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Everything You Think You Know About an Active Shooter Situation Is Wrong

I have just completed the ALICE training course on dealing with an active shooter situation. If your business has not gone through this, you need to get them on board. Immediately. This is simply some of the best training I have ever been through. And it does not involve using firearms at all.

We have all heard about the tragedies at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, where active shooters massacred people. Sadly, this sort of thing is probably not going away any time soon. How should people caught in this situation respond? Not everyone is going to carry a gun. I am a concealed carry weapons instructor and strongly support the Second Amendment, but let's face it, many people simply are not going to carry, and many should NOT carry a firearm.

Very, very few people will dedicate the necessary amount of time and training to be able to shoot an attacker without accidentally shooting innocent people. And even if you are armed and trained, it would be incredibly difficult to react fast enough to track down the killer and eliminate the threat. There is training, however, that uses our natural God-given abilities that even children can use — ALICE training.

"ALICE" is the acronym for a series of responses: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. You do not need to perform all of these responses, nor do you need to perform them in the order spelled out in the acronym. You do whatever your situation demands at the moment.

But before we get into the responses, take a look at the perpetrators in many or most of these tragedies. Usually, there is one shooter (quite often deranged, too), not very well trained in firearms. The individual is using (in many cases) a handgun. A pistol is much less accurate than a rifle. And what does the shooter often do when the police show up? He shoots himself or gives up. He is shooting unarmed people who are not fighting back... so the perp is generally not the most courageous person on the block.

What if everyone just scattered at the first shot? Do you know how incredibly difficult it is to shoot a moving target? I don't want predictability. I want chaos and movement. It's pretty hard to hit numerous targets all chaotically scattering at once. Here is a video of a man with a .38 caliber revolver shooting at another man — six times — and missing!

Lesson learned: MOVE! The perp was a lousy shot. Keep moving and you will increase your chances of survival. And if you run away, you will become a smaller target. The worst thing to do is stand still.