Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Massacre Classes: Florida Giving Seminars on How to Survive an Active Shooter Event

by Nomad

With all possibility of sensible gun control reform seemingly out of the question, local police departments are providing residents free classes on how to survive an active shooting scenario.

It's a reflection, some would say, on the pathetic state of gun control in the US.
Penny Dickerson of the Daytona Times reports that the local Daytona police department, in conjunction with the Volusia County-Daytona Beach National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black ClergyAlliance have begun holding free seminars.
The subject: how to increase your chances of survival when faced with an active shooter.

Under Threat
The president of the local chapter of the NAACP Cynthia Slater contacted Chitwood back in July following the Charleston Church Massacre. and discussed the idea  of a seminar for the churches and their staff  to discuss being more secure and preventing similar attacks. Churches, however, are not the only places under threat. 
After the success of the initial seminar,  the organizers decided to  open it up to the community with a discussions of what can be to survive in other public areas, like cinemas, schools and malls.
According to an FBI study last year,
Between 2000 and 2006, the study found, an average of 6.4 active-shooter incidents occurred annually. Between 2007 and 2013, the average more than doubled — to 16.4 such incidents each year.
The Florida seminars, hosted by Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood, include a viewing and discussion of a Homeland Security DVD aptly-entitled “Run, Hide, Fight.”

Here's an excerpt. You have been forewarned. The video is like watching a nightmare:

Most of the survival tips are pretty straightforward. Some of the information isn't really very helpful. For instance, according to the information provided, the profile of an active shooter is by no means clear. Between active shooters, there is "no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Chitwood explains that active shooter situations are unpredictable (yes, that's clear) and the situation can evolve quickly. In fact, shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes. This means that law enforcement usually have no opportunity to prevent a massacre. It is up to individuals to be prepared "both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation."
Ms. Slater said
“We as a people must learn to be proactive about issues, particularly with the rise of active shooters, Proactive means that we must be prepared in the event of a crisis.
Tips for Survival
But how can one ever prepare for being the target of massacre? The Homeland Security video offers some guiding advice and it is practical in the extreme.
  • The first thing you do is run. 
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone. 
  • Have a pre-planned escape route.
  • Try to encourage others to leave the area with you, but don't waste time if they refuse. 
  • If you can’t run, hide. Seek a place where there is good cover or concealment where you won’t be seen. Lock and barricade the doors to any office and don’t make a sound. Place your cell phone on vibrate. 
  • If you’ve got nothing else left and you’re faced with “kill or be killed,” use anything at your disposal, including a fire extinguisher or chair. Do anything you can to knock the shooter of his balance.
I could be wrong but a chair and a fire extinguisher against an AR-15, the auto-loading rifle (the kind Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook Elementary School) doesn't seem like a very fair fight.
That's where the National Rifle Association (NRA) steps in. 

Sane Shooters vs. Insane Shooters
The leadership of the NRA thinks it has a better idea: Arm yourself. Buy a weapon. Match firepower with firepower.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Or to put it another way, only sane shooting, the NRA claims, will beat insane shooting. (But then given some of the people you talk to nowadays, that sanity determination may not be as easy as it seems.)

The NRA claims that gun-free zones (even in schools) send a message to potential active shooters. These zones “tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

The only problem is the most obvious one. Is that really the kind of world we want for our children? Is that the kind of world that makes life worth living?
In that scenario, where everybody is armed to the teeth in the name of personal security, every cinema, every shopping mall, every workplace, every pre-school and every public square could suddenly turn into a re-enactment of the shootout at the OK Corral.
How are the police- let alone the people caught in the cross-fire- ever going to know who are the good guys and who are the dangerous maniacs? Should we give them different colored hats? It worked in cowboy films.

In that world it is far safer to never go out at all, to barricade yourself inside your home, to home-school your children, to build a wall around your property and to construct a private chapel in your basement. 
And then pray a lot that nobody ever knocks on your door.

Many people are not ok with that.