The United States has 4.4% of the world’s population yet owns 42% of the world’s guns.
The recent Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is not only a tragedy for the parents and siblings of the 17 killed. The mass shooting is also an insight into the prevalence of gun related violence in North America. According to the Gun Violence Archive, since New Year’s Day 2013 until Valentine’s Day 2918 there were 9 shootings in the United States every 10 days. In other words, 1624 people have been shot in the past 1870 days.
The United States is only one of three countries ( the others being Guatemala and Mexico) that believes people have a right to own guns. With this right comes a downside: An American is 300 times more likely to die by gun homicide than a Japanese. More distressingly, according to research published by the University of California, Berkeley, American gun crime is more lethal than other countries worldwide.
6 Actions to Protect Yourself from an Active Shooter
- Get off the “X”. This means that you need to overcome your normalcy bias ( this cannot be happening thinking) and move away from a dangerous situation as it happens. Seek cover and concealment.
- Realise that when a shooting starts, people panic and the herd mentality kicks in.Dangerously, in an active shooter scenario, people either freeze ( a standing target) or run ( exposing their backs as a target). Know where to move to safety by pre-planning.
- Create a code word in your family that signals immediate danger. Practice using this word and emphasise that it will only be used in an emergency.
- If you have to run to your cover,run fast and straight. If the area is open, run in zigzags.
- If you go to a room, lock it and barricade the door and windows. Switch off the lights and your mobile phone.
- Be prepared to find or make a weapon. Communicate with others and be prepared to attack. Numbers will always prevail.
Join us and other concerned persons to learn how to survive an active shooter. Our H.E.A.T. courses combine theory with practice and you will learn practical survival skills.
H.E.A.T. tip: Do not view the unfolding events through your mobile phone. Rather, ensure that you are able to see what is going on around you and plan an escape route.