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Thanks to an errant nail in my tire, I missed last night’s Charlie Hebdo simulation at Plano’s Patriot Protection. Nick organized our team of volunteers (thank you, people!) and ran the sim 12 times, as reported by dfw.cbslocal.com [click image above to view their report. Also chronicled by the Dallas Morning News.] TTAG’s former DHS Risk Analyst is gathering the data for a comprehensive report on what we did – and did not – learn from the experience. Suffice it to say, things did not go well for the faux victims when a single armed defender faced a two-person terrorist team armed with rifles. So the question is . . .

How should the Hebdo folk have been equipped to handle the attack? The thought experiment I have in mind:

– There’s no police presence.

– There are 17 people in the offices. One room to the right as you come in. One to the left. A long, narrow corridor leading to a conference room. Five people in the outer offices. Twelve in the conference room.

– A minimum of two people are armed; a maximum of four people are armed.

– No NFA items allowed.

– No easy escape route.

– The terrorists are there to kill; they are NOT going to retreat or surrender. It’s a fight to the death.

What’s the plan?

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137 Responses to Question of the Day: How Would You Defend Against Two Rifle-Wielding Terrorists?

  1. Get them in a bottleneck.

    Wait for them to walk through a doorway, and open fire.

    I don’t have extensive tactical training, nor would I try to be a hero and save everybody in such a situation.

    But I will not run, I will not render myself defenseless. I would position myself such that I had the greatest tactical advantage to preserve MY life if safe retreat is not an option.

    • exactly. Looking at the photo above, shoot through the DOOR!.

      the one issue that simunitions dont address is shooting through concealment (not cover).
      I hear shots, and screaming and that barrel poking through the door, I am shooting THROUGH that door.

      Also, they took the idea that these guys wanted to die. Which is NOT a bad assumption to make. but was not the case at this paris shooting or their faces wouldnt have been coverd and they wouldnt have tried to get away, swapping cars and what not.

      • +1. I have planned out in my head, and walked the local mall a couple times checking out exits, hallways, location of pillars, concrete planners, just to get the idea set up-

        At the sound of gunshots; stop, crouch – scan all ways, looking for the threat and cover.
        Move quickly to cover, and assess- closest exit(s), movement of the crowd- where are people running from?
        Where are threats, more shots, screams, etc-

        Move to least clogged exit opposite threat, and move out quickly but carefully, pausing at cover if its more than twenty yards or have to look to go around an obstacle that blocks sightlines, just as you would playing a paintball game, or stalk hunting, before stepping into the open.

        I always look for the exit in the movie theater, and where it goes.

  2. Use Chad from Accounting as a human shield. Drop down from HVAC ducting to gain element of surprise.

    …I mean really, the “plan” is that you’re taken by surprise because you can’t possibly expect this sort of thing at any specific time (if you did, you’d stay home), so you generally try to stay out of sight and have your firearm at the ready and if it comes to it you defend yourself to the best of your abilities, ideally from behind cover. If you feel obligated or driven to put yourself at risk to defend your coworkers, then you get out there and you try to do it, also from behind cover and ideally lining up your target before your target lines you up. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. That’s it. They don’t call it a “shooting chance” for nothing; you’re better off with one than without one.

    • Also I’d have to add that if I’m a business, place of worship, etc etc that has had repeated, specific, credible threats against it and the people in it, I’m upping physical security by means of always-locked doors (buzz the front desk via the camera-enabled intercom to gain entry) that take serious effort to breach, plus whatever else.

      My local synagogue has done these sorts of things, and you really can’t tell from the outside. The small, staggered exterior windows look artistic/architectural and nice from the outside, but the point of them is that they’re bulletproof and being staggered in location makes it basically impossible to track a moving target walking down a hallway, etc. Doors look nice but are hardened against gunfire, break-in attempts, etc, including pylons to prevent vehicles from making into them. And it all looks nice and most folks would be none-the-wiser.

      Defending yourself with a firearm from an attack shouldn’t even happen when you have lots of warning that you’re a target…

      • Excellent point old son. I haven’t heard what if any physical security measures they employed, but one would expect them not to stick their head in the proverbial sand.

      • Don’t grab Chad he’s pro gun. If your going to grab anyone go get Shannon or Mikey. They are always yapping about how the regular citizen doesn’t need guns. “Two birds, one stone” type thing.

      • Have Chad, Mikey, and whatserface throw cans of food that you have been stockpiling in case you were attacked by armed men.

        What do you mean that won’t work?!? But, the children! /wink

      • In my case it would be the guy preaching that anyone owning a gun thinking they’ll ever need to use it in self-defense is a paranoid, delusional freak, and that only the police should have guns…. he may find gainful employment as a doorstop.

        • I had to read that twice before I realized you were NOT claiming to be “That Guy.” Sorry for the names I called you before I realized my mistake.

    • Chad would have to be a strong man champion to stop a rifle round from getting to you too. Point being that with rifles, human shields are concealment, not cover.

    • Please reconsider, I will share my ham sandwich with you. My mom made it for me with real deli meat.

      Chad

      Accounting

      • Sorry, Chad. ShootingTheBull 410 says we need at least 15 inches of your guts to shield us.

        Besides, you’re accounting, that just overhead in this company…

  3. Double security doors with the inner door accessed only by the door guard with clear line of sight to the airlock. Only one of the inner and outer doors can be opened at the same time. He has controls to flood the airlock with restraining foam. He’s also armed with a Remington 1187 stuffed with 1 ounce slugs.

