Lifestyle & Belief

Brandon Webb, 'massacre survival expert' speaks out in wake of Aurora, Colorado shootings


A Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, sits in the background past a small American flag July 29, 2012.


Kevork Djansezian

Want to survive a massacre? Carry a torch, and keep moving, says former Navy SEAL sniper — and self-styled massacre survival expert — Brandon Webb.

Webb, , who wrote "The Red Circle, My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps" and "How I trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen," has been conducting interviews with US media in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado shootings.

Webb told Fox News that a small, high-powered torch could be used to blind a gunman long enough to escape his gunsights.

Meanwhile, he said, "a moving target is hard to hit."

Webb also warns that it can take a long time for authorities and help to arrive, so one should also have a plan.

"Don't just close your eyes and hope," he said.

Webb has made several TV appearances and writes an eponymous blog on which he discusses "guns, gear, planes and politics."

And he is editor-in-chief of SOFREP (the Special Operations Forces Report), a website on which he first posted his advice.

He told Newsmax that he wanted to share some of lessons he learned as a SEAL to help people protect themselves in scenarios such as that in Aurora in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded, allegedly by college dropout James Holmes. 

The key, he said, was to develop "habits and reaction scenarios for these types of situations."

"We used to do a drill in the SEAL teams where you would create a space around 20 feet away and you would try and draw your weapon and fire at a person running towards you.

"And even 20 feet away, you could close that distance and get to somebody before they can take a shot.

"So I’m not advocating that people confront these types of sick individuals head on but in some cases, it takes seconds to just realize, 'Okay. I need to something. I cannot just sit here and do nothing.'"

However, Webb said, sometimes confronting your assailant head on may be the only way to survive.

"If that guy is between you and an exit, you can be on that person in seconds," he said.

"But it just takes really some awareness, aware of your surroundings.”

Such "awareness" stretched to avoided potential targets for terrorists.

"Opening nights anywhere I stay away from just because, when you look at return on investment, a lot of these terrorists they want Yankee Stadium at full capacity rather than 30 percent capacity,” he told Newsmax.

According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Webb's specific massacre avoidance measures included:

  • Stop using your smartphone when your could scanning the street or other surroundings;
  • When dining at a restaurant, sit with your back to the wall;
  • When you enter a room, notice the exits and the widows and think about the ways to get out;
  • Back into parking spots; and
  • Choose the least crowded times to visit public spaces (Webb said he would not be in London right now, while the Olympics were in progress.

Explaining his motivation for speaking out now, Webb told Fox: "It's the frequency of these active shooter scenarios. I just didn’t want to let these people die in vain. Let’s learn from this for the future."

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