Can’t Stop Mass Shootings? Americans Train to Survive Them Instead

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Several US police departments are now offering classes for residents to learn how to survive an active shooter scenario, and with fear of these tragedies running at an all-time high, classrooms are filling up quickly.

Departments in Michigan, Georgia, Texas, and Ohio are offering the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, or CRASE program, and the demand for them is sky high.

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In the classes, some residents learn an approach called ADD, which teaches them to "Avoid" the situation by escaping, "Deny" by barricading themselves inside of a room, and as a last resort "Defend" by fighting back. Other departments use the "Run, Hide, Fight" approach, which is pretty much the same thing.

"Part of the issue is that people don't know how to avoid becoming victims," Ohio Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said. "In today's society that's bad, that you've got to practice victim avoidance, but you have to."

The courses teach practical tips, such as the fact that the best exit in an emergency might not always be the way that you came in, and when you hide make sure to always turn the lights off. They also teach you that a chair, scissors, or blunt objects can all be used as weapons.

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"When a civilian, let alone a trained officer, opens up firing in an active shooter situation, there is a good chance that civilian may be mistaken for the shooter," Philip Schaenman, a security expert who has studied some of the country's worst shootings, explained about his worry when civilians use guns against shooters. For this reason, departments often do not tell course participants whether they should use a gun to stop an attack.

Recently, President Barack Obama made a series of executive orders aimed at alleviating gun violence, such as expanding requirements for background checks to purchase a weapon, but many do not believe that his orders do enough to prevent these random acts of violence.

According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, there were 372 mass shooting tragedies in the US in 2015. That means that mass shootings are more than a daily occurrence across the nation. These acts of violence left 475 people dead and another 1,870 wounded.

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