  4. I recommend combat shotguns to guard doorways and hallways. Something like the VEPR 12 or Akdal 1919. In close quarters like this, 10 shells of #4 buckshot is going to ruin somebody’s day. And if the bad guys are roaming the halls in ski masks and carrying ARs or AKs, it’s pretty easy to tell who the bad guys are.

    • I’d take the more proven Benelli Semi auto, the M4, with number 1 buckshot, sixteen pellets that can penetrate more than 12 inches of ballistic gel.

      • That gives you 8 shells, and takes forever to reload once empty. I’ll take my 10 round stick, and a couple of spares in a desk drawer. Besides, what’s unproven about the AK-47?

    • problem: shotguns do not penetrate ballistic vests rated for handgun rounds.

      If the attackers are wearing inexpensive ballistic vests, your shotguns will be rather useless as your brain — ever so slowly — realizes that blasts to the torso are not effective and you transition to shooting at their legs and arms. Meanwhile, as your brain is taking time to catch up, the bad guy promptly shoots and kills you with his rifle before you ever transition to extremity shots.

      If long guns are an option, an AR/AK is superior to a shotgun because ARs/AKs will penetrate ballistic vests.

      • True, but the problem with a ballistic vest, is that it’s still just a vest. Unless they come in wearing EOD suits with riot shields, you are going to hit SOMETHING. Especially if you are sending dozens of pellets down range in an ever widening pattern, that may also be rising up with each consecutive shot. I’m not talking about one or two guys with double barrel shotguns, I’m talking about 8 guys emptying 10 shotgun shells apiece down a hallway. This is steel rain at its smallest level, and it will hit something important.

      • Why are you shooting at the vest? It can take up to 3 minutes for somebody to cease from existence afree taking a shot to the heart, and up to 8 minutes afree a shot to the lungs. I’m going for the central nervous system. That’s why I train for head shots. Aim for between the eyes and you’ll drop them immediately if you severe the spinal cord.

        • You’re more likely to give them a headache than anything else. There’s a reason why the vast majority of professional gunslingers — Tier 1 units included — always go for center-mass before even trying for the dome.

          Oh, and your shot placement would still suck, too. If you want to instantly drop someone, aim for the bridge of the nose. That is the most direct path back to the Cerebellum and Medula Oblongata, right at the top of the brain stem.

          Besides that, you can still kill someone even with non-penetrating hits to the chest though shear blunt trauma — no amount of Hindu Kush will change that, either.

      • “problem: shotguns do not penetrate ballistic vests rated for handgun rounds.”

        That’s what head shots are for…

    • I agree. If someone’s dedicated to killing as many people as possible at all costs and you’re in their crosshairs, you have to resolve yourself to taking at least one of them with you and hope for the best.

    • Aim for the pelvic girdle, not center of mass. Pull the fire alarm for the noise factor, drop to the floor under the table, firing upward into said pelvic girdle as they come through the door. I believe they’re less likely to initially look down. (I work in a room with exposed ducting and cable runs, unfortunately I don’t think they’d take my weight to take an unexpected overhead position.

      I regret I can’t set the recycling bin on fire for smoke/distraction in the amount of time available, killing the lights so they’re silhouetted coming into a darkened room is something I’d consider. Again, assuming sufficient time.

      • All great!!! The only other thing I would add is to be at a position where the attacker has to look the furthest away from his center line to pick you up (so that he has to turn a full 90 degrees or as close as possible to it when he enters the room). Keeping your burst short controllable is key as well. 8 shots, 10 shots, 16 shots? it all goes fast if you are shooting 5 shot bursts.

  5. I thought the best thing was to curl up in the fetal positiin and wait to be shot. How dare any of you to try to defend yourself. I cant believe what are society has become wanting to protect yourself from these allah loving people. Sham sham

  6. take cover in a room where they have to both open the door and enter. have the sights trained on the door and if there is anything present that could be used as a melee weapon , fire extinguisher folding chair arm others with those. when 1st jihadi enters shoot him than if the second enters and armed person is out of ammo bum rush with blunt objects from 2 sides. other than that a bottle neck is obviously the way to go

    • The other thing i would do, rather than just give them a free, easy path through the death funnel is to toss all the chairs in the room right in the doorway. They’d be stuck with the option of either trying to step over/through a bunch of chairs on the ground, killing mobility/making them trip/fall and an easy target OR trying to MOVE the chairs which would effectively mean they’re disarmed at that moment.
      STRIKE when they’re distracted, don’t just wait for them to take you out!

      Also what about throwing the table up against the door or something?

  7. Seriously, you can’t actually plan for these kinds of attacks. You don’t know when they will occur, from where they will enter, and where you will be, or where your fellow employees will be.
    Plus, the difference in skill will matter greatly. Fighting off two poorly trained people is much different that a well coordinated team.
    At best, you hope to get a clear shot at an attacker by taking advantage of your superior knowledge of the layout. Much beyond this would required extensive training and understanding how people react under stress.
    Many many people who are not used to violence shut down, others rise to the occasion. It’s hard to predict what will happen without experience to rely on.

  8. I thought the two news writeups that you linked above did a fair job of reporting on this considering the easy thing for them to do would be to blow the “see we told you guns do nothing” horn, I cant wait to see the data.

    • I was just surprised that the data from only 12 is what is being used. I know there were about 23 or so of us there.

      • There were some time constraints that prevented all of the folks who attended from getting to run it. I assume you may have gotten called early on and didn’t stick around the whole time( I didn’t stay for the debrief/AAR either).

    • Yep; those two reports were pretty solid. Nice to see some actual “reporting” vice pontificating in the news.

