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Are We Asking Your Employees/Students/Patients to Fight Back?This is a very common question that arises regarding our Workplace Violence/Active Shooter training, especially when we are presenting to school administration and/or parents. The concern is that an offensive act would put them in danger of harm. And it’s a completely understandable concern, isn’t it?
Well, here is the answer to the question:
No we are not teaching them to engage and fight!
Make no mistake however:
In an incident of violence or active shooter, they are in danger simply by the very fact that they are there! There is nothing that anyone can do about that; it is what it is!
You see, we (Blue-U Defense) train in tools. Minds are toolboxes, options are our tools in this case, and we simply train you to fill your toolbox with options (tools).
Remember, there is strength in numbers!
I have written on this topic at least once in the past. When we analyze a battle of any sort, if we are to have any chance of winning, we must take stock of our strengths and weaknesses as well as those of our opponents. There are many categories that need to be analyzed and I am in no way attempting to over-simplify this by discussing only one of them. However, one advantage can overcome almost all others, in most instances – the advantage of numbers. Numbers, in a case of an active killer, can typically overcome the majority of their strengths, in the end. BUT – we have to have our “numbers” prepared. Their toolboxes must be full of tools. Otherwise, we hand this huge advantage right back to our adversary by allowing him defenseless opponents.
So, lets consider an incident of Active Shooter inside of a school:
First, in regards to victimization, we cannot differentiate between adults, children, patients, disabled, etc. Victims are victims regardless of age in most instances. The “bad guy” just kills/injures everyone. Just look at Sandy Hook where many extremely young children were killed along with adults. And there are numerous other examples of this as well. The difference is that in institutions where there are those who cannot defend or care for themselves (children, elderly or disabled patients), those charged with their care and safety simply have to do more; they have to be better prepared and trained; they must have an elevated level of skill and expertise; and they must have a toolbox full of more powerful tools.
Think About This
When we see a video of an adult being abducted, and this adult doesn’t fight back we say, “that’s horrible. They didn’t even try to fight back". Why? Why do we expect them to fight back? To give themselves a chance of winning! Because we don’t want them to walk helplessly, compliantly and willingly to their deaths! We want them to give themselves a “fighting chance”. Children deserve a chance as well. Children, even if deemed incapable in some instances, still deserve to have as many tools in their toolbox as an adult does. They should be taught more than just to hide and hope, or worse, nothing at all because we don’t want to scare or traumatize them. Most parents typically give their children only some of the necessary tools; only the tools that will be less likely to scare or alarm them. There are numerous examples, however, where parents provided more tools to their children and it paid off by potentially preserving their lives.
A perfect example of this is the recent attempted child abduction where a very young girl (5-6 years old) was grabbed by an adult male who started running away with the child. What did this child do? She bit him, scratched him, kicked him, and screamed.
And she got away!!!!
And she got away!!!!
Now think about this:
Someone taught her to fight! And because someone taught her to fight she lived!
She didn’t go out looking to fight. She didn’t go out looking to be abducted so she could “use her skills”. She didn’t go out scared that she would be abducted. This child only fought in a situation where she was in danger! She didn’t go to the danger nor did she create the danger. It was created for her and she was trained to react. She had been provided with options and she used them. Wouldn’t it be a shame had that child been abducted because her parents were concerned about “scaring her” or “sheltering her from the reality of violence”? We all teach our kids to stay away from strangers, not to take anything from them, etc so we acknowledge that the danger exists, otherwise we wouldn’t find it necessary to say anything at all to them. Teaching them avoidance is great, but it’s only a part of the safety equation. There are aggressive criminals that will take a child against their will regardless of whether the child comes to them willingly or not. It happens daily throughout the world. It happened in the example above.
Finally, we have no problems teaching our kids about the dangers of fire, do we? From the day we step foot into school until the day we retire from work we practice fire drills. We have no issues with “scaring” our kids in regards to fire danger, do we? Yet, do you know how many people die in fires in either a school or workplace each year? Very, very few to none! Yet, we practice and practice for this danger all our lives. Comparatively, there are thousands that become victim to violence, abduction, etc and we do little to train for this possibility, which is very high relative to fire danger.
Again, the fact is that the violence and danger exists regardless of our attempts to shelter ourselves and/our children from it. Everyone must be prepared to consciously avoid becoming a victim and, to react quickly and effectively should they be chosen as a victim regardless of age.
So the Options Are?
So the Bottom Line:
Our goal in our training is to teach people - children, adults, young adults, elderly, patients, disable, etc how to give themselves the best chance to survive a violent encounter. The best way to do this is to not be there in the first place. Next comes escape, followed by hide/shelter, followed by fight. What we are advocating for is giving everyone the most effective tools and options to accomplish survival goals in the above order of preference. There will be times when you either use physical means to defend your life or you will either die or be seriously injured. And again, criminals, most of the time, do not care how old you are.
Again, the age and ability of those that you are charged to care for (the disabled, elderly, elementary school children, etc) can change the level of training and responsibility required of those who care for them. As a caregiver, you will simply be required to do a lot more than those who can take care of themselves.
Everyone just has to do something! And training to possess and effectively utilize as many options as possible is simply smart and responsible.
Published Jan 16, 2015
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