A PSA for days like today
Americans have apparently decided that events like those happening today in DC are acts of God like the Colorado floods or hurricanes in the Atlantic. There's nothing we can do to prevent it. Mass shootings are the American Way.
So, governments are now producing instructions on what to do when it happens to you:
Emergency responders pose this scenario: you're deep in work at your desk, when suddenly the sound of gunfire and screaming wash over you. Somebody is repeatedly firing a gun in your office and your co-workers are hurt or, perhaps, dead.
When I was a kid, we used to have drills to practice our response in case of nuclear war. Now they do drills in schools in case a shooter decides to fight the tyranny of Big Government (or whatever other insane motivation) by killing little kids.
What do you do?
This situation won't happen to most people. But in case it does, the city of Houston prepared a very realistic six minute video instructing people what to do should a gunman open fire in a public place. There are three basic responses: run, hide and fight.
Running is the best choice - get out of the building or area quickly and don't let anybody slow you down. When you're safe, call 9-1-1. If you can't get out, hide. Turn off room lights and silence your cell phone to evade the shooter's attention. If you must face the shooter, do it decisively. Use improvised weapons (like a chair or a fire extinguisher) and fight aggressively.
Remember, when the first police officers arrive, they're likely coming in heavily armed and with a purpose: they're there to stop the shooter, not to treat the wounded. Emergency medical teams will follow.
The video was produced with money from the Department of Homeland Security, notes the Houston Chronicle. Dennis Storemski, who heads the Houston mayor's Homeland Security office told the paper the short film was finished two weeks before the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting. "We didn't release it at the time because we didn't know it was relevant. Now it is."
This is America today. We produce videos to instruct people how to evacuate a building in case of fire and how to respond to mass shootings.