Since October last year, less than 6 months ago, there has been 3 mass shootings in a row that have been covered by mainstream media, where the “first responders” have been killed or/and wounded. The latter being only yesterday at a factory in Illinois.
A few months ago I wrote a piece about how to survive a mass shooting, centered on American schools. However, the formula and options based drill can be used anywhere.
The problem that I want to highlight though…most people think that if they shelter in place until the cavalry arrive, then all will be good. Well, quite obviously that’s not the case. In the last 3 mass shootings of the synagogue in Pittsburgh, back in October 2018, the students night out in the bar in California in November 2018, and also sadly the shooting at the factory in Illinois yesterday, the police in the initial response were shot dead or wounded. That sets their partners’momentum back quite a bit, from seconds to minutes to perhaps hours.
This is indeed a serious issue for everyone in America, as a country that is awash with guns leads to the fact that kids can’t attend school safely, adults cant attend work safely. Families can’t enjoy days or evenings out to relax safely! Therefore, every individual (I suggest over the age of 12 years) must have a plan fixed in the back of their mind. Those under the age of 12 must be controlled by an adult where possible.
That plan is based on a simple formula: speed + distance = survival.
No matter where you are at the time…school, work place, airport, restaurant, cinema, bar, or even on the street. The quicker that you can put distance between yourself and the shooter, the safer you will be.
Tied in with where you may be in relation to the shooter at the time of opening fire, will determine the three options open to you: run, hide or fight (remembering always the formula).
 You can read in more detail about the “run, hide, fight options based drills” in my post on school shootings, that I’ve already highlighted above.
I’ll end by suggesting that the first responders are actually the individuals caught up in the shooting. You’re there in the moment, and it’s only you that can get yourself to safety in the initial seconds to minutes. The police, medics and firefighters are therefore the “professional responders” in my opinion. It’s bad enough getting into a situation with one shooter. But to be cowering in the middle of a firefight between the shooter and the professional responders is NOT a good situation for anyone to be in.
Therefore please remember always: speed + distance = survival. 

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


    1. Jim, speed + distance = survival! It’s fine for the rich, and places like embassies to have a strong room to retreat back to. But for everyone else, the best chance of survival is to get well away as quickly as possible.

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