active shooter

DHS Provides Resources, Training To Combat Church Active Shooters

In the wake of the Texas church shooting, houses of worship may be wondering how their congregation might prepare for and respond to an “active shooter.” One resource worth exploring is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, specifically “Active Shooter Preparedness.” From that section:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage. Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident…

Visitors can obtain active shooter preparedness resources as a private citizen, human resources or security professional, active shooter workshop participant, and first responder. Key resources available to the “private citzen” include:

-“How to Respond” Resource Materials: “A series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter” like a booklet, pamphlet, poster, pocket card, and more (translated into other languages too)
-“Options for Consideration” Active Shooter Preparedness Video: Almost 8-minute video which “demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.”
-Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video: 1-hour 36-minute video that “describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario…”

According to TIME magazine, under the Trump Administration DHS has actually been ahead of the curve with training places of worship to deal with active shooter incidents. Elizabeth Dias reported Sunday:

Even before Sunday’s shooting at a small Baptist church in Texas, the Trump Administration was moving ahead with efforts to train houses of worship on emergency security procedures, including active shooter situations.

Now, an Administration official says he’ll be working even harder to train religious leaders on how to secure their members and property.

In the past four months, [director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships office Jamie] Johnson the said his team has collaborated with religious groups on more than a dozen efforts to improve security, but he has plans for more.

“We are going to be a whole lot busier in the months and years to come when it comes to safety and security for houses of worship,” he says. “This issue will now come to the forefront of the religious conversation in America.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good to know. One more thing. Religious institutions might want to investigate if any local resources are available to help prepare for/respond to an active shooter if they haven’t done so already. I’ve stumbled upon a few articles on the Internet these past few days where local law enforcement are offering assistance to churches and such.

DHS’ Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage can be accessed here. And readers can keep abreast of what’s new out of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships here.

Know of any religious facilities that might benefit from this information? Pass it on!

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Dias, Elizabeth. “Trump Administration Might Ramp Up Security Training for Houses of Worship After Texas Shooting.” TIME. 5 Nov. 2017. ( 7 Nov. 2017.


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U.S. Border Patrol Agents Shoot Mexican Citizen

Sounds like Mexico isn’t too happy with “Los Gringos” these days. From the Associated Press Monday:

A Mexican citizen has been fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents on the border with Texas in an incident that the Mexican government is calling a disproportionate use of force.

The Border Patrol said Saturday that agents had opened fire along the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border after being pelted by rocks and having a gunman point a weapon in their direction from the Mexican side of the river…

“The Mexican government has said once again that the disproportionate use of force for purposes of immigration enforcement is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“After being pelted by rocks and having a gunman point a weapon in their direction from the Mexican side of the river.”

Firearm instructors routinely tell their students never point their guns at anything they don’t intend to destroy/kill.

And last I heard, Border Patrol agents are permitted to use lethal force if they feel their lives are threatened. From the Borderland Beat blog back on September 4, 2010:

She [U.S. Border Patrol spokeswoman Rosalinda Huey] said agents are authorized to fire their weapons any time they feel lives are at risk, even into Mexico.

“As long as our agents feel their life is in danger, they are allowed lethal (force),” she said.

After this incident, I have to wonder if agents aren’t given new “marching orders” along the lines of the following. From Perry Chiaramonte on the FOX News website on June 29:

Border Patrol agents in Arizona are blasting their bosses for telling them, along with all other Department of Homeland Security employees, to run and hide if they encounter an “active shooter.”

It’s one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.

“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’” union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered).”

This reminds me of a scene from the 1986 sci-fi film Aliens:

GORMAN: Apone! Look… we can’t have any firing in there. I, uh… I want you to collect magazines from everybody.
HUDSON: Is he fuckin’ crazy?
FROST: What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?

Hasta luego.


“Mexico says citizen shot by US Border Patrol agent near Texas.” Associated Press. 9 July 2012. ( 9 July 2012.

Gerardo. “Border Patrol agents exchange gunfire across U.S-Mexico border.” Borderland Beat. 14 Sep. 2010. ( 9 July 2012.

Chiaramonte, Perry. “Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’ from gunmen.” FOX News. 29 June 2012. ( 9 July 2012.


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Anti-Terrorism Training For Civilians

I’ve been thinking about the “routine military training exercise” that’s been going on this week in the Chicagoland area and which I surmised could be related to counterterrorism. But what about civilians? Is there anti-terrorism training available to the rest of us? And is it something even worth contemplating?

I remember an article I read some time ago by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote in the November/December 2004 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine:

We are a nation of hundreds of million of citizens, equipped with only a few hundred thousand police officers. Clearly, the cops can’t be everywhere at once. Obviously, any citizen should report suspicious behavior. That’s not paranoia or fascism; under the circumstances, it’s just common sense.