  9. You never know, you might get lucky.
    Very few of the past shooters have been trained professionals working in pairs. Our own troops get killed by amateurs in house searches so who knows. Better than just waiting for them to kill you.

  10. Tough one. I’d be the first taken out at my office, and the only “cover” I have is a full filing cabinet that “might” stop a rifle round if I can huddle behind it and get my gun out in time. Never tested 18″ of paper against 7.62×39. In your scenario, if you have a few seconds of warning you could flp the table up for diversionary purposes. Get two of the unarmed mates to line up at the edge of the door to grab his rifle and bum rush tackle him sideways as he comes through. The CCW holder would have to get in position to head shot the second guy that comes through, hoping that he is distracted with the melee with the first guy. It would take a little preplanning to make sure everyone knows what to do and nerves of steel to pull it off. The terrorists are in the drivers seat because that’s how they want it.

    • Good strategy Renner.

      As for your comment, “Never tested 18″ of paper against 7.62×39.” I seriously doubt that 7.62×39 will get through even 6 inches of paper — especially loose paper in files in a filing cabinet. And the bullets would have to get through at least two layers of steel on top of the paper. I’d say a filing cabinet is outstanding cover.

  11. Preliminary data suggest in the current denial of lawful self protection in public & workplace, against determined murders, is to make peace with yourself and prepare to die.

    Which is exactly what legislatiors, police, and every anti gun organization wants you to do.

    By exposing the absurdity of gun laws and how ineffective they are against determined attackers.

  12. G19’s or similar for the two weapons. Use one rapid fire to gain “fire superiority” and get their heads down. The other (and your spare mags) to pick them off, if possible, and stalemate the situation until cops respond. have all office occupants armed with pepper spray and to improvise weaponry in case they are trapped or the situation finds them on the BG’s flank.
    Mindset: Killed or be killed : Get viciously mean re: Josie Wales’ instructions before he rides out to meet Ten Bears. “Not Me! Not Here! Not Today!”

  13. Here’s another way to look at this. If you were the terrorist, how would you attack your office? What would you have to watch out for? After you have identified the weaknesses in the attack plan, work up your defense to exploit them.

  14. My workplace has a liimited number of entry points. Unfortunately those entry points are concealed from where I work, and the noise level is such that I won’t know they’re there until they’re right on top of me. So if a pair of armed terrorists showed up at my building, I’m probably going to end up dead.

  15. Get all tactical: shoot and scoot, see if you can trap them into a bottleneck of some sort, use your knowledge of the terrain/office layout to your advantage if you can, decoy them if possible, get out of the office if you can, etc… and be ready to die, cause you’re outnumbered and you’re probably gonna. But fight hard and smart and fast and you may live. I’d rather die fighting than curled up in a ball on the floor (or by having my head carved off slowly, as is the MO with these psychos)

  16. Unannounced active shooter scenario in an office setting is really the worst case scenario. But do you know where the solid walls are in your office? Do you know where the steel/solid doors are? Can they be locked? Are there multiple exits? The typical office is thin walled with little to no cover and limited exits. It’s a proverbial turkey shoot. In this scenario there are no good outcomes. The best any of us can do is slow them down so others can get away. But I think we already know that as responsible gun owners. And for those of us with military or law enforcement backgrounds, I believe we all know the oath doesn’t end with a 214 or retirement papers.
    On a side note though, my office is a weapons free zone. So those of us who are typically armed have to get to the parking lot and retrieve our weapons. Then we each have to make a conscientious decision whether or not to go back in. I’ll let you know how that works out if it actually happens.

    • Ditto. I have fashioned a pretty nasty melee weapon out of discarded parts and tooling (I work in an engineering R&D center for a major automotive supplier) but that is truly a weapon of last resort. IF I got to my vehicle, honestly I’d probably post at my car ready to throw lead at them if/when they flee through my area, call 911 and wait for the authorities.

  17. In such a strict scenario, there aren’t a lot of options. Really it’d come down to taking cover behind whatever *might* stop or redirect a rifle round, returning fire sparingly, calling 911 and waiting for the cavalry.

  18. A single, competent trained sheepdog with a gun and proper cover can delay Muslim jihadist attackers for a few minutes, which is long enough for a few more good guys to show up.

    Those good guys will engage the attackers as well, further delaying the Muslim jihadists, and denying them an opportunity to maim, multilate and defile everything and everyone they come into contact with.

    Further delay means more good guys to shoot these bastards down like the rabid dogs they are (apologies to all canines for the analogy).

    You set up this scenario to fail.

    Real life is different. There are more variables and a greater degree of unpredictability.

    The upside is that more good people are going to reconsider their defensive options against the Muslim jihadist sleeper cells known to exist in this nation.

    To say nothing of the opportunistic “Sudden Jihadi Syndrome” attackers surely to come out of the woodwork after a couple of successful France-style attacks in America.

    http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=15258

    John

    • Yep, agree here. As much as possible, it’s necessary to coordinate with your co-workers. This will depend a lot on where you live, obviously, but if you live in a fairly pro-gun area, odds are a few folks will have long guns in their cars. If a few people can delay the terrorists just long enough for the others to retrieve their rifles/shotguns, the tables will turn fairly quickly.

      • Countless people keep handguns or long guns in their homes for self-defense. Why not keep long guns for self-defense at every workplace? And for all of you who come unglued at the thought of an employee suddenly snapping and using the long gun at the workplace to attack their coworkers, just lock the long gun in such a way that two people are necessary to unlock it.

