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Cost of Confrontational Active-Shooter Tactics

By Net Assets posted 05-09-2019 08:00 AM


(from the New York Times) On Tuesday, two high school students in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, carried out an active-shooter attack at their school, killing one student and wounding eight others. All casualties followed students' efforts to stop the gunman by rushing him in the face of gunfire. The actions of Kendrick Castillo, the student who died on Tuesday, parallel the actions of Riley Howell, a college student who lost his life when taking down a gunman at the University of North Carolina Charlotte last week. According to authorities, both probably saved lives.

For many people, the notion of having young people tackle gunmen in the middle of a rampage is a chilling thought. But Greg Crane, the founder of the "ALICE" active-shooter training program that encourages people to “counter” shooters, said in situations where people cannot escape, disrupting the gunman might be the best approach to end a deadly tragedy. “Frankly, this is the way these events get stopped the quickest,” said Mr. Crane. The ALICE method has been criticized precisely because it urges civilians to take such an aggressive approach against gunmen. Other training approaches emphasize running or hiding and letting trained law enforcement confront the attacker. “But if they don’t do anything and they maintain a static, passive position, waiting for the police to get there — as in Columbine, as in Virginia Tech, as in Sandy Hook — I think you see the casualty statistics are much higher,” Mr. Crane said.

More from the New York Times 

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Safety & Security: From Fear to Empowerment: Changing Active-Shooter Protocols (Nov/Dec 2018)
Safety & Security: Dangers of Active-Shooter Training Programs (Sept/Oct 2018)
Preventing the Unthinkable (Jan/Feb 2014)
Over-Zealous Drills Harm More than Prepare (news item)
Educators-First Security (web-only, April 2019)
Using Head, Not Heart in School Emergency Planning (web-only, Nov 2018)
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