This week we have a surgeon’s take on hospital safety; another look at church security planning; what you should do if you find yourself at the scene of a mass shooting attack; what to do when the guy you’re holding at gunpoint doesn’t follow your orders; storing water for emergencies; how to deal with mob violence; how to master the traditional double action pistol; and a look at tampons for first aid. More great information only on the Hump Day Reading List!
Hospitals are not safe havens from attack
Dr. John Edeen wrote an article for Doctors For Responsible Gun Onwership that looks at how vulnerable hospitals are to a mass-casualty attack — be it terror or just a nutcase gone off his meds. He details some of the vulnerabilities and some of the instances where those were exploited by attackers. While I do caution people not to go overboard with “terrorist panic”, when it comes to our public institutions we do need to make contingency plans for the possibility of targeted violence. I hope by publicizing this article we can get our hospitals to take a more serious look at their risk and do some planning on how to deter or defeat an attack. It’s a good, thorough, well researched article.
More on church security
Here’s a follow-on to last week’s link to a church security article. In Skill Set: Church Security, Tiger McKee gives a quick overview of the considerations in setting up a church security program, from planning to documentation of training. If you or your church is just starting out, this will give you some idea of the work you need to do to be safe, effective, and efficient.
Dealing with a public shooting attack
This is actually a fairly good article on how to deal with a mass shooting attack in a public space, particularly from the standpoint of mindset: preparing mentally for the tasks you may need to do to survive. Some of his advice is a little thin; for instance, he doesn’t go into any detail about how one might fight back, but at least he does talk about timing — which is something many other articles leave out. He also derides the idea of hiding (where I agree with him) but doesn’t talk about barricading, which is a very different action. Overall, though, I think the article is worth reading and many of his points can be integrated into your planning.
You say “face down” and he says “no”. Now what?
I’ve seen many news accounts of people using their firearm to hold a criminal for the police. Most of the time these incidents do not involve crimes for which the use or threat of lethal force is in any way justified. So let’s say you caught a guy stealing the stereo out of your car; you point your gun at him and tell him to get down on the ground, that you’ve called the police and they’re on the way. What do you do if he decides not to obey you? This article from Greg Ellifritz does an excellent job of pointing out the pitfalls of trying to hold someone at gunpoint and what to do when the bad guy doesn’t follow your orders. This is an important article!
Do you store water? Maybe you should.
I’ll preface this by admitting to you up front that the linked article is full of fear mongering and apocalyptic doomsaying. Still, the reality is that when the power goes off for a length of time in many places, water stops flowing. Add to that the possibility of drought and the very common water main breaks — some taking a week or more to fix — it’s not at all implausible that your water supply might be interrupted for a time. Storing 72 hours of water for you and your family is a reasonable, responsible preparation to make. If you live in a third-floor apartment in a downtown area it might not be feasible to store that much, but even then you can store a few gallons here and there in the backs of closets. (Make sure you rotate that water, too, because drinking stale bottled water is unpleasant at best.)
People in groups are unpredictable. You need to be prepared for that.
If there’s anything that twenty-first century has taught us, it’s that mobs are getting both more commonplace and more prone to violence. Do you have an idea of what you’d do when faced with an angry mob? This article has some thoughts on mob dynamics and what you need to know to survive and encounter with one. Not being there is of course the best solution, but what do you do when it springs up around you? Read the article for the discussion.
Dealing with the double action/single action semiauto trigger
Let’s get this out of the way first: I do not recommend traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) semiauto pistols as defensive tools. The reason is that they’re the most complicated of all autopistols to learn to use and require more training and practice resources to maintain any given level of proficiency. This is not theoretical, either; I’ve observed this over many years. If, however, you’re stuck with one (for whatever reason) and want to know how to make the best of it, this article gives some superb lessons in learning how to master the DA/SA trigger. If you follow his recommendations you will gain more control and be able to shoot that gun better than you did before. (Ignore the author’s apologetics; he likes the system, but that doesn’t make it objectively better.)
Feminine hygiene products for trauma care?
If you peruse the internet, especially the gun discussion forums, sooner or later you’ll come upon someone espousing the use of tampons and other feminine hygiene products in first aid kits. (In fact, you can probably make a good drinking game out of it: every time someone suggests that a tampon is the way to treat a gunshot wound, you take a drink. You’ll be on your face singing bad karaoke before you know it!) Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics, who is an expert in the field of trauma response, wrote an article for Personal Defense Network about tampons and why they’re not a good choice for trauma care. It’s worth reading and sharing every time you run into one of “those” people.
– Grant Cunningham