Note: the following opinions of Liam Nuhring, opinion author, should not be treated as the gospel truth in self-defense training.

With domestic-born terrorism and active shooter situations occurring both in public and on college campuses at an alarming rate, Concordia College recommends the following procedure for effectively maintaining your safety in the event of a campus shooter: 1. Run away 2. Don’t run in a straight line 3. Call the police and public safety 4. If too dangerous to run, hide or play dead 5. If hiding or playing dead, don’t move.

The aforementioned suggestions can be found on Concordia College’s website, under the heading: Criminal Activity.

I agree that in a gun-free zone, these are probably some of your best options for survival. After a simple Google search, it seems that these are very common active shooter defense techniques, as they pop up on a good couple dozen college websites verbatim.

Now, it is my opinion that the above suggestions are essentially valid. However, I refuse to be a passive victim. As a graduate of more than one tactical trauma medical course, instructed by a combination of trauma surgeons, SWAT team members, and former US military special forces medics, I believe that there are far more effective ways to not die in high-intensity, high-risk situations.

When personally training in simulated active shooter defense scenarios with law enforcement, the frequency at which I was struck in the limbs by simulated munitions was surprisingly high. This phenomena was stressed by the instructors as an overwhelmingly common event in attacks.

With this said, because students and faculty are barred from carrying concealed weapons for the purpose of self-defense on Concordia’s campus (which, let’s be honest, would be my preference as opposed to playing dead), purchasing and carrying a tourniquet may be one of the smartest and most effective actions one could take. Blood loss is one of the most deadly consequences of a battlefield injury, and also the most easily alleviated. The tourniquet was potentially the greatest life saving device on the battlefield until the fortunate discovery of antibiotics.

When properly applied, the tourniquet sits above the wound in question by five to eight inches in relation to your torso. When most effective, the tourniquet should actually hurt more than the life-threatening wound itself, due to the extreme pressure placed upon your skin and muscle which compresses major blood vessels.

It takes 30 to 45 seconds for the average male to pass out due to blood loss when the femoral artery (the one in your thigh) is severed. Death occurs in 1:30 to 2 minutes. The immediate application and suppression of blood flow is of utmost importance in a situation such as this.

Do yourself and your classmates two favors: petition for the removal of the concealed carry ban on campus and get yourself a tourniquet and learn how to use it properly. I suggest the CAT or SOFTT-W varieties, which can be found on Amazon for as little as 25 dollars. Make the investment. Save a life.

 

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