You are a business owner sitting in your office finishing up some paperwork when you hear somebody scream. The scream is immediately followed by a gunshot, and then all hell breaks loose with more screams as gunshots begin to ring out successively.
As seconds tick by more lives are shattered, lost, and families destroyed.
What do you do?
Do you do as the Department of Homeland Security advises, which is to run, hide, lock yourself in a room, dial 911, and hope for the best while other innocents are slaughtered around you, only fighting once you have been caught in the madman’s sights?
Based on years of experience, I can tell what you will most likely do – you will do what you have been trained to do, and not much more. If you have never trained for such a scenario then you and those around you who could have done something positive to end the incident, will do little to nothing about the unfolding nightmare. If you mistakenly think that you will rise to the occasion, I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that you will default to your lowest level of training. I am not being judgmental, just realistic.
If you believe that the above active shooter scenario is a far-flung pitch, you would be mistaken. Such real life and death scenarios have played out all to often, and the trend is picking up. The FBI has acknowledged the ongoing threat by posting the following on their website:
“Research has shown that many of these situations are over in minutes and law enforcement may not arrive in time. As a result, employees have to become stakeholders in their own safety and security and develop a survival mind-set comprised of awareness, preparation, and rehearsal.” (Emphasis ours.)
Even the Department of Homeland Security via this training video advises:
“Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Active shooters usually will continue to move throughout building or area until stopped by law enforcement, suicide, or other intervention.”
Most of us recognize the truth; things are already bad. Many of us believe that as the government continues to interfere in the marketplace, further attempts to legislate morality, constrains business ownership and management through unnecessary regulation, and generally destroys what’s left of the economy – we will see society further erode.
We believe that in the next several years, things are going to become even more dangerous in the private sector. The level of frustration from employer to employee will continue to grow as companies are forced through regulations to make unpopular decisions that will sustain the company but will leave many people unhappy.
Dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, and the feelings of hopelessness can and does lead to desperate actions both by individuals and groups. Spurred on by a parasitical political class fanning the flames of class warfare, half of the United States of America now view business as the enemy. Organized gangs, domestic and foreign terrorists, government supported union thugs, and rioting mobs have all placed businesses squarely in their cross hairs.
History shows that as society unravels conventional mechanisms like law enforcement, the judicial system, and business insurance coverage will not be able to cope with these increasing dangers, and will no longer provide the level of security that business owners have come to expect. Prudent business owners should recognize and understand that they must now accept responsibility for their own physical defense and security in order to defend their future against violent threats.
One can adapt to this new reality, or hope that such a scenario will never touch them, their employees, customers, and loved ones. Currently the odds may be in your favor, but today’s odds won’t matter to you if you draw the short straw and violence finds you tomorrow.
While many mid to large businesses have adjusted to this new reality by outsourcing their security – for the small to medium-sized firm there are several reasons why you should consider developing your own security force, primarily: cost, competency, and self-reliance. The cost of maintaining a full-time, on-site security guard presence for a firm with 100 employees on a monthly basis will be at least $20,000. The competency of the security guards in an active shooter scenario will always be questionable – you are at the mercy of their lowest level of training.
We believe that any decision to outsource your personal safety would be less than ideal, much like outsourcing your business without personal oversight and supervision on your part. And while we credit both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security with being honest enough to admit that law enforcement will not arrive in time to stop the carnage in a timely manner, unfortunately they, and many other organizations that give advice for lethal force incidents at the workplace often avoid the best and most sure way of stopping an active shooter once the shooting begins.
And what is that best and most sure way to eliminate the threat and save innocent lives before the police arrive?
The answer is to take matters into your own hands. You and a few well trained and trusted employees can immediately eliminate the threat – thereby saving lives by preventing an even greater body count in accumulating while the authorities gear up for the incident.
Why doesn’t the government teach or suggest this? Because they are blinded, in part, by the mindset that pervades our society… it’s the mindset that suggests only those specially trained by some government agency and wearing a badge could effectively deal with an active shooter, and make the proper call in regards to life and death decisions.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Every day in America good citizens neutralize violent people before they can do more harm to other innocents. In my opinion, this trend in personal protection doesn’t simply need to continue, it needs to increase dramatically to meet the needs of society and keep us safer as individuals, families, organizations, and as a nation.
Private citizens need to stop accepting relegation to the back of the security bus, hoping that the state’s empty promises will save them. We need to be proactive, securing our rights – to include the right to self-preservation regardless of the venue.
Accepting personal responsibility will lead to personal empowerment. This happens when you realize that you don’t have to accept the victim role you have been assigned, that you can act proactively, even to the point of taking the life of someone intent on taking yours, your employees, or loved ones. Not only can you and your employees eliminate the threat and save lives, your team will make better decisions for themselves and your co-workers than the police can – because the police are coming in “cold” into an unknown hostile situation where they are unfamiliar with any of the players.
Intuitively, most of us realize the state makes a mess of everything it touches, and we would be well served if we extended this understanding to all aspects of our lives, including security. Face it; no one can protect you better than you can protect yourself, and no one can protect the business you have built better than you can.
Also realize that while you may have a current Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for active shooter events, the odds are you have not yet considered integrating your very own Quick Reaction Force (QRF) asset into your planning. This may sound daunting, but fortunately in many states you probably already have some excellent candidates in your midst – those executives, mangers, and employees in your company that have already undertaken the responsibility to secure themselves and their families by completing the state sanctioned process of vetting and training required to lawfully carry concealed.
These resourceful, independent, and self-reliant individuals are available to you now. All you need to do is establish appropriate policies, procedures, training, and integrate them into your companies existing EAP to make your business safer immediately. By taking this step you will no longer have to hope that rented security groups will be there for you when you need them, because unlike a rented security group, you will know your people are much more vested in your company and your employees than hired security can be.
Yet simply having a solid EAP, pre-incident training, and concealed carriers in your business is not enough. As the FBI points out, awareness is only the first step; you also need preparation and rehearsal to help you become a truly self-sufficient and viable security team. Your team needs to learn three weapons systems – handgun, shotgun, and rifle, and the small unit tactics necessary to operate as a cohesive fighting unit.
To be an effective team, your team will need quality training.
Is such training even available to the private sector? Absolutely, just be careful whom you select, because most training groups will not teach you what you need to know in order to effectively provide for your own security.
The sad fact is that many training groups have the same blind spot the government does, therefore they reserve the higher end type of training for the agents of the state, thereby leaving those who need it the most out in the cold because of the preconceived and fallacious notions they have about a civilian’s role in the security for themselves and society.
Regardless of who you select, make sure they have a deep and successful background in training civilians to high levels of competence, a group that strongly believes – as we do – that civilians have a right to be every bit as skilled and prepared as law enforcement when it comes to defending their life and their livelihood. A group that will train you without holding anything back from you and giving you the kind of training that is as good or better than your local law enforcement SWAT teams receive. Just as importantly, when you select your training partner, ensure that the group you select will be able to teach you how to not only be self-reliant, but will plug you into an active community of continuous learning professionals like yourself. A group that helps you stay up-to-date with the best tactics, techniques, and procedures that work in reality, not just the classroom.
Take our advice seriously-you won’t regret it.
For further information or to schedule a business defense course with us, please visit our home page for a general overview of our services, and our Business Defense Training page for more information.