Surviving Active Shooter and Terrorist Attacks Part 1
- Surviving Active Shooter and Terrorist Attacks Part 2
- Surviving Active Shooter and Terrorist Attacks: The Tactical Use of Lights
Moving targets are harder to shoot than stationary targets!
Smaller targets are harder to shoot than the large target!
When I ask my students what is the most important thing they must do in a hostile incident, most reply that they should simply shoot the bad guys, get access to their weapons, shoot for the head, carry a big gun and so on. The answer I am looking for is not to get shot by the terrorists!
You should first of all work out a plan of action that you will take in the case of an active shooter or terrorist attack. Do this for your home, business and for when you are out and about in public. Things that need to be considered are means communication, safe areas, when to fight and when to flee and so forth. Planning is what sorts the professionals from the amateurs, if you plan how to deal with a hostile situation if it happens, you’ll know what to and how to react to it and not be confused and panic!
Plan your reaction to being shot at!
As I just mentioned, you NEED to put together a plan of action on how you will react to a shooting or a hostile incident. Over the years I have spoken to many security contractors, police and former non-British military personnel and find it amazing that when talking about their reaction fire drills most just say they would draw their weapon, if they have one and return fire… That’s ok if you have a gun or are on a gun range but you need to take a few other things into consideration if someone is shooting at you!
This is an adaptation of the British Army individual reaction to fire drill. Some of this may apply to you and some might not- use this as a basic format. If you are serious about your security, you must put together a plan that is specifically designed for your personal situation and then practice it until it is second nature.
- Preparation: If you have a gun it must be clean, serviceable and well-oiled. Ammunition must be of good quality, clean and your magazines full. You must be properly trained and ready to deal with the incident.
- Reacting to fire: The immediate reaction at close quarters is to identify the threat, move to cover as you are deploying your weapon, if you have one and returning fire. If you are being shot at from a distance or do not know where the shots are coming from, you should:
- Dash- a moving target is harder to hit than a stationary target.
- Down- keep low and present a smaller target.
- Cover- Get into cover from fire.
- Locate- Observe where the threat is.
- Return fire- if you have a firearm.
- Winning the fire-fight, if you have a firearm: As soon as the threat has been firmly located, you must bring down sufficient accurate fire on the terrorist to incapacitate them or force them into cover so you can extract yourself from the situation.
- Re-organizing: As soon as you have incapacitated the terrorist or are in a safe area, you must reorganize yourself as quickly as possible in order to be ready for other possible threats. You need to re-load your firearm if you have one, make sure that you or anyone with you is not injured and inform law enforcement and emergency services immediately.
The tactical basics
Moving targets are harder to shoot than stationary targets. Its a fact, it’s harder to shoot a target that is moving than one that is stationary. So, if someone is shooting at you, do not stand still, run. Smaller targets are harder to shoot than large targets! If there is no cover for you, make yourself a smaller target and drop to a kneeling position. I do not recommend prone position, as it takes to much time for most people to stand up. From a kneeling position, you can quickly run and get to cover.
Use of cover
This is a very important and basic subject! In your home, business or when you are walking around, you should always be looking out for positions that you could use for cover in the event of a shooting incident. There are two types of cover: 1.) Cover from view 2.) Cover from fire (bullets and shrapnel), you always want to locate the latter. You also may want to consider which type of rounds the cover will stop. A table might be able to stop a .32 fired from a handgun, but a 7.62X39mm fired from an AK-47 would go through both the table and you. Also consider will you want to be able to shoot through the cover, such as at a criminal in your house through dry wall etc.
Cover from view includes:
- Cardboard boxes and empty rubbish bins
- Thin walls and fences
- Thin tabletops
Cover from fire (depending on the firearm used):
- Thick tabletops
- Heavy furniture
- Stone and concrete walls
- Dead ground
- Thick trees
- Various areas of a car
- Curb stones
One of the best-publicized examples of good use of cover happened in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 26, 1996. At 4:25 pm, two mafia gunmen in long coats entered a fashionable café. Under their coats, each man had a AKS-74. They were there to kill an opposing mafia boss, who was in the cafe with his two off duty police bodyguards. The mafia gunmen fired 60 rounds at close quarters from the AKS-74s and killed both the police bodyguards. The criminal boss tipped over a thick marble table he was sitting at and hid behind it; although wounded he was well enough to walk out the cafe making phone calls, after the gunmen had escaped. A Scottish lawyer was killed; he was just sitting drinking coffee in the café when he was hit by three stray bullets. The attack took about 40 seconds from the gunmen entering to leaving the café. The Scottish lawyer was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When you get into cover, you should always try to have an escape route and try not to get pinned down. When using cover as a shield, always keep low and fire or look around cover- not over it. When you are in cover and need to move, first select the next piece of cover that you will move to and move fast and keep low. Keep the distances between cover positions short. When you get behind the cover, assess your situation, where the threat is, etc. Keep moving this way until you are out of danger.
- Always looking for and make maximum use of available cover and concealment.
- Avoid firing or looking over cover; when possible, fire or look around it.
- Avoid silhouetting yourself against light-colored buildings, backgrounds and lights.
- Always carefully select a new piece of cover before leaving the cover your in.
- Make sure you always have an escape route planned.
- Avoid setting patterns in your movement, for example, shooting or looking from the same position at the same level.
- Keep exposure time to a minimum; don’t look over or around cover for an extended period of time.
- Always look up and behind you remember that positions which provide cover at ground level may not provide cover on higher floors.
Remember that Risks Incorporated provides a full range of tactical training courses for private citizens and government agencies, click here for more information. Also, for more information on tactical handguns training, personal security, counter kidnapping and terrorism check out my books, click here for more information.
- Surviving Active Shooter & Terrorist Attacks Part 2
- Surviving Active Shooter & Terrorist Attacks: The Tactical Use of Lights
I hope the information has been of use to you. Please remember this is basic information, if you have any questions then please feel free to contact me.
International Defense Strategies LLC
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“Stay low and keep moving”