Last night on the Outdoor Channel, they aired a special episode of ″The Best Defense″ on what to do during a mass casualties type of event. Specifically, an event involving an ′active shooter′ scenario. Two men and one woman geared up with suicide-bomb vests, body armor, BDUs and various ′assault′ style weaponry. They attacked a public auditorium which was hosting some sort of speaking event. The terrorists first locked several fire exits with chains and locks they brought themselves. Then, entered the auditorium and took firing positions around the seated audience. Meanwhile, several experts ′off site′ discussed what to do if you were part of that audience. Some points made may surprise you.
First point made is that we now live in a world where terrorism exists, not just in some far off land or a big city, but anywhere. People need to be vigilant and develop ′situational awareness′ skills. As the shooters were taking their positions, one gentleman happened to notice the three characters in their BDUs. This made him nervous and he promptly left the auditorium well before any shooting started. Good move on his part.
Once the shooting started, your first action as recommended by the experts is to get down and take cover. Only pop up long enough to see who is shooting and where they are, as well as where the exits are. If you think you can get away, then do so. Otherwise, you only other option is to defend yourself, even if it means going into attack mode. Obviously, if a shooter is some distance away from you with a firearm, and you have none yourself, then attacking is not a good option. But if the shooter is very close, within an arm′s reach, then you have an opportunity to grab the weapon away from the terrorist. Getting some training in hand-to-hand combat, including a ′take-away′ move or two, should be on your list of things to do to protect yourself.
Here is an important point raised by the program′s experts. If you own a pistol and have gone through the usual training for having a concealed carry permit, you may be at a disadvantage. Most CCP training deals with stopping attackers in parking lots or those in a home invasion scenario. This usually means that your instructor will train you to aim for the opponent′s ′Center of Mass′, the chest, upper abdomen. The biggest, widest target presented before you.
But in the active shooter or terrorist scenario, this could get you killed. The availability of body armor means that you need to train for taking the head shot. This may come in handy as well during a Zombie Apocalypse scenario, too! The experts suggest that you start off training at aiming for the head at a distance of just five feet. Once you become proficient in drawing and aiming your weapon and hitting the head consistently at that distance, you then begin training at longer distances, adding a few feet at each phase in your training. When facing a terrorist, especially one who may be packing a bomb vest, you NEED to put your target down quickly and for good. A ′double-tap′ to the forehead is your best bet to achieve that end.
Due to police tactics in responding to active shooter events, about half of casualties with extremity wounds die from bleeding out. Odds are, unless you are a kook like me, you probably aren′t walking around with a tactical ′blow-out′ kit with you all the time. Such medical kits have everything you need for treating serious combat wounds, including abdominal pads and tourniquets. Police will not allow an EMT to enter an area where an active shooter may be lurking until they are certain the area is safe. So you need to deal with any wounds yourself. By simply applying pressure to a wound with your hand, or improvising a tourniquet with a belt or scarf, you might be able to buy yourself enough time until professional help arrives. Remember that you need to place a tourniquet at least three inches above the wound towards the torso in order for it to be effective.
Now, the experts on the Outdoor Channel program, ″The Best Defense″, admit that your odds of being in a mass casualties scenario are very remote. You probably have a better chance of being hit by lightning, or winning a big lottery jackpot. But, every week, people get hit by lightning or win a lottery. The sad truth is that this is the world we now live in. A terrorist can strike at any time, anywhere. Even in a ′two-horse′ town. Training or drilling for such events should be part of your life. Just as you had fire drills in school as a child. You never know when a terrorist or some disgruntled employee or ex-lover is going to spoil your day. Pay attention to what is happening around you at all times. Be prepared and be ready to react properly in what ever circumstance you might face.
For more news and views, follow Andrew Zarowny on Facebook, or on Twitter @mrcapitalist.