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How far can we, as individuals and society, remove ourselves from combat medic and TTAG contributor Jon Wayne Taylor’s advice to identify a lethal threat, eliminate the threat and reassess? If the LA County Sheriff’s office’s video SURVIVING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER is any indication, we’re so far away from active self-defense we might as well just, I dunno, run? Hide? That’s what the video recommends. Until seven minutes in, when viewers are told . . .

“If you cannot escape the location, and you can’t shelter in place, you may have to defend yourself as a last resort. Almost anything can be turned into an improvised weapon. Look for something that can destruct the shooter’s ability to see, breathe or control their weapon.”

Hmmm. Now what kind of something could that be? A shovel, a broom, a fire extinguisher or . . . thinking . . . a gun? No wait, it can’t be a gun. In the City of Angels, American citizens aren’t allowed to carry or keep a gun in schools and most workplaces. Most people living in LA County can’t carry a gun anywhere. At all. Ever. Because they can’t get the government’s permission to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

That said, improvised weapons are a thing. Unfortunately, this otherwise graphic video shows our cornered hero neglecting the key part of any self-defense recipe: violence of action. To paraphrase Jule Styne and Leo Robin, extinguisher gas in the eyes can be quite continental. But bashing a bad guy’s brains out is an unarmed defender’s best friend.

Meanwhile, the video warns people leaving an active shooter scene not to physically reach out to thank armed second responders, lest the good guy get drilled by his or her aspiring saviors. Good advice. But wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where the police reach out to thank armed civilians for eliminating a lethal threat? Some of us do. As this video reminds us, we should fight for the ones who don’t. [h/t DrVino]

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  1. Sorry sheriff, defending myself is kind of my “go-to” move. Do your deputies run away from protecting themselves? Why would I do any differently? Granted, I don’t have the job duty of enforcing laws, but the right to defend myself isn’t contingent upon a badge. Somebody has spent way too much time in la-la land.

  2. Christ, did MDA make that video? Wait, that would give them way too much credit. Still, metric tons of anti gun in that one.

  3. 4:57 Why can’t the “emergency bag” include a weapon? This whole thing is sheep training. The state needs the sheep to survive so they can continue to be sheared–but it wants them to survive as sheep. And yes, anti-gun propaganda ( @ 0:45, catch how all those phrases form the picture of a gun–not a person with a gun, but a gun.) At least they admit the cops are “minutes” away, I’m pretty amazed at that.

    • “This whole thing is sheep training.”

      Nailed it in one. “Call 911 and wait for the professionals. And die.”

      • Yeah the professionals. Who have no responsibility to protect you to begin with, and can’t be sued for failing to protect you, so you’re dead and your family deprived of your support. I cite California government code 845:

        845. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for
        failure to establish a police department or otherwise to provide
        police protection service or, if police protection service is
        provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection

        • Is that even English?…

          “Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?”

          CA GC 845 really doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe I just don’t understand plain English.

    • I’m amazed at how Everytown and MomsDemandAction can always blame the guns, but never Obama.
      Yes, because GUNS made people discontent enough to consider shooting other people — the economy has nothing to do with it, move it along people…

      • It’s not just the economy, it’s all the hatefull rhetoric, take no prisoners legislative actions, comments like “elections have consequences” or “these are just angry people clinging to their bibles and guns” or the less veiled “f&%($ you if you dont like what I have to say” attitude fostered by the political powers in office. “Deomocracy” has become like football team run by Nick Saban where the majority doesn’t just win, they keep the first team in and run the score up to prove a point and then boo the losing team as they walk off the field.

      • So crime is down, violent crime is down, the economy has been improving in the US ever since he got into office even though that isn’t the case in the rest of the world, do you give the President credit, or just blame?

        You have every right to dislike the President, but if you blame him for how you feel without a concrete reason you might not be thinking rationally.

