Opinion: Peaceful solutions are not always possible, but we should still be prepared

Published on Thursday, November 8, 2018

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Opinion: Peaceful solutions are not always possible, but we should still be prepared


Mankind always faced evil people doing evil deeds and an evil anti-Semite killing synagogue members during a baby naming is about as depraved as it gets.

The shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue is one of the latest events to inspire finger pointing and controversy. Weapons bans, anti-Semitism, politics and violence in video game are leading topics. As a trainer in counter active shooter techniques specifically for houses of worship; these debates seem to be pointless without acknowledging peaceful resolutions are not always possible.

It is reported some Tree of Life members had recently received FBI training in “run hide fight.” This program teaches potential victims to run away from, hide from, and as a last resort, fight an active shooter. It is clear this method was only moderately effective, as only a handful of people escaped. Relying on “run hide fight” as a sole method of defense against an active shooter is dangerous, as the most vulnerable may not be able to run, hide or fight. Historically, as well as with the Tree of Life shooting, trying to escape or hide from an or active shooter in a structure is an undesirable gamble. It seems only the fittest, best positioned and lucky can successfully employ this strategy. Another dangerous view is to think that mere possession of a firearm is the sole answer.

Most concealed weapons permit holders possess rudimentary skills and rarely have firearms-based counter active shooter training. Simply possessing a firearm is as false of a sense of security as one can get. No one should be allowed into any house of worship, or any other crowded venue with a firearm unless they are trained to an extremely high standard.

This murderer could have been stopped or at least limited in effectiveness with the use of an “active protective layer,” an overt, clearly marked armed presence usually on the outer perimeter, and a “passive protective layer,” a covert team of highly trained armed personnel in place should the active layer fail. Proper employment of active and passive layers is proven and highly effective defensive method. Synagogues in Israel use this strategy, and I’d bet the outcome would have been totally different had this occurred in Tel Aviv.

God bless the victims, families, and first responders.




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