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Old October 4, 2011, 08:44 PM   #1
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Active Shooter: Get Down! (or not?)

After reading about several different active shooters in public places, I was wondering how far 'down' do you want get?

If you get too low (prone), I have to believe you're a sitting (lying) duck.
If you squat, you may have less total surface area exposed to the weapon, but can't move as easily as someone standing.
If you move out of the way, turn sideways, or seek cover, are you drawing attention by your movement?

Has anyone disected who lives and who dies as far as the defensive positions they may have taken?
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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It depends on the situation and what cover is available. It also depends on the distance from the shooter. There are so many variables it's hard to cover everything. But if I were in an auditorium or something when a shooter opened up and I had no cover, and he was within 10 meters of me, my instinct would be to crouch but move bent over - in the opposite direction of how he is facing and at a roughly 45 angle away from him.
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Old October 4, 2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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If I was in an auditorium I would probably go prone and crawl along whatever aisle I was on to get the the edge. Then run bent over to nearest exit.
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Old October 4, 2011, 10:50 PM   #4
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I have posted threads previously on unarmed reactions of playing dead and tackling active shooters. They are but two options in a myriad of options available to you. If you look carefully, you will find all sorts of strategies that will work in given circumstances, fail in others. For example, playing dead seems to work best in circumstances where the shooter is fluid, not trapped or confined, in a place where there are only a limited number of potential targets. For example, if you are locked/trapped in a room with an active shooter, playing dead may not be your best option, especially if the shooter becomes frustrated and opts to start reshooting people like Cho did. In other situations where the shooter is on the move, playing dead is an option whereby the shooter has assessed you and is opting to move on to more targets instead of wasting time on those already perceived as dead.

The benefit of going prone most of the time is to ge you immediately out of the line of fire which tends to be elevated well above ground level most of the time. Going prone should not be considered as a permanent solution to the situation, but as a move to preserve your life until which time another option, hopefully a better option comes available to you.

When you look at the survivor accounts, you will find folks often used multiple methods to evade and escape harm such as first going prone, then scrambling for cover, then determining what is a viable exit and scrambling for the exit when the time is either right or desperate.
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Old October 5, 2011, 08:45 AM   #5
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There are so many variables it's hard to cover everything.

Exactly. That's why it's not always realistic to decide what you will do if it happens. An active shooter could be some loon coming into a coffee shop to kill his ex and her new boyfriend and then himself or it could be a Ft Hood-style mass murderer. Too many variables. You will need to make decisive judgments at the time.
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Old October 5, 2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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I seldom go places that one would normally expect trouble. When I go out for the occasional supper with the Grouch Attack, I always ask for a booth or if it's not that sort of place, a table near the bathroom, a hallway, or the kitchen. With idea that any of those areas might provide quick cover or egress. I make it a point to look at everyone who enters and peek at anyone making more than normal noise or loud talk. At convenience stores I make an effort to not stand in line to pay for my coffee, not turn my back to the door, and step aside if anyone crowds me from behind. I usually don't snap the lid tight on my coffee cup until reaching my vehicle in case I need to douche someone with the hot liquid.
Couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a C-store for gas and intended to get coffee. As I pulled out, the GA asked if I forgot I wanted coffee. I answered I could do w/o and pointed out a car with two late teens sitting beside the building. I'd noticed 3 others get out and go inside doing a lot of rubbernecking as they went as if they were checking the area. You recognize the "type" with cap on bassackwards, pants below the butt, tats on the arms, black jacket and pants(or I'm just paranoid). Probably didn't need the coffee anyway. We don't have too much of the armed robbery stuff around here but there's always the chance.
Anyway, I'm not going to "lay down" since that would put me in a disadvantageous position for escape unless caught in an open area with absolutely no reachable cover. I will lower my profile to cover behind a booth or car.
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Old October 18, 2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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What you decide to do is really dependent on your surroundings.

What areas of cover are there?
How many exits are there and can you safely get to one of them?
Is it well lit or dark?

Really too many to name. I think the best thing to do is wherever you are, you should always be sure where the exits are and run a quick idea through your mind about how you would get to them safely in an emergency. I always make a note of the illuminated EXIT signs in the movie theater I go to. I used to think about these things a lot quite a few years ago, but have realized I have become complacent in my actions and ultimately my safety. I have been trying to re-integrate these habits back into my daily actions as I have heard some stories around here that have had me thinking how that could have happened to me.

I really just have two words

Safety and Awareness
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Old October 19, 2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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I have had to go through some active shooter training at work. One thing that sticks in my mind is that ricochets were discussed and unbeknown to me, ricochets are said to remain close to the ground. I do not understand the physics behind this and only repeating that info.
Best COA's are:
remain unseen if possible
get out of the room/building
crouch behind something solid, crouching is better than prone as I had mentioned above.
barricade the door(s) if shooter is not in the room
prone position.
These are in no particular order as surroundings will vary as well as the fact that I may or may not carrying.
There is no substitute for being aware of your surroundings and ask yourself what you would do if. Just takes a second or two visualize.
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Old October 19, 2011, 07:41 PM   #9
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I say get down after you've unloaded your mag just long enough for a mag exchange then get back I'n action if you need to.
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Old October 20, 2011, 07:48 AM   #10
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As I was taught, you can't lose a fight you haven't been in.
Rule #1...Get Gone.
You really want to set a new world record for the 100 yard dash. Then, call in the Cavalry.
Failing this, get behind cover, and stay there. Whether you sit, stand, kneel, or go prone, depends on the cover you are behind.
Let the BG come to you. If he does, take him out. Be prepared to spend a long time explaining your actions to the Police.
Your mindset should always be to look for a way out. Failing that, defend your life any way you can.
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