AAR: Residential Room Clearing & Response to Active Shooter, July 27-28

United American Armory


Jul 12, 2016
Dallas, GA
Zip code
An outstanding weekend with a great bunch of folks!

The training venue is truly unique with the basement being of a fiendishly designed layout.......or lack of design. It’s obvious that the structure was added to more than once over the decades, and that almost always lends itself to a chaotic, or at least nonsensical, layout.......which is great for training.

The major take-aways for the students were:
1. Slow down
2. Don’t just look........you gotta SEE. Color, contrast, and movement; what’s out of place?
3. If you are working with someone, you gotta COMMUNICATE, and do so clearly.
4. Knowns, Unknowns, Doors, and Windows. Priority of threat works, but don’t complicate things to make the list work. Work nearest to farthest, solve one problem at a time before going onto the next. Don’t treat it as a whole house with a myriad of issues; that’ll make your head explode. Work one room/problem at a time. Once it’s solved, then worry about the next room/problem. Don’t leave unsolved issues behind you.
5. If you can’t grasp what’s going on, put it into a context that works. Everything is a room. A hallway? A weird, long room with lots of doors. Stairs? It’s a weird hallway with a marked slant. Clearing rooms is easy.
6. Have a flashlight, WML or not, whether it’s daytime or nighttime.......preferably both. When you have it, USE IT.
7. One person is holed up in a room, another person is entering that same room. That person “defending” the room is almost always at an advantage over the person “assaulting” said room. The person inside only has to cover the door; the person coming in has to clear the room from door frame to door frame, including inside, behind, and under stuff. Level the playing field a little and TURN THE LIGHTS ON when possible.
8. Folks you find in your home won’t always get shot by you. Even if they do, statistics show they’ll usually live. Have a plan for how to contact emergency services and how to get them in the house.
9. If you’re checking your own house, you aren’t expecting to find anyone and, if you do, they have committed some sort of crime to be there. Not necessarily worthy of the application of deadly force, but they have committed anything from misdemeanor criminal trespass on up through various felonies. In an Active Shooter situation you will almost always contact numerous people, and the vast majority of them have committed no crimes at all.
10. Software is more important than Hardware