Repost: Hard Truths About Civilian Combat Tactics When There Is An Active Shooter

I have received emails from very well-meaning guys and had conversations with various law enforcement and military fellows about civilian combat tactics, both in a general context AND as they apply to me directly given my situation. While I always appreciate expert advice and soak it up as much as I can, I have been struck by one commonality that I have heard and vigorously disagree with. I have been told over and over again that the first thing one must do when a close-quarter combat theater unfolds is to seek cover.

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24 Responses to Repost: Hard Truths About Civilian Combat Tactics When There Is An Active Shooter

  1. enn ess says:

    Ms Barnhardt is correct on this, and it only takes a second to assess a situation, OK, maybe 2 seconds. Point is, any attacker is not expecting this behavior and takes them off guard. Even seasoned personnel it will set back a second. In that time you have the advantage. Sure thing you may die, but then if you cower and do nothing you send a better chance of dying for sure.
    Think about to he train incident in France a few years back where a few boys charged the attacker. Fixed his ass didn’t they!

  2. pigpen51 says:

    I have actually considered what I would do in a lone gunman situation. I always try to carry a firearm on my person, but to be honest, there are times when it is not legal, and I actually like both my freedom and my ability to continue to have the ability to keep my CCW permit. So I try to follow the law regarding concealed carry. I don’t carry it into hospitals, or theaters with capacities over 2500., etc.
    I have heard or read tactics from many different trainers, who tend to tell you to protect yourself and your loved ones, and not anyone else. I just have the personality that won’t allow that. I would be the one to run at the shooter, trying to either slow or stop them. I have no death wish, of course. I am not brave. I just have always placed others before myself. It must be how I was brought up.

    • Kevin says:

      I agree to a certian extent, but you will need your firearm in precisely those areas that you will not carry in. The older I have gotten the less I give a shit. No one has the right to force me to be a victim. I will not comply. I carry everywhere I go. Period.

      • pigpen51 says:

        If you shoot someone when you are carrying in a no carry zone, you better be damn sure that you are in the right when shooting them.

  3. Ray says:

    Hears what ANN got wrong. Like “Kerodin” she has no training or background in real world knife fighting. I spent more than 20 years in knife and sword school. YES. Do run at your attacker with your blade out. YES stab your attacker as fast and as many times as you can. NO NO NO! DO NOT go for the face and head. Attack the pelvic vault, the penis ,testicle’s and especially the inside of both legs. When you do this attack you are striking at the largest group of major blood vessel’s in the human body. The part of the body also contains the BIGGEST BLOOD VESSELS in the human body. Cutting only one or two of them is a certain kill. The human head is almost all bone. The points of fatal attack are small and difficult to hit under pressure. If you do manage to get within striking range and land a blow to his nuts or inside his leg DON’T STOP TO ADMIRE YOUR HANYWORK. Hit him as hard and often as the lord G_D will let you. Cutting the Femoral artery, or any of the other SIX major arterial strike point are not only quick kills they are very painful. But your knife is the last resort. I prefer my hand gun Vs. nutjob myself. That’s why I carry. So I don’t have to die taking the SOB with me.

    • the other other Andrew says:

      Yep. Head strikes are fancy, but pummeling the gut, back of the legs, and arms is so much easier as most people don’t block strikes there well. A nice 3″ blade will do wonders against muscle groups, and if you can carry longer, the better for you.

      Hand-to-hand is last resort. Always. One has to assume one will be injured or dead when the fight is done. Gotta just not give a shit and let the rage flow. And then be pleasantly surprised if you’re not pushing up daisies after the fight.

    • M. Sage says:

      I remember watching an interview of a kid who got their face cut up in a fight. They didn’t even notice that their opponent had pulled a utility knife in the middle of the fight, or that her (I think it was a girl) face was cut to ribbons until after the fight. She just thought she was getting punched, not cut.

  4. I am surprised, a little, at having a cat demonstrate what DUTY looks like. Great example for some males (and females) of my acquaintance.

  5. John Deaux says:

    We are assuming the people you may save is worthy of you giving up your life for.

    • Bacon says:

      No such assumption being made, John. The people you may save are most likely unworthy assholes. You’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for Him.

  6. Bruce W says:

    I love Ann Barnhardt.

  7. max says:

    I’ve wondered, for some time, if the Orlando shooting might have come out quite differently if even a few of those present had shown some spine. There had to be bottles, glass, God knows what else all over the tables and floors, even chairs, shoes, pocket items. Glass and bottles, thrown at the perp could have injured, charging with a chair could incapacitate, charge a couple guys behind a table, you may run him down. That fact was, the guy was outnumbered about 200-1, I’d have taken any chance available to strike back, rather than have my life ended as I cowered on the disgusting floor of a bar bathroom. This seems to have not occurred to those victims.

    • Boone says:

      Very interesting to watch this coinciding of 2 of my favorite bloggers.

    • the other other Andrew says:

      Yes. If they had bum-rushed him, sure, some would die, but they were all gonna die anyways. Sometimes you just gotta stop giving a shit and just get it done. Ask any nerd who survived more than 3 serious ‘shit getting pounded out of them’ episodes.

      If you are gonna fight, gotta go all the way in. Pain is for after, if there is an after.

  8. Paul B says:

    Barnhardt is pretty sharp. I have to say the guys on Flight 93 did it right. Better to take the fight to the attacker and turn the tables.

    FWIW this the basis of Krav Maga.

    I do not know what I would do if confronted with an active event. Based on some of my past high stress moment I would think I would attack.

    But not having seen the elephant I can’t really say what I would do. But it sure looks right to me.

  9. M. Sage says:

    I’m going to disagree with her slightly. Take cover, assess (and get your gun out) and then deal with the situation.

    You might be fast at getting your concealed handgun out, but you’re still way WAY behind the curve in this situation. Getting shot dead with your pistol halfway out of the holster doesn’t serve any of the people around you.

    I’m not saying that a person should delay getting into the fight. By all means, the faster you fight back, the better. I’m just saying, you need to survive long enough to start fighting back or there’s no point.

    • Sanders says:

      Actually, you aren’t as far behind the curve as you may think. The bad guy has no idea you are armed. They are expecting a fearful, cowed room of victims for their pleasure.

      It seems that almost to a man, whenever there is a good guy with a gun, the bad guy will either decide to suckstart his own gun or surrender.

  10. Fred Z says:

    “Never mind maneuvers, always go straight at ’em.”

    -Admiral Lord Nelson, a man who had much experience of dealing with active shooters

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