If you ever find yourself confronted by someone with a gun, know you are not defenseless.

Gun control has become a major topic in the national conversation in the wake of shootings that have occurred in malls, schools, movie theaters and office buildings. While the debate rages on, you need to take steps to protect yourself in case you are ever in harm’s way. The need to act quickly can be the difference between life and death, so here are some essential things to keep in mind.


There is no formal guidebook on what to do in case you find yourself confronted by a shooter, but there are several things you need to keep in mind. Sure, it’s hard to think in a situation like that, but if you can somehow act fast, these steps just may save your life.

The three most basic things to remember are run, hide and fight.

When you can, run away from the scene to safety. If you can't run, then hide out of sight from the shooter. If left with no other alternative, fight the assailant, as a last resort.


There are other important matters to remember, as well.

For instance, call 911 when you can and know the lockdown procedure that may in place in the facility where you are. If approached by the shooter, don't inform him or her that you have a phone because that may prompt him to go after you.

It's also important to note that you should be quiet, so as not to call attention to yourself.


Make sure you respond only to a person you know is law enforcement or someone you know. You don't want to be duped into thinking someone saying he's an officer when he is actually the shooter. Also, if you find yourself in a position where you are leading others, tell them to keep their hands exposed, especially over their heads, if possible. Doing so will make it easier to identify the shooter, who will most likely be armed.

While it may be impossible to prevent a shooting, there can also sometimes be signs someone may one day pull the trigger, including withdrawal, mood swings and comments about weapons. So, keep an eye and an ear out for any change in behavior.

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