The shooting that occurred in Orlando, Florida, has been on my mind ever since I heard about it yesterday. It clarified some thoughts that have been going through my mind for some time now. First, let me express my condolences to the families of the victims, I feel for them.
In this book about surviving a mass shooting incident, the author goes into great detail, but here, I’d like to give my own thoughts.
Now, what I have to say next may make some people upset with me, but these are the thoughts that have been going through my mind. First, the government programs teach that if you are caught in an active shooter situation you should run, hide, or fight in that order. I personally have some reservations about this. I think that this is the correct tactic for women and children and men who are too far away to confront the shooter directly, but for men who are within a reasonable distance of the shooter, it should be fight.
In the Orlando shooting, we read about victims who texted messages as the shooter approached them. They would have stood a lot better chance if they would have thrown the phone at him and charged. Any type of self-defense — and perhaps, some did.
With the number of rounds he fired, he had to have done several reloads. Now, I am 72 years old, and I’m pretty sure I could travel approximately 20 feet during the time it takes to reload an AR15. Another consideration that factors in is that regardless of how well trained an individual is, an AR15 is not a magic weapon. It only fires in one direction at a time and only one round for each pull of the trigger.
My feelings for some time is that if I am involved in an active shooting situation and am within a reasonable distance of the shooter, I will attack. Now being a bit of a realist, even though this is my plan, I don’t know if I would have the courage to actually do it until I am faced with the situation. No one knows something like that for sure. But I know that if I get the thought in my mind ahead of time and make the decision to act, I will be more likely to do it if I’m ever in that situation.
Let’s discuss what happens if you charge the shooter. First, there is a good chance others may join you. People react to a leader. If the shooter has to deal with you, it buys time for others to flee. If you are shot, but if the suspect goes down as a result of several people charging, you will get medical help much sooner. You won’t lie there for three hours, slowly bleeding to death. I believe that fighting back will reduce the death toll in most situations.
in the Orlando shooting, there were victims who didn’t die immediately of their gunshot wounds but, rather, bled out during the time it took for law enforcement to make their move.
I hope that if I am ever in such a situation, I have the courage to die on my feet fighting, rather than hiding in a bathroom.
UPDATE FROM NOAH: For a perspective from a law enforcement officer, read this.