        And before anyone starts screeching about “liability” for the business/employer, let us take them to task and ask them exactly how much that supposed “liability” actually costs them. Workplace attacks are exceedingly rare — and thus someone using a firearm to defend innocent lives at the workplace will be exceedingly rare. And the frequency of workplace defenders injuring a bystander at such an event will be even more rare. While the potential payout for a lawsuit is in the millions, the odds of it happening are effectively zero. That means the additional cost of a rider to a business or employer’s liability insurance should be next to nothing.

        • People at CH had to be imbeciles if they didn’t understand that an attack on their worksite wasn’t a real and profound possibility. But if you make the rational assertion that CH employees were dedicated proponents of leftist thinking then their non-rational unicorn inhabited worldview that they would be protected by police makes perfect sense.

          I would surmise that the polar opposite of a French leftist cartoonist is someone that thinks tactically. Obviously it’s too late for them to learn but I’d bet my bottom dollar that other lefties haven’t learned anything either. Oh well.

      • hahahahahaha. You forgot to tell the jihadists “time out while I go out to the parking lot to get my weapon.” Are you frking people nuts or what. How long do you think this went on before they were back out in the street gunning down cops who already had their weapons and didn’t have to go home for them??? You all must dream like you’re tough guys, ‘cuz you know NOthing about a live situations like this. DREAM ON!

  19. There are several missing variables. How much advance warning do I get, e.g. it takes them 30 seconds to break down the front door, and lack of knowledge that there is an armed individual in the office. Both dramatically favor the defense.

    • In a lot of the spree shooting after action reports, it’s common to learn from survivors that they thought the gunshots they first heard were something, anything, else. Construction noises, something falling, car backfiring (do cars even still backfire nowadays?).

      Many people simply don’t know what a gunshot sounds like in real life. Even shooters, accustomed to double ear protection and outdoor shooting, may be thrown by a handgun in an office building.

      Given that instinct to rationalize the horrific, or basic unfamiliarity recognizing gunfire, whatever precious time one has to react might be consumed just trying to figure out what’s going on.

  20. If you have the time, find or make concealment that will allow you to get off at least one well-placed shot before the terrorists see you.

    In the photograph at the top of the post, the defenders have crouched several feet from the door. I see this as a mistake, assuming the terrorists aren’t preemptively shooting through the walls near doorways as they approach them. The terrorist will see you about the same time as you get an opportunity to shoot.

    In this close quarters office invasion scenario, I figure the closer you can get to the terrorist, the more you take away the advantage of the rifle over a pistol. Distance is not your friend here. Hiding against the wall just inside the doorway is a better spot. You might be able to shoot the terrorist in the side of the head from 6″ before he can see you and swing his rifle. You might also be able to grab the rifle as the muzzle comes through the door.

    Regardless being against the same wall that the doorway is on gives the defender the chance to shoot as soon as he sees the terrorist come through the doorway but requires the terrorist to take the time to perceive the defender from the periphery of his vision and swing his rifle around to him. The defender should be quicker to fire here.

    A gunfight might not even be your best defensive option at these ranges. Shot with a pistol, even a wounded terrorist will likely keep shooting. A massed bum rush might work better than one person with a pistol. At the very least, have unarmed co-workers throw chairs, laptops, briefcases, etc. at the terrorists while the armed defender shoots. Every single person should have some kind of missile ready.

    I would also look for concealment up high as opposed to crouching. As the terrorists enter a room, they will almost certainly be looking at eye level and down. If you could get above eye level, you might have a short time window to shoot without being shot at.

    • “At the very least, have unarmed co-workers throw chairs, laptops, briefcases, etc. at the terrorists while the armed defender shoots. Every single person should have some kind of missile ready.”

      This is absolutely critical. It is exceedingly difficult to properly aim a rifle with 8+ pound objects repeatedly hitting your rifle, arms, and body.

      And TT’s comments about standing right next to the door and even bum rushing are potentially equally important. Someone explained in an unrelated post a year or two ago that you typically want to rush an attacker with a firearm when it is absolutely impossible to run away. That applies in this situation as well.

  21. I’m a Texas resident stuck in Cali due to federal contractual obligations. If I’m not home my only options are a ballpoint pen, a knife, or that I’ve drunk enough water to properly wet my pants and vomit to dissuade them as per congressional instructions.

  22. Here’s the thing: the entire premise of the exercise is flawed. If you’re in a situation where you are the only defender, you’re outmanned and outgunned with no ready avenue for retreat… you’re bleeped.

    Full stop. Bleeped.

    Hannibal himself couldn’t devise a strategy where one person, comparatively underarmed and (likely) undertrained can surmount odds like that with a carry rig and with friendlies all over the place. This is, essentially, a present-day version of whatever that training scenario they made people in Star trek do, something set up to be unwinnable just to see how people react to certain failure.

    Oh, sure, there’s some amount of random chance that Fate intervenes and you’re able to drop 1 from surprise and then win a coin flip with the other guy, but we’re talking 1 in 10 of even surviving probably, tops.

    That walks me up to the larger, unasked question: should ‘victory’ be the default goal in a situation anywhere close to resembling that? Does carrying a weapon mean you’re automatically enrolled in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and required to cape up and vanquish the intruders?

    If it’s me, and the building is 3 stories or shorter, I’m shooting out a window and getting people out. James Bond is a fictional character.

    • Kobayashi Maru.

      And as mentioned above, it’ll come down to choke points. If the attack bogs down at a corner or doorway, then whatever help maybe on the way has more time to arrive and engage.

    • And of course there’s the fact that Hannibal LOST. He won while on the offense, but the moment he moved to defense he lost.

