There was a time when the guidance for passengers in airplane hijackings could be summed up in one word: Cooperate. And on September 11, 2001, hijackers used that guidance to guarantee their control of three airplanes — the planes that later flew straight into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. But on one aircraft, the passengers learned that cooperation meant certain death, and they unilaterally changed the protocols. As a result, it’s now virtually unthinkable that American passengers will simply stand by and allow a hijacker to seize an airliner’s controls.
To hail the passengers of Flight 93 is not to condemn the passengers of Flight 11, Flight 175, and Flight 77. In a terrifying situation, they were doing what they were taught to do.
The current guidance for victims in mass-shooting situations is just as passive as the original guidance for hijacking victims. “Shelter in place,” they’re told. In other words, hide and wait for rescue. Carson is urging a change in the paradigm, to immediate group resistance.