They made us watch the video below at work.
That video was produced by the city of Houston, Texas. They consider it to be so important that it is available in many languages, some rather surprising such as Chinese.
The video describes what to do if one finds oneself in an active shooter situation, where some nutbag decides to end his miserable and worthless existence by killing as many innocent, helpless people as possible before the police arrives and takes his pain away with a bullet. The three instructions to follow are RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.
These instructions are to avoid the shooter if at all possible, but if you can’t get away then to go down fighting. Just about every law enforcement agency here in the United States advocates the same thing. It is so common that even college police departments have their own videos to teach the students.
This is completely uncontroversial here in the United States, as it just seems to be gobsmackingly obvious. I’ve even come across at least one law enforcement agency that uses the possibility of being caught in an active shooter incident as an opportunity to suggest firearms training so the erstwhile victims can shoot back.
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The Department of Homeland Security has gotten into the act, urging people across the nation to do the same thing.
(Click pic to enbiggen.)
So that is the situation here in the US, but what about our good friends across the Pond in the United Kingdom? What does their government teach people to do?
(Click pic to make larger.)
Our good friend knirirr was kind enough to give us this heads up. A bit different, and what is the reason?
I suppose Americans would just rather go meet their maker with an improvised weapon in their hands than a phone against their ear.
The memory is foggy but I seem to recall cases in the UK where people who tried the ‘fight’ part got prosecuted by the Crown for doing so. At least one victim had the added indignity of being sued by the break-in artist that he had to fight off.
I don’t think it’s particularly common, but there’s definitely a chilling effect as people are worried about exactly that. In case it’s of interest, here’s some of the relevant legal stuff (IANAL, of course):
I’m tempted to replace our work poster with one of the American ones mentioned here to see how long it is before anyone notices…
In the situation under description, getting prosecuted is the last thing to worry about. If you reach the “fight” stage in a mass shooting incident, you’re just trying to stay alive. And, to be frank, not likely to succeed. Taking on a gunman unarmed isn’t a high-survivability strategy. You probably shouldn’t try it unless the advised running and hiding don’t work.
Of course, if you have a gun of your own, the situation changes some. However, not one likely to happen in the UK.
If you do fight off a mass shooter with your own gun, be careful that you don’t get mistaken as the shooter by responding police, of course.
I’ve read that self-defense is a big NO-NO in the UK, except for RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!