There’s No Right Answer

*This is an excerpt from the book How to Survive an Active Killer
In the age of instant gratification, all too often we find that everyone wants to know the “right answer” to any situation. More specifically the answer that will be the easiest and guarantee us success, or in this case safety. The inconvenient truth is that there is no clear cut right answer. In the midst of violence and chaos you will only be able to do what you think is best, based off the information presented, your ability to process that information and the tools/knowledge you had in place before the attack happened. Also considering these decisions will need to be made in mere seconds. That’s a very tall order.
Now consider that every single individual in the vicinity of the attack will be taking in different information, processing it completely differently and acting on it based on their individual level of competency. Ten people in a cafeteria when a shooter enters will process ten different sets of details. They may have “similar experiences” but when you dive into the information they take in, they will pick up on different details.
We must also accept that, though there may be some common trends between attacks, every scenario is completely different. The shooter(s) are pulling from different experiences, knowledge and planning. The locations are different and populated by different people. Law enforcement will have different response times depending on the location of the incident. The choice of weapons are different, the attackers level of efficiency with those weapons are different and the weapons ability to function is different.
So to review, we have no idea how you will react, no idea how others will react and no idea how the attack will take place. Considering all of these principles, how can we expect to create a universal answer to every scenario? The answer is, that there isn’t one. In fact inside of one specific scenario there is no “right answer” to responding. What works for you in your position, may not work for someone else in that same exact scenario. Your skills, circumstances, physical ability, mental toughness, resources and more, are all completely different than the person standing right next to you in that scenario.
You can only make the best decision possible based off of the information you can collect, your ability to quickly process it and pulling from the knowledge you already have. Thus, the goal in training cannot be to create a “simple and universal answer “ to the problem. Instead the goal in training should be to expose yourself to as much useful knowledge and as many plausible scenarios as your time and budget allow in order to increase your ability to process information efficiently and act on knowledge you possess.
Don’t fall for easy… if you ever here a defensive instructor say “All you need to do is this.” You better leave that program, because that person is full of shit. When it comes to dealing with violence, there’s never an “easy answer.”
Train hard, stay safe, one love
-aaron