Let’s Get Real About Active Shooters

It’s all hype by the media to boost their ratings. The active shooter possibility is so small it wouldn’t even be worth talking about if the media didn’t stir up such a (you-know-what) storm about it. Look at the breakout for 2017, the latest year exact numbers are available. Note that the mass shootings number for 2017 includes the Las Vegas concert incident so it’s higher than other years.

2017 homicides

Source: CDC and Time

In comparison, how often do you hear about multiple fatality car crashes on the news? They rate one minute, once. Then they’re out of sight and out of mind. In 2017, the CDC figure for car fatalities is 40,231. Dead is dead, period. Run an internet search for “multiple fatality car crash” and limit the search period to the past month. The number you’ll find is shocking.

If you feel the need to take training to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones, take a Defensive Driving Course. Not the ones where you go out on the racetrack and drive, either. I’m talking about the boring one day classroom session where you learn all the ways that incompetent drivers try to kill you and how to avoid them. For a middle class American, that’s probably the single best use of your training resources (time, money [less than $100], and effort) that you can make. Most likely, there’s a school really close to you, too. Why? Because DDCs are conducted by the DUI schools that are everywhere so drunk drivers can get out on the road again. If you take the class, you’ll probably be like me, the only one there who didn’t have to take it because a judge made them. What’s wrong with that picture?

claude werner di certificate-001

If you’re concerned about a firearms related incident, prioritize your efforts. Do your dry practice weekly. Go to the range and practice doing the one shot draw (or presentation from the midpoint of the drawstroke) at seven yards. Commit 100 rounds to doing it each month, one shot at a time. When you can do it consistently at seven yards, increase the distance to 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards. Learning to do that skill quickly, smoothly, and efficiently is the single most valuable thing you can do as a person who carries a pistol for personal protection.


Whoever lands the first round in the upper center chest of their adversary will be the winner of a shooting or gunfight 99 times out of 100. Make sure the winner is you and not the criminal attacker.

Take a good walk every morning, you’ll be doing more for your longevity than thinking about and stressing over a minuscule probability. Be ready to write letters to your politicians when the gun control bills surface. Until then, it’s all just talk and speculation. No need to destroy your morale and good health by beating a dead horse.

I’m going to dig out my copy of one of my favorite books and re-read it. https://www.amazon.com/How-Control-Signet-Alan-Lakein/dp/0451158024/

lakein book

If you’d like to take a look at what’s really likely to kill you, here’s the reference.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – National Center for Health Statistics – Deaths: Final Data for 2017


6 responses

  1. Consider me challenged. Just loaded my state’s list of approved driving schools to call around about such a class. As I most often carry a .22 snub, will work on my draw to first shot from three to thirty-three yards for at least 100 rounds and spread over at least three range trips. Will mix up pocket and AIWB draws. Plan to time the first five of each carry mode at each range. Then time in periodic batches. And time the final five of each and document aginst the first five. Will mix in dropped pepperspray, hands in a fence, at sides, in pockets, and interview position. Ought to be a comprehensive workout.

    As for the walk, I bicycle commute but will add a swim 3-4 times per week until the autumn chill ends that.

  2. […] shooters are a rounding error. “If you feel the need to take training to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones, […]

  3. Another great book is by Neil Postman: How to Watch TV News. It’s tough to balance wanting to be informed with the realization of “do I want to be informed by the sensational?”

    Yet, I’ll freely admit that when one of these events occur, it’s hard to fight the urge to panic buy ammo or something on my wishlist. Perhaps Mr. Claude has some words of wisdom on that.

    Thanks for this post….

  4. I think that I am being a bit anal, but in your book for concealed carry drills, the groups skill is shot at 10 yds with both the center target and the lower target.

    Would you suggest doing this at 10, 15yds, etc?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. That’s a good question. Once you can shoot a good group at 10 yards, I would definitely say start moving the target back further than 10 yards.

  5. Active shooter/mass shootings to the general population is almost a zero percent event, but to the people it happens to, it is 100 percent.
    I have a teenage daughter in a public high school and am far less concerned about an active shooter situation, than I am of her being in a school bus accident on a band trip out of state.

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