I am a fan of John Farnam, former combat Marine, police officer, owner of Defense training International, and Lethal force instructor traveling the world for police seminars.
Jim Maloney and I trained under him and he he is indeed something special.
As a police officer he had to unfortunately stop 7 men with his pistol, and when he teaches you will sense something out of him difficult to put into words but encoding into your subconscious forever.
The lock down
We all need to understand one thing: In most cases where modern VCAs are involved, all hostages are dead! It is unlikely any will be rescued by outside forces. Becoming a hostage needs to be avoided at all costs, as you're probably going to die anyway when you become one!
"Lock-downs" are currently in vogue, at least in American schools. The strategy is not popular in other countries, and for good reason! It is nearly impossible to find and example of a child being shot as he or she runs away from the source of danger, in any direction. It is far more common for children to be shot as they cringe in place, helpless and motionless.
During the Mumbai event, two couples on the dance floor of the Taj Mahal Hotel tried to run away from gun-wielding terrorists. A terrorist commanded them all to stop. One couple obeyed and simultaneously raised their hands in surrender. The other couple kept running. The couple that kept running, got away. The couple that stopped and surrendered were both shot to death seconds later, as they turned around!
When you're armed, of course, you'll have options the unarmed won't, but, either way, my advice is to exit the area at the first sign of danger.
When you perceive gunshots, people screaming, explosions and flying debris, fire, and mass confusion, don't let curiosity kill you!
Exit quietly when you can, but run away as fast as you are able when necessary. When possible, run in a zig-zag pattern. When those with you hesitate, leave them behind.
Terrorists might shoot at you as you're running away, and they might be successful, but they'll likely be a lot more successful when you're standing still!
A single person running away is not a high priority for most terrorists, particularly when there are plenty of other, easy potential hostages who are handily accessible, paralyzed, and motionless.
Any time you find yourself in an institutional setting, such as an office building, work place, or school, and you hear someone, anyone, saying, "Stay where you are and remain calm," ignore them and exit without delay. They' re saying it for their benefit, not yours! Get out immediately, as fast as you can, any way you can, anywhere you can, pushing others aside when necessary, breaking windows/doors when necessary, ignoring "orders," when necessary.
Terrorists may have a detailed plan, and they may not. Either way, they' re weakest and most disorganized at the beginning. Your chances for successful escape diminish significantly with every second you hesitate.
Whatever happens, the incident will not have a happy ending! Always have an exit/escape plan, be in constant motion, and don't become a hostage! Insure that other family members with you are cued-in, and all on the same page.
You won't get a chance to "do it over!"