Republican presidential candidates voice opinions on handling active shootings

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Republican presidential candidates are suggesting how things should have been handled during last week’s school shooting in Oregon. Dr. Ben Carson stirred up controversy when he suggested victims could have done more to stop the gunman.

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say ‘hey guys, everybody attack him, he may shoot me but he can’t get us all,” said Dr. Carson.

His comment drew criticism, including from some of his political rivals. On CBS This Morning on Wednesday, he defended his statement, saying he was talking about what he would do in that situation.

“The shooter can only shoot one person at a time. He cannot shoot a whole group of people. and so the idea is overwhelm him so not everybody gets killed,” he clarified.

Not everyone disagreed with what Dr. Carson said — Donald Trump tweeted his support.




WIAT 42 spoke with local law enforcement who said in an active shooter emergency, you have three options: run, hide or fight.

After the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, President Obama said it seems as if these tragic events have become routine, but no matter what, law enforcement is using this as an opportunity to educate.

“These people are in a hurry, they know that armed response is coming so they don’t want to have to break through doors and that kind of thing,” said Lt. Kevin York a former SWAT team member and current officer for the Vestavia Hills Police Department.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), you must make a decision, trusting your instincts, to take action to protect yourself to survive the situation.

“We refer to it more so as an active threat instead of active shooter because we have an understanding that someone can use something other than a fire arm to harm a human being,” said Sgt. Eric White of the UAB Police Department.

UAB campus police complete training every year for their students and faculty in case of any emergency threat being as though their campus is in the heart of the Magic City.

“Look at your options on what you can do,” said White. “But you do have that option to protect yourself.”

“Secure yourself in a room, barricade that door, if those two options aren’t available, and you’re caught flat footed, then fight for your life, with anything that’s available, throw things go for the eyes, the face, if you have a firearm or a carry permit, or open carry, use it, take the shot,” said York.

To learn more about what you should do in an active emergency situation you can head to the FBI website HERE.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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