0321 Understanding The Mass Murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School

I rarely focus my shows content on specific events, however, there are times when events are so overwhelming and the implications are so broad that they cannot be ignored. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that took place on Friday, December 14 is one of those events. As uncomfortable, difficult and distressing as it may be to look at the situation from a critical standpoint, we must or we as a society will continue to make the same terrible mistakes that lead up to and result in tragedies like this.

Literally, Dawn Hochsprung dedicated her life to her students.

Literally, Dawn Hochsprung dedicated her life to her students.


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        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFh9YStZE0w
        • http://video.personaldefensenetwork.com/video/001504_using-a-dropped-gun-to-stop-an-attacker/#.UM9kpq6xEDQ.facebook

Understanding Mass Murder

    • Frequency of these events seems to be increasing
      • Really the Media coverage is what is increasing
      • The chances of being involved in these incidents is very small
      • Majority of people involved survive
    • These scenarios can be overwhelming and can if we allow them to drive all of our preparedness training
    • That would be an error
    • We need to think about the most likely events to occur
      • Train for those events and then
      • expand our training as resources become available


    • Impossible to understand for sane individuals
    • Best we can hope to do is find commonalities
        • Events are not spontaneous
        • Others aware of the danger signs
          • Violence towards self
          • Violence towards others
          • Psychological issues
        • BS Excuses and myths
          • bullying
          • digital violence
      • Encourage you to act if you see these common factors manifesting themselves
      • Many similar situations have been stopped due to vigilance close to the potential actors
      • Much of this is out of our control
      • By far, prevention is out of my expertise


  • We are sure to be mired in many debates for the next ? years
    • Again, out of our control
    • I can’t tell you how to keep the next event from happening
    • My goal lies in helping you understand what you can do when you find yourself in the middle of one of these events.

So, What Is In Our Control When it Comes to Mass Murder?

Accept that it will happen to you!

I use the word it a lot. It is a generic word, I use it on purpose because it can mean whatever you need it to mean. Yes it can mean an Active Murder Scenario at the mall, but it is many other things as well. An earth quake, a weather related disaster, a medical emergency, a home invasion, a fire, an armed robbery, an automobile accident. The list of it goes on.

  1. Look at your life
  2. Determine the top it
  3. Avoid and prevent it if you can
  4. Prepare for dealing with it if P&A fail

This all means that you prepare.

Have a Plan For the Big “ITs”

When you identify what you need to be prepared to deal with and you begin to prepare to deal with it you must honestly assess where you are at in your preparedness and have a plan that realistically implements your ability to deal with the situation.

We must strike a balance between our plan and our training. We must plan to execute our training and train to execute our plan. As our training exceeds our plan revise that plan to reflect an increase in skills. As our plan exceeds our training, shore up your weak links and drive forward.

Our plan must fit the context of the situation:

In the I.C.E. Training Introduction to Defensive Handgun course we teach a plan to deal with an imminent home invasion with a potential lethal threat that equally applies to the Active Murderer situation that we are so focused on.

  1. Evade
  2. Barricade/Hide
  3. Arm
  4. Contact
  5. Respond Appropriately
  • Many are calling for teacher’s to be armed
    • legally
    • Politically
    • Ethically this may be problematic
  • It would be unrealistic to plan for most teachers deploying a firearm from a concealed holster
  • It would however be realistic for an educator to train to deploy a dropped weapon from the scene
  • Don’t hyper focus on the tools instead allow for contextual tools and focus on action
    • Any action taken to interrupt the murderers actions while you are a target increase your odds of survival
    • Any action taken while others are a target increases the others survival
    • Any action taken by multiple individuals is likely to overwhelm the attacker and force them to break off the attack, or allow the attack to be broken off.
  • Act and act decisively

Be Responsible for Your Own Safety and for the safety of your family!

  • Help your family to understand that violence it the solution to some problems
  • Help your family to understand how to figure it out
  • Have a plan!
  • You need to be responsible for your safety because:
    • You are there in the middle of it and are most able to respond due to your proximity
    • There will be a delay in others coming to your aid
    • Ultimately you have to live with the consequences of any situation that you are involved in.


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