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Gunman opens fire near High School: What can we learn?

by George Wehby   |  September 28th, 2011 7

Police killed an armed man in Issaquah, Wash., who was walking around near a high school Saturday. The individual was reported to be walking around firing indiscriminately.  Since it was a Saturday, school was not in session, but the school was having a football game. During the ordeal, the police rushed the field and had the fans take refuge under the bleachers until the individual could be located. The individual was eventually found and engaged by police after refusing to drop his weapon.

Now, this individual seemed to be bent on a confrontation with police. It probably falls into a “suicide by cop” scenario, which plagues law enforcement. The article caused me to ask, what if I were at the game and the individual burst into the area and started shooting people indiscriminately. A high school football game is located on school property which prohibits concealed carry. So basically, I am unarmed enjoying the game and this type of incident occurs. The first word that comes to my mind is “cover.” The problem we most often run into is a lack of a place to hide. In reality, you can find areas of concealment almost anywhere, but most will not stop a bullet.

As I play this out in my head, I imagine all the football games I attended, and most the objects are aluminum or wood.  These make great spots with which we can conceal ourselves, but horrible ballistic shields. In order to not be the guy standing without a chair when the music stops, I usually pre-identify objects of cover before my seat selection. It falls into my tactical seating philosophy discussed in this article. This way if things break bad, I have a plan in place instead of scrambling to create one in the chaos.

Have you thought about the objects in your environment and their ability to provide cover?

What areas/enviroments provide you the biggest challenge?

George Wehby

About George Wehby

Wehby's personal defense experience includes US Marine Corps Infantry, White House NCO, Presidential Marine Sentry, decorated street police officer in Prince Georges County, MD, US Department of Homeland Security, Federal Air Marshall and professional firearms trainer for Triple Canopy specializing in handguns and concealment. His experience also includes more than 25 years in Martial Arts and is currently a Mixed Martial Arts Instructor. He is a Black Belt Instructor of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (under Tony Passos), Black Belt in Nisei Kito Ryu Jiu-jitsu (under Sergio Decasien) and also a Black Belt in Goju Karate (under Bob Roach).

  • chris

    Banks make my biggest challenge. In a bank robbery cover is irrelevant. Quick in and out for me – avoid exposure. If a robbery occurs attack immediately and bet on Texans to back me up.

  • Jacob the Israeli

    This is a really refreshing post. Normally, people would automatically assume they are carrying concealed, but in reality you can't carry everywhere. Kudos to the staff for this one.

  • Antonio

    Anyplace I'm at with my kids. I have to cover, protect them first, no matter what. Move them out fast if I can. But the whole time, probably leaving myself exposed because I'd try to be between the kids and the gunman. And the kids might very well be freaking out. This is my worst nightmare.

  • Republican since Cli

    I'm a principal. This is my worst nightmare.

  • Shane Henderson

    This is why gunn laws only restrict the responsible gun owners from taking care of the situation. As a combat vet, I believe that gun laws prohibit responsible gun owners from being able to control situations, and allow criminals (who do not follow laws) to take guns into places they know no one is armed. If a well trained, law abiding citizen were to be armed here, would they not possibly be able to neutralize the threat? The bottom line is that gun laws only affect the people that are willing to follow them. I'm not saying that everyone should have a gun. But those who are qualified, should be able to respond in an expedient manner.

  • Shane Henderson

    I am sorry for the incorrect spelling of gun. Either it was an error on my part or that of my iPad. I hope that the error did not draw attention away from the point of my post.

  • mike

    Totally agreed. We rely on. Police far too much. Wat if they cant get to scene on time.

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