Monday, September 16, 2013

Better Fired than Dead

I woke up in the middle of the night with "better fired than dead" running through my brain.  I woke this morning right when the shooting happened in DC.  No, this wasn't any type of premonition, don't read anything like that into this.  This shooting did take place at a federal facility, which means nobody is armed except the bad guy.  Everyone is a sitting duck until someone who is armed shows up.  I've heard in this case it took 2 minutes for the first armed officer to show up.  Five minutes after that the full "active shooter" team arrived.  Whether it's 2 minutes or 7 minutes, it's too long of a time.
My last job I wasn't supposed to be armed.  Same with this job.  We aren't supposed to carry a weapon or have one in the vehicle.  It isn't illegal, just against company policy.  I have a CCW permit.  I can carry so I will.  I am almost always armed.  Better fired than dead. 
Now I haven't told anyone at work that I write this blog because I include little bits of what they shouldn't know.  But it always makes me wonder... who at work would tell the boss that I carry?  I can name a few who probably wouldn't but I think most would.  Even if I believe they wouldn't say anything, nobody will ever know that I carry unless I pull it out to save my, or their, life.  A disgruntled person came into one of our company's offices in another city and killed several people.  How does the company deal with it?  We have yearly "active shooter" training. 
Have you ever had this training?  Lock your office door (my office doesn't have a door), hide behind something big, turn off the sound on your phone so nobody knows you are there.  If you choose to go after the shooter you MUST continue your action.  What?  If you run out of your office and you see the shooter and for a second you think you are going to jump him but then you run out the back door that is wrong?  You have to go continue your action of going after the shooter?  So much for the training.
How about if the training teaches us how to booby trap the place.  For fun some of the people in my office and I have made booby traps.  Have you ever seen a pair of scissors with the point facing eye level flying at you from a rigging on the ceiling?  We did that for fun one day.  In only a few seconds I can turn my scissors, pencils, and some rubber bands into a flying weapon.  Have you ever taken habanero peppers and ground them up into a powder?  There is a door by my desk that no longer opens into the hallway.  Well, it opens a little.  I've got pepper powder rigged there. 
I can carry in a school zone but the teacher can't.  I can understand having a rule for women teachers that you can't have a weapon in a purse.  Carry should be carry.  On your body.  I think school districts should change their rules, just like I think the company I work at should change their rules.  Carry on  your person, not in a bag, fanny pack, or a hidden space in your briefcase.  On you! 
Rumor has it the DC shooter had a concealed weapons permit.  There is going to be additional push to get rid of firearms.  There always is after someone shoots up a place, which is all too common it seems now a-days.  But all these mass shootings have one thing in common.  They were all weapons free zones.  Yes, no guns allowed for the good guys, only the bad guys because they don't follow the rules.  After all, they are the bad guys.  We need to keep up the fight to stay armed.  I will stay armed.  As my saying goes (at least to myself), "Better fired than dead."   


  1. Good point about the cell phones being turned off in an active shooter exercise. We have "lockdown" trainings, even one this week, and I will bring that up. I also happen to be the the most exposed room on campus. Wish Icould carry.

  2. I retired from federal service on a military installation in 2012. One of the many considerations that led to that decision was exactly what you mentioned. I worked in a HQ building, was the first or second office a shooter would enter after breaking thru the front door. Occasionally we had a 'watch for' alert after someone was fired. I would have been one of those taken out to get to the leadership, if that was a goal of the shooter. Time permitting, I could have bailed through a window or crawled behind my MDF desk. Now there's some great protection from a high velocity round.

    I had a physical security inspection done at one point and at least they closed the totally opened back door, leaving the bell and cypher lock door as the main entrance. They also put in a fire escape for the folks on the third floor so they all didn't need to jump 3 stories to escape. (Historic federal buildings are death traps)

    Our Active Shooter training was somewhat similar -- hide, escape if you can, don't confront the shooter and STAY DOWN so the good guys don't mistake you for the shooter and kill YOU by accident. Wow. That'll make you sleep well.

    I'll add to your sentiment with 'better retired than dead.' It was a whopping pay cut, but the stress reduction was worth it!

  3. PS we weren't trusted with doors that lock.... Only those on the executive level had locking doors!