Monk Lecture

An Interview with Ed Monk

Interview by Gila Hayes

Last month, Network President Marty Hayes’ review of three active shooter interdiction courses, including his outline of Lt. Col. Ed Monk’s class, generated a lot of feedback from interested readers. When Monk visited us, the opportunity to explore strategies to survive a mass shooting was just too good to pass up. Since Marty covered the firearms training, I asked questions about broader strategies including what to do if not carrying guns due to restrictions as found in most schools, for example.

Co-owner and instructor at Last Resort Firearms Training, Monk retired after 24 years active military duty, with the last 20 years as an armor officer. He holds a master’s degree in continuing education, and taught school for three years in a district outside of Louisville, KY and one year in AR. He currently serves as a part time municipal police officer.

In exploring questions about escaping a mass shooting attack, Monk and I discussed a number of topics that I believe our members will find interesting. We switch now to our Q & A format to share Ed Monk’s ideas and research in his own words.

eJournal: The problem of mass spree shooters is multifaceted, requiring solutions on many fronts. As a follow up to Marty’s review of your class, may we shift our focus to getting out alive and preparing loved ones to do the same? We armed citizens sometimes see everything in terms of shooting problems, and don’t always flesh out strategies for times we may not be allowed to carry our defense guns.

Monk: I think it is important to mentally prepare to fight with a gun if you are someone who carries a gun, to fight with other weapons if you don’t normally carry a gun or you’re in a place where you can’t carry, or to fight with no weapon–with your hands. Now, fighting with a gun has by far the best track record, followed by fighting with an improvised weapon if you are without a gun, and then there’s just fighting hand to hand. You may find yourself in any of those three situations.

Some people live in states where they can’t get a license to carry a gun. They cannot legally carry anywhere outside their home. One of the three options is eliminated for them, so they focus on only the other two. People in different situations will have a different fight, depending on weapon availability.

eJournal: A disproportionate number of shootings happen where the victims can’t shoot back, and that is only one of the statistics we should consider when planning survival strategies. You have a lot of data to help. How long have you been studying this?

Monk: 12 or 13 years.

eJournal: Is there a correlation between location, profile or type of shooter and how they carry out the attack? Are the patterns different if it happens at a school, a church, a nightclub or a shopping mall, for example?

Monk: If it is an active shooter attack at a church–not one person shooting one other person, but an active shooter–it is almost always someone who has not attended that church. Big church shooting attacks usually start in the parking lot. If it is a school shooter at a middle school or high school, it is almost always a student or a person who was very recently a student who got kicked out within the past year. If the shooting is at an elementary school, it is usually someone not associated with that school. If it is a college, the shooter is usually a student or a recently expelled student or one who dropped out. The University of Alabama is the only exception: they had a shooting by a female faculty member, but that is very rare. If there’s an active shooter at an office, he’s usually an employee or recently fired employee.

eJournal: That’s useful for the individual taking responsibility for their own safety, like an employee ramping up awareness if the company has had layoffs.

Monk: You try to be aware of how people act, but not every active shooter will tip his hand. Not every active shooter has a history of mental illness or a criminal past that people know about. Now, the recent shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, IL, was by a union employee. You can’t just fire a union employee on the spot. There was a long record. Everybody knew he was going to be fired that day, so they probably should’ve had better security there. I am not saying everybody whose employment is terminated pulls out a gun, but when you are going to fire somebody, that is potentially a high-risk situation.

eJournal: Some businesses are so small they can’t afford armed security, then what?

Monk: One option is having employees armed. I can’t speak for all 50 states, but I bet the vast majority allow people inside businesses to carry while they’re inside the businesses, even if they can’t out in public. Long before Arkansas had concealed carry licenses, the owner or manager could carry and could designate people to carry within the business.

eJournal: People who are able and motivated to protect themselves and their coworkers would be distributed all throughout the workplace, not just at the entrance where you’d normally post security.

Monk: The people getting shot at in the Parkland, FL high school had much more skin in the game than the deputy who ran over to the building then didn’t go in–or the next seven deputies who arrived at the school, but did not enter the building where the attack occurred.

eJournal: If a terminated or disgruntled employee or a former student becomes a mass shooter, would you expect him to try to kill specific people or shoot people indiscriminately?

Monk: The shooter in the North Carolina nursing home went there to kill his wife. Once you’ve killed somebody, your life is over, you are going to be executed, die in the fight or go to prison forever–so he just started killing a bunch of other people. There is no additional cost to kill 20 more if you are going to kill one.

