Protecting Our Kids In A Time Of Terror

by | Jun 9, 2017

I recently got a very nice note from someone I shared some learning with way back in the day, when she was coming up as a superstar firearms instructor. She’s now a world class firearms instructor, and her company is one of the world’s finest especially for women and those training women. Lou Ann Hamblin, aka “Black Widow” to her pals, sent me a nice note recently: “Marcus, I’m glad to see you still contributing at a high level…”

She wasn’t referring to me being high, since I swore off that for Lent, but because this little blog and my podcast, while sometimes puny in numbers, is mighty in who it reaches and where. Which is a gratifying thing to hear, as us Old Guys get mightily frustrated when we have a thing or two that’s been validated in the real world to share and we get drowned out by the younglings and Young Jedi hawking their latest and greatest wares.

You may have noticed that I charge the kingly sum of exactly nothing for sharing 44 years of experience, research and training expertise here so keep that in mind when I start to bloviate or pontificate or whatever-cate.

What’s the point of a lifetime of experience if you don’t pass it on?

So back on point:

Kids and protecting them.

Go here for background  for my discussion with John Douglas of FBI Behavioral Sciences fame and protecting children with training.

There’s a lot of people smarter and more recently experienced than me adding their useful take on vehicle attacks. See here for what I said before the latest trend took off So all that is useful info, I suggest you go to and check out what my colleague Greg Ellifritz has done in collating the latest and the greatest from the Interwebz and sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Here’s some basic protocols and ideas to protect your children (and you, and elders or handicapped) when you’re out in about in a time of terror where a vehicle can jump the curb and chase you down in the blink of an eye.

1). Acknowledge that it can happen.
2). Hard as it is, look at some of the videos to see how fast it happens.
3). Acknowledge that YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for your safety and the safety of your children in the moment.
4). Implement these practices and procedures and training for your children immediately. I’m doing this for kids from pre-school to 8th grade soon and will report back the effectiveness in scenario testing.
A.  Whenever possible always face traffic. Make it a game with your kids: “Which way do we face when we walk on the sidewalk?” Just like “hold hands when you cross the street” — “We face the traffic so we can see the cars” or “We walk where we can see the cars.”
B.  Where do we look when we walk on the street? “We look down the street and we look behind us.” Make it a game: “We walk five steps ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE and then we look down the street AND we look behind us. Ready? ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE LOOK FRONT AND BACK! Good job!”
C.  What are we looking for? “Cars coming fast!” Are they coming fast on the street or are they coming fast right at us?
D.  What do we do when we see a car coming fast? “We shout CAR CAR CAR and we get out of the way!”
E.  Where do we go to get out of the way? Sideways away from the car! (90 degree offset from line of attack for you tactical thinkers. Why? Because you can’t expect kids to absorb and implement under pressure refined tactical thinking). Keep it simple and at a 6 year old level, make it a game and play it often to install it. Works pretty good for the tacti-cool who are willing to admit they don’t know everything, training at the level of a 6 year old. Jus’ saying.
F.  Hardware practices: make sure your teens/tweens and family numbers are set up on group text. In a crisis easier to send texts than to call.
G.  For your littlest ones, including your infants in strollers, print out on laminated paper their names, cell phones of parents/trusted adults, Address, blood type and any medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, antibiotic allergies, general allergies). Why? Don’t assume you’ll survive an incident intact able to care for your kids. Make sure you have a plan and the means to implement so that your children who may not be able to speak or may be injured themselves can be rapidly identified and medically triaged as priority if necessary. And do the same for yourself. In the aftermath of an incident I’d hope children would be given priority, but toddlers and infants can’t identify themselves or their parents, and if you are separated, injured or killed you want to make sure somebody has what they need to tend to your babies if you are not able.
H.  When planning an outing, especially to a crowded public venue that has access to vehicles, take a look around and think about where you would go if your kids starting yelling CAR CAR CAR! And make sure your kids see it too.
These are simple steps, simple to implement in the fashion advised to young kids, the most vulnerable of all, and simple to constantly reinforce.

Just my two cents worth from 44 years of going in harm’s way to protect others.

Your Mileage May Vary.