Run, Hide or Fight Back?
I wanted to write about the tragic active shooter situation, we had right here in Virginia Beach,. Only about three miles from where I was when it occurred, I immediately thought of all our law enforcement officers that were involved in that shooting. It moved my heart #VBStrong and I felt compelled to talk to you about what happened. After the Las Vegas shooting, I had so many people reach out to me and ask, "What would you do in that situation?"
Most of the victims in this recent shooting worked in the building where the shooting occurred. But there were a couple who just happened to be in there that day. I know there was a contractor that just happened to be in the building and, unfortunately, lost his life because he was applying to get a permit. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What would I do in this situation? I’ll tell you what I would do, I would FIGHT BACK. What does that mean? It means that I would do everything to attack or try to defeat someone who is attacking or trying to defeat me!
On 9/11, our entire culture in the United States was changed in a matter of under two hours. You had a plane hit a tower. Then, another plane hit the tower. Then, a plane hit the Pentagon. By the fourth plane, the word was out. And those civilians, regular everyday people, who were unarmed, fought back and defeated those terrorists and drove that plane into the ground.
Every attempt that's been made to get into a cockpit since that day has been defeated by unarmed civilians on these airplanes. This proves that time and again that it can be done!! Even if you don’t have a gun, you can still FIGHT BACK AND WIN.
ABC recently reported about mass shootings in the United States. Just in the past few months of 2019, we had more mass shootings than ever before in the history of the United States. We are averaging two active shooter situations per month, this year alone!!
I know what you’re saying, “It will never happen to me.” Or, “I would never have to worry about that.” That’s what we all tend to say to ourselves.
However, ask yourself the following questions
Do you go to college?
Do you have a child in college?
Are you in school?
Do you have children in school?
Do you go to a place of worship?
Do you go to concerts?
Have you visited a government office building?
Do you work in an office?
Do you go to the mall?
Do you go to sporting events?
If you answered YES to any of these, then you could be a potential victim of a mass shooting.
Do I ask you these questions to instill fear or keep you from living your everyday life? HELL NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. But I do ask you these questions, hoping that you will take a moment to stop and think about how you would react if you were caught in a situation with an active shooter and put a plan together.
We as Americans know how to fight back, and these situations are no exception.
Ray and I asked Dave how he would respond to these active shooter situations. Dave is an expert on this. He travels across the country teaching businesses and organizations how to prepare for potential life-threatening situations. He educates individuals on what to do if they are caught in a situation like this.
As I mentioned earlier, recently a mass shooting hit closer to home than I had imagined. Virginia Beach is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, the robust waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and among other things, the incredible concerts it hosts. Last week, I was getting ready to attend one of these concerts, when I heard the news. There had been a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, and 12 were dead. I was immediately concerned for all involved and thought about those innocent victims that were just going about their day and suddenly, their lives had been taken from them.
What do you do when you’re caught in a situation like this? Do you run? Do you hide? Do you fight back? The answer is all three.
RUN - We learned by talking to Dave while recording our podcast this week, that your first response should be to RUN. Get out of harm’s way, just get the hell out of there. When you go into a building look for the exits, take a mental note of how you could escape if you needed to. For years, whenever I walk into a movie theater, or a concert, or a sporting event, I look for the closest exits, in case of an emergency or if there would be an active shooter.
HIDE -If you can’t run, then you need to have a place to HIDE. You must be prepared and have a couple of options of where you might hide. I know we don’t want to think of these things, but we must! We must wrap our heads around this, whether we like it or not, there are sick individuals that are looking for opportunities to make you their next victim.
FIGHT BACK - So, what if you can’t run and what if you can’t hide? What if you’re face-to-face with an active shooter? Then you FIGHT BACK. You fight with all the intensity you can get, and with everything in you. You fight back. You fight for your life and you fight for the lives of those around you.
We need the FIGHT BACK mindset. We as a country need to say “I won’t be a victim, I will fight back, I will rise to the occasion and push aside all fear and OVERCOME!
Learn more about how to fight back during an active shooter situation on our latest addition of