February 13, 2017

How to Avoid Getting Shot

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

It seems that a couple of mass shootings have appeared almost back to back:  the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and now the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.  We pray for the victims and their families.   The thought comes to mind on what someone ought to do if such a horrific situation were to occur.

Run, Hide or Fight

The City of Houston released a video on how to survive an attacker and can be viewed here.  It shows an attack on an office building and offers tips on what to do.  The tips to survive includes:

  • Run if you can find a safe path.
  • If there is no place to run, find someplace to hide.
  • When hiding, lock the door, turn off the lights and silence the ringer or vibration on your phone
  • As a last resort, whether alone or teamed up with others, aggressively fight the attacker with improvised weapons

Reactions to the video are varied, with some people feeling they would follow a different order.  On the other hand, it does get people thinking on what they would do, which is a good thing since this helps people become mentally prepared.

Concealment vs. Cover

I had previously speculated about whether walls would stop a bullet – and the answer is “No, they would not.”  You can only hope to get behind some “cover” that will slow or stop the bullet.

What’s the difference?  Concealment is anything you can hide behind, usually a large object such as a door, table, couch etc.  We’ve all seen those movies where the “good guy” jumps behind a couch in a gun fight and instantly finds protection.  Well, it doesn’t work that way.  The shooter may not see you right away with the couch hiding you, but it won’t protect you from getting shot.

Cover is what gives you protection and hide you at the same time.  Some examples would be reinforced concrete, a bookcase full of books, brick walls, thick mounds of dirt.

Keep this difference in mind if you ever have to find a good hiding spot.

Habits that May Keep You Safe

This article provides some good insights:  Surviving an ‘Active Shooter’: Navy SEAL Lessons from Aurora.

I’m no expert – we’re all just average people trying to go about our everyday lives.  Reading various articles has made me think about what can a person, who has no combat experience, try to do:

  1. Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  2. Always scope out the exits everywhere you go.
  3. Find a spot you can easily exit from.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings and prepare to react quickly.
  5. Listen to your gut – if something feels wrong to you then act accordingly.
  6. Reconsider your “everyday carry” items – include a tactical flashlight

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict or prevent these events; all we can do is adapt and stay mentally prepared.  Stay safe everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2012



12 Comments on How to Avoid Getting Shot

  1. The video was scary, but thanks for posting it. I hope we never have to use this information, but it is good to watch it and know that you have options.

    • Hi Linda, I hope none of us will ever have to deal with that situation. It’s a scary video but I think it gets people thinking on what they would do, which helps people get mentally prepared.

  2. It is so good to think about what you would do before it happens, even play it out in your mind so you have a reaction besides just freezing like a deer in the head lights. That is what preparedness is all about.

    • So true-the deer in the head lights reaction is what we are trying to avoid. Thanks for the comment!

  3. What you actually need to do is think through scenarios. That way when you are confronted with such a situation, you don’t freeze. Everyone always talks about the “Fight or Flight” response. In reality it’s “Fight, Flight or Freeze.” Most people who are thrust into a situation such as this freeze at first and then run in a panic.

    You fall to your training and experience in traumatic and sudden circumstances. It is why police officers and the military train so much. The idea is to give you the exposure so you don’t freeze or run away.

    In my opinion, carrying a gun is a way to end a shooting situation. You may get shot, but you can also stop the threat. I do not advocate everyone carrying a gun because not everyone is legally able (for various reasons) and not everyone is mentally capable of pulling the trigger. If you are legally able to carry a firearm and you have the proper mental mindset, then I do advocate it. It won’t necessarily prevent YOU from getting shot, but it could prevent others from getting shot as you are now the threat to the gunman and they will concentrate on you, allowing others to escape.

    You make excellent points about cover and concealment. Everyone should be mindful that Hollywood is not reality. Bullets will go through couches and walls like a hot knife through butter depending on various factors (velocity, distance, caliber, weight, etc).

    • Hi Adam, I agree, if you have a gun and know how to use it properly then it can definitely stop more people from getting shot. Hopefully this gets people thinking about their options. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Ihave been in some dicey situations in the past, thankfully I tend to keep a cool head. I always look for a way out and hate big crowds. Especially being in the middle of them. Now being a little older and having kids I think “what the hell was I thinking? “

  5. Habits To Keep You Safe is a good addition to this post. A good reminder for those of us who should know this, but a very good lesson for the new preppers. Thanks also for the reminder that a couch is not cover, but concealment. Even before this, I’ve often wondered where I would hide if a shooter ever broke in; both at work and home. I hate crowds. I’m the type of person that would be more than happy with the internet and a credit card. If I had one… It’s a terrible comment on our times when we have to think about this, but a necessary plan-ahead. Thanks.

  6. Nice write up and thanks for the video link. The one minor gripe I have with that video was when the room full of people ambushed the shooter.

    One guy had a Fire Extinguisher and was in the act of using it to bash the guys face in, good, but here’s a better option.

    Spray him in the face with it, then bash him with it until he is no longer a threat. Fire Extinguishers are found everywhere, from Airports to Office buildings. A Fire Extinguisher is just like a huge bottle of pepper spray plus a club all rolled into one. Also with the spray you have the ability to stay at least a few feet away from the attacker.

    Spray him, blind him, then bash him.

    • Hi KoryN, I agree with you, spraying the attacker with the fire extinguisher, then hitting him with it would have been the more efficient way to handle it.

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