Personal Safety in an active shooter situation

15 12 2012

The horrific act that occurred in CT elementary school was a nightmare that has scarred many involved, if not all involved. This is another case of someone with a firearm (illegally at that) taking advantage of individuals who could not have possibly been armed. Had these teachers had the opportunity and training on how to respond in an active shooter situation, some may have survived this event.

An active shooter situation is when a person with a gun, who is shooting that gun at others, in the vicinity. That is an active shooter. It does not matter if the shooter is targeting one person in particular or a group of people, the person is dangerous to all around.

I have been seeing a lot of traffic going back and forth from some saying “we need stricter gun control laws” and “this is why we need to get rid of guns”. Hmmmmm lets look at that shall we?

If we were to get rid of all of the guns that are legally owned, then the only guns around would be the illegally owned guns by the criminals. Then, we would all have to rely on law enforcement to protect us. How many officers live in your area? How many follow you around on a daily basis? None? Well then, how are the officers going to protect you if they are not right next to you, watching out for danger? Thats right, they will not be able to.

Anyone with a clean record can buy a gun, yet not everyone is good. There is evil in this world and always has been. This evil will always remain and it is up to the honest, law abiding gun owner to continue owning/carrying that gun safely as they have done. The news very rarely tells you about the firearm owner that saved his family from attackers, or the woman that shoots a rapist or the elderly person that shoots an intruder that assaulted them. Why? You tell me.

It seems that there are those in high government offices that believe that firearm laws should be stricter and become harder and harder to legally own. Right now it is assault rifles, next will be semi-automatic pistols and then revolvers and finally shotguns. By why stop there, knives are next, crossbows, bows, arrows, forks, spoons, chopsticks, etc. are going to be banned. Why? Because someone, somewhere will call those weapons. What kind of government is that? That is not a constitutional government.

Back to personal safety and the victims of the school shooting in CT: If the teachers had been properly trained and practice that training once a week, they may have been prepared to act immediately. Everyone had to have been scared, which would be absolutely normal, but many of them (reports have said) acted quickly to save the children, which is awesome. Unfortunately some of those teachers died because of it. That is sad.

Active training means investing the time and energy into creating different scenarios for these schools to practice in order to fine tune reaction times and objectives. By watching a video every 6 months or reading a PDF notice on safety, no one is going to be prepared for an active shooter situation. What about the students, although very young, these poor children would not know what to do other than possibly hide (once they figure out what is happening-then it could be too late). If these children were forced to practice, once a week, different dangerous situations, their reactions could have been programmed into them in order to save some more lives.

Would have, could have, etc. I know, I know, it is in the past but I doubt anyone will forget about this for a very long time. I bet few people out there right now remember the church shooting on the sunday school students in that rural community. I bet the families involved still remember that nightmare.

I created a course specifically for teachers and personal protection and ememergency perparedness and sent out a proposal to all of the schools in the state of VA. I received one response and that response was “we are good, our security department will take care of any threats that come around”. Amazing. Another case of “we dont need any personal protection training because nothing ever happens here”. Yet, people will scream and yell and stomp their feet about “why cant we get more help” and “this should never have happened” etc. Now they would want training. Why does society want to wait until they are the victim before they try to seek out the education to keep them safe?

I offer free personal protection seminars, I offer free safety training on saturday mornings and guess how many showed up? None. I offer the location, student guides and training for free and no one shows up because they are too busy and “we live in a good neighborhood” and “nothing bad ever happens in our areas”. Once a victim, forever a victim. This is a fact. There are many, FREE, steps that can be taken by EVERYONE to gain education to remain safe and avoid having a home invasion, assault, burglary etc. happen to them but no one is taking those steps. Why? I have not a clue…… and I am saddened at that.

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Holday Safety 2012

12 12 2012

Holiday Safety: To all, because of the holidays, awareness tends to diminish because of the focus being presents, shopping, screaming kids and insane traffic. Because of this, threats tend to increase their “business”. Threats know that if they can corner a mom and her children by a vehicle, that that mother will quickly give up her purse, money, gifts/items to keep the children safe. Threats will prey on this type quickly.

Because threats are looking for anyone that seems like an easy “mark” it is important to remain aware and take certain steps to ensure your safety (and the safety of your children):

Tips:
-Park under a light. Even if you are only “going to be a minute” or “will be out of the store before it gets dark” sometimes we lose track of time.
-Back into a parking spot: this will allow you to leave quickly if needed.
-Get RFID sleeves for your credit cards to ensure you do not get the information stolen by someone with a remote scanner (I just had mine stolen two weeks ago, thankfully the bank blocked a transaction in Florida).
-Be aware of the surrounding area of your vehicle when approaching.
*If there seems to be a shady character in the vehicle next to yours, walk past your vehicle and circle back to the store. Once in the store, ask security or the manager to escort you to the vehicle.
* Enter the vehicle from the passenger side
* Look for anyone hiding underneath vehicles next to yours. If you walk down the opposite side of the parking lane, you would be able to see underneath the vehicles on the side where you parked easier.
*Keep your car key in your “weak” hand to keep your strong hand open for protection, if needed
*Always check the backseat before entering the vehicle
*When entering the vehicle, get in, lock door, start car, place in gear and then worry about the seatbelts, cell phone, etc. If a threat were to try and attack, you would be able to escape quickly.
-If you feel you are being followed in a store:
*Verify your suspicion by walking to a section where that person probably would not go to (example: If you are a female and a male is following you and you notice this while in the shoe department, go to the women’s underwear section, then to make up aisle. The odds that that person is shopping for the exact same thing as you is slim to none).
*Walk towards an employee and inform them that you are being followed and that you need them to contact the manager and security and have them verify it on their video system.
*Keep from allowing yourself to wander into remote areas of the store while the manager/security are checking their footage
*Have the manager hold the “stalker” away from any of the windows while you and your children escape out of the store long enough to drive away without the threat seeing your license plate or make/model of your vehicle.
*If the threat were to get too close or you feel they are dangerous, point at them and start screaming. If it was coincidence that they were following you, they will probably leave quickly. If they are a threat, others will be able to see the threat as well which will give you more witnesses.

There are many evil people that exist and the last thing any of us need is to have our loved ones experience a traumatic experience during the holidays, especially one that will affect their life in such a way that will make them scared wherever they go for the rest of their lives.

By increasing your awareness and knowing that it is okay to point at someone that is approaching you in a menacing way and screaming as loud as you can to gain attention, you can more likely avoid a threat or threatening encounter.

If a threat is approaching you in a menacing way, keep your car key at the ready and get ready to strike soft tissue. Groin strikes are “exit makers” and if you do not have that distance, use your strong hand and squeeze the “coal couple” to make a pair of diamonds!

Soft tissue areas for quick escape:
-Eyes
-Inside the ears
-Nose/cheek area
-Neck
-Underneath the chin
-Behind the ear
-Sternun/center chest

If grabbed:
-Reach back, groin squeeze
-Shin scrape as hard as you can
-Foot stomp
-Rear-headbutt into their nose
-Collapse towards the ground (dead weight)

Remember: action will always beat reaction. If you feel that your life is in danger, it probably is and you literally have the rest of your life to fight! Be safe all!