“Run, hide, fight” has been the guiding principle in the security profession for decades involving active shooters. Running is preferred; hiding if possible; fighting if there is no other choice. The motto describes the training that has emerged for populations as diverse as high-school students, office workers, and those who are partying, writes former assistant Homeland Security secretary Juliette Kayyem in The Atlantic. Shootings like the one on Saturday at Colorado Springs' Club Q add to a sense that fighting is indeed a viable option to stop a massacre in progress.
The delays in saving children in Uvalde, Tx., have also raised skepticism about police response capacities. According to the FBI, nearly 70 percent of all active-shooter incidents end before police arrive; while nearly 37 percent of them end in two minutes or less. There is a need to assess whether, in an age when so much damage can be done so quickly by guns that should not be on the street, “Run, hide, fight” is still the correct public messaging. "I’m not ready to say I want my young kids to fight if, God forbid, they encounter a mass shooter. But I’m willing to admit that maybe I want someone present to fight for them," said Kayyem. With killers having the capacity to end the lives of so many people so fast, neither running nor hiding may be the best first option.