The common wisdom when it comes to mass shootings has been to get the hell out of the way and call the cops. But according to new research, it might be better to take an active role when a crazed gunman starts firing.
An analysis of 84 shootings reveals that when people actively try to stop the shooter, they have a better chance of surviving than if they just wait for police.
In 16 of the attacks studied by the researchers, civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in 3 cases. In other attacks, civilians have obstructed or delayed the gunman until the police arrived.
According to the study, not all action has to involve fighting back. At Virginia Tech, one teacher told his students to jump out the classroom window while he barricaded a door so the shooter couldn't enter. The teacher was eventually killed, but his actions saved the lives of many students.
Some police have been advocating this strategy for months. Houston's police department put out a video advising that every workplace and educational institution have a strategy for a potential mass shooting. According to the video, your first option should be to run to a safe location, then hide. But if that doesn't work, the video recommends you fight back.
While the new study may seem counterintuitive to some, it's important to note it's not advocating what the NRA has been trying to push since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The NRA's Wayne LaPierre said shortly after the shooting that, "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That's been proved emphatically not true.
[Image via Houston Police Department on YouTube]