If you believe the news about the Colorado STEM shooting, the 16-year-old shooter specifically wanted to shoot one person but was just going to get several others while he was there. That happens a lot, but some shootings are totally random. They happen in places the killer has never been before and doesn’t know anybody. In others, there may be a vendetta against the group: “People at the school bullied me, so I am going to take my wrath out on everybody.”

Then there is the notoriety. If you kill just one, you won’t get any news coverage outside of your state or city, but if you kill 30, you will get worldwide, instantaneous and continuous news coverage.

eJournal: The fame-seeker running up the body count is an example of how failing to stop a shooter quickly costs lives–more than one might think. What is the equation you teach in your active shooter seminars?

Monk: Generally, an aggressive shooter will shoot one person every 10 seconds once the shooting starts. There are going to be more bullet holes than that, because some people will be shot more than once. The notable exception is if the shooters are not aggressive, meaning they’re just kind of wandering around, not really trying to shoot every person they can. At Columbine, we left them in there for over 40 minutes. They could have shot hundreds of people, had they been aggressive. Luckily, they were not. Some shooters are more aggressive. On average, someone is going to get shot every 10 seconds once the active shooter starts.

eJournal: How can we turn that equation around?

Monk: First, the shooters almost always pick a gun-free zone where no one can legally have a gun to shoot back. They are using math and time against us. From when they start shooting, the clock is running up the time it takes for someone call to 911, for the 911 operator to call a law enforcement officer, for that officer to drive to the location and then, once at that location, get out of the vehicle, find an entrance, get in the building and find the shooter–if they are aggressive enough to do that. That delay will almost always allow the shooter to get between 20 and 50 victims. They don’t normally start their active shooter attacks in a police station or an NRA convention. They could, but they won’t last very long.

Active shooters are using math and time against us. We just have to turn the tables and regain the initiative on the math. There is something that has a better than 90 percent track record–you ought to pay attention to things that have a 90 percent success rate! In all but maybe one of the active shooter attacks in this country, when there has been an armed person present who acted aggressively, we have had zero to nine victims–single digits. By “present” I mean close enough to see or hear the attack when it started. If a good armed person is close enough to see or hear an attack when it starts, and he or she acts aggressively to stop the killer, we regain the initiative by taking out the delay of somebody making the 911 phone call, the operator making a radio call and the police driving there.

If we can stop this thing within the first 30 to 45 seconds, we have a very reasonable expectation of one to nine victims. If the shooter doesn’t self-terminate–shoot themselves or leave–eventually a law-enforcement officer will get to them and stop them, but they keep shooting during the time that takes. It is just mathematically better if someone is there who stops them in 30 seconds than if someone comes eight minutes later and does it.

eJournal: Like you pointed out, the shooter often attacks where guns are restricted. What can you do if prohibited from carrying a gun?

Monk: The government mantra is “run, hide, fight,” putting “run” first. I always put “fight” first because that is the best for humanity. If you and I are sitting in your office and we hear shooting down the hall and somebody runs by and says they fired Freddy this morning and he is shooting people, it is safest for us to run in the opposite direction and get away. The safest thing for humanity is for us to go and stop the clock so Freddy will not go on shooting an average of one person every 10 seconds. So “fight” may not be better for each individual, but fighting is better for humanity.

Even if fighting is not your first choice, you may not be the only voter deciding. You might plan on fleeing or barricading, but it may resolve into you having to fight anyway. If you are going to fight, doing it with a gun has the best track record. If you can’t have a gun, you can fight with other weapons.

Take a school, for instance. When I go to schools to talk about this, I say you can grab something with which to strike the shooter. Now, this is against our culture that teaches, “Violence is never the answer. We will not accept violence.” I say, “This is an exception. This is one time where violence is not only accepted but promoted.” Grab a coffee pot, a pointer at the chalkboard, a yardstick, a fire extinguisher or a computer keyboard now and attack the person.

The easiest way to do that is to wait for him in a doorway. Most, not all, but most of the shooters start with a long gun–a rifle or shotgun. Anybody who has done building clearing–going room to room with a gun–knows that going through doorways with a long gun is difficult. Shooters are extremely vulnerable trying to get through a doorway holding a long gun.

