I have been asked for suggestions on what an individual can do to prepare for the potential threat of a random ISIS attack here. Bearing in mind that I am not an expert in this area, here are some initial thoughts of what you might do to be better prepared:
Increase your awareness level… pay close attention to what is in your environment and look for things that don’t belong or are out of place. You should also constantly be playing ‘what if…’ especially when out in public. I was at lunch with a friend the other day and we got to talking about this. What could we realistically do if, for example, some one walked in and started shooting? What could we use for cover? Where is the closest exit to escape? If we choose to engage the threat, could we reliably hit him/her at the distances in the restaurant, especially since there will likely be a lot of chaos?
Always be armed… always have some means of self defense on your body. There isn’t much you can do except try to escape if you aren’t armed. And how would you feel if you chose to go unarmed that day and people were injured or killed because you didn’t have a way to respond to a threat? And while it hasn’t been determined if the beheading in Oklahoma this week was an ISIS oriented attack, it does reinforce the need to always be armed…you never know when you may need to use your weapon to defend yourself or someone else.
Carry enough gun… and extra ammo. This probably isn’t going to be a typical assault in which the threat is trying to rob or kill you up close. It will likely be more like an active shooter situation where the threat is trying to do as much damage to as many people as he/she can. And there may be more than one threat. Pocket pistols are great, light and easy to carry. But… can you hit the vital area of a man sized target across a large room with your pocket pistol? Does it have enough power to stop or discourage a threat with less-than-perfect shot placement? If there is more than one threat do you have enough ammunition to engage all the threats, especially since your marksmanship skills tend to deteriorate rapidly under stress and you may well miss a time or two?
Practice longer range (25yards+) shooting… As you go out in public, look and see how far you might have to shoot. We estimated that the furthest shot at the restaurant mentioned earlier would be approximately 25 yards. Can you hit a man sized target at that range? Do you practice with your concealed carry handgun at that range?