Personal safety and survival: How to respond to an active killer scenario
By Zoey Sky // May 26, 2023

According to popular belief, the saying "Run, Hide, Fight" can help you survive an active killer or active shooter incident.


But is this true? Or are there other more effective ways of surviving these dangerous scenarios? (h/t to

Flaws of the "Run, Hide, Fight" plan

What is wrong with the "Run, Hide, Fight" response plan? The plan isn't practical, and running away means you could get shot in the back, as observed in incidents like Columbine and Westgate Mall.

Hiding may work temporarily, but if you are discovered, you can still get shot.

Many say that fighting should only be used as a last resort since the attackers are armed, but that is not an acceptable solution. Criminals are also changing their tactics and they may have access to weapons like bombs in the future.

Where did the concept of "Run, Hide, Fight" come from?

The slogan comes from so-called "experts," particularly those at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies that are often made up of academics studying classroom violence. But their decision-making was not based on the successful handling of actual incidents because this strategy was proven to be ineffective and rather dangerous.

It's possible that these "experts" had their choices influenced by political correctness. After all, it's not considered politically correct to encourage people to fight back.

To promote a cowardly agenda and create dependence, regardless of how many innocent people get hurt or die, many have adopted the flawed "Run, Hide, Fight" strategy.

If the good guys are hiding, then the bad guys will continue to harm others without any consequences. This suggests that those who argue that fighting back only makes things worse seem to be valuing the life of the killer over the lives of the victims.

Also, the argument that fighting back makes you no better than the terrorist is flawed. After all, if you are trained in self-defense or how to use a firearm, you will only use force if necessary and you will only do to so stop the attacker.

Meanwhile, the shooter's actions are indiscriminate and harm anyone in their path.

Because your goal as a survivor is to protect yourself and others, you know that you can stop fighting back once the attacker is neutralized.

If civilians are proactive and try to stop the active shooter before the police arrive, there will be no shooting when the police finally arrive.

It is important for off-duty police officers, plain-clothes officers and private citizens with concealed carry permits to have a practiced plan in place to de-conflict the situation and establish a safe linkup with responding officers.

This may be hard to hear for some, but the "Run, Hide, Fight" approach seems to be based on cowardice. Bravery is required for a civilian to run toward the sound of gunfire and empower others to do the same.

Encouraging an active response is important to foster a society that is brave and capable of fighting back against evil. (Related: Here’s why self-defense fitness is crucial to your survival.)

A better way of dealing with an active killer scenario

So how can you protect yourself when dealing with an active killer scenario?

Before anything happens, try to improve your situational awareness. This means always being aware of your surroundings and learning how to identify potential threats and dangerous situations.

Most attacks have many casualties because some people don't pay attention to their surroundings.

Situational awareness is the foundation of your personal safety and it should become a mindset rather than a skill. Being vigilant and trusting your intuition will give you the time frame or the fighting chance you need to escape to safety.

Instead of running and hiding, focus on using force as necessary to incapacitate the attacker.

First, try to understand the nature of the attacker. Most of the time, shooters are bad at their craft and rely on attacking helpless victims.

This also suggests that their tactical abilities and weapon-handling skills are very minimal. In most cases, shooters might even run or cower when faced with minimal counterforce.

Aggressive action and fast response increase the likelihood of success.

If you are in a similar scenario, orient yourself toward the threat both physically and mentally. Head for cover, assess the situation and mentally prepare to fight.

Look for opportunities to apply your fighting skills and strike when you have an opening to do so.

Getting ahead of the attacker during the decision-making process and staying there is key to your survival.

The odds of being caught in an active killer scenario are small, but the threat is real. To survive, you must accept the situation and prepare to respond effectively.

If an active killer is posing a threat to innocent people, the only response that can help prevent further casualties is an "overwhelming and decisive counter force." This means you must not be afraid to use violence to neutralize the attacker until they "are rendered incapable of any viable action."

Understanding the nature of attackers is important because while they may be willing to carry out acts of violence, they are usually inexperienced and not highly skilled in handling weapons or tactical situations. When faced with even minimal counterforce, they may run, cower or kill themselves.

Being willing to face an attacker and using your skills to your advantage can help increase your chances of survival.

If the opportunity to attack the shooter isn't immediately present, look for ways to improve your tactical situation. This could mean moving from cover point to cover point until you can either leave the area or engage and disable the attacker.

If it's not safe to move forward, "break contact" by moving away from the crisis point and going cover point to cover point until you can either escape or engage the active killer.

Remember that you should always be prepared to fight because this is the only way to be sure that the attacker will be permanently stopped. Stay ahead of the attacker’s attack capability and fight when you get the chance.

If you do not fight back at the right time, you may lose the initiative and become a casualty.

It's best to maintain an aggressive, proactive mindset that puts you ahead of the attacker. Running away is a passive response that won't make it hard for the killer to hurt more people.

If you are trapped in an area with the attacker, avoid hiding and instead set an ambush. Establish the best tactical position possible, use weapons if you have them and once the killer enters your battle space, strike.

If you allow the attacker to enter your space and establish control, you and other innocent people are at risk of being killed.

Ballistic intervention is key to saving lives

If you want to survive an active shooter scenario, the most effective way to stop your attacker is through ballistic intervention. This means that those who are armed and trained should be ready to act when SHTF.

If you want to stay safe, try to avoid establishments that do not allow legal firearms on their premises. You should also let them know why you do not support their policy.

You can also support and vote for politicians who uphold your unalienable right to self-protection. Carrying a modern pistol and having a permit to carry is also important because you must always be ready to defend yourself and others.

However, despite these reminders, some people still believe that imposing more restrictions on guns will prevent active killer attacks and crime. But this is an emotion-driven false narrative that is often used to limit access to modern firearms.

As a law-abiding citizen who is willing to be brave and protect others, it isn't fair to expect you to defend yourself with equipment that isn't as effective as your attacker's. Actively resist these attempts to limit your access to firearms.

Criminals will always find a way to carry out their evil plans, and law-abiding citizens such as yourself must be prepared to protect themselves and others.

Instead of expressing sympathy for victims or advocating for increased gun control, leaders must actively encourage Americans to defend themselves. The country must adopt a more proactive and empowered stance against terrorist and active killer threats.

While it's sad that innocent people can become targets of disgruntled individuals who want to hurt others, you can fight back and protect others by learning how to neutralize and incapacitate an active shooter before more people get hurt.

Watch the video below for more tips on how to deal with an active shooter scenario.

This video is from the James Yeager Tactical Response channel on

More related stories:

Indiana teachers sue county and sheriff’s department due to trauma from being shot at with pellets during active shooter drills.

Self-defense 101: Concealed carry tips for newbie preppers.

Self-defense basics: 4 Tips that will improve your situational awareness.

Sources include: 1 2

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