As they come through the door, you have a welcoming party. You hit them as hard as you can in the head or neck. Hopefully there’s more than one person in that room and you’re all waiting to attack him from both sides of the doorway. If that’s not possible, you ambush him. Get to where he has to come around the corner and hide there. Attack him there using surprise and extreme violence. Another option is to close the distance by rushing him as the three students did the 18-year-old shooter at the STEM school. When he came in and said, “Nobody move,” and pulled out his pistol, three students independently, without directions from the teachers or coordinating with each other, got up and rushed him. They stopped it very quickly.

If fighting unarmed, you need to understand guns and gun malfunctions, which happen often to active shooters because they are generally punks that don’t know how to operate Dad’s gun very well. You need to understand what it looks like when they reload or when there’s a malfunction. Both of these actions will create a small window of opportunity for attacking the killer when his gun is not functional. When I give this talk at schools, I remind teachers how the stapler on their desk gets jammed up with staples, and they have to open it up and pry out the stuck staples to get it going again. I explain to them that sometimes a rifle’s ammunition gets jammed much like those staples do, and you’ve got to partially take it apart to get the gun working again. If you recognize when that happens or when it has to be reloaded, you’ve got anywhere from a 15- to 30-second window in which you are on an equal footing and can either fight or flee.

A first-grade student in the first classroom the active shooter entered at Sandy Hook Elementary School recognized when the killer’s rifle was empty and ran out of that classroom while the killer was reloading. A teacher in the hallway on the third floor of the Parkland, FL school also recognized when the killer was reloading. He and several students ran to the stairwell and out of the building during this pause in the killer’s shooting.

You can strike him with improvised weapons. Lots of things are not designed to be weapons, but if someone smacks you really hard with a metal folding chair, that’s a weapon. If you’re in the school’s chemistry lab, throw chemicals at him. If you have hot coffee in a pot, throw the coffee at him, then bash him with the pot.

If you don’t have weapons, you can attack the person and tackle them to the ground. If they have greater size and strength and have a long gun–remember, most often they start with a long gun–you can simply tackle the gun. Wrap yourself around the rifle or shotgun and fall to the ground. They can hold the weapon up, but if you weigh 150 pounds, they can’t hold up you and the weapon. Those are all options for fighting.

eJournal: Is hurling furniture and other stuff at an active shooter better than dog piling?

Monk: Throwing stuff at them will slow them down. We test that by giving a student a toy air soft gun and instructions to shoot as many as possible. We do that without fighting, and then do exactly the same thing but give out tennis balls or nerf balls to throw at the guy with the airsoft gun. If something is flying toward your eyes, you have to block it, you don’t think about it, you just do it. It is just a reaction.

Throwing stuff will slow a shooter down. I would rather he was limited to shooting 18 people instead of 30 before we get him stopped. Stop him if you can. Get away from him if you can. If you can’t, slow down his shooting rate.

If you have the opportunity to fight, do it smarter. At the STEM school, the guy comes in and pulls a gun out, so they just did what they could and rushed him. I can give you a long list of where fighting and unarmed resistance has been successful, but I can give you a longer list where it was unsuccessful.

eJournal: How do we define success?

Monk: In the STEM school, three brave young men, got up and rushed the shooter. One was shot and killed; one was shot and wounded. Of the three, that’s a 67percent victim rate, but had he kept shooting, he might have shot 10 or 20 students, or more. While it was not successful for the one brave student who died and the one brave student who was wounded, it was successful for all the other students in the classroom and possibly those who could have been shot in other classrooms. That’s why I say, fighting any way you can is better for humanity.

eJournal: If you have school-aged children, what age-appropriate strategies would you teach them to survive a mass shooting? Do we tell our kids to tackle a gunman?

Monk: No, I would talk to my kids, but I would talk to them differently than I talk to teachers and other adults. How they might respond depends on whether they can run away or are cornered. When I was 5 years old, I could throw a book or other things to make it much harder for a shooter to shoot as rapidly as he could otherwise. It would slow him down and that might help the 5-year-old and other people escape.

If you’re cornered, fight. It is hard for me to understand people who say, “We don’t want to scare five-, six- or seven-year olds.” We don’t have a problem telling five-year-olds, “If there’s a fire, stop, drop and roll,” because it might save them from being burned to death. When we buckle a little baby in a car seat, and they don’t want to be in it, we say, “It is to protect you in case we have a horrible car wreck.” We have tornado and fire drills in schools, and we don’t sugarcoat it and explain it away. We say there are fires and they are horrible. To save us, we will get out of the building. I don’t see why it is any different to say, “There are evil people that might come in here and shoot us.” It is not hypothetical; they have done it before. We need to have a plan, just like we do for fires.

eJournal: Schools commonly prevent students from running away from shooters because it is standard response to lock down the facility. Is that a good idea?