        P.S. the factual record on the 2nd Amendment during his term is that he proposed background checks after Newtown which never materialized into a bill in either house of congress. Of note he was silent after a Congress woman was shot in the face.

        • Violent crime is down due to states passing laws to allow concealled carry (now possible in every state, with more states being shall issue). The economy has had the slowest post recession growth rate in U.S. history with a record number of people having left the job force so, lets not injure our gun hand by patting the president on the back. as for your intimation that the President is not anti-gun, no one with half a brain will buy that.

      • And one can’t help but think that this “us versus them” mentality that MDA and Bloomturd are instilling in their followers isn’t helping anyone.

  4. In real life, the black dude who stopped the shooter would have been taken out instantly by the cops, then in the press report, he would have been counted among those killed by the maniac.

      • I was thinking the same thing. All the shooters (until I gave up on the video) were white. They shot a lot of “minorities.”

        Uh huh.

        Not one shouted “Allahu Akbar.”

        Of the “20 mass shootings” that happen every year, no stats were provided. List or photos of “alleged suspects.”

        Uh huh.


    • This is LA, 5 cops would have dumped 400 rounds and nobody would have been injured.

      Then they would surround the building and burn it to the ground.

    • “then in the press report, he would have been counted among those killed by the maniac”

      Admit it, that is just a guess on your part. I submit it would be just as likely that he would be counted among the maniacs killed by the cops.

      • hey, one of the hostages that was killed in the Sydney coffee shop stand-off was actually killed by the police. Nothing’s impossible.

        • There’s a family out in CA sueing one of the LE agencies because a swat team killed their wife/mother when she was taken hostage by some dirt bag during a botched “rescue.” It was semi-scandalous as the initial police report blamed her death on the psycho, but forensics found the bullet(s) that hit her were the type used by the LE guys.

    • I was sitting here watching this video w/ my boss on TTAG, we are both POTG, and said the same thing to him.

        • They aren’t exactly handing those ccw’s out without one being an officer, politician, lawyer, or well connected. Even after the current litigation ruling said start handing them out and they are still draggin their feet.

      • Depends on the county sheriff. It’s a discretionary issue state so it’s up to the sheriff. Some treat it as shall-issue- if you’re a law abiding resident, file the paperwork, do the requisite training, and pay the fee you get your CCW.

        Others, like SD, have useless POS sheriffs who treat it as may issue and they get to define what ‘good cause’ is. Which is what the Peruta case was all about- it’s capricious depending on location in the state. Part of the plaintiff’s arguments are they are only asking the SD sheriff to operate consistently with what other sheriffs have been doing for a long time. Also pointing out that those counties have had no issues operating that way and the state of CA has never objected to those sheriff’s operating as shall issue.

      • Orange County has 9000 CCW holders and counting. These folks easily commute, work, and carry in oppressive counties like LA. Unlike other states, one with a CCW can carry on any school grounds, as well.

  5. I live in LA and this video shows me that despite all the Peruta goodness from last year, LA will not start issuing CCWs anytime soon.

    • Probably taking the same position as the POS sheriff we have in SD. He’s waiting to see if the court agrees to an enbanc re-hearing of the case (something he specifically declined to request). It’s portrayed on his sight as if he couldn’t start operating as shall issue on his own- vice admitting that he’s simply refusing to operate that way despite numerous other county sheriffs doing so.

      I think OC shifted to a shall issue process after the Peruta ruling vice waiting to see whether it will be heard enbanc- but I could be wrong. They may have been operating that way earlier.

  6. I often interpret these silly videos as sheep conditioning PSAs, but I don’t always think that was their purpose from the get-go. Remember that these are often shown at private high schools and universities, and in the past 30 years those institutions have lawyered up to the hilt to combat the current sue-happy culture. If this video suggested anything remotely close to “shoot back” and a student at some school drew his own carry piece and killed the active shooter but also wounded another student in the process, the parents of the wounded would sue the pants off the school because “my kid wouldn’t be hurt/crippled if you hadn’t shown that video”. I know it sounds ridiculous, but seriously folks, people have won lawsuits filed on more idiotic grounds. In fact, the vast majority of the problems we face today would be non-existent if judges collectively grew a pair of balls and started laughing people out of their court-house for wasting their time like they used to.