  23. How would I defend against two rifle wielding terrorists?

    Hopefully with a Benelli m4 Loaded with 00.

    First, there was no reason that a small shop like that should have been able to have been accessed without advanced warning. A simple camera outside the door with controlled ingress, ie self-locking door that needs a key to open, would do nicely. As soon as they start shooting at the door to try and let themselves in, get yourself lined up at the end of the hall by the conference room, stay as concealed as possible. As soon as you get an open target, send some lead. If they survive and start just poking their guns around the corner, shoot at their gun, hopefully you disable their weapon or blow a hole in their hand.

    No slugs, buckshot buckshot buckshot. I would much rather have a 6″ spread at the end of the hallway than having to perfectly aim my shots, you still have to do a decent job under fire.

    Hopefully someone else is doing the exact same on the other side of the hallway.

  24. If the bad guy’s done their homework-and at this level they always do to some extent-the defenders/hostages WONT have a chance.

    Id approach the problem rationally- if a terrorist group attacks my area, im already a dead man right there. I’m not walking outta there-if nothing else, there could be a sleeper hostage in the mix. The first sign of THAT will be when their bullets hit you in the back whilst engaging the obvious bad guys.

    Basically, if two rifle armed bad guys arrive to kill everyone , your only option is to answer fanatacism with your own.You’re not leaving alive, but neither are they. If I gotta go pay the boatman, I won’t be alone.

  25. Duck behind desk. After they walk by and enter the hall. (Fatal funnel)
    Shoot them in the back. Then one more in the head so they stay dead.

  26. Assuming CHL weapons are the only ones in the building not in evil hands (in other words, precluding long guns from the scenario), super close quarters is the best option (and yes, I’m well aware that I’m typing this from the safety of my quite home on my laptop; I’m by no means claiming I could do this in such a situation. Merely responding to the question of the best way to handle it). What’s the main disadvantage of a rifle in a room-to-room situation?

    Best bet is to get into a corner at a door. The instant you see that rifle barrel come through, throw yourself at the attacker while bringing your pistol around. Best case scenario, you hold the rifle muzzle away and close the distance so he can’t bring it to bear on you (though this will probably burn the hell out of your hand as he fires wildly). Then you bring your pistol around and shoot him in the head.

    Seriously, trying to face two long guns with a single handgun in a straight up fight is gonna get you slaughtered unless you’re a freaking SEAL. Maybe even then. Play to your strengths and exploit the enemy’s weakness. Rifles have superior (by several orders of magnitude) lethality, practical accuracy, and compared to handguns, but they do have worse maneuverability.

  27. Outside: CCTVCs at entry, internal office buzzer entry only.

    Inside: Combat shotguns, lay on the floor along entryway walls, and go for broke when they enter.

  28. What are those doors called that have two halves? An upper and a lower half, and the lower half can be closed with the upper half open?

    Lower half armored and closed, cover opportunity.

  29. Terrorists are there to kill. I doubt they’d be expecting a firefight once they’re inside an office, especially in a gun free zone (i.e. effectively most of France). Defenders have that element of surprise. Furthermore, the Charlie perpetrators were “taught how to opperate an AK.” I imagine their tactical training would be lacking, maybe getting a few mags worth of range time, celebratory fire, and perhaps knowing how to clear basic malfunction.
    Did the mock terrorists in the experiment have considerable tactical training? Did the office workers? We’ll need a full report, but I imagine theres a fair bit of bias to be pointed out; not that it should take away applause to TTAG for trying it.
    I work in an office and situational awareness is pretty garbage. Unless I hear gunfire first I’m not gonna see it coming, much less have time to react in any semblance of an effective defense.

  30. At any office I’ve ever worked at, one of the critical lines in the employee handbook was the absolute prohibition of at least firearms, and probably anything readily identifiable as a weapon. I worked at a Borders Bookstore, and the manager gave me a ration of s**t over my pocketknife, a Ken Onion rainbow Leek, that I used to open boxes and cut nylon straps on pallets. She nearly wet her pants over it because in her mind it was a “dedleh weppin”. I told her to grow the hell up or fire me. She didn’t know about the Jennings .22 in the PDA case on my belt, of course. She thought it was my Palm Pilot. (That was on a lanyard around my neck or in a pocket, but no one ever noticed.) A J22 is more of a crispy, tasty waffle than a serious firearm, but loaded with Aquila Super-Maximums it was about as mean as a .22lr can get. (Yes, they’re hotter than Stingers, which failed to extract in the Jennings because the case is a tad longer than standard.) It was the most firearm I could reliably carry and keep utterly secret in that situation, so carry it I did.

    I also walked with a cane because of flat feet with bone spurs. But I could quickly turn that cane into a very unpleasant weapon, and if I didn’t have the Jennings, I could suddenly have the Leek in one hand and the cane in the other, and if I didn’t cut your throat, I could push your larynx out through the back of your neck with the end of the cane. (Martial arts and fencing training does some pretty mean things to your imagination.) Of course that means I have to close with you, but I’m not going to do that from the FRONT, I don’t want to emulate a colander, I want to go home and have pizza. So I’ll be hidden on the side of the doorway, perhaps with a filing cabinet to screen me, and when you come through the door, you lose your kidney at about the same time as the cane teaches you how to sing soprano from behind. Then a kick to the head.

    Then I’ve got a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.

    • I don’t know about realistic, but this is by far the most fun answer I have read.

      Just remember. Acey ain’t in charge no more.

  31. Well they knew this was a possibility so locked inner doors seems a must. You’re allowed two guns? Make ’em count. And spread them out so you don’t have a single point of failure.

