The recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have made everyone a little more cautious, a little more wary.
It’s prompted the Stock and Barrel Gun Club to once again offer a free, public presentation at both its Chanhassen and Eagan locations. The next presentation is 6 p.m., Tuesday, at the Chanhassen location, 18832 Lake Drive East, by Mike Reilly, a personal protection expert. Register at 612-888-0540.
The same program is offered at the Eagan location, presented by Randy Ferris, an instructor and security professional with 37 years experience working with Fortune 100 companies.
According to a press release, the instructors will provide tips of what to do in an active shooter situation in a public place, from building awareness skills, what to do if you hear gunfire, and what to do when law enforcement arrives.
“It’s part of our mission and duty to act as a community resource,” Ferris said. The presentation was first put together in 2017 in response to the country music fest shooting in Las Vegas, and has been presented whenever there’s been an active shooter incident.
“We open it up to the public,” Ferris said. “We want people to know how to be more aware.” The vast of majority of attendees are not club members and not gun owners, Ferris said.
Preparedness prevents panic, Ferris said. When faced with a crisis that you’re not prepared for, the result can result in denial, panic or freezing in fear, whether it’s a fire, an accident or a shooting.
“But if you’re prepared with knowledge and determination, you can react.”
7 things you can do
1. Build awareness skills. Get rid of diversions like ear buds and mobile phones while out in public. Pay attention to your surroundings. Take a quick look around to determine if anyone is acting out of context for the environment.
2. Carry a small durable high intensity flashlight. The beam can cause temporary blindness, and is more efficient than fumbling for a mobile phone app. If lights go out in any venue for any reason, “You’ll appreciate you have that flashlight with you,” Ferris said.
3. Replace your chemical or pepper sprays, with the type that is a concentrated color gel spray irritant. Gel is not dissipated by rain or humidity and sticks to the assailant. A gel formula has a special cap capable of shooting a concentrated stream up to 13 feet at 112 mph.
4. When in a public venue, always be aware of where exits are located. In a crisis, exits are your best friend, Ferris said. Usually the only one you remember is the one where you came in. And that’s where the shooter might be.
5. If you hear gunfire? Run. It’s very difficult to shoot a running target, Ferris said. The second option, fight. The shooter doesn’t expect it. They’re not prepared for someone to throw a backpack at them, a briefcase, a fire extinguisher. The key is to be prepared and determined. And do what they’re not expecting.
6. What to expect when law enforcement arrives? Their first priority is neutralizing the shooter. Until they have all facts sorted, everyone will be treated like a suspect. Don’t be offended if you are initially treated as a suspect, because it’s not uncommon for there to be more than shooter.
7. Do self care. With all the adrenaline, you will feel good when the paramedics ask if you are OK. But 40 minutes later when the adrenaline drops, you’ll find yourself in a much different emotional state, Ferris cautioned. Anxiety, depression or another emotional response may set in. Drink water. When these things happen, people forget to eat or drink and there’s danger of dehydration.
In these situations, community healthcare organizations will be available. Would you like to talk to a counselor? Say “Yes,” because of the adrenaline dump, or take their contact information for when the emotional responses set in.
“You can’t be prepared for everything that is going to happen,” Ferris said, “but you can have a mindset that no one has the right to harm you, you are not going to allow that to happen, and you’ll take whatever means necessary to be safe.”