    • Good point–but it’s still sheep-conditioning, no? Even if it’s just done in the interest of avoiding liability as opposed to enhancing government control.

  7. I will do what is most prudent at the time. As I do not have a carry permit, my options are limited. If I think I can escape safely, I will. If I don’t think I can escape safely, I will do what I have to do to stay alive.

    (I do not have a suitable weapon for concealed carry, nor do I have anywhere to practice with it–which is why I do not have a carry permit)

  8. Prescribing to the mandated prohibitions of gun-free zones only empowers the government to sacrifice the lives of innocents at will. In keeping with the old adage, “It’s better to be tried by twelve than buried by six.” Life’s far too precious to have it randomly wasted by deranged scum or Islamic barbarians.

  9. So I guess its easier for them to tag dead bodies than actually put their lives in the line and stop a shooter.

  10. F that. My first resort is a G26. Second resort is an M1, third resort is a mosin m44 bayonet charge.

        • Should have acquired a 91/30 instead. It makes bayonet charges easier, as you just stand up and wave it, and it’s over the enemy’s trench.

      • right, you dont even have to hit them, just aim in their general direction and they will die from massive internal bleeding caused by the muzzle blast… which is good because its a Mosin so you likely wont be able to hit a man sized target anyways.

  11. I’ve got a fairly effective (in theory) improvised weapons at my cube, constructed from test tooling and scrap parts. It also doubles as a nice breaker bar for roadside repairs 🙂

    It baffles me that I work in a “no weapons” zone, yet I am surrounded constantly by very deadly implements. If someone wanted to go bat guano crazy here, they would be amply equipped for the job without bringing in any off-site implements to carry out the deed.

    • Which the video mentions that most anything be used as an improvised weapon.

      Yep. Run, hide, don’t make a sound.

      And ONLY as a last resort, use an improvised weapon which means you probably need to be within arms reach to use it instead of using a gun from some distance.

      (Head shake with an expression of bafflement).

      This is embarrasing. Calling people that think like this as my fellow Americans.

    • You think that’s baffling, I work in a weapons free workplace.. and we make ammunition. I’m one of 3 people with access to the vault (With rifles, post-86 machineguns, armor piercing ammunition and about 40 pistols) and range, but no outside weapons are allowed! I’m considering filling my holster with the company’s G19 cause then I wouldn’t be technically breaking any rules but I dunno. I’ve already been slapped once when someone who had no business being in the range spotted my carry piece on the counter (And I will never forgive her) and I won’t get a second strike.

  12. Fighting back as a last resort? Didn’t realize he would admit to wanting a higher body count at the scene. Is he a part time reporter as well? Then it would make sense.

    Hiding behind cover does no good if there is no threat (disarmed sheep) to this active shooter as he rounds the corner. It would however have the potential to be very useful as a position to return fire. This video does more to promote being armed than the video creators small minds will ever realize.

    • Not sure if that’s true for the target audience–or even for the average American these days, sadly. But I know seeing each of those shooters just ambling around without a care in the world for their own safety while knocking off random victims certainly made me think, just one or two reasonably competent persons with a firearm would instantly put an end to the carnage.

  13. I do not completely disagree with this video. And here is why: I am not a sheepdog. Unless the shooter is either near my own or my family’s immediate vicinity I will not be enganging them. My goal is to get out. Others failure to practice their rights is not my responsibility. Running to the other end of the mall to stop an active shooter is equally as irresposible and foolhardy as failing to exercise our God given rights.

