Active-shooter, active-killer, school-shooter or mass-casualty incidents are just some of the terms used to describe one thing: one or more persons actively trying to wound and/or kill the maximum number of people as quickly as possible. The excuses used by perpetrators of such attacks may vary, but regardless of their motivations, they must be stopped as fast as possible. Unfortunately, in attacks such as these time equals body count, and the attacker knows this.

Pre-Incident Prep
When I started researching and training for such incidents, I had thought that there would be a kind of mystique involved with preparing an effective response. But I learned there really was no mystique. Being able to effectively respond boils down to three things: the individual’s proficiency with his or her chosen weapon platform, the use of basic tactics, and the willingness to take the fight to the attacker.

Determining your skill with your weapon platform just involves the basics: sight picture, sight alignment, trigger press and grip. You need to be able to put multiple, accurate shots on target quickly, shooting until the attacker is no longer a threat. Basic tactics comprise your ability to move to the shooter’s location while maximizing use of cover and the element of surprise. Many people fail to understand what will and won’t stop bullets or shrapnel. Maximizing use of cover means incorporating cornering (a.k.a. slicing the pie), dropouts and unconventional shooting positions.

Willingness to take the fight to the attacker means that you must decide ahead of time what you are and are not willing to do, should you become involved in such an active-shooter incident. The choice is yours, but once you commit to countering the attacks, you must be willing to fight with everything you have in you—a half-hearted response is not an option.
To take your skills, ability, tactics and mindset to a whole new level, consider choosing a training group or venue that makes force-on-force training a regular part of its curriculum. Force-on-force training incorporates role players and participants using realistic weapon platforms that fire projectiles made from plastic, soap or paint. There is a small amount of pain possible with this kind of training, which does increase the stress level. However, a safe, well-designed force-on-force training program will allow you to get as close as possible to a real encounter without the threat of serious injury.

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