As investigators look into the mass shooting that erupted at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more, security experts are working to determine how these types of tragedies can be prevented.
"What bar owners need to realize is that this not a new puzzle to solve," Robert Smith, CEO of Nightclub Security Consultants, told CNBC.
Smith, who spent 20 years with the San Diego Police Department, runs a premises liability consulting firm out of California that specializes in training bouncers and security guards. While his company covers the typical training courses for narcotics recognition and sales, identifying a fake ID and problem solving, it also provides a course on how to deal with an active shooter.
Smith said traditional training protocols following events like the 1999 Columbine High School shooting have taught people to "hunker down and hide and wait for the good guys to come." However, he recommends another mantra: Run. Hide. Fight.
"If you can run away — do it and take others with you," Smith said. "If you can't run, find a good hiding place and try to barricade yourself. If the attack on you is imminent, seriously consider fighting back with any and all means."
Smith noted that during the attacks on Paris last year, when more than 100 people were killed, suspects were able to empty and reload their weapons without interference from bystanders. He suggests that citizens don't need specialized training to take down a gunman — they just need to use their instincts.