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How to protect yourself during a shooting event according to former Navy SEAL Matthew Maasdam (courtesy

“Matthew Maasdam, a former Navy SEAL and chief executive of Move2Safety, offers training to mitigate danger from ‘active shooter’ incidents similar to the Navy Yard attack,” informs (click on the link for an accompanying video). No mention of armed self-defense, then. And I love, love, love this comment from JSGNWDC at the WaPo site: “I practice each step in the office twice a day. 1. Hide behind pole Bugs Bunny style; if your boss sees you: dead. 2. Put on glasses and leave without telling anyone. 3. Clear everything off of desk, take off glasses, look for glasses. 4. Put monitor back on desk, put glasses on AGAIN, listen to Boys2Men, ponder your own death until it’s time to go home.” [h/t CT]

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  1. Ah, another telecom worker! 😉
    I’d prefer a better option, but I suppose thinking about it is better than ‘it couldn’t happen here’ wooden-headed thinking.

  2. Most people underestimate the irritant power of a fire extinguisher, especially monoammonium based ABC units. If you do not have a gun on you (most people wont) grab a fire extinguisher. At close range, emptying it in the shooters face will incapacitate him about as well as pepper spray. Then you can club him with the empty steel container. Should work a whole heck of a lot better than the “use a pair of scissors or a letter opener” tactic shown on other “how to deal with an active shooter” posters.

  3. Self Defense Tips 101

    If you live in a free state:
    A: Draw weapon.
    B: Shoot bad guy.

    If you live in a slave state:
    A: Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

    • I live in a (relatively) free state. As far as I can tell Michigan is relatively liberal (in the good way) with our firearms laws.

      That said, I don’t work for a free employer. Firearms are not even allowed properly secured in a locked vehicle on company property. So a for at least 5 days a week, 9-12 hours each day I am left defenseless.

      However, Michigan recently changed the concealed carry law to allow valid CPL holders to own and carry tazers. A thorough reading of the company’s weapon policy reveals that while nunchuku are banned (seriously, not making it up, it actually says no nunchuks) tazers are not specifically banned, do not fall under any of the broader definitions they use for weapons, and are therefore allowed 🙂

  4. Fvck that. How about this:

    Step 1. Access firearm on right hip.
    Step 2. Align sights with psycho.
    Step 3. Fire until psycho is no longer a threat.
    Step 4. Repeat as needed.

    • Exactly.

      I was thinking of adding a fifth:

      Have a plan–and a weapon
      If your workplace doesn’t allow you to carry weapons, channel your anger at their stupidity and direct it at the shooter. If the shooter targets you, ATTACK. Kill that motherf**ker using whatever you can get your hands on. Monitor, chair, desk lamp, dust bunny: if you can pick it up, it can be a weapon. If you survive, inform your corporate/government overlords that all the deaths in the incident are their fault and that if anything like it happens again, their employees will use them as human shields.

      • My apologies. I was thinking about my specific plan, and not lefties, who I lovingly refer to as “handicapped.” My wife and best friend are lefties. My best friend recently purchased a left-handed bolt gun, which caused me great confusion while I tried to cycle it. I always carry reloads, less-lethal, and knives on my left side to avoid training scars.

        Even lefties should have the freedom to carry!

  5. I like the forth one, realize you can be shot and think how you will react. Like scream, cry, roll on the floor, bleed on everything, and, or yea, maybe die. Don’t think about being shot, think about not being shot and how to accomplish that.

    • Agreed. If you have no weapon and no useful cover (nothing in an office is bulletproof), what good is thinking about anything other than fleeing as best you can? Being shot doesn’t change that, it just reduces the chance of success.

    • I like the sarcasm – but I think the poorly written instruction was aimed at getting the victim to consider “situational awareness” and being prepared to run like hell when they hear shots. Probably would have saved a few folks at the Navy Yard.