    I dunno, though. Not a defense guru. Just an average dudebro.

  32. “How should the Hebdo folk have been equipped to handle the attack? …What’s the plan?”

    Priority 1) Do NOT live in France, England, or any European country or US state that requires you to be an unarmed victim.

    The rest is simply fiddly details.

  33. If they are there to fight to the death, then so are you. Accept and embrace the fact you may die, but in going down fighting you’ll take some of those bastards with you. Fight to the death and hopefully you’ll kill a few and save some lives. Maybe you’ll get out alive. If you manage to kill one, pick up his rifle, and even your odds.

  34. In Oregon, 1 in 16 people are are licensed to carry. In my county (Harney) it’s 1 in 10. Found this out from the clerk at my sheriff’s office.

  35. Get behind something in a corner, hope they don’t know what they are doing and don’t dig the 90 when they come through the door. Rounds on target. Aim low if you think they have armor.

  36. Too many variables left open in the given parameters. Where are the (2-4) armed individuals? The number of armed individuals, and their location at the beginning of the attack is huge. Firearm choice, a carbine in 5.56 for sure. Sheet rock walls aren’t going to do jack to stop rounds, unless it hits a stud or door frame.

    Without better defined parameters, and with no option of evacuating folks, move to contact and engage. Hopefully guys in the front room take them out before they are all killed.

    Either way, people in the back have time to move. Tell the ones staying in the rooms without firearms to get by the door and attack anyone that comes through. To close the distance as quickly as possible, all attacking at once.

    In the back room with firearms, get out into the hall and advance QUICKLY down the hall and attempt to catch them off-guard, possibly killing one, or both, or forcing them to flee.

    • To add to my comment, if this is an organization that has had numerous death threats against it, everybody will have a firearm in arms reach and a plan of action will be in place for such an event.

  37. I can arm four people in this scenario? Then I do so. Each with Glock 20s with two spare magazines each (45+1 of 10mm). Each one gets a Saiga-12 with #4 buck and two spare mags. Each room gets a firing position, probably sandbags. Have two bolt-action .308s to shoot them from the windows as they flee. (I dare a prosecutor to call that murder in my state.)

    I second those who have posited that good door security is critical. Keep them out, or at least give yourselves some good time to tool up while they futz around with a door.

  38. Question I read was how should they have been equipped, between 2 and 4 arms, not considering laws here or there. Hokay. First gun, prepositioned and unlocked every morning, all personnel trained to use it, same with the rest, an M1A Socom .308 with AP ammo, 20 round mag. Second gun 16″ AR, 30 round mag, probably normal 5.56. If more guns, 12-guage pumps or semiautos. The .308 should be far back in the office, you’d rather not spray .308 AP around too much, 12-guages nearer front and AR in the middle. If the .308 is fired, fire it straight through doors and walls, etc, all doors should have windows so you can see them approaching, with luck maybe they’ll line up and you can shoot both with each shot. They should have known they would be attacked, and after today’s publication, they should know they will be attacked AGAIN! I admire their determination to not surrender, but along with that they should have been prepared!!!

    • Yep, they were embarrassingly unprepared for a group that had been previously firebombed and received credible death threats by the terabyte. Undoubtedly they were in that position because like all committed leftists they placed their safety into the hands of a leftist government..

  39. The goal should not be stopping the terrorists, it should be surviving the attack. I suspect the participants placed too much effort on stopping the threat and not on surviving the encounter.

  40. Not be there when they arrive.

    Otherwise you are at the standard defender’s disadvantage of they get to pick the time, place, and method of attack. It’s called an “ambush”* and the Army taught that people in the kill zone of a well-executed ambush are pretty much toast.

    Ergo the only solution is to NOT be in the kill zone.

    *okay, technically it’s a “raid” not an ambush, but the “attacker gets to choose and defenders generally suck” rule still applies. 😉

  41. First, the terrorists had/have the element of surprise in their favor. That’s an almost insurmountable advantage regardless of what you carry and what training you may have. Entrance security here is paramount. In this situation, without good entrance security – which includes both intruder detection and rapid alert/alarm – everything else is a moot point.

    Second, the original incident took place in Paris. Very restrictive gun control. So, even with good entrance security, the only option for the victims was to run and hide. Now, in all honesty, that’s the best option for anyone when it’s available. But the lack of defensive firepower spelled doom for the victims, even if they would have had decent security.

    Third, let’s pretend for a minute you know they’re coming and have some firepower. In most office buildings, you’re working with concealment rather than cover (drywall just doesn’t do much to stop most bullets). So unless you can quickly arrange for some cover (maybe a few really thick file cabinets?), you better plan on shooting and moving. I think the folks talking about “fatal funnels” have a point, and a doorway is a good funneling point. My thought would be shoot at the first body in the doorway, move (not at a right angle), then shoot the next body in the doorway, then move again…

  42. There are two key factors in play if the office workers are going to have any chance at all of surviving in that scenario:
    (1) Office workers need at least 10 seconds to position/prepare themselves.
    (2) Office workers need to engage the terrorists hand-to-hand.

    Point number (2) eliminates the advantage of at least one of the attacker’s rifles. It also requires the officer workers to bludgeon the terrorist/s, HARD.

    If the terrorists simply appear in a conference room and immediately shoot, those people are toast. Therefore the office needs secure doors that ensure office workers have at least 10 seconds to prepare/position themselves.

    • Wasn’t there significant gunfire on the street before entry?
      Shouldn’t that have given warning to folks inside?

      I still don’t understand this simulation where the attackers pop up unannounced in the conference room.

