Active shooter response is a challenging concept for many. In the first part of this series, I explained the first thing you should do is ESCAPE (run). In part two, I explained that if you could not escape safely, you should HIDE!
What if you can’t run and the active shooter has found you? You have to make a choice. Are you going to give up and potentially die, or are you going to fight for your life? When faced with this life-threatening situation, those are your choices. If you want to live, you are going to have to FIGHT!
When I say you will have to fight, I want to be clear. You must FIGHT as if your life depends on it because it does! Fighting for your life means doing whatever is necessary to win. There is no such thing as dirty fighting. This is not a sport. You face an active shooter, and their sole desire is to kill you and as many others as possible.
I recognize many people do not see themselves as fighters. However, I believe there is a fighter locked inside every single person. You have to find the key to release them. If you find yourself in a situation requiring that you fight, you must dedicate yourself to doing so. Fighting will require you to act with aggression and intent. Your goal is to win and save your life in the process.
Taking the fight to that active shooter may require you to use improvised weapons. You will have to consider what you have available to you. For example, you may be in an office space. Consider what is on or in the desk. Look for things like a letter opener or ink pen. You can use both of these as improvised-edged weapons.
Perhaps there is a fire extinguisher in the room or area. You can use the extinguisher potentially to blind the active shooter and as an impact weapon. You may even need to use a chair, a coffee mug, or some other means of defending yourself.
Perhaps you were lucky enough to hide with others. If so, band together and act as a team. Work together to incapacitate the active shooter.
No matter how many of you there are or what you decide to use, you must act with intent. That is to say; you have to act with the intent to seriously hurt or kill the active shooter. You have to be willing to seriously injure or kill another person. Taking that kind of action is something you must consider and accept before facing such a situation.
Remember, fighting is always a last resort. You do not want to do these things, but you must be willing to do so. You can stay safe, and you must refuse to be a victim.
When you decide to FIGHT, I want you to strike first, strike hard, and be final!