I’m not going to pretend I’m any kind of expert in this particular area, because I never served in law-enforcement, but I was in a possible active-shooter situation one time, and after we were locked down it became painfully obvious we were pretty much defenseless. However, we had plenty of time to plan what to do if the shooter came to us, and I believe a lot of what
we came up with will work for most workplaces. Plus, there are other useful things
you can do to prepare in advance for a possible attack, many of which we found
ourselves wishing we had done beforehand, and these are all things anybody can
do. Best of all, most of them have no laws against them.

As it turned out the event I was in was a false alarm, but it still ended up being a valuable learning situation.

I suppose, before I get into what our solutions were, I should take a moment to briefly explain what happened. We were on Davis-Monthan AFB at the time, and the whole thing got started because
a woman saw a guy carrying a gun through the parking lot of the Base Exchange.
This part puzzles me. Seeing people with guns is hardly an oddity on the base,
and the Base Exchange actually sells guns, so I do not understand why she felt
a need to call the police. I also don’t know how it got blown into a
full-fledged active shooter situation with SWAT troops searching every building
– particularly not after I found out they talked to the woman and she specifically
told them the guy got in his car and drove away without firing a shot.

From where we were we didn’t know any of this yet, but we did have a TV, so we were able to watch some of what was going on as news helicopters flew nearby. This was a pretty big story on
the news for a few hours that day, but it immediately disappeared as a story worth
mentioning after the all-clear was given and there were no bodies to film. I
only mention that part because it was a real eye-opener to me. Unless innocent
people are killed you are not likely to ever hear about the incident afterwards,
and it makes me wonder how often a would-be attacker gets thwarted by people
prepared to take him on. I’m now convinced if any such events have ever occurred
they weren’t considered newsworthy enough to report. For my part, I’d just as
soon take out the bad guy and not become a news story, but I also can’t help
wishing word would get out to bad guys their chances of success are getting
smaller. The more people fight back, the less likely it is the bad guy will get
the notoriety he seeks.

For that whole day we were told it was a serious threat, but the only solution they had for handling the situation was to order us to stay put. Personally, I have never been comfortable with the
whole "Shelter in place" thing. You have a better chance of surviving by
running away than you do by hiding in the closet, especially if there are a lot
of you, and, even if it does make it harder on the police to figure out who the
bad guy is when everybody is running away, I don’t think it’s worth people’s
lives just to make the search easier for the cops. What, the only way the
police can figure out who the bad guy is because he’s the one who isn’t on
the ground bleeding?

Knowing this ‘solution’ left us completely vulnerable to any jerk who just wanted to walk in and start shooting easy targets, we began figuring out ways we could defend ourselves. The biggest
thing we had to come up with was how we could adequately fight back in a
situation where we had no real weapons and no way to acquire any. The building
was locked up and nobody was allowed to go outside, so, even if anybody had a
gun out in the car, there was no way to retrieve it. Let’s face it, running
back to the building with a gun while the police are searching for a shooter is
not a good idea.

Whatever, we only knew there was a search going on for a shooter, and we were led to believe people might have already been shot. Since we couldn’t go anywhere to get weapons we began to
search for things we could use inside the office. In our case we had a closet
with several cases of printer paper in it, so the first thing we realized was this
would make pretty good body armor. Now, understand, putting one ream of paper
under your shirt probably won’t help much, but putting two together, one on top
the other, is good enough to stop most bullets. If you have the time, tape them
together. Most people can easily fit four to eight reams of paper under their
shirts in this manner, and you can squeeze in more if you have a jacket to

Another thing we had were some partitions around desks which were old and wobbly. The partitions had large rocks around their feet to keep them from falling over, and these rocks were definitely hefty
enough to be used as weapons. We decided to keep a few of these rocks behind
the doors to our office. The front of the building had glass doors, so, even
though they were locked, we knew the shooter wouldn’t have much trouble
breaking into the building. However, there was no way he could do it without
making a bunch of noise, and that was actually to our advantage. It meant we’d
have plenty of advance warning to get ourselves positioned. Our simple plan was
just to hide behind our office doors and wait for him to come crashing in. As
soon as he moved through our office door enough to be seen we were going to crush his

This was a plan we fully expected to work because we had several women in the office with us. I hate to break it to you ladies out there, but you scream a lot. We knew the screams would start as
soon as he began breaking through the outer glass doors, and we were pretty
sure the screams would attract his interest. Our hope was he would be drawn to
quickly rush into our office, and then we’d be ready to clobber him as soon as
he ran through our doors.

