the traits listed above.
When the police arrive, be sure your hands are clearly visible and offer them as much information as you can. If you have a concealed carry permit, be aware that the police won’t have any idea who the bad guy is, so be prepared to drop your weapon or be mistaken for the gunman. Let them know immediately that you have a permit to carry and let them frisk you if necessary.
Experts say that if you do take action, you must remember that when law enforcement or the police arrive on the scene, their main concern is to secure the area and either incapacitate or arrest the assailant(s). They’ll be looking for anyone who’s armed, and based on the seriousness of the situation, they might or might not give you the benefit of the doubt. Even a moment’s hesitation dropping your own weapon could be a very bad day for you.
You might think that contacting the authorities is the first thing you must attempt to do. It’s not. As mentioned, the first thing you must do is secure your safety and then you call the police. You don’t want to put attention to yourself by dialing 911 if you’re hiding and waiting for the danger to be gone.
Also, you won’t be able to offer any helpful information if you’re running from danger and panicking at the same time. If your safe spot has an exit, like a window to the outdoors, use it. Be sure that it’s safe for you to talk, put your phone on silent, dial 911, and speak as softly as possible.
The same applies to helping others. While you should definitely help other folks to safety when you can, once you’re in a safe area, nobody should leave. You must be highly wary of anyone trying to get access to your safe area before the danger is over.
Shooters, for instance, often want to rack up a high body count as quickly as possible. Opening the door to your safe space may give them a chance they wouldn’t have otherwise.
When police do come, stay where it’s safe and remain quiet. Remember that their aim is to offer security and to make an unsafe situation safe again not just for you, who might be stuck inside, but for others, such as EMTs and firefighters who are there to attend to people who may be injured or need evacuation. If you see or hear the police, don’t go running out from your safe spot until ordered to do so. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean the area is safe.
There’s safety in numbers. If you’re truly stuck in a horrible situation, your best bet is to defend your safe space if possible. Coordinate your defense and try to keep everyone alert and calm. Whatever you do, don’t come out from your safe space until the danger is over and safety comes to find you, not the other way around.
Fight for Your Life
Also, if getting away from danger or getting to a safe space aren’t options for you, you might have to fight for your life. It must be an absolute last resort. Remember, violence like stabbings or shootings are terrifying, full of panic, frightened people, and disorganized. The threat might not be clear. You might have no way to fight back since you have no idea who or what you’re up against. Worst of all, there’s no way for you to correctly gauge the threat unless you’ve been trained to do so.
If you’re in a safe space that’s no longer safe or you have some protection in numbers, try to coordinate with others to safeguard the group. You hear about this all the time when passengers on a plane come together to strap down a crazy passenger.
If you and others can do some sort of coordinated attack, that can help. Things like lamps and chairs make good weapons. Fight for your life!
Seize any opportunity
If the attacker’s gun needs to be reloaded or jams, use this moment to either run away or at him.
In short, your safety and the safety of others is vital. If you can secure it without being directly involved, do so. If that safety isn’t an option or a chance to defuse the situation presents itself and you’re in the mindset and position to take it, do so as a last resort.