In the past two articles, I discussed the first two things you should do if you find yourself confronted with an “Active Shooter” or “Mass Shooting” event. I explained that the first thing you should do is ESCAPE (run). If you could not escape safely, then you should HIDE! I emphasized the importance of finding a room that you will be able to control entry to. I recommended that you look for a room with a door that can be locked and that you barricade the door. I also wrote that you should turn off the lights and hide somewhere inside the room, perhaps behind a large piece of office equipment or inside a closet. Another significant action I mentioned was to ensure that you silenced your cell phone. This means that you turn off everything that will make noise, including the vibrate function. You must go completely silent when hiding.

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation that does not permit you to do that which you most want, to escape or hide. In these situations, you have to focus on what is truly important. Let me make this easy for you. “YOU” are what is truly important! If you cannot escape this event by running, then you take active steps to hide. However, if you hide, there is always the possibility that the shooter will stumble upon you or just find your selected hiding spot. If this happens, YOU must be prepared to FIGHT! This means you must fight as if your life depends on it because it does! Many people do not see themselves as fighters. I believe there is a fighter locked inside every single person. You merely have to find the key to release him or her. If you find yourself in a situation that is going to require that you fight, then you must dedicate everything you have to doing so. This will require you to act with aggression. It may require you to use improvised weapons, such as scissors, a letter opener, a fire extinguisher, or perhaps a chair as a means of defending yourself. Maybe you were lucky enough to hide with others. If so, band together and act as a team. Work together to incapacitate the shooter. When you FIGHT: strike first, strike hard, and be final!

Remember, fighting is always a last resort. You do not want to have to do these things, but you must be willing to do so. You have the ability to stay safe and YOU must REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM!