Active Shooter Courses Something “We Have to Have”
At Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale, they have seminars this weekend giving people tips on what to do if they are caught in the crossfire of an active shooter.
“It’s not a fear-monger panic thing,” said John Monson, the owner at Bill’s. “It’s just a simple understanding of your environment and knowing that if something bad did happen what would be your game plan?”
These courses are a byproduct of mass shootings, which happen almost every day in the U.S. A mass shooting is defined as four or more gun victims in a single incident.
“Unfortunately this is a new drill that we have to have in the world,” said Aaron Appelwick, who directs the training at Bill’s.
Appelwick, an Air Force vet with a SWAT background, wants to convey his knowledge to people so they can react if a worst-case scenario occurs.
“I want the general populace to have that same reaction, where if something happens they already know where the exits are,” Appelwick said. “They already know where they can get out, how they can make themselves safe and how they can avoid that situation once it starts so that they don’t get sucked in.”
One key to surviving an active shooter situation is to know your surroundings and be prepared if the unthinkable happens.
“It’s having this awareness in your mindset when you go to a theater, or a church, or a mall,” Monson explained, “knowing where you are going to go, where you are going to meet up with your family, if you split up where are you going to come back to.”
Appelwick’s strategy is simple – run, hide, fight.
“Hide if that’s your best option,” Appelwick said. ” If you can run, you run and escape. If you can’t and all you can do is fight, I want you to fight so that you have a chance.”
Appelwick tells people not to try to play hero if they are in the middle of a random attack.
“Even if you are conceal carrying,” Appelwick said, “you don’t want to unconceal your firearm and get mistaken for that shooter.”
The active shooter classes at Bill’s continue Saturday and Sunday.