  6. DHS sent a training packet out to all of the universities last year and there were more than just this in there. The last line was to fight back with scissors or a stapler. That is why Hickok45 (youtube) used “assault stapler” tongue-in-cheek in a couple of his videos showing him staple targets.

  7. Damn. “You could be shot.” “Think through how you would react to the situation.” Aren’t gun free zones supposed to prevent this? Just damn. Having to read equine excrement like this really pisses off professors with ccw licenses. The ass-clowns at DHS acknowledge that as a last resort you may have to defend your self and/or students and suggest scissors. Just damn.

  8. Bruce, just because you get hit doesn’t mean you have to give up at that point. You need to keep your head in the situation as well as you can no matter what happens, and so thinking about not resigning yourself in case you very hit.

    • Actually, this is something I’ve though about and want to open the discussion… Where I work now I can carry openly, bring my AR, boss doesn’t care… but I’m interviewing at a place with a strict no-weapons policy and if I get the offer I will be going there to work…

      What do others in that situation do, aside from carrying (secretly) anyhow? I’ve heard recommendations like a quality fire extinguisher that you keep at your desk (easy to deflect questions about why you have it, can be effective at short-ish ranges if you aim it at the face). But what other ideas are out there? What do others do to be prepared if you want to obey the rules?

      I’m sure there are a lot of good ideas out there… Any thoughts?

      • I posted this above, should’ve read further first….

        Take a GOOD look at your new company’s weapon policy. A REALLY good look.

        My employer doesn’t allow weapons on company property, period. Even properly secured in a locked personal vehicle. The policy describes at length the items considered weapons, then it lists a few specifics including…..nunchuks.

        There is one very effective weapon that isn’t covered in the general rules, and isn’t specifically named, and that is a tazer. I’m thinking of buying one for just such an occasion.

      • This is always a sticky question. The true answer revolves around several points:

        1. Situational awareness. What is the probability that, at any given time, that a workplace shooting MIGHT occur where you work? You may observe tensions or know of a hothead that got fired recently that may change the general situation, but for the most part workplace shooting are extremely rare.
        2. Having carefully considered item 1., how important is it, realistically, to risk the loss of your job if you are found to be on the premises with a firearm as opposed to the possibility you could lose your life if you do not carry?

        If you carry in violation of company policy and get caught by management you will very likely be terminated. If you do not carry and get caught by an active shooter you may very well be terminated, permanently. Your personal assessment of the actual risk factors in each case is what matters.

      • The GunVault “micro” vaults fit easily in a desk drawer. If you keep your piece in one of those, no one will ever see it. Unless you work for the CIA or something, no one is going to go snooping through your desk, and if they do, all they will find is the locked GunVault, which they will not be able to open. It’s not perfect, as a snooper may recognize the GunVault.

  9. TO: All
    RE: According to the Diagrams Offered….

    …women are natural prey for mass murderers.


    [Indoctrination to be a victim is the first step towards mental slavery.]

    P.S. I’ve always been of the opinion that women—for the MOST PART—are ‘herd creatures’.

  10. Attention America: when faced with a violent adversary, please cower in fear and wait to see if you have been selected to die. If not, then prepare yourself for a future career in talking about being a victim. That is all. We will now return you to a show about rich, drunk a holes.

  11. If one of his graduates is hurt, I foresee a humongous lawsuit and maybe arrest for criminal negligence.

    I mean, seriously…

      • This is based on actual statistics of all kinds of violent encounters and it was discovered this order maximizes your own survival. Which is my goal.


        • My goal is to STOP THE SLAUGHTER.

          But then again, my career has always been oriented towards that objective.

          [God is alive…..and Airborne-Ranger qualified.]

          P.S. So am I…..

        • Pardon my bluntness, but….

          ….if your ‘goal’ is to save your sorry fourth-point-of-contact….

          ….your not much of a ‘man’….in my personal opinion.

          You’d probably abandon your own wife and children.

