There was a lot of laughter at one teacher's suggestion to keep rocks in school rooms for people to throw at an active shooter.
But actually, that would work.
PhysOrd discusses self defense drills.
The present idea of "run hide fight" means fighting back is the last option, but maybe it should be the first.
and "lock down" only works if the doors actually lock, and there are cops to take down the shooter.
these drills will help, since if you practice doing something you will know what to do. Usually the response to an emergency is to "freeze" making response slow or resulting in no response at all. That is why we docs etc. practice CPR.
That is why the idea to "arm teachers" doesn't work: Unless you are practicing shooting, when confronted with a real live shooter, you will freeze, or maybe hestitate long enough for him to shoot you first.
And, of course, an untrained person might accidentally shoot an innocent person who is not a threat, or who could be stopped in a non lethal way: (a lot of the "unarmed" people killed by cops are the result of panic, are often due to poor training or thinking the person was a threat/had a gun/etc,)
Most workplace shootings are a guy trying to take out his ex wife or one or two fellow employees who got him fired. So running and hiding is an option.
But a mass shooter is different: everyone is a target.
alas, one's first instinct is to hit the ground, and that does make it hard to throw your purse, keys, shoe etc. at the guy.
Luckily most of them are not well trained (including most "lone wolf" terrorists), so if a dozen folks all threw something at the guy while he was reloading, it would probably work.
The bad news is if a trained person (soldier, cop, trained terrorist) goes after you, a lot of folks will die even with snipers and professionals around.
That is what happened when an "amok" cop took out a bunch of Chinese tourists in Manila a couple years ago: They knew him, and had him calmed down and ready to surrender so they didn't shoot him. Then they allowed his brother to talk to him, a big mistake.
we call these murders "amok" murders, which is as good a name as any for a paranoid or depressed person who snaps and decides to kill. Usually it is a family member, an enemy, or the politician they blame for their problem.