What is the best way to react in an active shooter situation?
Deciding how to respond in such a scenario is a personal choice, and it would be callous to criticize others who have experienced such trauma, no matter their response.
But the mere suggestion of confrontation has somehow become controversial. Recall the widespread criticism of former presidential candidate Ben Carson in October when he said “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me … I would ask everybody to attack” in response to a question about the shooting at an Oregon community college. The world was aghast he would say such a thing.
Nevertheless, consider that in 2012 the Aurora, Colorado, theater gunman who killed 20 people and injured 70 had enough time to leisurely fire 76 shots without confrontation, and was standing casually outside the theater before the arrival of police, who initially mistook him for one of their own.
I fully expect that within my teaching career there will be teachers with access to weapons in the classroom. I expect to volunteer. Just in case. If someone is killing kids, I refuse to believe that my place is hiding in a corner, waiting for someone else to respond.
In early school shootings, long hours went by before police engaged the shooter(s.) Now we know that if even one police officer is on the scene, they should engage the gunman. The same has been learned at terrorist incidents. The sooner the response, the better the outcome. That person might be a principal, teacher or other regular person.
[I refuse to use the term civilian, since police are not military. Yet. They are civilian law enforcement. — Dave]
It’s sad to consider this part of the new normal. Sadder still that many, many folks consider this all “crazy talk.”