Record numbers of citizens are earning concealed carry licenses, and presumably many of them actually carry a concealed handgun when they're out and about. And while they each had to sit through a class lecture and demonstrate shooting abilities, that minimum amount of instruction may not prepare them for a situation where they find themselves in the same building or room where an insane killer is blasting away at innocent people. Although, most of those incidents occur in places where law abiding citizens are prohibited from carrying guns, it's entirely possible that the shooter is so crazy he/she would try to do it where some citizens might be armed.
So citiens should have some idea about what to do. There was a video circulating a while back that purported to provide advice to unarmed potential victims on how to deal with such a situation by hiding or arming oneself with scissors. But what if the citizen is armed?
The local shooters association has monthly events in which participants run through a half dozen scenarios designed to test their speed and accuracy under the pressure of competition. Those events are pretty good practice for the average shooter and perhaps a good place to learn one's limitations. (It was for me.)
That leads us to this article by Greg Ellifritz titled Active Shooter Response for the Armed Citizen in which he gives some excellent advice to the typical gun carrying citizen. (Hat tip SM. Thanks!)
He starts out with the question the citizen would have to ask, "Do I get out safely or do I risk my life to save others? Tough call." Tough call, indeed.
Mr. Ellifritz continues with some firearm tips and some good tactical advice. Read the whole thing, it's worth the time.
But before closing this post let me pass along one useful bit of advice he provided. Keep the concealed handgun concealed or hidden until ready to use it. Waving a gun around in an active shooter situation could draw fire not only from the bad guy/gal but also other gun carrying good guys/gals as well as police.
Post Script. Mr. Ellifritz mentions Charles Whitman, the infamous University of Texas Tower shooter from 1966. That brings to mind the citizens' response to that shooting. Here's a sentence from a 1999 article about that incident:
After the first fifteen minutes, the sniper was pinned down by students and other civilians who'd spontaneously flocked to the university area with deer rifles.
"Students and other civilians." Hooray for them.