      What am I missing here?

  43. Much like the “never bring a knife to a gunfight” scene from The Untouchables, a pistol facing a brace of automatic rifles wielded by people who have a clue is not going to end well for Mr. Pistol. You could run the same scenario 100 times and my guess is that any iteration where the pistol prevailed would be a statistical outlier.

    The key however is that armed terrorists are looking to succeed, not fail. If there is a chance that a particular target might not be soft, the bad guys are likely to take their murder spree elsewhere. Had the two terrorists known that there was an armed person in the building it might have dissuaded their attack. Better still, had the terrorists known that there was an unknown number of potentially armed defenders, the attack most likely would have been aborted.

    The anti-gun crowd may take this experiment to prove that one armed defender really won’t make much of a difference. However, a scenario where defenders face more than one trained attacker possibly armed with a real assault rifle is extremely rare. Even in that case though, two or three armed defenders would likely have made all the difference.

  44. Something else that might come in handy, smoke or CS grenades tossed into the reception area. Anything to delay the inevitable. If it buys two minutes or drives them choking out of the affected area and give us the chance to attack or tackle them, it’s worth considering.

  45. A long, narrow corridor leading to a conference room.
    Older Navy SEAL type Ithaca 37 with the trigger disconnect as in Vietnam.

    • Good idea on the office design. There are many ideas that could be incorporated, even by just moving furniture, file cabinets, to improve sightlines, installing hallways or walls to provide cover for defensive fire, and concealment for escape.

      Col Jeff Coopers house had some elements he built in, described a bit in his book “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak The Truth.” http://americanhandgunner.com/the-lions-lair/

      Exterior walls were set in, with bastions on the corners, with firing ports to enfilade exterior walls.
      Front entryway was at the end of a long narrow walled enclosure, with gun ports, to engage intruder from the side or rear.
      Front door was armored.
      Hall way to bedrooms located away from living areas had a lockable grate type door.

      It would be interesting to know more about the layout of Charlie Hebdo offices, and where were the two cops reportedly assigned 24/7. Where was the keypad locked door, for example? Was that entry monitored or viewable from within? A door that could be buzzed open from inside, at a distance would have given staff time to escape, vs being surprised at point blank range,

      like in this canned scenario. I doubt anyone (except Jerry Miculek?) could draw and shoot on someone walking in the door with an AK, 10 feet away…

  46. Method 1:
    Defend with an AR15

    Method 2:
    Hide, barricade, defend through bottleneck.

    Method 3:
    Create a disorienting/hostile environment. Turn off lights, set off fire alarms/sprinklers. Shoot fire extinguishers. Defend with handgun.

  47. I gotta say, I’m disappointed in the simulation that was run. This was conducted by well informed gun people who should have known better, but it had no basis in reality with how the Charlie Hebdo attack or indeed any mass shooting actually occurs.

    Flaw #1. The actors playing the shooters went into the situation KNOWING someone was going to shoot back at them. That removes a huge amount of authenticity from the scenario, because in real life mass shooters who go to civilian buildings to shoot them up don’t know if anyone will be armed or not. The advantage of surprise for a CCW holder is a major asset in an active shooter situation.

    Flaw #2. Everyone was just in one room. This was a big fully staffed office building. The scenario should have involved many different rooms with people in them, and the CCW holder should have been placed in a random one, without the actors who play the shooters knowing where he is. Narrowing the scenario to one room gives mass shooters a huge advantage that ones in the real world don’t have.

    All the scenario showed is that when two guys walk into one room with drawn weapons and start shooting, they will probably take down one CCW holder who tries to draw on them before he can shoot them both. Not surprising at all, and not indicative of how mass shootings really are in the real world.

  48. I would assume that in the interests of getting this done and something useful to release by the press deadline- as noted, some people did not get to play in the interests of time,
    that the scenario would have to be pretty simple, to setup and re-run enough times to get a reliable average.

    Great job on camera Nick, and kudos to Patriot Training.

    As RF noted, having this get out within the news cycle was key, as it got picked up fast.
    Did CBS get an invite to come watch, or where those clips you provided after, Nick?

    My guess is this will prompt some more training after, with various set ups- that private security can run, or LEOs, on their training nickle, for Patriot Training hosting.

    It would be neat to try another with volunteers, say 3-4 months from now, in some other part of the country, with early lessons learned, to stress test those assumptions with new and varied civilian volunteers. Maybe another tactical training center will have a hole in their calendar and be interested in PR and lessons learned, for free, if TTAG can whip up the free bodies.

    Pretty sure there are a couple places in the Southwest, that run MOUT scenarios as contractors, with trained actors,
    that *might*
    be winding down from 100% military training support, now that we are going to be out of Afghanistan soon, and before major standup again in Baghdad…

    maybe they’d like to add in some civilian RBTs.
    Count me in as the slow OFWG willing to soak up a few bulleyes bruises…

    • Finance advanced human cloning and clone many Jerry Miculeks.

      I bet Special Forces would pay well for a few hundred Jerry Miculeks…

  49. I would like to know more specifics about the control data. Was everyone who volunteered for this experiment informed of what would be taking place during the experiment? Were the role players acting as shooters privy that there was going to be someone with a firearm to oppose them? Was the concealed carry role player privy to the fact that there were going to be any number of shooters present? If any of these questions can be answered with a yes, then that creates an air of expectation and thus bias. Bias and expectation can affect results.

    • This was not a “scientifically controlled study.” It was simply an exploratory experiment.

      Think of it as “proof of concept” or “feasibility study” not “the final, definitive answer.”

