How Humility Can Save Your Life When an Active Shooter is Present

The presence of an active shooter in your area has just been announced. Perhaps you heard it on a loud speaker, received a text message on your phone or simply heard it from someone spreading the word with a panicking sense of urgency. What do you do now? As you experience a mental and emotional rollercoaster, there is one quality you need to exhibit right away that can save your life and maybe the lives of the others: humility.

Humility Deters the Impulsive Hero

Over the years, there have been a vast number of heartfelt stories of heroic men and women risking their lives to save others. When an active shooter invades your area, you might have a seemingly instinctive impulse to save the day regardless of how much experience or training you may (or may not) have. Humility plays a key role during this type of life-threatening incident, because it helps you to remain calm and realistic. That’s why it’s so important to have active shooter training.

Most of the people who made headlines as heroes took advantage of unexpected opportunities that came around; they did not actively hunt for them. The chances of getting yourself killed and putting others in harm’s way are much higher than you being the hero who unexpectedly saves the day.

Stick to the Plan, Only Improvise If Necessary

Your facility should already have an active shooter training and mitigation plan in place to ensure the safety of the people at-risk during these types of scary events. Take the time to study and learn the plan thoroughly now so that you will prepared if ever the need to respond to an on-site shooter arises. More importantly, have the humility to stick to the plan.

A sense of pride may overwhelm you in response to this flight-or-fight situation that may encourage you to follow your own plan instead of the one that has already been mapped out for your facility. Keep in mind that those plans and evacuation routes were carefully analyzed and designed to save lives and keep you safe. Deviating from them or assuming you know best may sadly become one of the last decisions you ever make.

Hiding Does Not Make You a Coward

In most safety and mitigation plans for on-site shooters, hiding in safe places is always part of the plan. Leaving yourself openly exposed and vulnerable within the targeted area makes you an easy target for being taken hostage or becoming a casualty. However, hiding may seem like an act of childishness or cowardice to a prideful person that is ready to act. As mentioned earlier, this is not the time to become a hero who hunts down the shooters and saves the day. Finding a safe place to hide and even encouraging others around you to do the same is one of the most heroic things you can do.