South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Run, Hide, Fight.


Last updated 7/8/2019 at 9:07pm

I expected Tuesday evening’s audience at the Brashear Center on Sarah Street in the South Side to be much larger; however, those in attendance to hear Duquesne University’s Director of Security Tom Hart discuss how to respond to an active shooter are now more prepared if, and when, a shooting occurs.

His method may be summed up by three words: Run, Hide, Fight.

It is instinctive to run, if shots are fired or you hear shots followed by screaming. Mr. Hart has been providing this safety program since 1999, the year Columbine made headlines. Don’t become a victim, know how to respond and what to do.

Roughly, 12 years pre-Columbine, in 1987, I along with several members of my family were shopping in a Hills Department store in Indiana, PA. Shots were fired by a lone gunman, angry over his estranged girlfriend, killed her, himself and an innocent bystander, who tried to help. I ran once it became apparent something was happening in the cosmetics section of the store.

Step two, is to hide and secure the place. You may want to barricade the doorway or take cover behind a concrete wall. We were escorted by mall security to a safe location behind the store.

Thirdly, if necessary, fight! A fire extinguisher can easily become a weapon to take on the active shooter. Once the shooting threat is contained, it is possible to take care of the injured and wounded.

Our city leaders (Mayor and City Council) have acted appropriately by passing three gun ordinances recently. Having access to an assault weapon should be reserved to military and law enforcement personnel. If the state Pre-Emption is eliminated, other municipalities will have the legal authority to enact and enforce ordinances of their own. Call your state Rep. and state Senator and let him or her know where you stand when it comes to gun control.

George A. Karpacs



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