Mass Shootings and Awareness

“Events like this … if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs. It becomes a media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
– Roger Ebert (

I feel like the news media machine giving 24 hour coverage of the event is largely at fault for propagating the tragedy, and making the shooters’ work famous. But I don’t feel like this is solely their fault. Since there are so many of these happening in the last few years, schools are part of the problem as well.

There is much talk about gun control and restrictions, but not any talk about what the school could have done to help the situation. There are fire drills; why are there not PRACTICED plans to evac the school in case of this type of situation?
Great article on school shootings (applicable to any, really): 

Majority of shootings like this don’t end with the shooter still alive. Either he shoots himself, or he is gunned down by the police. Yes, it may be the center of their hate-filled world, but the venue he chooses to destroy is really the place where he can do the most damage with the least amount of resistance.

If we are talking about reducing the damage, I wouldn’t want to be locked in the building with the shooter. I would want to escape the building and take cover out in the open where I have MORE options for escape/cover. The building is where the shooter has the most protection and has the most amount of options for destruction. He’s not going to follow people outside; and even if he does, you have better odds out in the open than trapped inside. Again, he does not want to have resistance. He goes outside, he is a larger target. I would go where he is not comfortable going. If the doors to the classroom are going to be locked, at least for the lower levels, escaping out the window is a valid option.

My other thoughts are on the side that if the shooter is going to a place of least resistance, arm the teachers. Or at least some of them. Make sure they are attending competent active-shooter classes where they can learn proper respect for the weapon and give them basic defense tactics. Taking guns away will only disarm the helpless and allow situations like this to cause more damage. Think how much quicker things could have ended if a teacher was able to get a clean shot in on the shooter. And with the diminishing police force across the country, people are only going to be that much more defenseless.

Just a few of the articles on layoffs: 

I’ve even heard of areas that no longer support local law enforcement. I know an HPD officer and a former Sheriff’s department officer, both say the police rarely stop crimes. They take the information after the fact and report it, that’s it. The unfortunate thing is that the news is not covering stuff like this and people are in great need of a reality check that they really are not as protected as they think. Don’t depend on something that may not be there. Preparedness, Self preservation and Awareness are major factors that keep people alive. I’m not saying that the kids have to be looking over the shoulder all the time. But being able to spot simple cues of a possible dangerous situation could mean they get to cover that much faster than someone who is completely oblivious.

“Parents and teachers and caregivers should not shy away from directly discussing this with children who are concern or anxious or fearful. Let them know their fear is normal, that it’s OK to be sad on behalf of those who died, and even frightened that it may happen to them.”- Source (

It’s a seriously complex issue and it cannot be boiled down to “get ride of guns.”That’s stupid. What about the handicapped, or the elderly? They can not move fast enough for cover and couldn’t possible defend themselves in a fist fight. You might as well paint victim all over them. It’s a little off topic I know, but people need to not be so narrow minded and stop with these knee jerk reactions to tragedies like this. Thinking out what the actual problem is and the solution for it would solve much more than any quick overnight fix.

Just to be a little more clear, I’m not trying to blur the terrible nature of the event with another argument about gun control. That’s dishonoring the victims and making it about the issue and not the people. I’m trying to talk specifically about a means to keep potential victims of the future more safe.

Most important of all, was that people should be aware and eyes open. It’s probably the most important thing I’m trying to say, in fact; and then having a plan to deal with the situation would be second. In my classes, overall, it has taught me that keeping a healthy suspicion of the world around you can really prevent a lot. Having a realistic understanding of how things work will offer a better respect for the danger, which leads to the avoidance of unnecessary risks. I have a very sweet friend who is a cautious driver and always says: “I think I can go, I know I can wait.” I’m not saying to go scare your children, but addressing their concerns calmly and rationally would be extremely beneficial.

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