    • Truthfully, I have to agree to a certain extent myself. In your run-of-the-mill confrontation, getting away is always better than fighting. That’s pretty much the consensus here on this board. Two things make this vid a bit different for me. One is the flagrant anti-gun propaganda, in both tone and substance. The other is that a mass shooting by a lone psycho is not a run-of-the-mill confrontation. In that situation, especially as depicted here, with each of the shooters just strolling around in the open and presenting an easy target himself–well, the “sheepdog” proposition is at least open for consideration in my own mind.

    • I am all for getting away from danger when it makes the most sense which is probably most of the time. It would greatly depend on the situation if I would choose to put myself in the fight. and I have. What they were showing in the video did not support their narrative.

    • yeah. Many people think like this.

      As for me, I see all people as my brothers and sisters. I would no more allow a blood relative or a good friend be murdered like a dog without attempting to defend them than I would a fellow human being.

      Now afterward I would read them the riot act for being defenseless, but if I helped them to survive to come to their senses, then it was worth it.

    • You win every gunfight you avoid.

      That said if I can’t get me and mine out without taking them into the line of fire, the tactic changes to ambush and engage mercilessly.

    • Agree with this point of view in general. Basically, I would try to avoid active defenses that would lead me to be mistaken for the shooter. If that guy at the end of the video had used a gun instead of a fire extinguisher, chances are the cops would have assumed he was the shooter.

      The simple truth is that among strangers a “good guy” returning fire can be indistinguishable from the active shooter.

  14. That video reminds me of our foreign policy. Like progressives running out of other people’s money, pacifists will eventually run out of places to hide.

  15. As a former (now happily escaped) teacher, I was struck by the role of the teacher in the video. I know people like that, worked with many for years, and as I watched the classroom video I couldn’t help thinking that what she was doing was probably going to get some people killed. Because our schools are intentionally unarmed, a teacher’s options are pretty much limited to what the classroom episode depicted. Of course that’s not good enough, but the reality is that this is about the best that “active shooter training” in public schools can produce.

    Because schools are not armed, because teacher’s are not armed, because adult students are not armed, schools are going to continue to be prime targets. But that’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion. In my college classes over the years, I occasionally encountered students, faculty, and even administrators, who were unobtrusively armed. I’ve often wondered how things would be different if they encountered an armed killer in their school

    I think it’s only a matter of time before armed citizens defend themselves against a spree killer. So let’s consider something.

    What if you were there and what if you were armed? You’re immediate problem isn’t gong to be the spree killer or terrorist (s) roaming the hallways looking for people to shoot. No, you’re immediate problem is what to do with a teacher who has been given “training” who is “in charge” and may be taking steps that directly limit your ability to defend yourself and others in that classroom. To make matters worse, more than a few of the people you’re with are panicking and on the verge of hysteria. So, here’s my question. Is there are sheepdog’s role in a situation like this? And, if there is, what should it be? You’re the sheepdog, here. What would you do?

    • Keep your mind calm while all about you are losing theirs. Most people will follow directions in a crisis because they have no idea what to do, Be firm and direct and you can take charge. As far as Sheep dogs, they know their job is guarding the herd not out hunting wolves. Know your area, Know your people, have a plan. And listen as the situation develops the only outcome to be considered is survival

  16. I’m not allowed to carry on the AF base I work at, but I keep nice large size can of mace in my desk drawer and a smaller one in a belt pouch. There are also several heavy and/or sharp items handy just in case. My concept has always been to distract the perp by any means available and spray him down with the mace. I figure while he’s crying like a baby and rubbing his eyes I get to cave in his ribs and break every bone I can with the fire extinguisher that just happens be hanging on the wall about 10 feet from my desk. I may get shot for my trouble, but I damn well won’t get shot while hiding under my desk hoping the perp runs out of ammo before he gets to me.

    • The King Size Sharpie ( is made out of metal (except the cap and head) and is about the same size as the Shark impact tool:

      It probably isn’t very useful in a shooting situation, but it can also make an improvised self-defense tool, can be bought in supermarkets (I think Target has them, maybe Walmart), and is less conspicuous than the Shark impact tool — no one can claim you bought it as a weapon or to be used as a weapon.