        • “You’d probably abandon your own wife and children.”

          Chuck, where do you get that from? Don doesn’t even mention a wife and children in either of his comments. Since he didn’t mention them, you’re making a pretty big leap to assume he has them, and an even bigger one to assume that he’d prioritize their safety below his own. It’s the same as me saying that you’re a poor excuse for a cowboy because you feed yourself before you feed & water your horse, even though you’ve never mentioned having a horse or even knowing how to ride. It makes no sense in context or direction.

          Saying “pardon my bluntness” doesn’t make you appear to be any less of an ass, by the way.

          Why must you always remind us that you are (claim to be) an Airborne Ranger? Are all Airborne Rangers as abrasive and obnoxious as you? Your constant use of “fourth point of contact” makes me skeptical of your claimed experience. It reminds me a lot of the chairborne rangers who seize on a particular piece of lingo that is endemic to the society to which they’d like to belong and repeat it ad nauseum in the hopes that it will lend their claims credibility.

          I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I’m jealous of your (claimed) manly qualifications, since jealousy is what you accuse me of every single time I call you out on your braggadocio.

  12. We did the FEMA “Active Shooter: How To Respond” training at work yesterday. I had to work hard not to laugh the whole time because it amounts to run and hide in a corner somewhere but never ever fight back unless the gun is in your face.

    • Hey!

      If the ‘gun is in your face’, maybe you can use the other approach offered by the government. The one for women about to be raped and murdered…..

      ….piss yourself.

      But you might do that involuntarily anyway.

      What about puking?

  13. Here is a good idea. Pull the fire alarm, break the sprinkler head or hit the security system control panel. Not only should you avoid and plan your escape/attack but getting backup on the way is usually a good idea. Sprinklers would not only bring emergency services but would help impede the vision of the shooter.

    One thing most offices have are printers, usually the types that have large printer cartridges full of powders printer ink. Some are club like and could be used as a weapon, at least they can be cracked open and used as way to impair the vision of the assailant whether a handful of the stuff to blind or just to create a cloud of dust to aid your escape. The breakroom probably has the most weapons (knives, hot coffee in a glass pot, hot water) in the place and the most dense cover such as vending machines and friges.

    I would suggest pondering the three survival techniques of the wild (bluff, flight, attack) instead of “oh what do I do if I get shot”.

    • One caveat, in very many places where I have worked and visited the break rooms do not have a secondary exit. Be aware of this issue before you enter a room you cannot exit through a different portal.

    • RE: Activate the Fire Alarm?

      Interesting idea.

      Sounds to me like ‘flushing the quail’ so that the hunter has a ‘target rich environment’.

      Maybe you should re-think that one…..

  14. I hear that urinating on an attacker works well. I know it works for my kid when I’m changing his diaper anyway.


  15. Some other options for workplace violence:

    1. Telecommute. If someone is trying to shoot you in your own home, it’s probably your wife. So stop forgetting to put the seat down.
    2. Retire to a cabin in Montana. This tactic kept the Unabomber safe for many years.
    3. Join the Brady Campaign. I hear that their burial insurance plan is top notch.

  16. I love how they use the phrase “Shooting Event”. I don’t think that phrase means the same thing to them as it does to most people familiar with guns and shooting sports.

    How to protect yourself at a Shooting Event:

    -Stay behind the firing line until the range goes green
    -Remember your eye and ear protection
    -If outdoors, wear sunscreen, etc, etc.

  17. I don’t work in an office, but retail. I’ve long since decided what to do if someone attempts to rob me. The money is meaningless. My life on the other hand, is the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. So, if you scare me, I will SOLVE THE PROBLEM, then and there. And to hell with everything else. Likewise I will defend my coworkers in the same manner. Again, our safety is the only thing that matters. And while I’m on that plane of thought, did I mention I’ll defend our customers too? Yep, thought so. Sure it would suck to lose my job but you have to be alive to do that.



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