One news headline I recently saw read, “Florida school shooting: Security, training failed to stop shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School”.
The unfortunate reality is, unless a structure or campus is completely fortified, which is not often practical or economically viable, it will always be possible for someone with a weapon, ability and intent to harm people, to gain entry. Measures can be taken to protect people inside, like locking mechanisms to prevent an attacker from getting into classrooms or offices, but most buildings have not yet been upgraded to utilize them.
Active shooter survival training that simply teaches any variation of Run, Hide, Fight is only providing a method, which unfortunately is half of what is necessary to have a fighting chance to survive such an event. Mindset must be emphasized just as much because most people are not born with or taught a survival mindset to effectively carryout the active shooter survival method.
The absolute best way to avoid involvement in an active shooter event is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Our society has been shamed into believing that taking notice of someone that acts different, and possibly judging their attitude and actions as inconsistent with appropriate behavior, is insensitive or compassionless. The truth is, people should have the freedom to be whom they want to be and act however they want, until even the mention of inflicting harm on another person is taken with the seriousness of someone yelling “bomb” on an airplane. Once this occurs it is everyone’s responsibility to notify someone that can intervene.
We must create a culture that accepts people for who they are but condemns threatening behavior and immediately prompts attention, if not investigation, into the origin and severity of the behavior.
Michael Julian, CPI PPS CSP, is the Creator of the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival Program, Author of 10 Minutes to Live: Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E. and President/CEO of MPS Security & Protection, www.ActiveShooterSurvivalTraining.com