Monk: I am not against lockdown; it has a very limited value under very limited situations. You can have an interior lock in or lock down or an exterior lock out. Let’s say there’s an armed robbery at a convenience store a block away from school. The police are out looking for the robber, who is on foot. You would do an exterior lockout. You would put people at all the doors to be sure the threat didn’t get in.

A good reason for a lock down might be if someone told the principal, “I overheard an 11th grader say he had a gun in his backpack or in his locker.” We would lock it down, so everybody stays in their classrooms. Nobody goes to the restroom or changes classes; everybody stays where they are until police search that bag or locker. Locking down is related to fight, flee, barricade. It’s best to fight, but if you cannot, you should flee. Fleeing is ingrained in us already. A baby rabbit knows to run away from somebody shooting at it, like the survivors who were in the first classroom at Sandy Hook. After the two teachers had been shot, the kids, now without leadership, ran away. It is ingrained in us to run away from something that we can’t fight that’s trying to kill us. Every kid who left the classroom lived.

Don’t have artificial rules or let authorities apply artificial rules to make victims stay put while the shooting gets louder and closer. In the two districts I taught in, during a lockdown drill every single person in every single classroom on every single floor of the school had to do the same thing. That is an easy plan to write; it is an easy drill to do and to check a box and say we did it successfully, but it will get people killed.

Often the shooting starts at the front foyer or the front office, so having students in a classroom right by the front door run away isn’t best, either. Barricading the door, and then preparing to fight if the shooter comes through that door is better for them. It is different for the teacher down at the far end of that wing. Their best option is to get out and get away from the building so they are safe. That way there are fewer people to shoot and when the police come, there are fewer people in the school that they have got to worry about. Lock down has got to be determined by the situation. If there is an active shooter in the building, everybody has to know they can act independently.

eJournal: It is hard to imagine school districts endorsing independent responses.

Monk: I was in the military and they don’t like independence either. I taught public high school in two different districts in two states over about four years so I know the bureaucracy and some of the mindset. When I talk about this with teachers, I tell them if I am a third-grader and I have been allowed to go down to the bathroom or the office to pick up something, and I am halfway down the hall or in the restroom when a shooting starts, I have no instructions and I will get none. I need to act independently. Schools don’t like telling third-graders, “OK, you make your own decisions and you act however you need to.”

Students have to be told this is extreme, extraordinary, out of the norm, so your actions need to be extreme. They have to be given permission to do certain things in this extreme, rare circumstance they couldn’t do in others. Normally, we do not want you running down the hall, but you can run in this situation. We will punish you if you intentionally break out windows in other situations, but we encourage it here if it will save anybody’s life. We don’t want you going through doors with signs “Unauthorized Exit/Entry,” but today you can. You can do anything to save lives. Anything!

In extreme circumstances it is okay for adults to break rules, too. I remember reading about a fire in a club. There was a sign on the kitchen door “Authorized Personnel Only.” People stopped and went back the other way. You can go through the door into the unauthorized area that you ordinarily can’t go through, you can break windows to get out, you can violate rules to get away from a person who is shooting at you.

eJournal: An argument sometimes made against running away suggests that the intended victims may run right into a hail of bullets. Another argument is that a second shooter will be outside waiting to kill those who are escaping. Is either valid?

Monk: Several things ran through my head as you asked that. One, if we are talking about schools, where are we going to tell our kids to run? Where doesn’t matter. Tell them instead what to run away from. What you are running away from determines the direction of travel. If you can hear the shots, go away from the shots. Just go away from the shots. Will we have people that we cannot find for a few hours? Absolutely. Parents will be pissed until we find their kids, and then they will be happy and they will forgive us. If students can be found easily because they are shot to death on the floor of the science room, the parents will never forgive us.

When there has been an active shooter, there has never ever been anybody else outside waiting for the first responders or for those escaping. I am not saying it couldn’t happen, because we have seen someone call in a domestic dispute and then shoot the cops when they show up or report a fire and then shoot the fireman and the police. That hasn’t ever happened in an active shooter situation.

eJournal: In light of the math and time affecting the numbers of victims, should the armed citizen call 911 before going to try to stop the shooting?

