DHS: Overpower Active Shooter with Scissors

The Department of Homeland Security released an instructional video after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that offers “Options for Consideration” in an active shooter situation. Some of the options put forth include evacuating, shutting off the lights in the room and hiding behind large items, or taking cover out of the line of fire. One scene, however, suggests, “If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available.” The video then proceeds to show an office worker grabbing a pair of scissors.


Homeland Security has operated an active-shooter preparedness-training program for years, and the “Options for Consideration” video was in production prior to the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown.

The video was released to coincide with President Obama’s sweeping proposals to curb gun violence in America, said the official. […]

Security consultant Andrew Scott called the information in the video “adequate.”

He conceded that Homeland Security was correct in recommending that people use scissors to attack a gunman but only in a “last, worst-case scenario.”

“Just the suggestion [to fight back] is a positive move,” said Scott, a former SWAT commander in North Miami Beach. “You don’t want to be sheep for the slaughter.”

But if you do arm yourself with shears, the narrator warns you to drop them when cops arrive.

“Put down any items. Immediately raise your hands,” is the closing advice.


Because many companies do not permit employees to carry firearms in the workplace,  fighting back with scissors or any blunt object in the office may be the only option available.

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