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How to avoid a bullet

Expert survival advice

How to avoid a bullet
10 February 2011

Giving a loved one a bunch of flowers for Valentine's is romantic, sure. But how about protecting someone from being shot? Nothing says 'I Love You' more than a bullet in the shoulder, right?

If you happen to be under gunfire during your romantic meal out at Bella Italia this V Day, what on earth should you do? How can you prevent a bloody end to the evening? To celebrate the release of Red on Blu-ray and DVD we spoke to ex-SAS member Dave Thomas who gave his expert advice on what to do if disaster strikes.

"The key thing is to always ascertain your surroundings and any potential risks. Is there somebody in the corner who is acting suspiciously? Is that person reaching for a potential weapon on the inside of their jacket? Are they paying attention to what you’re doing? Always look at your escape routes. Is there an exit door you can burst through? Is there an emergency door you can jump out of? Also, is there furniture around you, doorways around you or vehicles around you that you can hide behind to take cover?

"If someone does start shooting at you then what can you use to protect yourself from a bullet? It’s always good to look around at what you could use to throw. If someone has a gun pointing at you then even picking up a plate or some cutlery and throwing it will give you a decent bit of cover to protect you or someone else. If somebody is using a short weapon like a pistol then their hand movement can create, depending on the distance they’re firing, quite a bit of leeway on the ground. For example, if you manage to create some movement in their hand at about 1cm then at 20, 30, 50 yards that equates to about a foot or 2 foot of movement so again just by throwing something to put someone off their aim can save a life.

"Obviously if you are under fire then you’ve got to create a very difficult target to hit so if somebody does come at you with a weapon, you don't want to run away in a straight line. You want to be dodging to the left, dodging to the right and as soon as possible run behind something to create that cover and barrier between you.

"If you do take a bullet then the you want to try and keep the thoracic area (where your main organs are) safe so ideally you want to take it in a different area of the body to avoid a life-threatening scenario. Anywhere in the upper shoulder area or the arm is best. Taking a shot in the leg can be risky as you have to be careful of your femoral artery which comes down your thigh so if that gets pierced then loss of blood could result in death."

Red is out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Entertainment One