Practical Skill-Sets: Trapped in a Crowd – Why Crowds Get Dangerous & How To Survive A Crush


I used to lovegoing to sporting events. I regularly spent Saturday afternoons in a football stadium with 65,000 other fans, or in a basketball arena with 23,000 other basketball crazies, or a Friday night at Disney World with 80,000 of my newfound friends. I had no problem with large crowds. I loved the lack of predictability, the spontaneity of the crowd. Crowds were exhilarating. No more.

The age of terrorism has changed all that. Two hundred people were killed in a shopping district explosion in Baghdad this week; 175+ wounded. I guess we have come to expect that sort of thing “over there.” But large crowds are tempting targets for the terrorists here in America. The Orlando nightclub shooting by an Islamic extremist pledging allegiance to ISIS is likely only a first. I fully expect more violent attacks with higher body counts. The devil’s arithmetic.

Which is why I now avoid crowds. Or if I must go to a large store or other venue, I won’t go unless I can carry my firearm. “But if you stop going to events, the terrorists win,” some say. To which I say, “Yes, philosophically, they win, but practically, I win if I don’t die in a terror attack or subsequent crowd surge. Along with my spouse, my children, and my friends ­ we all win, if I don’t die or am not injured. It’s a pretty big win to stay alive and stay in the game.” Others say, “I feel safe in a crowd.”

Thousands of people felt safe at the Bataclan in Paris, evidenced in a tragic photo of hundreds of smiling, happy concert goers taken just prior to the massacre. They felt secure, but their deaths were imminent. So what would I do if I did attend an event with a large audience or inadvertently found myself in a crowd?

One of the problems with a very large crowd, is the difficulty of looking for indicators of problems, of questionable people, of unusual movement patterns that tell me something is about to happen. Anything that indicates a pre-­event orientation is a precursor of the event.

So if those details are difficult to identify, what else can I do before and after an unpredictable event has occurred? What is the best plan to maneuver in the aftermath of an attack or disruption?

Read the Remainder at On-Point Tactical



One thought on “Practical Skill-Sets: Trapped in a Crowd – Why Crowds Get Dangerous & How To Survive A Crush

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