Monk: No. There are plenty of other people that can make the 911 call. If you’ve got a gun, and you are able and willing to go stop the shooter, don’t do anything that would delay stopping him. When I work with cops, I tell them, “It is cool that you have a helmet and a vest, a go bag, an active shooter bag and a trauma bag in your trunk. Leave them all there and go find the active shooter. The time you’ll use to get out, pop the trunk and put all that cool gear on, is at least 30 to 45 seconds and in that time, four more people will be shot. If you have a hand gun and you know how to use it, get in there and shoot the guy.

eJournal: If you come across injured people are you going to slow down to help them?

Monk: If you were fleeing and pausing to pick up and carry out or help someone limp out doesn’t cause more damage, then by all means do it. However, if you are the armed person–police or not–who has chosen to go find the shooter and stop him so someone doesn’t get shot every 10 seconds, as hard as the decision is, you must not stop to help wounded people.

If you are the first person there with a gun, you are the best person there who can stop the shooter. A lot of other people can evacuate the injured, put on tourniquets and bandages and apply pressure until they let the EMTs in, but until the shooter stops and the place is declared safe, those professionals will be held back four or five blocks away. If you’re the aggressive armed person going to stop the shooter, it would be tough to pass injured people who you knew you could help–especially if they were your coworkers or people in your church–but you have got to go stop the shooter.

The first four cops that entered the Parkland high school saw a wounded staff member and two of the four immediately broke off to evacuate them. That left only two to do the search and slowed down the process of clearing the building. Now, that didn’t hurt anything because although they didn’t know it, the shooter was long gone. The first armed people in the building have the priority to find the shooter. That could be a hard decision, but we have got to do it.

eJournal: Those escaping may get to the exit about the same time the police arrive. What concerns do those folks need to be aware of?

Monk: If you’re fleeing, have your hands plainly visible and if police stop you, follow their directions, but typically that’s not going to happen. If you are already outside the building, the police would like you to leave so there are fewer people they have to worry about in there.

eJournal: What would you expect if you haven’t reached the exit and you run into police?

Monk: You may be told to stop and get on the floor. If you are still in the building, you very likely may have guns pointed at you. Just do what you are told; try to make the police officers’ job as easy as possible. Police are human just like you. They’re amped up, too, but they’re going the opposite way. If you are fleeing, they are going toward the shooting. They need to check you off the suspect list and go find the person who is shooting. Whether you are a cop or an armed civilian going after an active shooter, you have to look at a whole lot of people and mentally check off, “That’s not him. That’s not him. That’s not him,” until you see the one with the gun shooting people.

eJournal: What’s the likelihood of there being more than one shooter?

Monk: The STEM school shooting was the fifth attack in America where we had more than one shooter. Of those five, there have never been more than two shooters. More often, it is usually one person who is not well-trained. Someone needs to go in there and stop him. Stopping the shooter does three wonderful things: he will not shoot any new people, he will not shoot the ones who have already been shot again, and we can get the ambulances and EMTs in there to treat and evacuate victims.

Here’s another thing: more times than not, when there is an active shooter, there are almost always false reports of other shooters. There is usually only one but once you’ve put him down, people may say, “There is another shooter up on the second floor! There is another shooter down in the parking lot!” Don’t totally disregarded that, but if you don’t hear shooting, stay with the one you shot because the odds are, that is the only one.

If you find the one and you shoot him, then you hear more shooting and decide to go, you need to understand the police are going to show up eventually. The clock is ticking. If it takes you a while to get to that second shooter, the chance for fratricide goes up. It has never happened and the odds are extremely low, but in that situation, the odds start to go up.

eJournal: I am glad you brought that up, because Network members have asked how not to be mistaken for the active shooter.

Monk: Cops have never yet shot an armed citizen reacting to an active shooter. They never, ever have. They have shot other cops, but cops have never shot an armed citizen who is trying to stop an active shooter. That is because the armed citizen who is present gets there and stops the shooting long before the cops show up.

The only reason an armed citizen takes action against an active shooter is because you were present when it started. If you react aggressively, in almost every case you will end it in the first 30 to 45 seconds. There will be single-digit victims, and you will be smoking your third cigarette by the time the first responding officer shows up. That’s not because the officer is not brave, but because of the time it takes for police to be notified and travel there. He can’t help how long it takes him to get there. It is math and time. That is all it is and math is a bitch.

The exception would be if this is a nonstandard, protracted attack like in the DC Navy Yard’s four-story office building. Let’s say you heard shooting and you went looking for him, but because it’s an office building with cubicles, it takes you a while to find him. If he’s moving around inside a complex structure and you’ve got your gun out past about two minutes, the chances of fratricide by a cop start going up.

eJournal: If you go to find and stop an active shooter, will you go slow and tactically or go fast and take more risks?

