HuffPo Says Bring Sticks to a Gunfight! – How to Respond to an Active Shooter, Huffpo to the Rescue!

Huffpo cover1By David Higginbotham

How do you respond to an active shooter? I mean really? If the shooter is active and shooting, how should you respond? Well look no further. Personal Security Expert Robert Siciliano and The Huffington Post have finally provided us with the advice we’ve all been searching for.

I have to hand it to Huffpo. I’m glad they’ve tackled this delicate topic. I’ve been looking for an authoritative opinion. I don’t like to think too much, so having a bonafide expert tell me what to do is a genuine boon. And it is nice to know that the Huffington Post cares enough about my safety that it would take the time to pen this little DIY how-to. So what’s their best advice?

Huffpo’s #1 rule: stay calm.

“The first thing you should do in a shooting crisis,” Siciliano writes, “is to remain calm, even though your head might be telling you to fight or escape.”

This is the image Huffpo ran with their article, which might lead you to believe that the active shooter might actually be a pirate.

This is the image Huffpo ran with their article, which might lead you to believe that the active shooter might actually be a pirate.

This is rock solid, actionable advice. I once had a friend who took me camping up in the Shenandoah Mountains. In February. Without a tent. And it was snowing. “Just think warm thoughts,” he said. Even though my body was telling me I was cold, I just thought up some warm thoughts.

It didn’t work too well. I woke up the next morning with ice on my face. My friend had abandoned me. He slept the night in the heated bathhouse. He listened to Siciliano’s next rule:

Pay attention to your surroundings. See he knew there was a bathhouse. This is more like the active shooter thing than you might think. Maintaining situational awareness is actually solid advice, though it seems a bit easy. But Siciliano has this down. Check the exits, pay attention to people…he even suggests taking note of barricades.

If something bad does happen, Siciliano suggests you run and/or hide (maybe in a bathhouse). This may seem like low hanging fruit. But this is the Huffington Post; many of the paper’s readers were unaware that you could respond to an active shooter. Siciliano suggests this strategy: “If there’s a quiet, dark room that you can lock yourself into, do so. […] Stay put until the authorities find you.” This is sage advice, unless, of course, you are hiding from the authorities.

What should you do if you can’t run, and you can’t hide? Fight, right? Of course! “If running and hiding aren’t options, you must fight: a very last resort, however,” Siciliano writes. “If possible, recruit others to join forces. Use any weapons available (chair, lamp) and fight for your life.”

Grab a chair, or a lamp. This works especially well in cozy living rooms, and restaurants. If you plan to visit crowded malls or movie theaters, the types of places devoid of lamps or where all chairs are bolted to the ground, I’d suggest carrying your own. Though most table lamps are hard to conceal, you’d be surprised how easy it is to obfuscate an old green shaded banker’s lamp. And never underestimate the stopping power of a folding camp chair.

Me, I’d much rather draw a GLOCK 19, but what do I know? I’m no expert. Siciliano is. And he’s doing the readers of the Post a service. He’s offering solid advice. I would prefer he add in something taking responsibility for your own safety and training with a more lethal weapon. Yet he’s still on point. Run. Hide. Stay calm. And when all else fails, fight. Fight with whatever you have on hand.

Siciliano begins with this statement, but I’d like to end with it: “There’s no such thing as a perfect world in which guns and bullets don’t exist.” I couldn’t agree with him more. What would the Huffington Post’s world without guns look like? We’d all be safe right?




{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Dave Walker February 4, 2018, 6:33 pm

    Oh, sure. Now you’ve encouraged High Point to go into the table lamp business.

  • gary October 28, 2016, 7:05 pm

    just like with the Indians in the old west, give up your guns and Uncle Sam will protect you. How did that work for the Cherokee???? (trail of tears)

  • Buck September 2, 2016, 4:55 am

    This is why so many die in shooter situations. Ignorant people who have no idea what to do and have never been in a situation deni good people the right to defend them selves. If you ever need a gun and do not have it you will probably die. Buck

  • Jeff July 11, 2016, 2:26 pm

    Um…who put a bathhouse in the middle of the woods?

    • Dan September 2, 2016, 8:21 am

      And a heated one, at that!

  • Rich July 8, 2016, 8:04 am

    Read this clown author’s experience, and you’ll understand why he wouldn’t be able to beat his way out of a wet paper bag. Huff Po “security expert,” is like claiming to be a north korean beauty queen…

  • MOCATZ April 29, 2016, 10:59 am

    Whoa, what about chair & lamp training classes.

