As I continue to read about the terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, I can’t help but think there’s some lessons from my time as a Navy SEAL that I can pass on to the average citizen. So here goes…
Don’t Make Yourself an Easy Target
When at sporting events, concerts, and the movies, choose seats that give you a tactical advantage always. What do I mean? Choose seats that allow good and east vantage points and a hasty exit point. Always stack the odds in your favor. It’s the reason I still combat park (back in to a space) and sit with my back to the wall when I’m eating.
Active Shooter Scenario Advice
Take cover and not concealment. Concealment hides, cover hides AND protects. It’s the difference between hiding behind a movie seat or a concrete wall.
Don’t lie there with your eyes closed and get shot. Think and move. A good decision executed quickly is better than a great one never executed. Violence of action, as we call it in the Spec Ops community, will often change the odds in your favor.
For close quarter combat drills we’d draw a gun with someone over 20 feet away running at us. In most cases you can be on someone before they can draw and take a shot. I’m not advocating running straight at someone but if you have the tactical advantage (jam, re-loading, distraction or the shooter isn’t paying attention) then take the shooter down or get the hell out of there. Deal with the situation with your eyes wide open.
In Aurora, the shooter was severely weighted down with armor and his helmet would have also limited his vision. You can use all this to your advantage.
Flashlight anyone? I have one for daily carry and take it everywhere with me. It’s become another extension of me and has diffused at least two potentially violent confrontations in a non-lethal way. I recommend 200+ lumens.
How to use it in this situation?
I would have pulled my high lumens pocket flashlight and blinded this guy. The high powered beam would have taken away his vision for 3-4 seconds, which is an eternity and enough time to flight or fight. There’s also no shame in surviving and getting you and your loved ones out of harm – especially little ones. Be a Hero to your kids and family for surviving, nobody can expect more of you than that. Like we say in Survival Escape Evasion Resistance (SERE) school, “Survive with Honor.”