Monk: Generally, if you can hear the shooting, you go fast. The faster you get to him the sooner you can end it and the fewer people will be shot. If you can hear him shooting, he is not waiting somewhere to shoot you. He is in the middle of his fantasy shooting other people. When you come around the corner or go in the door with a gun leveled at him, your muzzle flashes will be a huge surprise. Go fast if you hear shooting. Is that riskier? Yes, but he is not waiting there for you and getting there more quickly saves the most lives.

We teach that there are a lot of speeds between slow and fast. If you see him walk across a hall with a rifle, you can rush down to that door. If you do not hear shooting, so no one is getting shot right now, you can take a little more time going in. Maybe you’ve heard shooting down the hall, but now it has stopped and you don’t know what room it was in, then you would slow down. You do not know where to go to fast, so you go methodically, slowly, to try to find him.

The general rule is to go fast if you hear shooting; go slower if you don’t.

eJournal: Does the same principle apply to escape for those who can’t be armed?

Monk: Yes. If there has been a shooter, but he is not shooting right now, maybe you can go a little more tactically, slowly, carefully because you don’t want to run into him if he is still in the building. But if you can hear the shooting, move! You should be running, crawling, slithering, jumping—whatever you have to do to go in the opposite direction.

eJournal: If you have little children or infirm seniors with you and decide to go stop the shooter, do you separate and leave them on their own to fend for themselves?

Monk: In a training event, I once heard an instructor say, “You are not required to orphan your children and widow your spouse, so that other people can be with their children and spouse.” The same thing applies here. You don’t have to fight. If you have a police badge and you have taken an oath, and voluntarily said you will protect, then you need to do that or renounce the oath and get off the job.

If you are a non-sworn individual, then you will have to make a decision. You could send your family out ahead like the cop in the Salt Lake City Trolley Square Mall shooting did. He told his wife, “Get out and call 911,” then he went and dealt with it. That’s an option. If your spouse is armed, then you both go and stop him. In the past several years, there’ve been two incidents in which armed citizens who didn’t even know each other worked together to stop an active shooter. In the Sutherland Springs, TX church attack, one armed and one unarmed citizen worked together to stop an active shooter.

eJournal: We’ve only scraped the surface of a complex topic. In synopsis, what would you would like for Network members to know?

Monk: In my mind, it is so simple. In every active shooter attack in the U.S., when there has been an aggressive, armed person who saw or heard the attack when it started, they’ve been able to stop the shooter 100 percent of the time. Once an active shooter gets shot at by another person, cop or non-cop, they stop shooting innocent people and either commit suicide, or they transition to barricading and wait for police.

At the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, the active shooter did not shoot any more citizens in the bar after a sheriff’s deputy and California Highway Patrol officer went in. The shooter shot the deputy, but those shots hit his vest and didn’t kill him (his death was blue-on-blue fratricide–the shot that killed him was from a Highway Patrol officer’s rifle) and then they pulled the officers out. From that point on, the active shooter was cornered and when SWAT got there, he knew the end was near and he killed himself.

That is fairly common. Some of them choose to fight it out and go out in a blaze of glory, and others think a shot to the head will be quicker so they do that and go out on their own terms. The Pennsylvania synagogue, the Aurora, IL Henry Pratt Company, the Santa Fe school are examples where the active shooters shot responding cops, but more time elapsed after that during which they didn’t shoot any more innocent people. They transitioned from spree shooting to waiting for the police or they killed themselves.

Fighting slows or stops the clock. It stops active shooters from shooting more people. God love the brave, brave people who died after fighting back unarmed, like the student at the STEM school and the North Carolina college student. The three soldiers in the Fort Hood deployment center who rushed the active duty major who was shooting were barehanded except one who tried to hit him with a chair. All three were shot dead. Their fight slowed down the shooting, but I wish they’d had guns. Fighting stops the clock. Fighting with a gun gives, by far, the greatest chance of success.

eJournal: Thank you for studying and teaching how to stop active shooter attacks and for taking time today to explain some of the details about which Network members have questions. We really do appreciate your work!

About our source: Ed Monk is co-owner and instructor at Last Resort Firearms Training ( in central Arkansas. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after over 20 years as an armor officer, including duty in Iraq, battalion command, and three assignments as the leader of military training teams. He provides educational presentations to universities, schools, civic organizations, and other groups on the active shooter threat. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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