Trainers Back “Run, Hide, Fight” Response To Workplace Shootings


Spooked by a year of high-profile gun rampages, hundreds of companies and organizations are racing to train their workers how to react to a shooter in their workplaces, says the Washington Post. After decades of telling employees to lock down and shelter in place, they are teaching them to fight back if evacuating is not an option. The idea is to work as a team to disrupt and confuse shooters, opening up a split second to take them down. The paradigm shift in response from passive to active has been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It recommends that federal workplaces adopt the program “Run, Hide, Fight,” which it helped develop. Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier used the same phrase on “60 Minutes.” “Your options are run, hide or fight,” she said last month. “I always say, if you can get out, getting out's your first option, your best option. If you're in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it's the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

Gun rights proponents have a much different view of what works. They say that if more law-abiding citizens were armed, more mass shootings could be prevented. Most employers ban guns from the workplace, even in states that embrace concealed-carry permits. “If you can move [a shooter] from offense to defense, you have changed the outcome of the event,” said Greg Crane, a former SWAT officer whose company, the ALICE Training Institute, advices workers. “He's thinking about what you are doing to him, not what he's doing to you. Mentally, he's going through a whole different process.” An FBI study of active shooter events from 2000 to 2013 found that 13 percent of the incidents were stopped “after unarmed citizens safely and successfully restrained the shooter.”

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