The Edge Center Blog
Concepts, Ideas & Meditations of Master Vince Damiano
A mass killing event is any situation where an attacker or attackers are causing casualties. This could be an active shooter, where a firearm is used as a weapon indiscriminately or a person with a bladed instrument, a planted explosion or gas device and even a vehicle running into a crowd. There is no way to predict when or where this will happen and often there is no way to identify the event until it is well underway.
Sadly enough, any measures to restrict access to weapons will not stop this- criminals will always find an illegal means to get their hands on whatever they can to turn into a weapon. Law enforcement generally have little effect on the situation since the average response time to an active killer scene is 14 minutes and the average timeline of the event is 15. With that said there are ways for YOU to survive or avoid this type of event.
Put the survival odds in your favor-
When you get to a closed event, avoid parking near the entrance where you will get trapped by everyone fleeing. Park you vehicle in an area that if you had to make a hasty escape you can do it without getting bottle necked in the flow.
Once in a venue, count the exits. Start with the one that would be your most likely to use and work your way up. Make sure you include windows if it make sense. Position yourself in an area near the exit but not the main exit since everyone will be going there. Be sure to rehearse in your mind getting there and what you may encounter on your way.
While there, imagine you are in a funnel. with the entrance and other avenues of attack being the spout opening 45 degrees outward. Are you positioned inside the funnel (the kill zone) or in a blind spot?
Observe and absorb what is normal in the environment you are in. Is it normal to hear shouting, loud bangs, or see mass movement. This way when something outside the norm will alert you and you will be able to act on your plan without hesitation. What is the standard of clothing? if everyone is in shorts and tees, someone walking up heavily dressed should be a point of concern. Be aware of anything being an indicator to escalating an event. Your plan should be to get out before an event even starts.
Other considerations to take is to know where you have cover. Just to clarify- Cover is what you would use to stop a bullet, knife or vehicle and protect you. If it simply hides you, you are only concealed. If you're on the street, make sure you are walking on the side against traffic where yo can see the oncoming cars. Also use parked cars as a barrier since they will stop most vehicle from ramming past. Don loiter in large groups since this makes an easy target.
Once the killing starts-
You have a split second window to act out your plan. Based on the event, environment and resources you have to act and not freeze.
Move out of the "Kill Zone". If you cannot hide- MOVE! If you stay put for too long you will get pinned down where you are, so move to an avenue of pre-planned escape or your next point of cover taking as many people with you that you can. If in the event that you don’t know where the killer is, find nearby cover until you can identify where the threat is then move accordingly.
If getting making an escape is not an option you either have to hide or fight? Getting out of the killers view should be your first option. Find a room, barricade the door and turn off the lights. This had proven very effective in a high school where a shooter was moving from room to room. a mass shooting is a very fast paced event- the shooter does not want to spend time kicking in a door and giving someone the chance to stop them. DO NOT simply get down and lie under a table or desk. This makes you a static target for a killer. In the 1999 Columbine shooting a teacher in the library told the students to get under the tables and it resulted in many of the deaths that day. Do you have to fight?
Don’t go out looking for the threat but defend your position. Use whatever you have at your disposal. Look at whatever you can throw, spray, shoot or hit with. A fire extinguisher make a great weapon to hit with or spray. A table leg makes a great bat. Don’t overlook coffee cups, staplers, boxes, backpacks, window cleaner or a handful of change- anything can be a weapon. Once you’ve started your attack- Be Violent and don’t stop until the killer is neutralized. When confronting an attacker, be swift- there may be more than one and you don't want to become a target.
Now- There are Heroes in this world that are looking for their chance to save the world. It is very important to take a "tactical pause" and consider what will happen. If you are going to help the wounded, make sure that you are not going to make yourself a target while doing it. You can't help anyone if you become a casualty. Also, do not rush in immediately after an attack. There are often secondary attacks waiting just to kill first responders and double the casualty count.
Things to do-
Things to avoid-