We also knew, if he was a bit more cautious and wanted to look behind the door first, we’d still have an
advantage. If we were already holding the rock in position to immediately
strike, the appearance of his head as he took a peek would just be giving us a
target a little bit sooner. Fear does wonderful things for your reflexes and,
as long as we were more scared than he was, the odds were good our reflex to hit
would be faster than his reflex to dodge.

Another thing we realized, in these close-confines, was our rock was easier to put into
use than his gun. This meant he couldn’t effectively try to put his weapon
behind the door and blast away. We’d be able to see the gun long before he
could figure out exactly where we were, and we’d be able to do a wide variety
of things to counter his attempt. We could grab or move away from the weapon
(to the side or under it), and we could either smash his gun hand with the rock
or slam him with the door.

More importantly, this wasn’t going
to be a one person attack. There were other guys with rocks, and if he was
trying to deal with one person behind the door, he’d be open to attack from
another location. Therefore, somebody else would definitely get him. There is
still no doubt in my mind a real shooter would have ended up having the crap
beat out him to such a degree, if he didn’t end up crying afterwards, it would
only be because he was unconscious or dead.

I just want to say rocks are highly
effective weapons, and they don’t need to be as big as the ones we had.
Anything big enough to hurt, but small enough you can still forcefully throw it twenty feet, will get the job done. Rocks may seem primitive, but
they have been used as deadly weapons since the birth of mankind, and they
haven’t gotten any less lethal as our weapons have gotten more advanced. Truth is, the loss in their lethality over the ages has mostly been from our lack of skill. Even so, quantity can compensate for substandard ability. Simply
having several rocks being thrown as soon as he shows up in the doorway might
be enough to put him out of commission.

Additionally, there are no laws
against the concealed carry of rocks, so put a few good ones in your pockets
and bring them to work. You can load your desk with rocks, and you should
advise your co-workers to do the same. If you are in a school or event
situation, make sure you have rocks in your pockets, backpacks or purse. Carry
enough to hand to other folks. The more people throwing rocks, the more likely
he’s going to get knocked senseless.

Another thing to keep in mind is it’s
not enough just to throw rocks. You need to move in closer. In a situation
where you’ve heard the shots down the hall and you know he’s coming your way,
you need people standing in different locations ready to throw their rocks. As
soon as he’s burst in everybody needs to throw a few rocks as hard as they can, and then you need to immediately charge at him. Hopefully he’ll be injured or
distracted enough not to be able to effectively respond. The odds are very good
somebody will reach him in just a few seconds.

If the guy is still standing and
holding his weapon, and if you are the first one to reach him, what you want to
do, if possible, is to trap the weapon between one of your arms and your body. At
this point you aren’t trying to take the weapon away; you are only keeping his
arms occupied. He is going to be using both hands to try pulling his gun back,
so he won’t be able to fend off your attacks. Use your free hand to start
clobbering him, and, in the event you don’t have much upper body strength, hit
him with a rock or stab him with a pen or pencil. A sharp pencil can be very
effective against his face and throat, and since they are perfectly natural in
an office area, make a point of having a few on top your desk where they’ll be
easy to grab at all times.Yes, pencils do break easily, but you aren’t trying to permanently incapacitate him yet; you are only keeping him from shooting until other people can reach him.

Speaking of natural things to have around office areas, don’t forget hammers. I knew a guy a long time ago who liked to go to rough bars late at night, and he always carried a hammer on his person. A hammer is an incredibly useful weapon because one good hit will take away anybody’s will to fight. This is also something you could throw, and would even be a better choice than a rock because the way you throw a hammer is much more accurate, and it has a great deal more hitting power. The important thing is, even if you miss, you are keeping him off balance. Dodging keeps him from aiming, and that helps you to move in on him.

If anybody else gets to the bad guy
first, don’t stop charging at him. The more people who reach him and start
clobbering him the faster he will go down. Oh, and just because he falls down
for a bit, don’t stop pounding him. If you’ve ever seen those movies where the
serial killer finally gets beaten and is just left lying on the ground while
everybody is assuming he’s dead, it probably drove you nuts. The guy always
turns out not to be dead in the movies, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll
be any easier to stop in real life. Never assume he’s beaten! Kick him in the
face and kick him in the nuts, repeatedly,
and don’t stop until you are positive there’s no fight left in him.

