An IHOP shooting in Nevada has been all over the local and national news over the last few days. A deranged gunman bent on killing as many people as possible stormed into the restaurant armed with an AK-47 and opened fire, killing several people and wounding many more. The motive is still unclear in this case, but after it was all said and done the guy ended up committing suicide before law enforcement could respond.
These situations should be a reminder that bad things can happen at any time and situations like the one above are usually over before the police can get to the scene. As a matter of fact, most active shooters are stopped by civilians on the scene.
On Personal Defense TV, we've detailed these types of incident and examined the response options of those in the area of an incident, both those that are armed and unarmed. On the show, we featured the tactics used by the Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio. Those guys have been on the forefront training to develop the best possible way to deal with these shootings and will look to improve their methods as we learn more about why these incidents occur.
The biggest problem with these active shooters is that they like to target locations that restrict the carry of firearms such as schools, hospitals or government buildings. The options for an armed citizen range from barracading yourself in an area and waiting for the shooter to come to you, making a clean break from the scene as soon as possible (probably the smartest course of action) or actually hunting the shooter down.
Now, before anyone blasts me open about CCW holders playing police officer, keep in mind that you may be in a situation where you are armed and trained and chose to do nothing to help innocent victims. Don't get me wrong, I know the smarter course of action is to escape and use your weapon only if the assailant is directly trying to harm you., but it would be hard for me to live with the knowledge I could have saved some lives. Every minute the shooter is not stopped, the body count climbs. That is a fact.
What would you do in this situation?