  17. This video is infuriating. It actively “teaches” fear, helplessness and cowardice. Certainly, you may get into a situation where an aggressive response is not, in YOUR evaluation, your best choice, but to be taught to “defend yourself as a last resort” is to be taught to just accept that you likely will be injured or killed and chalk it up to “bad luck”. Tsk…tsk…tsk…too bad so sad.
    However, the City and County of Los Angeles, CA, truly only want passive sheep to live within their boundaries, because they’re so much easier to control. They’ve got enough Predators in the Gangs and Criminals that infest the City and County and the Police have plenty to do cleaning up after the “professional Criminals”. They don’t need any more problems from Citizens who have the unruly idea they can and should defend themselves.

  18. Doesn’t everything you do in that kind of scenario amount to defending yourself?

    Escape is a viable defense. So is concealment (the boogieman can’t get you if he doesn’t know you’re there). So is fighting back against the bastard that’s trying to kill you (some tools improve your chances much more than others).

    • I am going to rate standing straight up in one place cowering as some are doing in the video as something that does not amount to defending yourself.

  19. I like that the are honest a 3:24 when they tell you “Police are minutes, not seconds away. I CAN’T STAND that they list self-defense as the last option, far, far into the video, and don’t even mention using a gun to defend yourself….

    … I wasn’t surprised when I found this video in an article from Anti-Defend-Yourself Post:

    Using a fire-extinguisher to surprise the assailant and block his vision/force him to close his eyes was a good tip, but then USE A GUN if you have one!

    Anyway: More jobs & less workplace discontent = less shootings.
    The president needs to do something about the economy to fix this, not expect us to buy guns and get ready to experience a shooting situation.

    • Corrections:

      – In the first sentence, the “a” before “3:24” should read “at.”
      – There should be a closing quotation mark after the word “away” in the first sentence.

  20. People who are denied the implements of self-defense will turn to self-defense as a last resort because they have no choice. They are forced to run, hide and die in place. Which is the whole point.

    A person who can defend himself from a thief, rapist or murderer can also defend himself from oppression, and the state can’t allow that.

    • “People who are denied the implements of self-defense will turn to self-defense as a last resort.”

      That’s a good line to quote.

      If they presented a viable form of self-defense, of course that would go against their narrative of how “you need to run and hide.”

  21. Was it just me or did anyone else notice that every shooter was a white male?

    Also, I love this reassuring quote with an info graphic, “Most Active Shooter Events are over in 10-15 mins.” That is an absolute eternity in a gun fight!

    This is nothing more than brainwashing propaganda for the sheep.

  22. Here we go again…

    The problem with John Wayne Taylor’s advice (as presented) is simple. He assumes at least one of two things.
    1. You’ll only have to deal with one threat at a time, before reassessing and acting again.
    2. You’re okay with dying.

    Badguys often work in multiples, like the CCW shooter confronting an armed man outside a grocery store… who was then killed by his female accomplice. Ring any bells?

    So, you’re daughter is 11 years old, she’s all set. You have life insurance so she’ll have college money. Really? Go ask her what she thinks of this idea. Your duty is to your family first. They need you to come home.

    If your CCW dead hero from the example above had slowed down to REALLY assess the situation, he may have lived. But, would he have engaged TWO badguys with superior arms while he has just one magazine? Or would he have called 911 and been able to direct cops straight to the threat?

    Heroism is great. But going home to your family is better.

  23. and OF COURSE comments are disabled. They always are on videos like this that are too moronic to survive even the most basic of criticism.

  24. last they mention escape before “sit there and wait to die” I.e. shelter in place.

