Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS would love to unleash Hell at a U.S. shopping mall.
It’s not a matter of if — it’s a matter of when. Here’s how to survive and escape otherwise certain death at the hands of a terrorist or group of terrorists who are out for blood and chaos and mayhem. That’s the bad news — The good news? Some of you who practice concealed carry might be what stops a terrorist attack shortly after it starts.
Several nations around the world where western tourists frequent have suffered terrorist attacks. In recent weeks an ISIS terrorist in Tunisia calmly walked on to a popular beach carrying a machine gun and murdered 30 tourists.
Growing Threats from Terror Groups
It’s not just terrorists with radical Islamic beliefs that may be a threat. As America continues to decline morally and pass laws and make policies contrary to God, another group of “terrorists” may come forward, and that is the anarchists or others with deep hatred in their hearts and a desire to cause mayhem and even murder as a way to lash out at what they see as capitalism.
The Days of Noah
How can I connect these actions to God? I, like a lot of people, have a Biblical world view and believe that “end of days” events have been taking place at a growing rate in recent years. The Bible warns about a great increase in evil in the end times of the world leading to the judgments of God.
This is said to happen because society at large has chosen to go its own way and turn its back on God. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the son of man…” said Jesus to his disciples two thousand years ago.
And so it looks like the days leading up to God’s judgments are here at last (want to know more? Read “The End of Days” profiled at the top of this website — there is “good news” though in the days ahead and God has a plan to deliver the faithful; those who refuse to believe and turn to God can expect a lot of disaster, all spelled out in the Bible if you’re brave enough to read it and take it to heart).
Terrorists, Domestic Terrorists, Anarchists
Who am I referring to by the term anarchist? I’m talking about the groups who form to protest at World Trade Organization conferences (a few, not all of course) and even the popular sit-ins around American cities in the last several months (quite a few that came to violence, such as Oakland, CA) are some of the same people I’m referring to now.
Of this group, a small number are capable of severe violence and may have murdered people in the past.
It’s probable that “anarchists” isn’t the best word to describe young Americans (and young adults from the UK) from counter-culture that band together to attack other people. But they’re out there, such as the terrorist attack at Columbine in 1999, where two high school students walked into school and started shooting, or the numerous attacks over the years in different cities by other self-described anarchists.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
You don’t have to be on “red alert”. You don’t have to be paranoid. You just simply have to be aware.
As a writer who publishes on topics of survival, and terrorism, and the current state of world affairs — as well as Bible prophecy — I’d like to advise readers to be on the alert (by simply being aware) not just for Islamic radicals — but young, white Americans (anarchists) from counter culture. If terrorist attacks become more common in America in the months and years ahead, these guys could be responsible for more than one. Some of them could even have former military training themselves. What I’m describing is a scenario where the Waco, Texas David Koresh and Randy Weaver type American radicals decide to take up arms against society, and lash out with crazed, murder driven attacks at places like shopping malls and business districts. (I may have received good information over the months to indicate that this is a possibility. That’s all I’ll say in that regard.)
How Do You Survive an Attack at a Mall?
Odds are you won’t be there. But someone’s going to be there, and it might be someone you know. But just in case you do end up at a mall at the time one or more people have planned a mass shooting or bombing — or combination of both — there are some things you can do to increase your odds of survival.
1) Seriously consider doing your shopping outside the mall. If you truly have to go to the mall, then choose days and times that a terror attack is least likely to occur — such as a Sunday evening at 8pm. I would guess that a terrorist would pick a day and time that the most shoppers are likely to be at the mall. It’s like the suicide bomber in Israel. He or she most likely picks a time when the market or restaurant / night club has the biggest crowds.
2) Scan shoppers and look for people that fit either the description of an Islamic radical (yes, you’ll be “profiling”, though it’s not always effective, some may not look the traditional part of Islamic radical), or fit the description of a young hate-filled American from counter-culture — an “anarchist”. Not sure what they look like? A lot of them are the same protesters that show up in American cities and break windows, destroy cars, assault cops and pedestrians. That’s the crowd I’m referring to. The link at the top of this article is a good reference.
