We often hear about gunmen opening fire on innocent people. But, we rarely hear about survivors fighting back. While very scary, if you are face-to-face with an active shooter, you must challenge them and fight with everything you have - to protect yourself and the children in your care.
Recently we saw another horrific shooting - this time at a Tallahassee, Florida yoga studio. He managed to kill two people and seriously wound four more. The scene could have been far worse if not for the heroic, quick response of Joshua Quick.
Quick “grabbed the first makeshift weapon he could find and sprang into action when the attacker’s gun appeared to jam.” Because of Quick’s fast thinking, many people in the yoga studio were able to escape.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Others
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness provides training for an active shooter incident. Our reality-based training has been specifically designed for those who care for children. We train participants to study their surroundings and find viable, potentially life-saving weapons. In classrooms and learning centers, many everyday items can disorient or stop an active threat.
Quick “grabbed a vacuum cleaner that was in the studio and confronted the gunman.” Instead of freezing during the situation, Quick studied his surroundings. He spotted the vacuum and waited for the right opportunity. “The gun stopped firing, I don’t know if it jammed or what. So I used that opportunity to hit him over the head with it [the vacuum].”
Quick startled the gunman, and the shooter retaliated. He left Quick with bruises and scratches. But, this didn’t deter Quick. He grabbed a broom and went after the gunman again. The gunman then realized Quick foiled his shooting spree, so he turned the gun on himself.
Florida State Senator Kristin Jacobs was around the corner at the time of the shooting. Jacobs said, “Many people are alive because this guy rushed the shooter. I am alive because one guy in a yoga class in his bare feet ran at the shooter. He didn’t run away.”
Go ‘Home Alone’ on the Gunman
Active shooter situations are terrifying. Our goal is to make it as difficult as possible for a gunman to enter our space. Think of the movie home alone - anything and everything can be used - toys, blocks, legos.
Our active shooter courses teach strategies and methods for doing this - then we put these skills to practice - by conducting hands-on drills. Here are some key points to remember:
You have permission to defend yourself by any means necessary.
You don’t have to play fair. Active shooters certainly aren’t obeying any rules.
Survival is the ultimate goal. Use everything in your reach to distract, delay, and fight off an active shooter.
Everyday objects can turn into useful weapons. Including vacuum cleaners, blocks, toys, tables, and chairs.
The key is identifying objects in your vicinity ahead of time - so that you have a plan on what to do. Do not overlook common objects that are readily accessible - For example, have you ever thought of a fire extinguisher as a weapon?
Knowing how to react in dangerous situations is empowering. In some situations, fighting back and taking control of the situation is the best route for survival. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips - and check our events page on our website to find out when a training event will be in your area. If you’re interested in hosting a training event in your community, contact us today!