The Doctors: Fight Back as a Last Resort
Dr. Travis Stork talked about the shooting survival guide video at the Houston, Texas mayor’s office, and the team explained how to protect yourself during an attack. He showed a clip of the end of the video, which says that “as a last resort, and only if your life is in danger,” you should fight:
- Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
- Act with physical aggression
- Improvise weapons
- Commit to your actions
Dr. Stork asked if anyone would be prepared to take down a shooter. Dr. Lisa Masterson said that tutorials like the mayor’s office video are good because they get you to think.
The Doctors: Should You Buy a Gun?
Sally from Ft. Collins, Colorado send in an email to The Doctors:
With all the shooting sprees in the news these days, I’m thinking about buying a gun, but I’m worried I might be afraid to use it, OR not have it handy when I need it! How am I supposed to protect myself?”
The Doctors asked Chris, a former military sniper who served on President Clinton’s military detail for advice. He said there are four main ways you can minimize your chances of being a victim:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Be verbal
- Use less than lethal force
- Deadly force
The Doctors: Simulation Exercises to Prepare for Emergency Situations
Bartender Hillary worked with Chris so that she would feel prepared if something ever happened at work. Chris had Hillary practice with a shotgun, and she seemed pretty comfortable. She then did a simulation exercise, where she ended up having to shoot at a woman with a gun.
Hillary said she was hesitant to shoot, but she had to protect herself. She said she thinks the simulator helped to prepare her for any extreme situations she might encounter.
The Doctors: Your Body’s Response to Danger
Chris, who is also the director of training at Strategic Tactical Group, joined the doctors to talk more about survival tips. Dr. Stork said it’s important to learn to control your fight or flight response, because if an intruder enters the room you need to be able to think about what your next move is.
Your brain will almost immediate recognize danger, and then send signals down to your adrenal gland. Your adrenal gland then releases adrenaline, which gets your heartbeat going. This response can overwhelm and cripple you. Cortisol is also released, which increases feeling of stress.
Dr. Stork said that it’s important to recognize that the body alarm response can actually help you.
Protect Yourself During An Attack: Survival Tools in Your Purse
Michelle, an audience member, was invited up to the stage. Michelle was wearing a cross-body style purse, and Chris said that he doesn’t like these purses because an attacker can grab strap from the back and have control over your whole body. Chris said the safest way to wear a purse is just over your shoulder. If an attacker comes up and starts grabbing on it, let him have it.
Pens or pencils in your purse are also a great defense in a bad situation. Chris advises stabbing them into the chest, head or arms of the attacker. You want to put your attacker into enough pain that you have time to escape. Once you’ve run away, call 911.
You can also purchase a pocket alarm – once you pull on it, it releases a loud sound and bright light. Stun guns are also an option, and Chris showed Michelle one that looked similar to a cell phone. Once the two metal prongs on the stun gun touch your attacker, it will give him a serious jolt.
Swinging your key chains in an attackers face can distract him. Keeping a whistle that you can blow for help on your key chain is also a smart move.