Society

Government Advice During Church Shooting: Attack Shooter with Fire Extinguisher

| by Dabney Bailey
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Have you ever wondered what to do if a gun-wielding mad man breaks into your church? The federal government has released a document entitled “Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship,” which offers guidelines in that life-or-death scenario. Vice President Joe Biden released the document on Tuesday, just two days after a man shot a worshiper at a church in Utah.

The document suggests that you “run, hide or fight,” with an emphasis on the first two options.

The federal government advises that, if possible, worshippers should attempt to flee the scene and bring as many people with them as possible. However, they shouldn’t wait for people who refuse to leave. If running isn’t an option, the document recommends that you hide in order to reduce the chance that the gunman will target you.

If all else fails, the document states that you may have to attack the gunman in order to defend yourself. It reads, "Consider trying to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by using aggressive force and items in their environment, such as fire extinguishers or chairs. In a study of 41 active shooter events that ended before law enforcement arrived, the potential victims stopped the attacker themselves in 16 instances. In 13 of those cases, they physically subdued the attacker."

Bringing a fire extinguisher to a gun fight is certainly better than nothing, but a fire extinguisher still doesn’t offer very favorable odds. The obvious answer from the pro-gun crowd is to replace “run, hide or fight” with “take cover and shoot.” A church filled with armed worshippers would not be a very tempting target for deranged gunmen.

Another alternative would be to simply avoid church altogether. Churches and houses of worship have become a somewhat popular hunting ground for gunmen lately, forcing many religious leaders to create official policies on guns in church.

In any event, the tragic shooting in Utah likely won't be the last time that a gunman attacks a house of worship. Do you agree with the document’s assessment for self-defense in church?

Source: SL Trib