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Active Shooter??

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fhm555, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I've been seeing this phrase pop up with greater frequency and now I now why. I just checked and it is apparently a new official term coined by DHS used to describe an attempted mass murder without calling it an attempted mass murder.

    It was in two articles today. One about the recent LAX shooting and the other denying an active shooter incident being why the campus at CCSU was locked down today.
  2. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I remember seeing/hearing this term since before DHS came into existence. It just means the person doing the shooting (obviously, the 'shooter') is still loose and able to shoot. I never heard any distinction regarding the number of victims.
  3. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Would that have been in some industry publication or LE house organ?

    I only ask because I've been reading a lot of news from a lot of sources for many many years and it's only recently started showing up with any regularity at the places I read and listen to.

    Also, in both the articles I read today it was most definitely used to describe an incident rather than an individual. The CCSU lockdown article used the term to deny such an incident had occurred or was unfolding as they locked down. There was never an active shooter to define in the second article.

    Coming from DHS I don't doubt it has roots in LE and considering that so much of LE is now focused on tactical response, active shooter sounds like it could well have been an official code from some county tac manual at one time, but the meaning or at least the context of usage has changed from something describing an individual in the process of attempting mass murder to describing an incident of mass murder in either past, present, or future tense.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If he wears a GoPro they'll call it a "first person shooter".
  5. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    The ultimate in realism.
  6. It's one of those phrases that are created as a result of more occurrences plus more attention needing a universal term to easily describe an event.

    Another one I hear more all the time that I don't recall hearing even 15 years ago; "makeshift memorial". It's a memorial, you stupid "news" people. Ain't nothing "makeshift" about it to those close to the victim(s).
  7. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    How many people have been shot by inactive shooters, or active non-shooters?

    Where do they get these names?
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I thought it had to do with the guys going boom da boom with needles in their arm. :p I used to live next door to a shooting alley. It was fairly large flea bag hotel with 24-7 traffic. It was not pretty.
  9. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I've heard that term ever since I started in law enforcement.
  10. It's been around the military side in regards to safety and security considerations for a few years now. Basically, it means you have a shooter that's moving and engaging targets as opposed to long-range shooter (sniper) or barricaded shooter (I'm in a room and not coming out, but shooting at everything).

  11. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I grew up in a smallish suburb and the father of a friend was a cop. He would have some of the other officers over and I met them, then I worked in a local mall and some of these same guys would come into the store to hang out after a call, so I have always known a lot of cops. The would talk about what was happening and we would pick their brains about crimes that were happening. That kids dad ended up being the chief and I still know several of the local officers and talk with them often, again, asking what's going on in the area. They used 'active shooter' over the years, so that's where I was coming from.

    Language is ever-evolving and people like to make it sounds as if they invented words, sayings and phrases so it's not hard to find people using language differently over the years.
  12. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I don't know. Let's reach out to someone who does. :mad:

    I HATE THE PHRASE "REACH OUT'!. It's used far too often and it's a crap way to say "I contacted" or "I asked".
  13. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I first heard the term as a soldier in 1984 when someone armed with an Uzi shot up a McDonalds while the police outside did not rush the building as cops had done for centuries but sat and waited about an hour for the SWAT teams, which had added the wait for us procedures in the 20 years they existed, to arrive and deploy. It was used by us to say sometimes you can't wait and the risk of inaction was greater then action.

    After the Columbine school massacre where the first cops on the scene worked on evacuating students almost all police agencies adopted the immediate attack on "active shooters" as the base tactic, as last seen when the LAX police went straight for the shooter of TSA Agents rather then setting a perimeter and awaiting SWAT or FBI HRTs to deal with the terrorist.

    The term was used a lot on the Canadian SWAT show Flashpoint. With active shooter the field leader went in, if the shooter was not "active" then the Sergeant or the ex Power Ranger actress turned Constable on this show would start trying to profile and negotiate.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Which is exactly where I figured it came from.

    Also, found out last night the state DHS here has developed a set of instructions to follow if you find yourself in an active shooter situation.
  15. Tuck your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye??

  16. We received training at work about what to do in the event of an active shooter. It was surprisingly simple and seemed useful.

    1. Know your environment (exits).
    2. RUN (in the opposite direction of gunfire).
    3. If not able to RUN, HIDE.
    4. If HIDING, contact 911 if possible. After contact, SILENCE YOUR PHONE (this was a pretty good tip).
    5. If you have no other options and are faced with the shooter, try to distract / subdue him/her. (this was not encouraged, but only mentioned as an absolute last resort)
    6. When Law Enforcement arrives, their primary task is to go after the shooter, NOT to help "civilians". Follow the hands-above-head, no shouting to officers, fingers widely spread (a pointed finger can be mistaken for a gun).
    7. If a shooting occurs, do not expect to leave for a LONG time, as you are now a witness, and will need to be processed by law enforcement.

    This was much better than the training provided to the teachers where my wife teaches: take the flags off the wall & sharpen then in the pencil sharpener, to use as a weapon.
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I never doubted the term "active shooter" came out of LE or the military, I just thought it was something of a sad comment on life in America these days that a more benign term has come to describe what has traditionally been described as mass murder or attempter mass murder.

    When it was a rare occurrence it was always described as mass murder or because the first guy to do it was a postal service employee, going postal was often used as a slang term, but in news articles until recently it was always described as an incident of mass murder or attempted mass murder. Now that it's become a semi regular event, it's been sanitized with the description "active shooter incident".

    The guy in Jersey who went into a mall last night and popped off a few rounds before doing himself made the third time in one day I heard the term used by journalists to describe a mass murder, attempted mass murder, or to assure the public that no mass murder had in fact occurred.

    Humans always seem to go a bit wonky when we move into a new century, but the craziness seems to be intensifying rather than slowing as we move further into the 21st.
  18. There is a distinction between "A person who has used a firearm to end the life of others" and "a person using a firearm against other people".

    It is possible to be an active shooter without being a murderer. Further, they are not a murderer (mass or otherwise) until convicted of murder in the judicial system.
  19. Yes. It's a generic term to cover things when you don't know all of the details. Maybe they're just crazy and want attention and are shooting at the ceiling and not aiming at people. Yes this is still dangerous which is why most place have laws against discharging firearms in public.

    But it is neither murder or attempted murder and you wouldn't know that it was or wasn't until all the facts came out.

    An "active shooter" in a mall just means there is someone firing a gun in a mall that has not been subdued, captured, or killed. It's not known if he has hurt anyone or what his motives are just that his is currently shooting the place up.
  20. michael_atw


    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    Cultural degeneration + recession + too much leisure time = sad, angry, demented people.

    Once put into perspective of the fact that in most of the world, these things happen outside your window (instead of dogs barking and crickets), we got it pretty good.

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