Only moments ago, I wrote an article about the Nashville school shootings and what we know so far from police surveillance and reports. It prompted a question: what is the protocol for victims in active shooting scenarios? According to an FBI guideline, you should run, hide, or fight as a last resort. However, security experts say this Run, Hide, Fight (RHF) tactic is outdated.
Ok, so let’s discuss what the RHF protocol is. Basically, if there’s an active shooter, the FBI says the first thing you should do is run. Once you’re in the clear, you need to hide. If the shooter finds you, you need to fight for your life.
A few months ago, a CNN National Security Analyst wrote how this tactic isn’t working anymore. By the time you run, you’re probably shot down already. Hiding is just a delay until the shooter finds you, which isn’t ideal. Instead, communities are now employing an ADD tactic: Avoid, Deny, Defend.
It’s becoming more prevalent in shootings now that people are taking down the shooters during the incidents. This helps prevent any or further killings while the police are on their way to help. Basically, you try to avoid being shut, but you also try to deny the shooter access to you. You can do this by barricading doors or simply just find a way to stop them from getting to you. If these options are already out the window, you confront them.
There are two sides to this coin. One, you’ve got to be pretty brave and have nerves of steel to pull this off. Also, communities need to be trained how to confront and disarm a shooter. The problem is that you may get shot trying to take them down.
The other side of the coin is that using RHF might get you shot anyway, so you might as well try and fight for your and others’ lives.
There are a few examples of the ADD approach working, such as Brandon Tsay disarming a shooter who killed eleven people at Monterey Park, California. That doesn’t mean we can all become vigilantes now. You still need to make sure you’re safe and in a position to take them down before making a move.