Criminals and terrorists both tend to take advantage of a ‘soft target’ when possible. We saw this take place at the Ft. Lauderdale airport baggage claim area. This area of an airport can be considered to be a ‘soft target’ since everyone for the most part is going to be unarmed due to airport traveling restrictions. Situations such as this are a little tougher to deal with, but there are still some things you can do with a little planning and preparation.

Obviously without a pistol there is little you can do to engage the threat. The best bet here is for multiple people to overwhelm the shooter and disable him, but this is not without the severe risk of multiple fatalities. Hopefully law enforcement and/or a concealed carry holder outside the baggage claim area can step in and neutralize the active shooter.

There are two items I carry inside my Vertx EDC Commuter Sling bag to assist with personal protection and dealing with the aftermath. Both items can be carried inside your bag as you travel through airports and fly on commercial aircraft.

Active Shooter inside the Airport | What can you do?

The first item is a level 3A soft armor plate kept inside my bag. By doing this I now have ballistic protection between me and the shooter. This soft armor plate (made by AR500) will stop almost any handgun round. By swinging the bag around to my front, I’m able to protect my vitals. If I’m attempting to get off the X and run, having the bag slung across my back will protect my spine from any rounds sent into my direction. The AR500 level 3A soft armor plate will run you around $110 which considering it’s potentially going to save your life, makes this a worthy investment.

Active Shooter inside the Airport | What can you do?

The second item I always have in my bag is a simple trauma kit capable of handling traumatic gun shot wounds. I also carry a SWAT-T Tourniquet on my person everywhere I go. My trauma kit is contained in a zip lock bag for several reasons. First off it will keep the contents dry, second it allows me to see everything inside and third it allows quick access to the contents. I also just find it easier to carry and more compact by using a zip lock bag vs some high speed tactical medical pouch. I carry 4 necessary items that every trauma kit should have. I have covered why I chose these items in a previous article titled 4 must have items of every trauma kit.

Active Shooter inside the Airport | What can you do?

  • Tourniquet
  • Quik Clot Hemostatic Gauze
  • Halo Chest Seal
  • Trauma bandage

With a combination of the above items, the tourniquet in my pocket and improvising on the fly will enable me to render to care to myself and others if necessary. Although the world is a seemingly dangerous place, chances that you will need to use your medical kit and skills is much higher than you having to draw you pistol and engage an active shooter. Take the time now to get the proper training and prepare for the unknown. Remember seconds count when first responders are minutes away.

*An honorable mention as an additional item to carry is a high lumen flashlight. I personally carry a Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA. This is also TSA approved and can be carried throughout airports and commercial aircraft.