    • Redfox July 8, 2016, 12:46 pm

      (joke) You need a permit for that. Sorry. (/joke)

  • Danny April 29, 2016, 6:29 am

    Last summer 3 US soldiers did this on a train in France,3 trained soldiers,so the morons suggestions are;unless your militarily trained just cower down & wait for Hillarys new BS Laws to protect you

  • Berferd T June 2, 2014, 1:25 am

    As we snicker at the content of the article, we must also realize that the information presented is probably an improvement to what the average Huff & Puff reader has already stored. That can be to our advantage; the old saw has it that you only need to be faster than the slowest to survive a charging bear, so we only need to be slightly better prepared than Joe Huff & Puff to survive an active shooter situation. When Joe H & P charges the shooter with a chair and a lamp, maybe the shooter will be distracted enough a CCW holder can get a good sight picture for a clean shot. And it will all go to prove Darwin to be correct.
    Look up Trolley Square Shooting and see how that happened.

  • Jerry Rivas May 28, 2014, 10:31 pm

    I think I will trust my 1911.

  • doug feinholz May 28, 2014, 12:06 pm

    video training of the art of tactical folding chair is demonstrated by Jackie Chan in his movies with great success! Pretty funny stuff. LOL

  • James May 27, 2014, 10:38 pm

    I’m surprised the author didn’t offer cutting off your balls and handing them to the shooter as a method of distraction.

    • Mike June 1, 2014, 10:54 pm

      It was implied…

    • Still Me... June 2, 2014, 10:40 am

      Several problems come to mind with your humorous ball cutting technique. First it would require the use of a sharp instrument, a knife for instance, which one would not want as they are obviously just under a gun in order of things not to keep around for self-defense… Or perhaps while one is hiding in a dark closet waiting for the authorities to somehow find you, one could use a lamp cord as a garrote to sever one’s balls. Second issue would be what if you were a female, no balls to distract the attacker with. Of course if you are a female, you probably have some other form of distraction at your disposal.. Sorry Huff & Puffy, but if there is an attacker in my home, the only thing I’m going to the dark, quiet area in my home for, is more ammo or a bigger gun.

  • Warren May 27, 2014, 9:58 pm

    I guess I am wondering why Robert Siciliano and the Huff & Puff have not created a security force using these principles? They could easily counter gang bangers, drug cartels, and terrorists, maybe making the entire world a much safer place. How about they show us how it is done!

  • Bill Martin May 27, 2014, 1:01 pm

    I agree with the basic idea but I have one nit picky question. Did the author of this article mean to use the word “obfuscate” with regard to the green bankers lamp? Perhaps he meant to say confiscate. The word obfuscate is defined as “To deliberately make more confusing in order to conceal the truth. ” Well, perhaps that is what he meant………perhaps…… .But, I think “confiscate” is most likely the word for which he was looking. But, I do agree with the concept that anything is better than nothing when it comes to improvised weapons.

  • mesaman May 27, 2014, 11:03 am

    Out of the mouths of morons; this inexperienced, naive, Huff N Puff sycophant tells us a Walt Disney version of self-protection at the hands of an armed terrorist. Well, we can’t expect much more useable information than this; unless one whips out a copy of “Mein Kampf” and begins reciting word for word, thus neutralizing the angst of the shooter.

  • Meeester May 27, 2014, 8:37 am

    Ok now we have the concept. A detail that may be useful can be found in the book “Defensive Techniques with Interior Furnishings”.
    “for travel in public places consider open carrying a lamp with a particularly heavy cord that is securely fastened to the lamp base. Swinging it around your head will create a Safe Zone of approximately 8meters in each direction. Attack as needed. Learn the Schippman’s Lampcord Slipnot that is so useful in converting quickly from a carry sling to tactical weapon. Practice Practice Practice”

    • Elkhunter May 27, 2014, 10:23 am

      Thanks, I am laughing so hard I keep mistyping. Tactical lamp sling? Good one man. Thanks for the laugh to start my day right!

    • Redfox July 8, 2016, 12:52 pm

      No, this just gives more ammo (pun intended) to the anti-lamp crowd! Pretty soon lamp cords will have to have less than six swings, and heaven help us if your lamp is black or has the shoulder thing that goes up.

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