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Old September 28, 2013, 07:25 PM   #1
johnelmore
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"Lock Down" or make a run for it?

Conventional advice is to "lock down" when faced with an active shooter. Basically you buy time and hope for the police to arrive in time.

Why not simply make a run for it in the opposite direction? The shooter is going to be focused on targets closest to them and they probably will not give chase. You wont have a weapon or equipment and can probably run faster then the shooter who is weighed down probably with at least 20 lbs.

So would you make a run for it or lock the office door and barricade?
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Old September 28, 2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Assess and move. Being locked in a room means you are cornered and completely at the murderer's mercy.
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Old September 28, 2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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run hide fight
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Old September 28, 2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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You wont have a weapon or equipment and can probably run faster then the shooter who is weighed down probably with at least 20 lbs.
So your scenario puts you further from the active shooter and unarmed with a room to barricade in or an exit that doesn't take you toward the shooting?

I would run, and keep running until I crossed a border of a state that I could protect myself.

Back to serious, I would run.


Perfect scenario to remind people fortunate enough to be able to carry, it's like an American Express Card, Never leave home without it. If you carry %99 of the time and you left it this day it would be a shame.
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Old September 28, 2013, 09:16 PM   #5
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore
Conventional advice is to "lock down" when faced with an active shooter. ...

Why not simply make a run for it in the opposite direction?...
This is a question without an answer. There is no way to answer because everything depends on the exact situation and circumstances.

What if there is no exist in the opposite direction? Where exactly are there exists or escape routes? Does one direction offer superior cover or concealment to another? Are you alone? With a loved one? With one of more people for whom you have some responsibility?
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Old September 28, 2013, 09:24 PM   #6
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flank him and slit his throat from behind!!

But on a serious note I'd run like hell. Forget being cornered. I've been picked on as a kid and while I can fight someone bigger than myself w/o much worry a gun changes things. Some will just freeze up and get shot tho. Saying you'd do this or that is one thing, but until you actually have a gun in your face you wont know how you'll react.
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Old September 28, 2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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I'll 'lock down' by simply geting in a room with one door, turn off the lights, and wait WITH MY GUN IN MY HAND.

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Old September 28, 2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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How weighed down the shooter is is kind of irrelevant, since that implies he would be trying to chase you down. Instead if shooting you.

But, like others have said, there's really no cut and dry answer. Like many situations in life, sometimes it's best to back down and hide, sometimes you need to stand and fight--all depends on variables only known at that moment and location.

In an active shooter situation, if you are unarmed, it's probably ideal if you can safely remove yourself entirely. However, that's not always possible.

If you're armed, other options arise, but that doesn't seem to be the subject of this thread, since the OP said you wouldn't have a weapon.
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Old September 28, 2013, 11:52 PM   #9
teeroux
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You wont have a weapon or equipment and can probably run faster then the shooter who is weighed down probably with at least 20 lbs.
I've run down BGs wearing 30lbs. FYI
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Old September 29, 2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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I would run, and keep running until I crossed a border of a state that I could protect myself.

And the sooner you start, the bigger head start you'll have. If you leave now, you'll not have to worry about how fast you are compared to the shooter, or even if he'll give chase.
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Old September 29, 2013, 12:51 AM   #11
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If he's chasing me with a gun he'd better have good traction.
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Old September 29, 2013, 02:22 AM   #12
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I lean more in favor of the "make a run for it" camp than the "hide and pray" camp.
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Old September 29, 2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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This is a question without an answer. There is no way to answer because everything depends on the exact situation and circumstances.

What if there is no exist in the opposite direction? Where exactly are there exists or escape routes? Does one direction offer superior cover or concealment to another? Are you alone? With a loved one? With one of more people for whom you have some responsibility?
I don't want to put words in franks mouth but I believe what he is trying to point out is that your scenario lacks more framework and details. Scenarios are often perceived differently even when well framed. Personal views and perceptions are a beast in itself, when they are put into a scenario with little to no framework, don't expect polling type results. Even Polling results are often flawed.
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Old September 29, 2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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why not turn against him and make him run?

if three or four citizens take shots at him he will either get hit or run. unless youre carrying a mini gun with no reload as many prefer, if at all.

anybody ever notice how the criminal shooters in a mall or navy yard are walking about in the open, firing at random, rarely using cover?

this does not mean go after him, but holding a position and giving resistance can cause the criminal to go in the other direction. by all means, escape if you can since you will most likely be severely outgunned with your J frame or pf9 if not out skilled.

Last edited by JERRYS.; September 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM.
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Old September 29, 2013, 01:13 PM   #15
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Assuming the OP wants us all to apply it to our own situation, . . . the bad guy is probably in trouble at my place.

My "office" is not a gun free zone, . . . there is only one way in, . . . one way out, . . . I own the place, . . . I know the place, . . . I have multiple weapons, reloads, and an attitude about people like him/her.

No, . . . I'm not running, . . . but if the bad guy somehow survives the first exchange (very, very unlikely), . . . he most likely will be.

May God bless,
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Old September 29, 2013, 01:40 PM   #16
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Ditto to the several 'it all depends'. And like military plans, nothing goes as planned for either side.

If you work in the same building as or next to the SWAT team, hunkering down for 1 minute is probably the best option. They probably have a more certain shot through the windows than I would.

If you're Mano-a-Mano, it's probably rapidly engage-or-die.

If it's a disturbed person who demands to read his 25 page manifesto first while everyone listens, it might be worth waiting unless you've got a clean, clear shot.

If as the Israelies sometimes encounter, someone who says they won't negotiate, someone is likely to depart the world in the next few seconds if they're on-scene.

Finally, if the shooter also has a cellular trigger with a deadman switch (and that's not only in the movies) its a very tough call.

