What’s the best way to prevent harm in a violent emergency?

Dec 19, 2012

Newtown Bee Shooting

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a reported shooting there Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Credit: AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks

 Following the Sandy Hook massacre, national discussion about how to prevent future attacks is on the rise. But for many Americans, the effects of Sandy Hook and other similar shootings are about more than prevention.

Schools nationwide saw an increase in security following the mass shooting. In the past, similar responses to other high-profile incidents have inspired reforms to airport security, malls, movie theaters, and other public places. The Department of Homeland Security has put out a pocket size guide for how to act in the unlikely event of a shooting – several other groups have published their own advice. The general consensus? Evacuate, hide, and if there’s no way to avoid confrontation, act as aggressively as possible. If an attacker is armed with a knife instead of a gun, most security advisors say running away is the best option.

What’s the best way to protect yourself if you are under attack? What would you do in this kind of emergency? Is increasing awareness around this issue necessary, or does it cause unnecessary fear?

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