If you see a handful of people in the mall, matching a similar description, they may all be cohorts, even if they’re not in close proximity to each other. If a planned attack is going to come together, they may enter the mall from different doors, and plan to converge on centers of activity in the mall.
Flash Mob of Terror
You notice a number of young men (who look like they could be on their way to a protest of corporate America) are walking through the mall. Relax — this doesn’t mean a terror attack is about to be unleashed. What’s important is that you’ve noticed them. It’s just a red flag at this point. You scan the mall for the nearest exits, and notice that by one of the exits there are two guys that look like part of the same group hanging out by the door (what stands out to you are the black and gray clothes, the tattoos and piercings, and even their general demeanor), and then you look down the mall and notice yet another two guys standing outside the entrance to one of the major clothing stores.
Better safe than sorry. You immediately start walking to the nearest exit, where two of the men are, and just casually walk past them to the outside. As soon as you’re out the door you get on your cell phone and call mall security, and report that a number of suspicious people have entered the mall, and that security may want to be ready just in case there’s about to be a shooting.
Is this a survival tactic?
You bet it is. But it only works in the moment leading up to an attack on a public place. It’s like an off duty (or plain-clothes) Israeli police officer, who noticed the two suicide bombers entering a shopping district or nightclub. He’s trained to recognize that they don’t fit in. He also knows that they’re an ever present threat — even if months go by without an attack. He only has moments to casually get up from his seat and walk outside and get on the phone. In his situation he simply can’t pull his gun (this is a suicide bomber, remember) or yell “run, suicide bombers” to the crowd — though if yelled early enough, it might save a few lives as it could trigger the suicide bombers to panic and detonate themselves prior to the time of maximum impact they were counting on.
What about our mall attackers? If you’re certain that there’s going to be an attack, you could consider pressing a mall fire alarm and then walking toward the nearest exit. This might trigger an attack to occur a few moments or even just a couple minutes before “maximum impact”, and it may save a few lives.
Caught in a store
This is one of the worse case scenarios. Shooting has erupted within the mall, and bullets (machine gun bullets) and shot guns are ringing out. Screams of terror as people are shot. Your heart is jumping in your chest, adrenaline pumping, fear and panic seizing you. You want to run, but that means running out of the store and into the mall. At this point, the safest bet may be to run for the back room, but first ask (shout) to one of the employees if there’s a “back door”. Many / most small stores have back doors to either a hallway (for janitors, product storage, etc) or even to the outside (depending on what kind of mall you’re in) though these may lock on both the inside and the outside, and require a key to exit.
Consider Following a Fleeing Employee
An employee, especially a store manager, may be well aware of emergency evacuation procedures. He may know of emergency exits that you don’t know about. If he runs for the back room or side-door, follow him! Ask him if he knows how to get out; hopefully, his store has a plan for evacuating shoppers.
Don’t Be Crushed in a Stampede
So you or someone else has triggered a fire alarm, either before or as shots are ringing out in the mall. You might avoid being shot by making your way to the nearest exit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t avoid being run down by a mob of panicked shoppers who are running for the exits. Many people have been seriously injured and lives lost over the years in mob events. The way to avoid being crushed by a mob is to get out of their way and take shelter behind the nearest fixed object. Don’t just hide behind any object — a fleeing crowd can move heavy objects and that can still pose a danger. A fixed object is something that is not going to move. Even if you have to wait an extra minute, just maybe the biggest part of the crowd will get by and you can now make your own exit.
Avoiding a Gunman
Stay low, and look around — do you see a gunman? No, ok, well consider making a run for it now. Even if there is a gunman, if he’s far enough away, there’s a great chance he can’t shoot a moving target. Run in a direction that is at an angle to his location, rather than simply running straight away from him. That gives him an easier shot. Running away at an angle means he has to shoot a moving target, which is difficult even for trained shooters sometimes. Run diagonal to the shooter, even zig-zag, which is to cut back and forth. Remember to keep your head low, becoming a smaller target.
Ladies, think twice before putting on heels or flip flops for your next trip to a mall or beach or market place. In this day and age, a good pair of running shoes or cross trainers is a better idea. One day you might have to make a run for it and being able to run may be what saves your life that day.
