EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The site of Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado is a place many of us could find ourselves on any given day. So, how can we protect ourselves if we end up in the middle of a violent situation? There is a mindset that a “Good guy with a gun” could have stopped the shooter in Boulder before a single life was taken. If owning or carrying a gun isn’t something you’re comfortable with-- there’s another option, it’s free effective and easy to learn.
“To be prepared, it’s the real deal. People are really shooting up supermarkets, shooting up schools, god forbid that happens anymore, churches is a big thing. And where people usually congregate for easy shootings and not armed.”
Dan Marcon, owner of Marc-On shooting in Lake Hallie says they offer training on a daily basis for those who wish to have concealed carry license. Education is key, teaching people to “be prepared not paranoid” if confronted with an active shooter.
“First thing we tell people is to get to safety and hide and then assess the situation, if you feel comfortable getting into it but odds are pretty good you are not going to come back. Your mindset has to be fight or flight,” says Marcon.
Witnesses describe the suspected Boulder shooter as using an AR-style weapon. A gun that is readily available at most gun stores across the country. Marcon says these mass casualty situations have become far too common and why families are coming in for weapons training.
“We have more parents that call us up to teach their kids firearm safety than I’ve ever seen. I’m talking 12, 14, 15-year old kids. They don’t want hunter safety, they’re not worried about their kids getting lost in the woods, they want us to teach them how to run a shotgun, a pistol, how to run an AR-15,” says Marcon.
Homeland Security encourages people to take three steps if they find themselves in an active shooter situation: evacuate, hide out or take action. Officer Josh Miller with the Eau Claire Police Department breaks down how that works.
“If you’re able to escape a situation safely that should be our first course of action. And if you’re not able to escape safely, finding a place to hide, preferably as secure as you possibly can. And only in the most dire situations if hiding out or evacuating is not an option, should you try to take some action against at active shooter,” says Miller.
Miller says as exhausting as it is to think about escape routes anytime you enter a building, he understands people’s desire to conceal and carry to feel protected.
“Anything people can do to help make them feel more safe is probably good but again education is the best way to prepare, having a mental plan anytime you go into a building or any situation, just having the thoughts of what do I have to escape here safely,” adds Miller.
If being armed is the route you wanna take, Marcon says, “Everyone that buys a firearm has to go through background checks.” Adding it needs to be done responsibly.
“FBI, state, the guns aren’t registered to them, we just care if they are able to own or possess and carry a firearm.”