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Since I attend college in an a state where campus carry is not allowed, I consider my best defensive tool to be situational awareness while I'm at school. Today, that increased level of awareness kinda came back to bite me when I was sitting in math class. I heard a muffled bang off in the distance which sounded like a firearm. At first, I didn't think anything of it until the banging came back and in bursts of several bangs at a time at a rate that sounded like a semi automatic firearm. Since the banging was far off, I figured I had limited time to react if this was actually a school shooter. Around this time, several other students became aware of this banging, and I heard some concerned whispers from around the room. Since I didn't want to raise the alarm and create panic for something that I was unsure about, I debated slipping out of class to "use the restroom" (get the hell outta dodge), but I decided against it. Ultimately, the noise went away after five minutes or so and class went on as usual. I never did find out what that sound was. While today was somewhat embarrassing due to the fact that I went on full alert and gave legitimate consideration to running out of class and calling the police, it was also a good learning experience. Perhaps the most important lesson that I thought of is to disobey my professor's rule that all phones must be turned off. If this had been a real situation, nobody in that room would have been able to immediately call for help. With all that being said, what would you guys have done differently and what other lessons can be learned from this experience?
 

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Personally, I go by the rule that if I can't tell whether or not they're gunshots, they're too far away to worry about yet, if they are. It's good that you paid attention to it, though.

I think you might be right about keeping the phone on vibrate, but not so much for calling for help (spoiler alert: if there's not enough time to turn on a phone, help won't get there soon enough). More to receive emergency notifications, which I presume your school does?
 
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phone on.
phone off.
about the same amout of time for the police to arrive.

do as your teacher says turn off the phone.
as he would not be your best bud if it rings during class.
his house. his rules.

.
 

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I wish I could hear what it sounded like. I'm sure there are a lot of these scares every day. I've seen a couple of door slams generate quite a bit of media attention.
 

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I would suggest you go visit your Professor during one of his office hours and wait in line and then discuss the situation. LISTEN to him, mainly. Ask 'if I think there is a danger, can we come up with a plan?'

You might even say 'can we consider doing a 'practice' drill, where we go to a meeting place and then come back to class?'.

You Could ask 'If I get worried, this being a gun-free zone, and I hear noises, and couldn't resist leaving, would you be understanding?' <--- Be VERY careful here, lest you be labeled as a 'danger' just for bringing it up. Just use something else like 'fire' or smoke or something if you sense the prof is too liberal-minded.

Then I'd tell him you had a bad experience in your younger days which makes you a little worried (yes a little white lie), but nothing bad happened (so as to defuse him thinking you're reactionary) and ask if you can share a 'safe word' or a 'safe sign'.

Just some ideas. Some are sillier than others, LOL.

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People leave our class routinely, and come back and the Professors don't even blink. I think it could be a LITTLE disruptive and I don't LIKE to do it, but having heard your concerns, I think it's worth discussing.

If the professor is vehemently opposed or you think he might be, you might say something analogous like 'What if I smell smoke and I just can't bring myself to sit there? Can I get a 'pass' from you and of course not make it a habit - it's a rare thing, obviously, but should a person not 'listen' to their spider sense?'

You could offer him a link to Gavin de Becker's 'The Gift of Fear' about listening to your fear, and how humans fail to do that.

Let us know how it turns out. I'm a strong proponent of 'immediacy' and 'pre-empting' and 'anticipating', haha, mostly because I'm VERY BAD at it and have to work hard on that stuff. I'm very much a 'Ponderer' by nature.

Good luck and thanks for the share!
 

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I might add, I've thought about bringing up a 'danger plan' at church but my partner has nixed it. She said 'we'll just get up and leave, I'm not for discussing or making a plan and looking like a nut'. I get it - many of the people there are the type to just die in place and have a 'Come to Jebus' moment (rolls eyes).

They leave the doors wide open and we're in a cul-de-sac which would be easy to block in. She won't carry in church (she used to).

Same thing at school. Do you get out, do you help others? It's a difficult problem.
 

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I totally disagree with the OP. Personally, I would have gotten out of my seat, and exited the classroom. Save your azz so to speak. But then again, I've been there, done that, and at my age, am not going to expose myself to anymore dangers, especially if they are avoidable. Too many of our youth are living in a vacuum, not realizing, or paying attention to their surroundings, and what is happening. Too many sheep, not enough warriors.


NRA, DAV LIFE MEMBER
USAF RETIRED
 
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