      • I understand this. But, do the people who don’t have the same disposition as us understand this as well? If you read the articles by the various media outlets that wrote about the ‘experiment’ it doesn’t seem that they do, and neither do a good many of their commenters. While this doesn’t outline anything definitive for us, it does for some of them. I can’t help but feel that all this did was help their fire burn a little hotter and a little higher.

  50. This sim is inherently bogus – unless during the sim the unarmed people could throw hard objects at the shooter or unless you are allowed to punch them in face or stab them with letter openers during simulation. The use of available force for those unarmed isn’t represented in the sim.

    • Letter opener vs dual AK’s is still a pretty grim proposition.

      Question: have you ever gone after two dudes opening fire at you with a letter opener? Do you realize how that sounds?

      Not saying don’t fight back however you can…but man, a realistic appraisal of the risk and odds has to enter the equation at some point.

      • No I agree.

        I’m just saying – in a sim the unarmed can’t hide around corners waiting for the intruder to step through so they can do a 50 stabbing/second prison shiv attack. Looks like from the picture above – they do nothing – just huddle around.

        They could have at least thrown some chairs so the CCW could catch the shooter off guard.

  51. I think missing from the discussion is this was a Deliberate Assault. Two attackers, with some degree of training, moving as a fire team, AND they had a rocket launcher. This is not your normal robbery or breaking & entry. This is not your simple assault. The attack never progressed to the point where someone would lay down suppressive fire to fix the enemy in place as the other would flank and kill.

    This gives credence to the belief that your pistol is only to get you to your rifle.

    In military doctrine, It is always more difficult for the attacker than the defender. Assuming the Defender is familiar with the territory and is fighting from a prepared position. However, this assumes the defenders had practiced as a unit. Even the most highly trained individuals still need to practice as a unit.

  52. Keep a good door locked. Them breaking in gives you some time to react and plan. Even have the element of surprise maybe.

  53. I’m a big fan of carbine style pistols. AR and AK style pistols fit in laptop bags, and if you can get a sig brace, preferably folding, then it seriously evens the odds against attackers with full size ARs and AKs. I worked at an office that had 100k in cash go through it daily. If I would have had a permanent desk, I would have just stored an AK pistol locked in my drawer.

  54. I’d GTFO before anything else. I’m not going to seek out gunshots, I’m getting my ass as far away as possible. I’ve got a family to get home to.

  55. I’d kindly point to the nearest “no guns allowed” sign. Then I’d draw a picture if Mohammed on it.

    Q: Why aren’t there any southern baptist terrorists?
    A: It’s hard to aim a gun when both hands are already up.
    I tried…

  56. I would do nothing, probably shot, and killed. Chalked down as a statistic as a victim of terrorism. I and many others would die due to the average 11 minute response time of the police. We have our own oppressive People here who feel like I should not have the right to defend myself with any legal means I choose like a firearm, pepper spray, or tazers. So the best I can hope for is when lying, bleeding out there is some anti gun person dying beside me so I can point out how well gun control laws work on criminals.

  57. First, I would be hesitant to risk a civil lawsuit to defend a bunch of people who are not trusted friends or family. Heck, the strangers I defended would probably be the first to file a suit. I would be motivated to defend myself while I made my escape. Second, I am not sure I would work there anyway. They knew this would happen one day, but their security measure were atrocious. Their entry control area was a joke. I have worked places without a threat of terrorism hanging over their heads that had a far superior entry control area, I.e., turnstiles, entry controller behind barriers, etc. Unarmed police? What a joke. BUT, if presented with that scenario where I was motivated to stop the attack, I would retreat to find a choke point, stay concealed and then ambush the first attacker while he is distracted with killing other infidels. I would endeavor to retreat again until I found another choke point, and then ambush the second shooter. Slugging it out with two AKs is not how I would play that one.

  58. I’d post the circumstances on TTAG, wait for y’all to show up and then put a pig on the bar b after we took them out.

  59. Here are a few questions that I have in regards to the simulation that you ran (if these questions have already been answered, I apologize in advance because I somehow didn’t notice):

    – Were the volunteers playing the terrorists aware that they would be facing “armed” resistance?

    – Did the volunteers playing the terrorists know where to find the person with the gun or what that person looked like?

    – What was the level of experience of the participants, especially the volunteers playing the terrorists in comparison to the volunteer playing the defender? (In other words, did any of the volunteers on either side have police and/or military experience or any sort of training in the use of a concealed weapon?)

    I think I had a few more questions to ask, but I do not remember them at the moment, so this will do for now. I just want to be sure that all of our bases are covered before the anti-gunners try to use this as evidence that concealed carriers cannot stop a mass shooting or something stupid like that, like how they did with that “experiment” that ABC ran several years ago.

  60. Reminds me of the silly 20/20 school shooting ‘test’ that was so loaded against the ‘lone defender’ having any chance of success. The implication of these “news” stories as always “it’s pointless, don’t bother letting anyone be armed”. How about instead of two trained tactical experts against untrained civilians who no nothing about concealment and cover and tactics, we put someone, like the typical CCP holder who does get training, into the mix. Then how about we have 3 or 4 of the citizens armed, and not just one?

    Also, in many mass shooting situations, even one CCP citizen can draw fire and delay the perpetrators from killing other innocents, just like Mr. Wilcox did in the Walmart shooting in Nevada last year (i.e. the couple who killed 2 cops, then went next door to the Walmart). Mr. Wilcox died because he didn’t realize the woman was an accomplice, but the two having to engage him delayed them long enough for the police to arrive, at which point they killed themselves. No one else killed or wounded in the store.

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