Are you further along in your years and not able to move so fast nowadays? Consider (prayerfully, as with anything else in life) carrying a handgun for self defense.
Having a license to carry a firearm and then getting the proper training so that you know how to use it during a time of high stress could be the tool that takes down a mall shooter and ends a terrorist attack shortly after it starts or before more people are killed.
Considering the growing probability of terrorist attacks on shopping malls and other public places (including beaches and movie theaters), more people should strongly consider carrying a handgun for self defense and receiving adequate professional training.
Create a Diversion
Start a Fire – This is a tactic to consider using moments or minutes after a mall terrorist attack has taken place.
First, duck into a store and start throwing everything that will burn (clothing, magazines, paper from checkstands, boxes, etc) and piling it up near the front of the store, between you and any possible approaching threats.
Once you’re sure no panicked shoppers are heading your direction in the next few seconds to escape inside the store, where you are, set the burn pile on fire. You’ll have to be carrying a lighter of course.
Light the burn pile at several ends so that it creates a roaring fire in a shorter period of time.
Cross your fingers and hope that an overhead sprinkler system doesn’t kick on and put out your fire. (Hint: The bigger you make that fire, the harder it will be for any sprinklers to put it out.)
There’s no guarantee this will stop a shooter from entering the store, but a blazing fire can create a wall of flames, a lot of smoke, and possibly confuse and deter a shooter(s) long enough for you and other shoppers who have fled inside a store, from the mall, time to make an exit out of the back of the store to a hallway or outside to a parking lot or back alley.
Pepper Spray – Don’t take aim at an approaching gunman with a canister of pepper spray. His bullets will win that fight every time. Instead, carry pepper spray as a way to create a diversion and deter any gunmen from coming after your path of travel.
As you’re escaping out of the back door of a store with other fleeing shoppers (and it looks or sounds like a gunman may be following in your direction in the next few moments), take out your can of pepper spray and empty it into the air back into the store you are fleeing from.
Any gunman (not wearing a chemical mask, and most aren’t likely to — unless they’re prepared for a police response with tear gas) will run face-first into a room full of the remnants of pepper spray hanging in the air.
Particles of pepper spray will immediately sting his throat and possibly cause a coughing fit that will slow him down momentarily and may even scare him off in the other direction.
It won’t have the full effect of a direct encounter with pepper spray — but it may have enough effect to create a diversion long enough for you and others to make your escape.
Baby oil – Baby oil is the perfect weapon for a high school prankster because used in a generous amount it can cause a person to slip and fall and have a lot of trouble getting back up. With this in mind, women can carry a bottle of baby oil in their purse and if making an escape down a tiled hallway, pour it on the floor behind them, including at the top of a stair well, and it’s just one more diversion that can slow a pursuing threat down long enough to help a person make an escape and possibly even send a gunman tumbling down a stair well or escalator.
Like the fire and the pepper spray diversion, as much as possible in that moment be certain that no other shoppers will be fleeing in the same direction. Wave a number of people by and then proceed to creating diversions if you believe you have enough time and are fast enough to get somewhere to safety once a diversion(s) has been set.
Keep a Level Head
Easier said than done of course. But do everything you can to keep a level head and stay calm as any event unfolds — even something as terrible as a terrorist attack.
You should consider rehearsing this scenario mentally – especially if you frequently shop at a mall or you yourself work at a shopping mall.
Tens of thousands of people are employed at shopping malls. Tens of thousands of people should have plans for evacuation and or self defense in the event of a terrorist attack or other emergency.
Mall Plans for a Terrorist Attack or Civil Emergency
Do you know anyone who works at a shopping mall? Ask them what kind of plans they have for a terrorist attack or mall shooter or other civil emergencies.
Most malls probably do not have any plans for the worst emergencies, other than a handful of under-equipped and under-trained mall security guards.
In a way many shopping malls have their heads in the sand and don’t recognize the dangerous times that we are living in today.
The general public, store personnel and security personnel that staff these malls are all in danger.
As more terrorists enter this country and as more citizens (Arabs and non-Arabs both) are radicalized through the internet, these dangers only grow each year.