I do not wish to advocate you should
do this, but I realize the overwhelming production of fear and anger in such situations can put unbearable stress upon the psyche, and sometimes people can’t stop themselves from going a bit berserk, so, if you felt compelled afterwards to take his gun and shoot him, just
to be completely sure he wouldn’t go back on the attack, you could probably get away with it. My mom was a deputy, so I know cops care more about what happens to innocent civilians than they do about what happens to murderous turds. All you have to say is he
kept coming at you, even after you took his gun away, and you should be fine.
Nonetheless, a little common sense is in order here. Whatever you do, don’t
shoot him in the back. If you have to, roll him over first. (Yeah, I know, these type remarks only cause liberals to lose their minds. They don’t understand dark humor, and they are easily outraged. I swear, there are times when you can actually hear their skulls starting to crack as their brains swell with indignation. Ain’t it fun?)

Things you also might want to have
available are Baseball Bats, Tasers, Pepper Spray, Stun-guns, and even Cattle Prods. This is where local laws may be a problem, but if they are legal in your locality you might want to get it officially
approved to put the ones you prefer in locations where people can gain access to them in an
emergency. After all, buildings tend to have several fire extinguishers in
them, despite the fact most buildings never have fires, so being prepared for
an active-shooter is just as sensible. For that matter, fire extinguishers make
useful weapons. The silver ones full of water probably won’t do much good if
you spray them, but they can still be used for clubbing. Just don’t try to hold
them over your head and swing them down; thrust them butt first directly at the
head, the knees or the testicles.

Another highly effective weapon to
have on hand, depending on the law, is "wrist-rocket" type sling-shots. These
are extremely powerful, and a few loaded with ball bearings will seriously
incapacitate him in very short order. The main thing, no matter what type
weapon you have, is to get as many people as possible to join in the attack. True,
it’s still possible some folks may get killed, but the number will be
substantially less when people fight back.

If you need guidance on fighting back you should turn to an unusual source. The Disney movie, A Bug’s Life, teaches everything you need to know. The grasshoppers were formidable and willing to use violence to get what they wanted, but they were massively outnumbered by the ants. By utilizing the weapons they had available, and preparing a plan of attack in advance, the ants were able to put their superior numbers to good use. People who find themselves in situations where the folks in charge are just leaving them defenseless should follow the example of the ants – make your own preparations, put your superior numbers to use, and don’t hesitate to act if the time comes. Oh, and don’t forget another lesson the makers of the movie probably didn’t realize they were teaching is you can’t depend on professionals alone to come save you. Sometimes what you get is a circus. The professionals might be of some assistance, but you still have to help yourself if you don’t want to become a victim.

Lastly, please don’t pay attention to
the people who only tell you to hide. Your odds of getting shot are much higher
when that’s all you do, and most things you can hide behind are useless.
I heard a guy recently tell people to hide behind copy machines. That won’t do
any good. They are mostly made of plastic and thin sheet metal, and they contain
pockets of nothing but air. There is no way any bullet will be stopped by the
copier. The shooter doesn’t even have to see you; all he needs is to suspect
somebody is back there and you are done for.

Just remember, the clowns telling
you all the great ways you can hide from a crazy person have no real fear they
will ever have to face this type situation themselves. Their confidence in your
ability to survive by following their silly advice has absolutely nothing at all to do
with how well they think they personally could survive in the same situation. If
they honestly thought they were vulnerable, I guarantee they would come up with
better ways to end the attack.

Bottom line, nobody you are counting on has as much interest in your life as you do, so the response you’ll receive in a crisis situation is likely to be too little, too late. You can’t afford to wait for help. Your best hope for survival is to fight back, and you need to wrap your head around that little reality as soon as possible. Above all else, put away any goofy notions you may have of being a pacifist. Pacifism is one of the great lies of humanity. It contributes nothing at all to the betterment of mankind, but it sure sounds good. However, if you studied it honestly, you’d quickly realize it’s sole purpose is to give cowards a noble way to say they don’t want to fight. Well, what good is that when the other guy is bound and determined to bring the fight to you anyway? Tell you what. If you seriously believe violence is never the answer, and it offends you to be thought of as a coward, why don’t you make sure to jump up and be one of the first to get shot?

Basically, if you don’t think you should ever fight back, even to save your life, you are saying you are worthless. Ah, hell, if that’s what you truly believe then the world just might be better off without you.

With that happy thought in mind, I say, as always, Life to America!

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