Monday, December 17, 2012

So What's the What's the What's the...Scenario?

I recently posted on about how I was tired of the bumper sticker-isms flying around.  I noted that none of the people bombarding the airwaves imploring people to "do something"  had articulated a "something" that would've prevented the recent massacre, and that I had nothing to offer, either.

I take that last part back...sort of. 

One thing you really can do -- and should do -- is take 5-10 minutes to talk with your co-workers about a ROC (Rehearsal on Contact) drill you can have ready in case of a Live Shooter scenario unfolding.  If you work in a government office place -- particularly one with easy street access -- this concept is particularly relevant.

I'll leave the details to you and the specifics of your situation but I can tell you that huddling up defenselessly in the corner is probably NOT your best option.  Based on pattern analysis, you can  surmise that there is almost always a single shooter in these scenarios.  Make that assumption part of your ROC drill. 

Do you work on the 1st or 2nd floor near a window?  If you do, I would HIGHLY recommend that you consider a window egress as your first and best option.  If you are sure the shooter is inside the building, crouching behind most objects is not going to provide you with adequate cover.

You might know that the quickest way to end a firefight is to return fire.  However, I will assume you are unarmed (and don't recommend you modify that posture).  Something you might not know is that an effective way to gird yourself against certain "out in the open" threats (i.e. snipers) is to constantly remain in motion.  A tenet of urban patrolling is just to never stay too still in any one place for too long -- you don't know if someone is drawing a bead.

If it's a "crazy guy with a rifle from an elevated vantage point" scenario, keep good cover if you have it; otherwise, RUN.  Don't lay down in the open.  Don't think an object like a regular automobile is going to stop a bullet.  If the shooter is inside the building, and you've successfully made it out, don't be a hero -- RUN.  Don't stop anytime soon.

If exiting is simply not a viable option, you should know that the Live Shooter is going to be most vulnerable during a magazine reload.  Of course, it's preferable to wait until police arrive, but if you are truly cornered, and it comes down to being a sitting duck or taking a chance, this is when you would do it, particularly if you have a size advantage.  (This is how many lives were saved in Springfield, OR in a high school cafeteria in 1998...wrestlers took the kid down...he begged them to shoot him...they didn't, but held him until police arrived).

The odds are strong that none of this will ever apply to any of us.  But the 5-10 minutes you take going over this basic ROC drill might give you some peace of mind..and if, God forbid, something like this did unfold, you would be far more confident if you had a plan to fall back on.  

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