Active Shooter Training: Turn Fear and Uncertainty into Courage and Confidence
Fear and uncertainty are two human emotions that prevent people from reacting or acting upon a specific event or incident.
- By Tim Easton
- Jul 31, 2018
Fear and uncertainty are two human emotions that prevent people from reacting or acting upon a specific event or incident. This is primarily due to the "unknown" factor. "If I do this, what could happen to me?" (fear). One thing you need to ask yourself is, "If I do nothing, how much worse could this situation get?" (uncertainty). The answer is simple, it can and will get much worse, more damage will be done, and more people will be injured or killed.
Courage and confidence are two human emotions that give a person the determination to act or react to an event or incident in order to, in the case of an active shooter, active threat, save their own life as well as the lives of others. You must tell yourself, "I am brave enough to try and stop the attacker with the help of others that are trained." (courage). "I was properly trained by a professional on what to do in this situation so I know what to do." "Other lives may be depending on me, I can help." (confidence). Too many times though I have heard, "I have a gun," I have my CCW so I am not worried." (Misguided courage, misguided confidence).
Only through experience and effective, realistic scenario based training can you truly gain the courage and confidence needed to act and protect yourself, family, staff, parishioners, patrons, facility and assets. It is a proven fact that the more you train for something, the better prepared you are when an incident occurs, which holds true in life whether it be your career or life.
So many people have the misconception that active shooter training is only helpful in preparing for that specific incident, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Active shooter training can be useful in a wide variety of scenarios from home defense, public gatherings, a house of worship to an actual active shooter, mass shooting, event.
Too many people think that an active shooter event deals with the victims having a gun to defend themselves, which is very inaccurate. It has to do with the attacker having a gun or other weapon and how the victim(s) react to that threat. Especially considering the many gun free zones where patrons are not allowed to be armed. What do you do when you find yourself in such a situation and you are not armed? Not all active shooters use guns, they use bats or knives; however, the same best practices still apply in these situations.
From a readiness exercise we conducted at a local church, more than 55 parishioners were in attendance and the results and feedback was awesome. They all learned how quickly it can happen, how quickly it can end and the vast amount of casualties there could have been. It was unanimous that they all felt a little better informed and prepared, they also got a taste of the training that their safety team went though. They are confident that their safety team now has the knowledge, courage and confidence to protect them when an incident occurs.
Tim Easton is the owner of Castle Defense 360. Physical Security Specialist, AT-FP, Tactics Trainer, Active Shooter & IED Response Instructor.