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In Shift, Police Advise Taking an Active Role to Counter Mass Attacks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    (It's nice to see a light bulb go off for at least some of the masses. Do you reckon that fleeing or fighting might be a better idea than curling up in a fetal position and begging the deranged a$$hole not to shoot you?)


    Published: April 6, 2013

    The speed and deadliness of recent high-profile shootings have prompted police departments to recommend fleeing, hiding or fighting in the event of a mass attack, instead of remaining passive and waiting for help.

    The shift represents a “sea change,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, which recently held a meeting in Washington to discuss shootings like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

    The traditional advice to the public has been “don’t get involved, call 911,” Mr. Wexler said, adding, “There’s a recognition in these ‘active shooter’ situations that there may be a need for citizens to act in a way that perhaps they haven’t been trained for or equipped to deal with.”

    In an analysis of 84 such shooting cases in the United States from 2000 to 2010, for example, researchers at Texas State University found that the average time it took for the police to respond was three minutes.

    “But you see that about half the attacks are over before the police get there, even when they arrive quickly,” said J. Pete Blair, director for research of the university’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center and an author of the research, which is set to be published in a book this year.

    In the absence of a police presence, how victims responded often made the difference between life and death, Dr. Blair said.

    In 16 of the attacks studied by the researchers, civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in 3 cases. In other attacks, civilians have obstructed or delayed the gunman until the police arrived.

    As part of the research, Dr. Blair and his colleagues looked at survival rates and the actions taken by people in classrooms under attack during the Virginia Tech massacre, in which Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and teachers before killing himself.

    In two classrooms, the students and instructors tried to hide or play dead after Mr. Cho entered. Nearly all were shot, and most died. In a third classroom, Prof. Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, told his students to jump out the second-story window while he tried to hold the classroom door shut, delaying Mr. Cho from coming in. Professor Librescu was killed, but many of the students survived, and only three were injured by gunfire. In another classroom, where the students and teacher blocked the door with a heavy desk and held it in place, Mr. Cho could not get in, and everyone lived.

    “The take-home message is that you’re not helpless and the actions you take matter,” Dr. Blair said. “You can help yourself and certainly buy time for the police to get there.”

    Kristina Anderson, 26, who was shot three times during the Virginia Tech attack, said that every situation is different but that she thinks it can help for people to develop a plan for how they might act if a mass shooting occurred.

    Susan Riseling, chief of police at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said the Virginia Tech episode changed her thinking about how to advise students because it was clear that Mr. Cho had “one goal, and that seemed to be to kill as many people as possible before ending his life.”

    “If you’re face to face and you know that this person is all about death, you’ve got to take some action to fight,” Chief Riseling said.
  2. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter


    Took a frigging study costing tax payers how much to conclude the obvious? I guess this is a first tiny step towards grasping the notion that being armed when taking that active role is better still... Oh what, what am I saying. Sorry, I had a momentary delusion rooted in optimism, I'll put that back away.

    Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    As far as the research goes, no shit sherlock. I think we learned what happens when you are a sheeple with 911.
    tulianr and Beano like this.
  4. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    I thought we were supposed to take the advice of our oh so tactically cool vice president and fire two shots out the window to scare them off.

    I may have to be retrained again.
    tulianr likes this.
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