What do I do in a terrorist attack?
In the last 2 days Ive been asked repeatedly, What do I do in a Terrorist attack?
This is directly related to the terror attacks in California and Paris. People are scared and rationally or not its how they feel. My personal belief is all of these attacks are to make people feel scared and react irrationally. So, regardless of my personal feelings concearning motivation or emotional reaction this is what I recommend
First you should be asking “What do I do BEFORE a terrorist attack?”
1) Get yourself healthy and in shape
No, round is not a shape. You want to survive an explosion, bullet wound or other trauma? You need to get into a condition which promotes healing instead of hindering it.
Being able to run like hell is a life saving skill. Ability to pick up your child, or 2 and run out of a kill zone is a life saving skill. Having your children remember you as the Dad who saved them is much better than them remembering you as having a heart attack in the attempt.
Look around you. There are people who are disabled who do something to keep in shape. Doesn’t matter what you do, or how you achieve results, get off the sofa and DO SOMETHING.
2) Accept you are responsible for yourself
That’s right, its all on you. If something happens to you, at some point you made a bad decision. Its not anyone else’s fault but yours. Accept it and start thinking before you act. If you are reading this you are on the right track. If you are one of those who asked me, then you get a double word score but still its on you.
Addictions are a big part of this, and I am no exception. I have zero shame about Oreo cookies. I can eat the whole family size box in one sitting and I know it. So I don’t buy them, and don’t keep them where a moment of weakness could occur.
Discipline is key.
3) If you choose to carry a weapon then you are also obligated to know how to use it.
I have a simple drill I show those who I want to see survive an ugly encounter.
The disclaimer, If you shoot yourself doing this you shouldn’t have anything more dangerous than a box of crayons in your holster.
Personal responsibility, enough said.
Its an oldie but a goodie because you cant fudge it, cant make it easier and you have to face exactly how good (or bad as most often is the case)
The playing card drill, or the rule of 3’s. Hunt101.com
This is ALWAYS timed from the concealed carry rig you wear right now. In real clothes. That means if its winter you don’t get to strip down to a T-shirt to do it.
So, from the holster, reacting to an outside stimulus( a buzzer or whistle), draw and fire 3 rounds, in 3 seconds into a 3 inch circle. 333. Use a playing card for a target, they are cheap and come 54 to a pack, for less than a dollar most places.
So simple a baboon could remember it.
Except heres the rub. You have to Identify the threat, Identify the target and Identify your surroundings in the same 3 second drill. Because life is not a range with safe directions and no bystanders.
Start at 3 yards. Yeah whatever. Bet me you can do it the first time and Im going to laugh at you. Then Ill take your car keys because Im going to make this bet hurt.
3 yards, draw, fire and hit a 3 inch circle in 3 seconds, 3 times.
9 rounds total, try not to shoot yourself here.
When you can do that, back up to 5 yards, then 7, then 10. Every round you fire is accountable, just like real life.
You are not allowed to miss, ever. Negligent homicide, manslaughter, gross negligence, stupid in public ad infinitum…..
If you miss any of the 3, ANY OF THE 3 rounds, you move back to the distance you were, in the last evolution. That means if you are 100% at 3 yards but at 5 you tank, then 3 yards is what your effective range is.
It also means you need to reevaluate what you carry. The size of the hole at the end of the barrel has less to do with the results, and more to do with your ego.
If you can shoot this out to 10 yards and you smoke it with a 22 WMR, but go up to a 9mm you miss? Guess what? You need to practice, or carry the gun you shoot the best.
4) All the wargaming in your head doesn’t remove the reality you will be wrong
It doesn’t matter what fantasy you have in your head about how the fight is going to go. You will be outnumbered, out gunned and surprised because they have the advantage of choosing where and when the fight happens.
That’s the big secret behind Spec Ops and why they win more than loose. They choose when they fight. And they train every day.
Another secret. And this is how they fire the 333 drill so effectively. They pay attention to what is going on around them. And that brings us to …
5) Pay attention to your surroundings
This is so simple and obvious but is the first to be forgotten.
If you walk into a robbery, terror attack, industrial accident whatever….Its on you. You missed a key event, you either didn’t see it, didn’t hear it or just didn’t trust your feelings something intangible was wrong.
You have to remove the distractions from your life. Personal responsibility at its finest.
Ive seen men who could smoke the 333 drill out to 15 yards, trip over their feet texting and walking. Its not just a range drill, its a life drill.
6) Fear is not a reason to curl up in a ball, its a motivation to get better
We all, at one point have the same dream. We are in a fight, no matter how hard we hit, how fast we run, how many times we shoot, the bad guy just wont stop.
Its a simple dream, and an obvious cause.
We simply aren’t good enough and our brain knows it. We haven’t trained enough, worked hard enough or spent enough time on the mat to be confident inside.
Solution, again is get off the sofa, work out on the mat. Learn a martial art, Im a huge believer in AMOK as both an empty hand and knife skill set. Its a fast learn and very effective. A great confidence builder as well when you look at phone booths and know a knife fight at that distance is not only survivable but winnable.
If you don’t know how to fight with a firearm, or a blade or just bare hands take a class that teaches you how to FIGHT, not just stand in front of a target and shoot.
Most of all, you need to believe, today you aren’t good enough. Training every day will make you better.
7) Know what you are good at, and more important what you are not
If you are an average guy with an office job and a family, you need to start with- How am I going to get the family to safety?
Not go into Rambo mode and get killed because you didn’t see the extra bad guy behind you.
Evacuating the family is always a good first choice, and first responders off duty are of the same mindset. Get the family safe, then deal with the threat.
It might be a very fast transition, but that’s where the professionals are first.
8) A weapon is a tool , not a crutch
Having it does not suddenly make you a Super Secret Squirrel Ninja. It just means you have a tool in your possession. You are the operator of the tool and you ultimately determine the results.
One of the things Ive learned over my very long career carrying a badge and gun is , even when justified does not mean you should. Sometimes you are in situations where surviving is better than being a hero.
Especially when you wont change the outcome of the event.
Train your brain first.
9) Learn more than basic first aid and carry a First Aid Kit (FAK) in your ability level
Yeah, not really sexy but bleeding out after you evac your family because you have a compound fracture from running away isn’t sexy either. But a trauma kit with chest tubes and tourniquets you don’t know how to use is nothing but a hazard to yourself and family.
You learned to fight, you learned to shoot, you need to learn about all the things to keep you alive in case you ” Bobbed instead of Weaved”
10) Learn about people, what fits in the picture and what doesn’t
The USMC has a program called the Combat Hunter.
Its written here in language pretty much everyone can understand. And its a great book for not just learning how and why, but also for first responders to see what leads to mass shootings, bombings and the people who do it.
Ive written about it before but it has become more important now with the terror attacks at home. Knowing something is not right based on who fits and doesn’t, and the right decision to leave when something isn’t right is the most important thing to take from this post.
What do I do in a terrorist attack?