What's in Your Quick React Bag?

by Warrior Poet Society

John Lovell talked recently with Warrior Poet Society lead instructors Paul Perkerson and Josh Griffiths about quick-reaction scenarios (active shooters, violent intruders, medical emergencies, emergent defensive situations) that necessitate decisive action. How should we respond as protectors? What tools should we use to secure a situation when every millisecond matters?

Violent situations can unfold fast when evil men enter your world with bad intentions and with the plans and means to carry them out. And while it's tactically stupid to respond to something like an active shooter, it's morally praiseworthy and is often the only right thing to do.

It's important to act wisely in these situations so that things weigh in your favor regarding successfully putting down perpetrators, not interfering with police and making yourself their target, and avoiding potential liability.

And just to be clear, these aren't necessarily the types of things you can begin thinking about while also making split second decisions to act.

Quick React Question #1: Should You Respond?

Responding as a good samaritan or civilian defender is a moral decision based on circumstances and conscience, but you need to choose wisely and act responsibly. This may mean that when law enforcement arrives, you need to VERY quickly empty your hands of any weaponry, and even lie on the ground with hands out, and otherwise show them that you're not the guy they're hunting. You don't want to become their target.

Here are some of the questions you might want to have answers to:

Can I actually help? Do you have the skills, tools, and tactical ability to address the situation, or are you going to fumble, get yourself hurt, or hurt innocents because of your lack of know-how?

Am I the one who's supposed to do this? This is based on a number of factors, including the availability of local law enforcement to respond quickly and your own proximity and common sense assessment of what your role should be. If, on the other hand, a crazy opens fire at the grocery store, perhaps you are just the person to put down the eggs and then put down that killer.

What do common sense and conscience tell you? Your intentions are not the most important metric for measuring the importance of your involvement. YES the world needs heroes but just because you have a gun and the good of the people in your heart doesn't mean you need to put on your cape and sail out the door. But standing idly by, ducking and covering, fleeing might also not be the best idea either tactically or morally.

Quick React Question #2: How Should You Respond?

This is why it's critically important to have a firm grasp on what, how, and why so that the life and death milliseconds don't pass you by when you are confronted by bad actors in the real world.

The right tools for the job. After you've decided on the philosophical/moral implications of violent action, well in advance of the event, you need to consider the common sense question of whether walking into a school hallway or movie theater, etc., with an AR-15 is the best idea for the situation.

The right training on tools of the trade. Hopefully by this point, you've received the instruction and training for the efficient and effective use of tools appropriate to the situation. If not, you should REALLY consider pursuing some good classes.

Quick React Question #3: What Tools Should You Have to Respond?


Level 1: Paul Perkerson Runs Light with EDC+

"I like to respond with what I have on me."

  • Glock 43X
  • A good tactical knife.
  • IFAK/Med bag in car/truck and work bag for all sorts of situations.
  • Level 2/3: Josh Griffiths

    "Be ready for perps and victims."

  • Modified laptop bag
  • Two 300 Blackout Magazines
  • Two magazines of Glock 48 (redundancies in case something goes even more wrong)
  • Flex cuffs
  • Multiple tournequettes
  • Chest seals
  • Casualty blankets
  • Headlamp
  • Additional, heavier, medical kit
  • Body armor, if available
  • John Lovell's Active Killer Setup

  • Surefire Stiletto tactical flashlight
  • SAT Phone
  • Multiple medical kits
  • Bolt cutters
  • War Poet Pistol with two magazines in this Tier 1 holster
  • If you're looking for a more functional way to store your quick react gear, check out our tactical bags and packs here.

    Train Hard. Train Smart. Live Free.