WTVM Editorial 10/9/15: How to stop an active shooter

WTVM Editorial 10/9/15: How to stop an active shooter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Everyone remembers the famous words spoken on the ill-fated Flight 93: "Let's Roll!" when the passengers decided - as a group - to rush the cockpit in an attempt to gain control of the hijacked airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11.

That's the same idea behind swarming an active shooter, like the madman in Oregon, who killed nine people.

It's what presidential candidate Ben Carson said he would do, if confronted by a potential mass murderer. He was immediately criticized for endorsing such a tactic.

Yet one brave veteran did just that in Oregon, although he was shot and injured.

Security experts and men like Tim Larkin, who runs a company called Target Focus Training, believe if a workplace or school is prepared - as a group - to disrupt an active shooter, it can be very effective.

Shooters who intend to inflict mass casualties, count on a group becoming paralyzed with fear, giving him time to carry out his insane mission.

But if the targeted group decides not to let the shooter dictate the rules and instead rushes him, or throws objects, creates noise or otherwise puts the shooter on the defensive, the tables can turn in favor of mass survival instead of mass killings.

It's something to think hard about. It isn't easy to do and it might not work in every scenario. And it takes foresight and planning.

Swarming an active shooter doesn't guarantee no one will get hurt. But it is long past time for any of us to allow an active shooter to always control the situation.

As Dr. Ben Carson said, the result of a group rushing at a madman shooter is that "the shooter might get me, but he can't get everyone."

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

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