*Courses of Action & Escape*

Whatcha gonna do, when dey come fer you?

By Eli

17 March 2003

You’re at the movie theater or your local shopping center and TS hits TF, how are you going to get out? You handle the situation inside and then once you’re out of the building…then what? Escape doesn’t always mean getting away and hiding, it can also mean, just getting out of the current situation.

Not that I’m expecting something baaadd to happen, but…it can & what if?

Scenario: You’re cruising through Wal-mart and over the PA system somebody announces a bomb threat. How are you going to get out of the building? Do you know where ALL exits are and what side of the building they’re on? Once you leave through and exit, what’s the best way to your vehicle?

Scenario: You are at Pizza Hut inhaling a deep dish. You just happen to be there at the same time that a large school group is there. Fire breaks out and the exits are clogged with slow moving people and kids. They are exiting in an orderly fashion, but not fast enough. The fire is spreading very rapidly and if you don’t get out NOW you may be overcome with smoke inhalation or be swallowed in the flames. There is no time to wait. How do you get out? What do you do once you’re out? What about all the kids?

My actions: Dispatch a window. (Keep in mind that you are about to create an immediate oxygen supply) Try a chair…if that fails a .45 Hydrashok will remove a window in an instant. Keep in mind where the bullet is going. Make sure there’s nobody on the other side. Once I’m out, I will help get the kids away from the building. After the kids are away, move the BOV. Being a firefighter I’ll stick around to assist the fire dept if needed. As an EMT I will assist any injured.

Scenario: You and a date are at the movie theatre enjoying a cool flick. All of a sudden you hear gunshots and the theatre door flies open. A psycho gunman barges in yelling that he’ll kill anybody that moves. He just shot the unarmed security guard. About all an unarmed security guard can do is say "Stop or I’ll say stop again"...unless he manages to get the drop on the gunman or out flank a bullet. What are you going to do? Duck & cover…comply…or shoot?

My actions: Even sitting in the back near the exit there’s probably not much of chance of escape. Even by escaping…what about all the other people in there? In this situation I would shoot (unless I am across the theatre and there are people in the way-then I escape). I am a good enough shot that I could drop the gunman before his eyes adjusted. By Maine State law, deadly force is authorized.

Whenever I go anywhere I am continuously thinking about "what if…what if". Let me run you through typical actions I take when I go somewhere. Know multiple roads to and from. Whenever I park my BOV I always make sure that I BACK in. In the event that I need to leave in a hurry, it’s a lot easier to drive forward and escape than it is to have to back up first. I also try and park so that I cannot be blocked in by another vehicle.

I went to Wal-mart one day with a federal law enforcement officer. He locked his weapon in his glove box. I called BS on it, he said, c’mon its only Wal-mart what can happen here? Then he walked through the store wearing clothing that had federal LEO written all over it!! How stupid can people get!!!??

I always carry my weapon on me. 1 round chambered, full stacked mag and safety OFF!! It is ready to go. During a stop at a gas station or a place that I’m only spending a few minutes at, I just carry the weapon. If I go to Wal-mart or supermarket etc, I carry at least 1 extra magazine at a minimum. There is always more firepower in the BOV should it ever be needed. If you need more than 1-2 shots you’re either a horrible shot or your in a small war, but it can happen.

If your in a store when ammo is sold make a mental note…there’s a good supply of extra ammo should you get trapped in the building. If you’re lucky, the shotguns won’t be cable locked, they’ll just be behind glass. Another reason to carry wire cutters.

Inside I memorize the exit routes and aisles. Look for other packers. If you know what to look for it’s not incredibly hard to figure out if somebody else is carrying a concealed weapon. If you determine that somebody is or may be carrying keep this in mind. It might be a good thing or it might be a bad thing.

The same LEO mentioned above believed in "gun courtesy". If he was off duty and going to somebody’s house socially he’d usually have the weapon concealed, but the chamber was empty and the safety was on. I asked him why and he said it wasn’t courteous to have a chambered round in somebody else’s house. What an idiot!! There is nothing courteous about a gun. If one hand becomes immobilized how did he expect to chamber a round and then take the safety off and then shoot before he was shot or maimed? Carrying a weapon shoulders responsibility, not courtesy. What good is an unloaded weapon…just an expensive club.

In my mind there is only 1 way to carry and that’s how I described above. Locked and ready to rock.

Some simple tips:

  1. If a gunman or such barges through the door, he is most likely going to focus his attention near the front of the theatre first. He will also be temporarily blind until his eyes adjust. You will be next to him not in front and he will probably not see you for a few seconds…hence giving you time to react.
  2. Really cool things happen in the back seats of a theatre :o)

During a post-shooting event where you discharge a firearm wait for Law Enforcement to arrive. Don’t run. Running will make matters worse. As long as you abide by your state’s laws, I don’t believe that you would have a problem if deadly force were used. You might run across a hot headed LEO who’s trying to make a name for himself and arrest you thinking he’s just popped somebody for murder whether you have a CCW and shooting was justified or not. Once the evidence is shown (say in the movie theatre scenario) you should be good to go. Of course I can’t guarantee that. Sometimes abiding by the law doesn’t mean anything. It’s hard to tell.

There are thousands of scenarios and what if situations. Everybody is going to act differently, but "similar people in similar situations will act in similar ways".

Safety Slogan…Like Be Safe and Stuff


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