Would you engage an active shooter?

Would you engage an active shooter?

Welcome back to the 38th installment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact the opposite. I’m a new user to the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.

 

 

In light of recent tragic events, it has me pondering a simple question. If I come into contact with an active shooter, should I engage him or not? Notice how I said should I engage not “would” I engage. As far as that question is concerned I don’t know. My testosterone-fueled ego wants me to say yeah I would, but to be honest I have no idea. I have had no formal training and have never been in a combat situation before. I have no idea how I would handle that type of adrenaline.

 

So I made a pros vs. cons list to better help my mental thought process. The one pro of engaging an active shooter is the possibility of halting their progress and saving lives. This is obviously a HUGE pro and a very selfless act because of the potential for you to be killed in the process. It might also distract the shooter from other innocent bystanders and give the police the ample time they need to arrive on the scene. For some, this alone may be enough reason to engage a mass a shooter.

 

As far as cons are concerned, I had come up with many more than I had anticipated...

 

1. You don’t have an adequate firearm. What’s your concealed carry firearm? Most likely it’s some type of semi-automatic 9mm pistol. Not a great weapon for engaging someone at a distance. Under the assumption that the shooter has some type of semi-auto rifle, you would have to get really close to your target to effectively take them down.

 

2. Brings attention to you and your family. Under the assumption, you are with your family and you pursue the shooter, they will more than likely engage you back. It shouldn’t be a big shocker that people you shoot at will shoot back at you. I’m not saying this is the high road, but if your number one priority is the self-preservation of you and your family, this is most definitely a con.

 

3. Collateral damage. You might hit an innocent bystander. I think it’s necessary to talk about the possibility of hitting an innocent bystander when engaging an active shooter. It is always a possibility and yes it might be a necessary risk to save more lives, but you might have to live with injuring or far worse if you miss.

 

4. Police may confuse you as one of the shooters. There is always the possibility that another armed citizen or the first responding officers confuse you as one of the shooters. In that type of chaotic environment, anything can happen.

 

 

I’m sure I missed a bunch more cons as well as some pros to engaging an active shooter. Even with so many cons, my conscience is telling me that I would still put myself in harm's way to save other innocent Americans. I hope I never have to be in that situation but it’s always a possibility.

 

I have to ask. If you were put in that situation what would you do? Tell me below



3 Responses

Josh
Josh

November 13, 2017

I’ve thought through this myself and I’m in the same boat. I have no training in that area either and I have the same exact motto: “I would take the threat out”… but would I? Would I have enough courage to try and save others or would I hide while others are in harms way. I know what I want to say, but I’m not sure how I would react in the situation. I’ve heard in those situations that those who have the training fall back on it and it’s reactive at that point/muscle memory. For the rest of us, I’m not even sure where to start to enhance my awareness in that type of situation.

LJM
LJM

November 11, 2017

I work the government and I teach the Active Shooter Course to Local and State and Federal Agencies, if you unarmed three rules:
1. Run
2. Hide
3 .Fight for your life

If you decide to take action and want to save the lives of innocent people in a target rich environment as did by the hero’s in the Texas shooting a couple of things to remember.

If you eliminate the threat call 911 tell the dispatcher there been a shooting and the threat is down, give them your location and a description of yourself head to toe(clothing) so that responding officer have your description.

When officers arrive on scene put your weapon on the ground and obey all uniformed officers commands! nothing different then a plain cloths officer should do. If the shooter is mobile or in a known location advise dispatch with the same above information
Chuck
Chuck

November 10, 2017

We don’t have to worry about making that choice here in Canada because we are forbidden to carry a gun. Hell we can’t even take our guns out to shoot unless we go to a private range and on our way the handgun had better be double locked and totally out of site. Sorry but you’re on your own with this decision.

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