It all depends, and I can't imagine any handbook that could possibly classify paths to the best possible outcomes for every eventuality.
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Old September 29, 2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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Why not simply make a run for it in the opposite direction? The shooter is going to be focused on targets closest to them and they probably will not give chase. You wont have a weapon or equipment and can probably run faster then the shooter who is weighed down probably with at least 20 lbs.
So, you have determined already the number of shooters, their location, physical condition, and carrying capacity? Such omniscience of usually absent from such situations at the time of the situation.

Already, one of your assumptions about weight is definitely in error for many, if not most US active shooters. They are not carrying 20+ pounds of gear. Most are armed with a single pistol, some with a single rifle, and others with a single shotgun.

So you run. That can be good or bad. As noted, it really depends on the situation. At Luby's and Ft. Hood, it was reported that when the shooter saw movement, he would shoot at it. I agree that if you can increase your distance to the danger, you reduce the danger, but you must be able to do so without first increasing your risk to the danger. Distance is your friend, but not if attaining distance results in you getting killed. Distance is also relative. Roy Dell Schmidt was over 500 yards distant from Charles Whitman.

You can run, but can you outrun a bullet?

People, upon hearing gunfire inside of enclosed spaces, often confuse the direction. It happens outside as well. Are you sure you are running away?

Keep your options open. Underestimating the skills and capabilities of your opponent can get you killed.
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Old September 29, 2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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I'm a retired teacher so I'll approach this from a school safety perspective. Locking down a school is the best approach. If you are unlucky enough to be in the wrong place you may not have a chance, but you have to understand that this approach gives the most kids the best chance to get out alive.

Not all shootings are the same. The Jonesboro Arkansas shooters pulled a fire alarm to get kids outside the building before opening fire. As bad as Newtown was, it was limited to one classroom and the office. He wasn't able to get to any other kids. Can you imagine the carnage possible with 1 guy with a gun at the end of a long narrow hallway as hundreds of kids are making a run for it. Even worse 1 or more shooters at each end of the hall. Or snipers positioned outside to get those making a run for it.

About a year after Columbine our local SWAT team used our school to practice for a "Columbine" type event. Teachers and quite a few of our students participated on a Saturday. A neighboring county's SWAT team served as the terrorists. I, along with most of the teachers were taken hostage. Most of the kids got to be injured with realistic makeup and ambulance rides for local hospitals to practice as well.

The "terrorists" used the day to educate us teachers about possible scenarios as our SWAT team tried to rescue us. I won't discuss what I learned, but trust me, if someone who knows what they are doing a school massacre of huge proportions is possible. And they don't necessarily need to use guns.

There were 5 "terrorists" all dressed in camo military fatigues and boonie hats. At the end of the drill they changed into jeans and T-shirts and picked 5 of us to change into their fatigues. They duct taped pistols to our hands and told all of us to make a run for it. As the cops outside took down the guys in fatigues, the real terrorists ran into the command post, pulled out hidden guns and took out unsuspecting cops and EMT's.
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Old September 29, 2013, 04:04 PM   #19
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Jmr40
Excellent points. A few are pretty smart and have done their homework before the mayhem.
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Old September 29, 2013, 06:43 PM   #20
johnelmore
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It is difficult to hit a moving target and even more difficult to hit several moving targets running in different directions. I will give you a good example. Type into youtube "Syrian tank attacked as crew attempts to flee". Watch as the man exits the tank under heavy fire running out of the scene.

The average human sprints at 10 mph or about 15 feet per second. In 5 seconds its possible to be 75 feet away from the scene. Keep in mind it will take the shooter about a second or two to figure out whats going on. Then they have to raise, aim and fire. They will probably jerk the trigger trying frantically to hit the target and so aim is going to be way off. They may even start firing on the move and there is a greater chance of missing.

Each situation varies and the tactics use vary as well, but you have to make these decisions quickly...like within a few seconds of what you want to do. I would say a rapid evacuation the moment a threat has been perceived would be applicable in most situations. The Jonesboro incident was more of a purposeful ambush. When a fire alarm goes off you have to exit the building and there was no indication of an active shooter.

If you do decide to make a run for it, run fast and hard. Change direction looking for cover and if in a group everyone run in different directions.
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Old September 29, 2013, 07:55 PM   #21
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Well you have it all figured out. Good luck with counting on your shooter being so incapable and your ability to organize other panic-stricken victims. It is good to know that you understand the situation better than the person who chose the time and circumstance to start shooting.
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Old September 29, 2013, 07:58 PM   #22
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore
...In 5 seconds its possible to be 75 feet away from the scene. Keep in mind it will take the shooter about a second or two to figure out whats going on...
If the path is straight and clear and if there are no obstacles to contend with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore
...They will probably jerk the trigger...
How do you know? You have no idea what his skill level might be.
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Old September 29, 2013, 08:18 PM   #23
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I'd try to get away if enough time, but I'm too old, fat, and out of shape to do much running. Probably lock down and find a good defensive position if possible.
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Old September 29, 2013, 08:47 PM   #24
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Jonesboro Arkansas came to my mind too. I deal with schools a lot, they want definitive answers. If this-then that. It doesn't work that way. The best answer for one scenario will get you killed if something is a little different.

Had the kids in columbines cafateria thrown chairs through the windows and ran, there would have been less targets. Unless the bad guys had planted a gasoline bomb outside the cafeteria.

The advise I gave my kids was: If you hear a shot or two at the other end of the school, go into lock down. If it sounds like a war, make sure your backpack is full of books, throw it over your back and put as much distance as you can between you and the school.

And...that's just a guess too.
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Old September 29, 2013, 09:48 PM   #25
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If you hear gunshots in a building, how do you know where the shooter is? You might accidentally run toward his direction. If I knew his exact location I would run, if not I would hide.
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