In light of the recent Florida shooting, it is evident that the debate over gun control is yielding no results.
Few new policies are being implemented to prevent the problem, and the ones that are implemented don’t appear to be solving it. Therefore, with those in political power either taking too long to implement what’s necessary or simply doing nothing, it’s up to students to utilize techniques that will limit the loss of life in the actual event of a shooting.
According to The New York Times, steps to take in the event of a shooting can be summed up with these actions: run, hide and fight.
The first thing to do in the case of an active shooter is to simply run. By getting out of the shooting area, chances of survival increase. Therefore, at the first sound of gunfire, look for exits. It’s best to be aware of at least two exits in an area in case the gunman is blocking off one of them. And don’t discount escaping from second floor
windows, as jumping from them might injure you, but won’t kill you.
Additionally, when exiting, run in a straight line. Running in a zigzag pattern is good if you’re being targeted or running toward the gunman, but most mass shooters don’t have specific targets, so zigzagging only increases the amount of time one has to escape and, consequently, increases risk.
And even if your only option is to run toward the gunman, the best option is to run from cover to cover. If running
isn’t an option, the next best thing is either to hide or impede the shooter’s progress.
It’s best to hide behind locked doors or barricade other points of entry. Turning off the lights in a room may discourage the shooter. Once you’re hidden, you should call 911 and get law enforcement involved as soon as possible.
Finally, if there is no other option available, fight.
First, try throwing things at the gunman; throw anything you can get your hands on. But fighting should be a last resort. Once law enforcement arrives, it’s best to show your hands and open your palms to let the police know
you’re not the assailant.
These preventative techniques are especially relevant in light of the rise in school shootings in 2018. To reiterate the severity of this issue, five school shootings have happened within school hours and have resulted in injury in 2018 according to The Washington Post.
Also, according to a study by the University of Alabama, the U.S. has experienced 90 mass shooters from 1996-2012. Researchers compared this with other countries that had more than 10 million people and at least one mass public shooting with four or more victims. In comparison, these countries had no more than 18 mass shootings in the same timeframe.
This reveals that the problem isn’t universal for developed nations, but is rather an American issue. Therefore, students need to learn techniques that may help limit the loss of life in the event of these tragedies.