As a cop, firefighter, para medic, doctor, nurse or soldier…fitness and not fatness is everything. Don’t sit back on your laurels and become a liability when most needed.

In the eight years I’ve lived in the USA I’ve been shocked by the amount of professional responders I see around the country who have completely let their fitness go.

Whether the police chief of a department, to their brand new rookie, male or female…every individual needs to be fit. Healthy body, healthy mind as they say. Then add in the fact that they are carrying a gun.

I personally feel for the many cops who have taken good care of themselves yet have to work alongside those who are clearly a liability due to a lack of fitness, REMEMBER ON THE GROUND YOU’RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK.

Cops in the USA have a dreadful task working within the land of guns…every day they operate within a hostile environment. But there are situations that the average cop on the street clearly doesn’t have enough training for.

What happens to the individual who isn’t fit and has to respond by running 50 yards sprinting from his/her patrol car to the end of the block, and has one chance to shoot an individual who is an immediate danger to the public and to themselves? Blowing out of their arse, unable to keep their weapon steady, and therefore rounds going everywhere but into the intended target. It’s happened, too many times, this country has a bad saying when explaining the fall out from a shooting…”those casualties were collateral damage.” I hear it time and time again. The explanation either caught in crossfire, or by the shooter…yet never have I heard directly an explanation that they were shot by police negligently.

So, in the response to school/workplace shootings, just how many individuals classed as collateral damage have been shot negligently by police? I’m amazed that the media never seem to ask this question, especially when you have seen that the operational response has been atrocious on too many occasions in the recent past of say the last ten years or so.

There are definitely cops in the USA who should NOT be carrying a gun at all for various reasons from fitness/mindset to lack of police skills training.

These have been my thoughts way before the dreadful scenario at Uvalde, Texas.

It has been the time…the precious time that it takes for police to respond (remembering that even 3-6 minutes is a long long time when you have a shooter roaming freely) that forced me to write a previous blog: https://bobshepherdauthor.com/2018/10/09/a-formula-for-surviving-school-shootings/

So now onto Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School shooting and it’s horrendous response.

We can all read the report that condemns the response, or we’ve read about it in the papers or seen it on TV…out just a couple of days ago. We can all recall the “nineteen good guys with guns” standing doing nothing in the school’s corridor with enough firepower to take out an infantry section, and in addition at least two ballistic shields to gain entry in order to kill or capture an eighteen year old disenfranchised kid!

Given the shootings already and the periodic sound of gunfire…given the screaming of little elementary kids on the other side of the door, given that the “nineteen” would know full well that there are kids bleeding out by the second…it doesn’t matter what orders are coming through to say that it’s gone from a mass shooting to a hostage/containment situation. There is no change of circumstances here in reality…you do not wait for specialist units that take care of hostage containment with a longer awaited deliberate option, not while individuals have been killed and are still being killed. No, no, no…the IA (immediate action plan) goes in straight away. It’s dangerous, but that’s what the cops get paid the big bucks for…whoever is first on the scene.

In addition, even if the first cops on the scene only had semi automatic pistols…it’s close confinement fighting…you can still take out the shooter no matter what he’s armed with!

When kids are being transferred from young innocent human beings receiving an education at school to being blown apart into pink mist within a millisecond, and their class mates are screaming for help then getting whacked themselves…it astounds me that from the moment the first cop arrived all the way to the “nineteen good guys with guns”…including ballistic shields, could just stand there and obey shite orders.

Any decent human being not just any decent cop would take it upon themselves to assault that classroom and eliminate the shooter….immediately.

The lesson learnt here once again…is that ultimately we are ALL on our own in these scenarios.

Speed + Distance = Survival. Run, Hide or Fight.

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 www.bobshepherdauthor.com

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


  1. Hard to believe anyone with an ounce of training and a weapon could stand by waiting for orders
    Let alone in a primary school
    Having served in N Ireland on Op Banner for 5 years with our stupid rules card. I know I did not stand by awaiting orders, rather stand in front of a court than look in the mirror knowing I did nothing!

  2. In the Uk you probably would not even have the luxury of having a weapon if this happened. If I was in the US and had a weapon I would not hesitate in responding, no matter what idiot was barking out orders not to.

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