Active Shooters and Street Safety – 008

In this first of two episodes about protecting yourself, Jeff, Dennis, and Peggy introduce their first special co-host, 10th degree black belt Joseph Walker.  Joey helps us learn how we can better protect ourselves in the event of an active shooter as well as what we can do to feel safer when out on the streets and enjoying our day-to-day lives.

Disclaimer: While we will discuss things that you can do to protect yourself, the information in this episode are procured through research and we do not assume the liability of the outcome of any impact that may occur due to misuse of this information.  This episode is designed to help protect the well being of you, the listener, and many things explained here are an encouragement for you to seek further education and training in this subject. Nothing replaces common sense and your gut instinct to want to stay safe and please do not try to be the hero.

Issues with the local schools

In Reno almost 20 years ago a task force was created with local agencies to create a program that was designed to protect the schools from active shooters, but this information was never utilized.  Since then there have been multiple active shooter events throughout the nation, including here locally, and our schools are not fully prepared for an incident.

We do have single point entry at many of our schools, but not all of those entries are secure and/or designed to prevent access to our schools.  But even with us spending so much money on creating these single point entries, our children still are not completely safe; both in structure and in practice.

First are some issues with structure.  In some schools we have locked gates for example, these gates are locked down once school starts. But what happens when everyone needs to escape in a hurry but there is only one or two people who have a key?  What if that person is incapacitated?  Another issue is that while many schools have a single point of entry, some schools have the main office located in the middle of the school, requiring full access to the school before they can check in as a visitor.  Other schools may have the correct layout for a secure single point entry, but the windows are not secure enough to stop a bullet.

Next is with practice.  One example is fire drills, when our kids are all asked to come out for a drill.  This could either be planned or unplanned, but regardless, our children are all trained to come outside in wide open spaces and they are all then exposed. Another issue is what fear and confusion does to a person.  We might be willing to take on a serious situation in our head but when things get real, fear and confusion changes everything without the right kind of training.

So what do you do?  What should our schools be doing?  It begins with a planned strategy.  This plan needs to cover how to mitigate the amount of people who are effected with the understanding that there is no way to fully prevent things from happening.  The next step is to teach and train people how to handle these situations.  It is not the responsibility of the student to handle these active shooter situations though, we need to ensure our adults are armed with the knowledge.

But it’s not just in schools…

It won’t happen here and it won’t happen to me is a dangerous frame of mind.  You need to think about this and plan ahead wherever you may be and having a potential strategy on how to save your life or the life of your loved ones.  This is because it can happen to you and it can happen anywhere.  And it’s not just nation wide, it’s world wide!

The next part is a hard topic for some.  What do you do?  For some it’s studying martial arts, for others it’s owning a gun and having a concealed weapons permit.  It may just be as simple as always looking around with a plan to run and hide.

If you decide you want to study martial arts, be sure to take the time to check to make sure they will teach you useful techniques that make sense.  It’s OK to sit in and watch a session or two to make sure they teach effectively.  If they don’t want you to see “their secrets” then politely pass and move on to the next place.

For those wanting to carry a weapon after getting certified, it’s important that you continue to be proficient with a gun and you carry wherever you legally can.  It’s part of the responsibility when having a CCW and you have to be willing to accept that.

But for many the option between Fight or Flight, you may just choose flight.  If that is the case you need to still be aware of your surroundings and be aware of where your exits are or where you can hide safely without the assailant being able to see, reach, or attack you.

Keep your safety in mind wherever you go

We aren’t saying you can’t go to places or that you should always be paranoid, but you should consider if you stand out and are an easy target to not just a shooting but any potential crime.  Criminals identify easy targets and can tell if you look uncomfortable.  Remember, every crime is specific and every criminal has their own way of looking how they are going to victimize these individuals or this situation.  For example, don’t leave things in your car you don’t want stolen (covering it up in your car is a moot point).

Constant vigilance in your surroundings is important too because you never know who or when you may find yourself face to face with a criminal who is now robbing you or threatening your life or well being.  It all comes down to reducing your vulnerability and having a plan when something does happen.

Also, save yourself the money and don’t buy into all of those gadgets that are said to save your life.  The best two weapons you already own are your left and right fist.  If you plan on spraying your assailant first before you attack them, you are putting yourself in that same dusting of pepper spray and that is only going to make things worse for you.

In the end just remember that the offender has a different mind set.  These criminals don’t think like you or I do, they are totally separate and apart.  And for the victim, think of the potential awareness and actions if in fact you are attacked.

**Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the victims as well as the victims themselves and survivors of all of these terrible acts of violence.  If you are a listener to our show, please know we will never forget.**

Questions to you, the listener

  • Are you well prepared for an active shooter?
  • How secure do you feel your schools are?
  • What about other areas such as your place of business?
  • Do you feel you are capable of protecting yourself in the event you or a loved one are robbed or involved in an attack?

Joseph Walker’s website:

Purchase the book Shots Fired on Amazon or on Kindle by going here:

Shots Fired on Amazon

“Living in Terror”, the speech given by Alyssa Wetherbee during a March for our Lives march in 2017.

Oops…there is an update!

In the opening of the podcast, Jeff announced that Joey is a 9th degree black-belt.  As a matter of fact Joey has honorably earned his 10th degree black belt.  Congratulations Joey!

This episode’s shout out!

Photo of the cover of the book: Shots Fired

In this episode we talked about the book called “Shots Fired: Surviving an Active Shooter/Assailant” written by Joseph B. Walker.

For anyone who wants to have the upper-hand in the unlikely event you, or your loved ones are caught in an active shooter catastrophe, we encourage you to order your copy of Shots fired, which is available in both paperback or kindle edition, on Amazon today!

Shots Fired will cover how to Recognize motivations for violent encounters, evaluate effective active shooter training, How to use practical and easy tactics during an event, and even how to disarm and disable an active shooter.

Additionally If you would like to contact Joseph Walker regarding additional self defense classes, you can visit his website at Additionally you can also reach out to him by e-mail at or by phone at 775-843-0936.

And remember, don’t wait to protect yourself, order your copy of Shots Fired, today!

About our guest, Joseph Walker

Picture of Joseph Walker

Joseph Walker is a 10th degree Black Belt in Martial Arts who has over 25 years experience working in the Reno Police Department and currently provides threat mitigation, self defense classes, active shooter training, and more.

Joey is also a multi-published author with a few books, the latest book he wrote is called Active Shooter: Surviving an Active Shooter/Assailant.

He also has provided dignitary protection and threat assessments for President Gerald Ford, Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, Merle-Evers Williams, and Hank Aaron. Lastly, he frequently serves as an expert witness for criminal and civil trials