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The Surprising Item (And A Few Tips) That Could Save Your Life In A Shooting Like Last Week’s in Colorado

Thomas Cooper, Getty Images

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado of this past Friday is still very fresh on the minds of so many. The shaky cellphone video, the deranged look of the alleged shooter in court and the countless blank stares on so many faces asking, “Why?”

Next comes a question just as ominous — what would I do in the same situation?

If you ask any survival expert about the best defense against an unprovoked attack, they will tell you evacuating the area is always your safest play. In other words: Don’t be a hero. Turn tail and run as fast as you can.

How do you stop a gunman firing bullets into a darkened theater? You take away his sight. What is the one item that could render a gunman blind? A flashlight.

That’s right — a very bright flashlight, one that could fit into your purse or pocket. When shined directly into the eyes of the gunman, it would blind him temporarily. Much like a flash from a camera in a darkened restaurant. We’ve all seen the blue spots and stumbled into furniture, haven’t we?

That five to ten seconds of temporary blindness could be just enough for someone to take down a lone gunman by force, or for you to run away.

According to a former Navy S.E.A.L. there are several other things you should consider anytime you walk into a public situation. Not that we are fear mongering—we are simply suggesting that we all be more aware of our surroundings. Why do you think they point out the exits before every airplane flight? It’s so you will have at least thought of a way out when there is no time for thinking.

According to security experts, knowing where the exits are and sitting close to them is always a good idea. Do you know the difference between cover and concealment? Think of it this way. Cover is hiding behind a theater seat; concealment is hiding behind a brick wall. Guess which one you’d really want to be behind?

The save-your-skin-experts also suggest this simple tactic: Don’t make yourself an easy target. In other words that “playing possum” or lying on the ground with your eyes closed just makes you an easy target. A moving target is harder to hit, even for an experienced marksman.

The bottom line is, always know what you are getting into and how to get yourself out. Nobody ever thinks they are walking into a theater to get shot or walking into a department store that is about to be hit by a tornado. Things happen, sometimes really bad things happen if you keep your wits about you and have an understanding of your surroundings the better your chances of getting out alive.

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