  25. Tax dollars were spent making that shit, and some sheeple will follow those directives to the letter.

    • Look at it this way:

      Some poor bastard that’s unemployed can be hired to fill the poor dead guy’s job…

  26. I feel a bit torn reading the this post. The fact is this is written from the standpoint that nobody is ever armed, taken from that stand point all these suggestions are good ones, although I would never recommend sheltering in place.

    Obviously people should be armed it just gives them and others a better chance to live. That said there is no 10 minute video that explains what to do if you are armed. That’s more than a video that’s more than a weekend class. Engaging an armed person or persons in a confined area where there are presumably people in between yourself and the shooter(s) behind him and at all sides is something that couldn’t be addressed. Imagine just trying to make the transition from taking out what you think are all of the threats to that point where law enforcement appear on the scene safely. Officers aren’t known for discretion in with force.

  27. I didn’t watch the video, but it seems the premise is survive, even with a gun. Don’t go out and look for the shooter, don’t try to be a hero. Well that’s all fine and dandy for some and not so fine and dandy for others.
    If I was armed in an active shooter situation, and every situation is fluid and dynamic, it would be tough to hide while people are being slaughtered. But then, if I go peak around a corner or decided to take action, I could be killed and disarmed. Since I am armed most of the, should I find myself in an active shooter situation, I would do my best to distract, outsmart, ambush, kill and not get killed. I have never run from anything yet, and I’m not starting now. I would have a hard time with life if I cowered under a desk or in a closet while people were being killed. I would rather not be killed, but that’s an honorable way to go and face it, we all have to go sometime. Sure beats a lot of other ways to die. If I die saving peoples lives and championing the cause of 2A rights, I’m in. I’ll accept that responsibility and risk.

  28. This was my post on Calguns when I saw it

    1. Active shooters have not been on an increase

    2. It claims we average one every 2.9 months. It then claims there are 20 a year. That is a freaking contradiction. The first is 4 a year. So which is it?

    3. Unrealistic accuracy by the shooters, while realistic amateurish handling. Making guns look magically deadly

    4. I favor Jeff Cooper here. Aggression is used. A Fire extinguisher? I have shot one of those off… he probably won’t drop the gun. The proper course was to try and bash his head in. All aggression, determination until the threat is over. Bite, claw. Grab and yank his testes off if you want. Jab him in the eyes, stomp. Be ruthless. I think their defend yourself was unrealistic. “Ah some white powder, I guess I the unman must drop the gun and collapse”

    I will add: whether one is more proactive in stopping the shooter, or only acts if unable to escape or shelter himself/family depends on opportunity, training, circumstances. Without a gun, and not within lunging distance of the shooter? One thing. But say I am right next to the door when he comes in. Unlikely to be able to run away anyways, and even if I could I am in a better position to try something, depending on my physical capability. Have a gun? That changes things. More likely to be able to effectively engage. But still depends on my position, cover, etc.

  29. LAPD and LASD would NEVER recommend law abiding citizens to carry and actually have a fighting chance against a mass shooter. They prefer the citizens of Los Angeles remain unarmed victims who will be chalked around, while their politicians push more “common sense measures”. Unless of course, you’re one of the politicians or a celebrity, then you can have your CCW.

  30. @ 4:55 ish “everyone pile in the corner!” This way we can all fight each other for a non-meat shield place in the pile if he gets in! It worked at VA tech why not?! And since when do cops actually go into an active shooting before the shooter kills their self? I thought they just get their delta force gear on and fire up the MRAPS to hang out in the parking lot!

  31. When it comes to risk management in the workplace, the first choice is to eliminate the risk, and then it’s avoid it, after that it’s protecting yourself from the risk.

    I say follow your safety training and shoot the guy.

  32. “Never follow the advice of people that can’t do arithmetic” — Socrates

    Is it one every 2.9 months? (~ 4 per year)

    or is it 20 per year?

    I’m just shocked that GTFO is mentioned before “cower in place and wait to die”.

    “Oh, that door doesn’t lock, so we are pretty much fscked”. The mind boggles.

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