We, as a nation again face another active shooter incident that has lead to the killing of more of our children. Unfortunately, laws won’t fix this problem, nor can the government always protect us and above all, you can’t stop crazy. As a professional who has been teaching active shooter preparation for many years, these shootings are extremely frustrating to me on many levels.
The only fix to this current situation is by correcting our social mindset. Forget about gun laws and whatever other political solution that the pundits are preaching about. Collectively, as a society, we have seen the red flags that all these shooters have presented, yet we still do nothing. Given this recent tragedy as an example, the school was well aware of the possible threat this former student posed to the school and its students. The school notified its faculty and staff not to allow this student on campus and were cautioned to stay away from him if he appeared to be carrying anything suspicious such as a backpack. All the students more or less knew who he was and made many jokes that this person would be the one to shoot up their school. Hindsight is always 20/20 however, when the pathways to violence is visibly present and seen, people continuously refrain from saying anything.
Society has taught us to look the other way or ignore a present threat for fear of being labeled a homophobe, racist, bigot, islamaphobic, etc., and because of this, we no longer have the courage to raise our hands and say, “Hey! That person doesn’t seem right.” Regardless of however many red flags are right in front of our faces.
A disappointing, yet prime example of the absence and carelessness of interest in active shooter prevention was after the Oct 1st shooting in Las Vegas. I offered every teacher, within my area school district, FREE online active shooter training. Hundreds read the post, however only 5 individuals emailed me to sign up for the course, yet ZERO took the time to complete it. This course has been designed to help individuals prepare for, react to, and recover from an active shooter incident. To include training on how to recognize the pathway to violence and how to identify troubling behavior in a student/staff member. This same offer was made to multiple nightclubs prior to Pulse night club massacre which occurred in Orlando, Florida and even after the incident. Again, this too end in the same results, no and/or lack of interest from club managers.
Until society takes responsibility and begins to change its collective mindset, these shootings will continue to occur, and they will become deadlier with each following incident. As of now, the mindset remains, “It won’t ever happen to me.”