Catch 22 - Fight or Flight in Terrorist Attacks?

OneEmm

Crow
The military or civil forces cannot be everywhere, everytime (what we have left of them). Yet, a handful of terrorists can wreak havoc in the name of their cause.

Do citizens need to consider 'fight or flight' during attacks? These terrorists will not let you live, that's not their mission objective. But their only real strength is the fear they invoke, in the situation.

It's an impossible ask, but if those nearest attackers had their wits about them and 'bundled' them, (assuming if 1 person had a go, others would quickly join in), could a worse situation be averted?

If the terrorists had to factor in that people will fight for their lives, their strength in creating fear is weakened.

Could you create a civil awareness to determine fight or flight in such circumstances?

I pose the questions because of the thwarted Eurostar event, where people had a go and potentially avoided a greater catastrophe.

Final point, if civil authorities had to consider casualty rates (like military commanders have to), as part of their operational objectives, would they be able to justify greater operational resources? Consider this, the Bataclan casualty rate was 87, for a theatre capacity of 300, equating to 29%. A military commander would have to bin any plan that had such a high rate. Do civil authorities need to adjust their planning methodologies to deal with the modern world we live in?
 
The vast majority will run if there is anywhere to run that is.

On trains, planes etc there is nowhere to get away so you may as well have a go, you are going to die anyway if you don't.

Trying to convince 99.9% of the population that attacking is a good idea is not going to happen.
Which is why we laud the 0.1% who really are courageous.
 
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You can advise people on what to do in such circumstances but when things start going bang with hot bits flying around your own instinct will take over.
As my learned collegue has stated, for most it will be "run like fcuk in the direction of away."
 
Entirely depends on the situation - If it is a lone gunman, and I am close enough to immediately prevent them shooting me - either by forceable adjustment of the point of aim or jamming the weapon I would like to think I would get stuck in, but can't know for certain.
Group of enemy, with me at the back of a theatre, possibly with family and a sound chance of escape - I'll be doing Linford Christie impressions with the bairn in one arm and the misses in the other.

All entirely situational. I'd like to think I could do something useful, but the most useful thing might be to get out and info those equiped to deal with the situation on my observations - numbers, weapons, anything else of use.

Edit for mong spelling - no promises I got it all!
 
You can advise people on what to do in such circumstances but when things start going bang with hot bits flying around your own instinct will take over.
As my learned collegue has stated, for most it will be "run like fcuk in the direction of away."
The Rincewind theory - when running what from is far more important than where to.

Evolutionary biology would seem to indicate that in the open and in large numbers running is your best bet, even from people with guns, when cornered on the other hand fight because you have a slightly higher chance, be it ever so small.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
How you react depends entirely on instinct - on the French train attack, I think I recall it was a US serviceman that, despite being asleep, was the first to react, with his friends following on behind.
However, in the Bataclan, it was mostly young civilians who hit the deck or ran.

IMHO, I think most military personnel (even Air Force, as above) know that the best/only response to a close quarters ambush is to charge it - if you stay put, you are fcuked anyway so might as well try to do something about it. That was certainly the general opinion in an impromptu discussion amongst my lot at this years Armed Forces Day.
However, instilling that into civilians is next to impossible, both practically, and politically (can you imagine the public info film that advises you to charge a machine gun?).

I do think that it is worth some kind of advisory campaign "What if..." being created; keep your head down, get something solid between you and the shooting, do whatever the police tell you!
 
If it was on a train in the UK, I would force feed them the egg & cress sandwich offered by Cross Country Trains........Allah would be rescinded in double time
 
I do think that it is worth some kind of advisory campaign "What if..." being created; keep your head down, get something solid between you and the shooting, do whatever the police tell you!
I believe there has been/is a campaign - Run, Hide, Tell....

Doesn't cover all situations, but most of them!

The odds of being caught up in this sort of thing are very small, most of us, thankfully, will never know how we would react. I know what I'd like to do - survive with as many others as possible, if I can do the things that need to be done to make that happen is entirely subjective.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
I believe there has been/is a campaign - Run, Hide, Tell....

Doesn't cover all situations, but most of them!

The odds of being caught up in this sort of thing are very small, most of us, thankfully, will never know how we would react. I know what I'd like to do - survive with as many others as possible, if I can do the things that need to be done to make that happen is entirely subjective.
I think the American equivalent of our health and safety "how to pick up a box" job induction can include an Active Shooter brief, which is a good basis I think.

Re that in bold, absolutely! The way I think of it is that as an individual, the odds of you being caught in a terrorist incident are tiny, like 0.002% or something. However, it is 100% it will happen to someone, somewhere...
 
For my Civi work, active shooter is part of the induction. That is however due to the nature of the work, so in some cases it is already there. The key is a risk assesment based on known knowns and known unknowns. Someone who is working in a major city centre venue for major events is far more likely to be involved than a random person going shopping on a random day.
 
How you react depends entirely on instinct - on the French train attack, I think I recall it was a US serviceman that, despite being asleep, was the first to react, with his friends following on behind.
However, in the Bataclan, it was mostly young civilians who hit the deck or ran.

IMHO, I think most military personnel (even Air Force, as above) know that the best/only response to a close quarters ambush is to charge it - if you stay put, you are fcuked anyway so might as well try to do something about it. That was certainly the general opinion in an impromptu discussion amongst my lot at this years Armed Forces Day.
However, instilling that into civilians is next to impossible, both practically, and politically (can you imagine the public info film that advises you to charge a machine gun?).

I do think that it is worth some kind of advisory campaign "What if..." being created; keep your head down, get something solid between you and the shooting, do whatever the police tell you!
One thing I did think when seeing 'phonecam footage from inside a Parisian bar was "Turn the lights out asap."
 

OneEmm

Crow
For my Civi work, active shooter is part of the induction. That is however due to the nature of the work, so in some cases it is already there. The key is a risk assesment based on known knowns and known unknowns. Someone who is working in a major city centre venue for major events is far more likely to be involved than a random person going shopping on a random day.
Indeed, the occupational hazard risk assessment. How many of us sit on trains/planes, etc.. in surveillance mode?
 
Indeed, the occupational hazard risk assessment. How many of us sit on trains/planes, etc.. in surveillance mode?
Yep - I might be typing on the Laptop, but I have an ear and half an eye 'up.' I am even worse on the underground or before check in at airports - I tend to relax a little once past the screening/security process in the UK. I was less relaxed when I flew via the ME hub of a large airline as I didn't know what security had been applied.

Again, a habit of too many years work exposed to particular risks.
 
I do think that it is worth some kind of advisory campaign "What if..." being created; keep your head down, get something solid between you and the shooting, do whatever the police tell you!
"Yeah, but am I being detained? Is that a law or a statute... This is going on youtube!"
 

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