Run, Hide, Fight

Last June of 2012, a young lone gunman killed 12 and wounded 58 at a movie theater in Colorado.  Six months later in December, 2012, a young lone gunman prowled through the halls of an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and executed 26 people, 20 of them mere children.  This June, 2013, another young lone gunman on a murderous rampage stalked and killed five innocent people in Santa Monica, California.

Gun violence can erupt anywhere and at anytime these days.

Fresh out of college some years ago, my sister was walking from the pharmacy across the parking lot to a Bank of America branch.  She stopped in her tracks when she saw masked gunmen toting automatic rifles through the front doors into the bank.  My sister pulled a quick 180 spin and walked back into the pharmacy as quietly and calmly as possible to alert the security guard.  He was quite skeptical until gunfire erupted in the parking lot outside and everyone hit the floor.

Sometime in February, 1997, my sister moved into an apartment on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood, California.  Across the street was another Bank of America.  A few days later, two heavily armed gunmen wearing body armor attempted to rob this bank.  Eleven cops and seven civilians were injured and almost 2,000 rounds of ammo were fired in the shootout.  There was even a movie produced about the whole incident – 44 MINUTES

You’d think that my sister would have learned to avoid Bank of America by now but that’s impossible because they have branches practically on every corner.  I certainly know not to go along with my sister when she says she’s going to the bank.

Civic Duty wants you to know what you should do if you are ever so unlucky to find yourself in the middle of a deadly shooting rampage.  This Department of Homeland Security video has some important safety information.



The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises in a public service video, “If you are ever to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan.”  The DHS recommends that you follow these guidelines – Run, Hide or Fight.


Upon becoming aware of an active shooter nearby and you have an escape route, flee immediately.  Do not try to take anything with you, and help others escape if safely possible.  Only stop once you have reached a secure location to call 911.


If there is an active shooter in close proximity and you have nowhere to run, find a place to hide. Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view, perhaps behind a locked door or an upturned table, any solid object or place that will provide protection should shots be fired in your direction.   The best hiding places will have some options for you to flee to safety when the imminent danger from the shooter has passed.  Don’t forget to turn off your cellphone which may accidentally alert the shooter to your presence.


If you have no other choice and your life is at risk, whether you are alone or part of a group, fight,” according to the DHS video. “Act with aggression. Improvise weapons – a fire extinguisher or chair. Disarm him. Commit to taking the shooter down no matter what.”

Remember your survival depends on having a plan.  These DHS guidelines can save your life.  If you have an escape route, run. If you can’t escape, then hide.  If you cannot escape, and you cannot hide, then by any means possible fight for your life.