As many in the country have done in the past few days, I found myself in conversation about the ‘what if’s’ of being in an active shooter situation. Usually I’m speaking to a fellow American fighting-age male, but my most recent conversation on the topic was with my own mother. I love my mom, but she’s probably not the person you envision coming to your rescue in this sort of situation. If we are being realistic though, she is exactly what you might get.

She’s not training in martial arts, she doesn’t carry a concealed weapon, and she has various injuries along with age that make her not quite as nimble as she once was. Her being my mother though, I certainly don’t like the thought of her being in an active shooter situation and not knowing what to do. So, regardless of physical prowess or prior training, here are the five steps anyone can do in an active shooter scenario to increase the chances of limiting the damage done and lives taken.

1.Get Down. Regardless of where you are at, when the bullets start flying you need to get as close to the ground as possible, as fast as possible. At this point, the shooter has momentum on his side, as well as surprise. If you have never been shot at before (and even if you have), you may initially be in shock. The best thing you can do is getting on the ground to avoid the gunfire that will be traveling at 3-6 feet above the ground.

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