There is a lot of ugly happening in the world today. Look at any news day and something is happening somewhere around the world. I am talking about Active Shooter/Active Assailant Incidents. Why? No one really has a complete handle on why.
But I’ve noticed a trend. Marginalized individuals, bullied individuals who turn into bullies, those without well-developed coping skills, and who knows what else. Individuals dealing with breakups, work problems, other humans, financial problems.
The death tolls change, the places change: Nine in a church, 26 in an elementary school, 49 in a nightclub, now five in an airport. The faces in the memorial photos change every time…
Each gun was used to kill an average of four people, not counting shooters. The 884 people came from nearly every imaginable race, religion and socioeconomic background, and 145 were children or teenagers…
It doesn’t matter your religious, financial, socio-economic status, race, neighborhood, this can happen to anyone. Most victims are chosen at random.
There are always signs, but most people are too busy to pay attention. This graphic from the FBI describes where these things happen. At work, at home, at the mall, at school, at church. Everyone says, “It won’t happen here.” But it can, and it will. It’s only a matter of time.
Why am I talking about this? There are things we can all do to protect each other. Everyone should learn what to do during an Active Shooter/Active Assailant Incident. You can’t completely depend upon police, fire, ems, swat. They’re coming but it will take time to get there. You may have to take matters into your own hands for a period of time. According to FBI statistics, “The average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes. Thirty-seven percent last less than 5 minutes.” See graphic below.
If you know what to do ahead of time you can save yourself and others.
- Active-shooter incidents often occur in small- and medium-sized communities where police departments are limited by budget constraints and small workforces.10
- The average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes. Thirty-seven percent last less than 5 minutes.11
- Overwhelmingly, the offender is a single shooter (98 percent), primarily male (97 percent). In 40 percent of the instances, they kill themselves.12
- Two percent of the shooters bring IEDs as an additional weapon.13
- In 10 percent of the cases, the shooter stops and walks away. In 20 percent of the cases, the shooter goes mobile, moving to another location.14
- Forty-three percent of the time, the crime is over before police arrive. In 57 percent of the shootings, an officer arrives while the shooting is still underway.15
- The shooter often stops as soon as he hears or sees law enforcement, sometimes turning his anger or aggression on law enforcement.16
- Patrol officers are most likely responding alone or with a partner. When responding alone, 75 percent had to take action.17
- A third of those officers who enter the incident alone are shot by the intruder.18
Training: Since the Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings , training for police, fire and ems has changed. The goal is to optimize cooperation, speed and effectiveness of a joint response to reduce the loss of life. If you are the leader of a police, fire, ems department you owe it to yourself and the public to get your department trained. If you are a member of an untrained public safety type organization, get yourself trained. Yes. On your day off and even if its costs something. You can’t afford not to. Lives are priceless.
If you are not a Public Safety professional, do not be complacent! Encourage your workplace, church to have a plan. Make a plan with your family. Get trained.
Go here for more information: https://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness
I want to bring up one more point. This is not the time to turn the other cheek. If we allow the bad to take out the good, things will get uglier.