No, citizens won’t spot a guy in a kafiyeh setting the timer on a small nuclear device. However, citizens do spot smaller things that can have a bearing. 9/11 suicide squad leader Mohammed Atta allegedly got into a road rage incident en route to the original airport from which he flew to Boston to transfer onto the fateful flight that terminated at the Twin Towers. If a cell phone call to police had summoned authorities in time, the course of history might have been changed.

Now, if a man carrying a boxcutter and intending to slash throats, commit mass murder, and die himself that day should find himself embroiled in a shouting match with an angry motorist who appears about to call people who can “come and take him away,” he is not likely to just drive off. This is yet another reason for competent, responsible people to consider going armed.

Ayoob, who also authors the blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website, added:

Self-reliant people prepare for storms even if there haven’t been any for a while. There hasn’t been a real storm on these shores since 9/11 at this writing, but the storm warnings are clear and urgent.

The Federal government is preparing for the next wave of attacks. So is local law enforcement.

This means that the rest of America needs to prepare for it, too.

So for Ayoob, who argued that an armed American public is an effective counter to terrorism, civilian anti-terrorism training definitely has value.

But where does one go to receive counterterrorism training?

Using Google I stumbled upon one school right off the bat- Crisis Response International (CRI). From their website:

C.R.I. is a Las Vegas, Nevada based company. We are owned and operated by Doron Benbenisty, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. We have been operating for over 10 years in the United States and trained thousands of U.S. personnel and first responders in Counter Terrorism techniques. We are open to CIVILIAN, as well as Law Enforcement and Military personnel.

“CIVILIAN.” Now we’re getting somewhere.

While CRI’s bread-and-butter courses are Body Guard PSD, Professional Tactical Driver, Krav-Haganah, Surveillance Operator, and Transportation Marshall, anti-terrorism training open to civilians includes Active Shooter/Workplace Violence, Counter Kidnapping, and Counter Suicide Bomber/V.B.I.E.D. (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device). “Average Joes” are invited to participate in the Active Shooter/Workplace Violence and Counter Kidnapping classes. From the CRI website:

Active Shooter/Workplace Violence:

Duration: 3 days Other Active Shooter courses are various lengths and costs.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Active Shooter – The Israeli Method

Course Summary: This is our Main 3 day course, which is open to all. This course is one of the most successful and useful courses that we instructed in Israel, mainly to school staff, teachers and students. Students, Consumers, Office Workers, Restaurant and Nightclub employees that operate a large portion of their lives in a workplace environment can suddenly find themselves in very dangerous situations involving a determined and most likely suicidal Active Shooter. We have developed this primary course to assist personnel in dealing with this reality.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into THREE main modules:

Active Shooter Analysis
Defensive Tactics
Tactical Medicine
Tactical Shooting

Then there’s Counter Kidnapping:

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course Summary: This course will teach you how to survive a kidnapping, carjacking, hijacking and other abduction attempts. This is the only training course in the world that can help prepare you to survive a kidnapping or abduction situation. In this course, the trainees will be exposed to sophisticated kidnapping techniques that are being used by criminal and terrorist organizations all over the world.

Who needs this course? Soldiers in high-risk zones, police officers, government special agents, populations that live in high-risk zones, journalists, wealthy or famous people, entertainers, business people, humanitarian workers, travelers, pilots and flight crew, ship crew, professional drivers, civilians and others. During the course the students will be abducted and kidnapped in various methods and will learn how to survive the situation.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into FOUR main modules:

Kidnapping & Counter Kidnapping Techniques
Defensive Tactics, Weapons Retention & Disarmament
Escape from Captivity
Tactical Shooting (air soft in the studio)

And for civilian first responders, there’s Counter Suicide Bomber/V.B.I.E.D.:

Duration: 4 days

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course Summary: CRI is the first and only school in the world that offers the most complete and effective counter-suicide bombing and car bomb training that relies on combat experience from Israel. We offer an extensive training course that covers intelligence, intervention and deterrence, which includes realistic exercises.

CRI’s instructors have created and offered this type of training in Israel since 1996 to transportation companies, police and the armed forces. This type of training is offered only to members of allied countries of the U.S. and Israel. Acceptable trainees for this course are Law Enforcement First Responders, SWAT, Non-Swat, Federal and Military personnel. This course is a fully tactical course that covers suicide bombers, car bombs, booby trapped vehicles and IED’s 360 degrees.

Primary learning modules: The course is broken down into FOUR main modules:

Mindset of the Bombers
Suicide Bombers, Car Bombs & IED’s
Defensive Tactics
Tactical Medicine

Video GamesE3 2012Military Tech

“AOTS Goes to Anti-Terrorism School” Video

Interesting. Well, at least we know there is anti-terrorism training available for us civilians.

Anyone know of other anti-terrorism instruction that’s out there?


Ayoob, Massad. “Armed civilians can help fight terrorism.” Backwoods Home Magazine. November/December 2004. ( 19 Apr. 2012.


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