How To Survive A Mall Shooting

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you might have heard about the threat by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab against a particular “family” of shopping malls (blogged about this Sunday). The more I thought about the potential for a mall shooting, the more I wondered if there was anything out in cyberspace that might assist readers in surviving an active shooter situation within this type of environment. Enter SPIKE’s TV series Surviving Disaster from a couple of years back (blogged about here). In particular, the episode entitled “Mall Shooting.” For those of you who’ve never heard of the television series, from the SPIKE website:

What will you do when disaster strikes? Spike TV’s new original series Surviving Disaster, led by Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, vividly takes viewers through catastrophic scenarios and arms them with the knowledge needed to survive the unthinkable. Courtley tackles worst-case scenarios and equips viewers with the practical information needed to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Whether the threat is natural or man-made or on a national or personal level, Courtley speaks directly to the viewers and guides them through a comprehensive, step-by-step process to not only survive the big picture disaster, but endure the many dangerous obstacles that may occur within each catastrophic event. While leading viewers out of danger, Courtley not only provides helpful tips and hands-on instruction, but swiftly points out common misconceptions and fatal mistakes. Unlike any other series, Surviving Disaster may actually save lives by providing actions that anyone can perform.

If Cade Courtley looks familiar, it may be that you recognize him from another survival TV series called America Unplugged that recently aired on the New Berlin, Wisconsin-based TV network The Sportsman Channel (blogged about here– good stuff). Or it could be from a different project of his.

“Who is Cade Courtley?”
YouTube Video

Getting back to Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” from the SPIKE website:

A highly trained terrorist cell takes over a crowded mall in a military style siege. Navy SEAL Cade Courtley shows you how to survive a firefight using SEAL Team tactics and take on this well armed enemy by constructing improvised weapons, smoke bombs and night vision gear.

It’s been a few years since I watched the 42-minute production. But I think it still has a lot to offer should readers ever find themselves in a similar predicament. For example, I jotted down the following from the first part of “Mall Shooting,” after the terrorists had commenced their attack:

• Don’t play dead
• Spread out
• Priority is to clear the “kill zone” as fast as possible
• Move away from the kill zone, from cover to cover, avoiding mere concealment if possible
• If no clear exit nearby, escape through the back of a store to the fire-escape hallways
• If the exits from the hallways are blocked/booby-trapped, search for a different escape route from the mall, utilizing those “you are here” maps if necessary
• One possible exit could be the loading dock area, which might be difficult for the terrorists to seal off and a potentially-good spot for law enforcement/other rescuers to gain entry into the facility

Now, some of this might sound “basic” to a number of readers. However, Courtley did cover more “advanced” topics like:

• Individual/group movement (keep at least a foot off of walls because bullets could ricochet down their length)
• Obtaining makeshift weapons and gear from within the mall
• Ambushing terrorists
• Operating an AK-type rifle acquired from the bad guys
• Constructing a makeshift silencer for the captured firearm

There’s plenty more material in Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” which you can view in its entirety over on the SPIKE website here.

Personally, I hope readers never have to utilize this information. That being said, I’m real glad SPIKE TV and Cade Courtley put it out there for the general public.

Know of other “how to survive a mall shooting” resources? Feel free to share it with everyone via the comment section.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Courtley’s SEAL survival guide…


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Izhmash, Kalashnikovs, And Saigas, Oh My!

Fans and operators of the AK (Avtomat Kalashnikova) firearm platform might find a recent article on the New York Times website about the iconic rifle interesting (no, I don’t just blog about AKs- posts about the “Black Rifle” are in the works). Andrew Kramer wrote on August 14:

The nickname of this town, home of the factory that makes Kalashnikov rifles, is the “Armory of Russia.” Over the years, it has armed a good number of other countries, too, as the lathes and presses of the Izhevsk Machine Works clanged around the clock to forge AK-47s and similar guns for insurgents and armies around the world.

But these days, many of Izhevsk’s weapons are headed somewhere else: the United States.

Despite the gun’s violent history — or perhaps because of it — American hunters and gun enthusiasts are snapping up tens of thousands of Kalashnikov rifles and shotguns. Demand is so brisk that the factory has shifted its focus from military to civilian manufacture over the last two years. United States sales of the civilian versions, sold under the brand name Saiga, rose by 50 percent last year, according to officials at the factory, known as Izhmash.

You can read Kramer’s entire piece on the Times site here.


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Sonny Puzikas Out With New AK Training Video

Speaking of the AK-47, the semi-automatic version of the Avtomat Kalashnikova assault rifle has grown more popular among American firearm owners over the years. This Kalashnikov variant is reportedly simple, rugged, and incredibly reliable- just like its fully-automatic cousin.

I just found out one of the most recognizable faces associated with the AK in the U.S. has a new instructional video available for operators of the platform. From the Panteao Productions website:

Make Ready with Sonny Puzikas
Fighting with the AK – Lost in Translation

Saulius “Sonny” Puzikas is a former operator in a Soviet military special purpose unit. He served during tumultuous times from the late 1980s through the early 1990s, and has participated in operations in numerous “hot spots” of the former Soviet Union, as well as other missions. For the past 10 years Sonny has been teaching and instructing multi-national military special operations units, law enforcement officers and civilian clients on topics of CQB, team tactics, personal protection and combatives, as well as more specialized courses for specific audiences.

In Fighting with the AK, Sonny teaches you about the AK like no one else can. He reviews myths about the AK, balancing marksmanship with speed and mobility, transitions, reloading, components of speed, marksmanship, low platform basics, and more. In this special 2 DVD set, you also get Realities of a Gunfight where Sonny talks about the inverted pyramid of firearms training and the art of mobility.

“Make Ready with Sonny Puzikas: Fighting with the AK — Lost in Translation”
YouTube Video

More information about Fighting with the AK – Lost in Translation can be found on the Panteao Productions website here.


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Russian Military Dumps AK-74

AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every m**********r in the room, accept no substitutes.

-Ordell Robbie (played by Samuel L. Jackson), Jackie Brown (1997)

Speaking of Russia this morning, here’s an interesting bit of news for fans/collectors/operators of the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or AK, weapons platform. From the RT (previously Russia Today) website on Tuesday:

The Russian Defense Ministry has decided not to procure the AK-74 assault rifle, saying it is outdated. The producer, Izhmash, says a new version of the firearm is almost ready to be shown to the public.

The AK-74 is the third generation in the family of firearms designed by renowned Soviet weapons engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov. The rifle and its variants have been standard issue for many Soviet and later Russian troops since 1974, the year which gave the weapon its name.

However, after almost four decades in service, the assault rifle has become outdated. The Defense Ministry did not buy a single AK-74 in 2011 from its manufacturers Izhmash and has no plans to do so in future.

(Editotr’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

According to RT, the Russian military will be turning to the fourth-generation Kalashnikov rifle, known as the 100 Series, while a fifth-generation AK is set to be unveiled before the end of the year.

“Izhmash JSC – AK-100+ Series Assault Rifles”
YouTube Video


“Kalashnik-off: Army rejects legendary rifle.” RT. 27 Sep. 2011. (http://rt.com/news/rifle-ak-74-assault-defense-457/). 30 Sep. 2011.


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Friday, September 30th, 2011 Europe, Firearms, Military No Comments
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