'Active Shooter' safety
Guidelines from Homeland Security
It's been a week since the mass shooting at an Aurora theater and it has left many wondering what they would do if caught in a similar situation.
It's hard to say what could have been avoided but Homeland Security has issued guidelines that could help future scenarios. The guide explains how to respond when an active shooter is in your vicinity. It offers steps one can follow to be as safe as possible.
The first step is to evacuate. The guide says to have an escape route and plan in mind, leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible.
Secondly, hide out. Hide in an area out of the active shooter's view. Also, block the entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
Finally, take action. If your life is in imminent danger, as a last resort, attempt to incapacitate the active shooter. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter to distract or disorient them.
Local defense trainer Linn Armstrong agrees.
"Some of the basic things they can do is that if everybody would have just started throwing stuff, other people would have followed suit. Two or three people know that they have to take this person down. Then as a group action, you're a lot safer."
Armstrong has worked with authorities and citizens to teach defense techniques for situations such as an active shooter.
"We could actually train middle school aged kids. It doesn't really matter the age as long as they got some maturity to them, that if an active actually came into a school room, how they could attack this individual and take him down with probably no or minimal amount of risk to themselves."
Armstrong says that the way people respond to this type of situation has changes a lot in recent year, especially since 9-11.
"The potential troublemaker becomes now the victim of a very angry and irate air crew and passengers."
And even law enforcement has seen significant changes in training.
"The officers on scene, they have to be real aggressive. They have to be right on top of the guy and take him out."
Locally, authorities are also reviewing the Homeland Security guidelines on active shooters as well as potential indicators of violence. More will probably come of that in the weeks to come.
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