Many thanks to Robert Cannon, CHSS for sharing the article on LinkedIn which we highlight here. The value of LinkedIn is just kind of collaborative sharing which can potentially help us all.
There is a place for a hero-ethic in the American consciousness. It’s actually already there. It’s innate in all of us. It could come alive, and save lives (even if just one). This ethic can manifest to stop bullets in various ways.
Please begin by reading this article, entitled The Hero Solution to the Mass -Shooting Contagion.
I both agree and disagree with the gist of this article.
I agree with it in the following manner.
I have long been preaching that the “Fight,” of Run-Hide-Fight is almost always more a tag-line than an operational, trained truth. Most (though not all) training programs for regular people (i.e., non-LE) just gloss over it, saying something about improvised weapons, picking up a fire extinguisher, but little else in the brief training.
There is value in opening up the training options for this element of the 3-element, Run-Hide-Fight, Active Assailant protocol. It doesn’t mean that absolutely everyone will fight back. But we must do something to collectively take an active stance against active assailants. We in the Protection Industry are Options Facilitators. We must then provide options, and not carry and convey a bias that fighting is beyond the desire and skill of the average person.
Really, this is more so a life-issue, and less so an organizational issue. If we, as American citizens are conditioned more to be sheep than lions, then we (collectively) will dwarf our fighting selves. An organization training program, particularly of the check-the-box kind, is not going to much change the attitude one has been taught all through life.
I disagree with the article in the following manner.
We should not allow to remain invisible the fact that, even in this article, we’re still myopically hyper-focused on the point of impact, i.e., the shooting itself. Don’t get me wrong…yes, we must keep marching full speed ahead with training to stop a shooter at the point of impact, that is, during the shooting. Keep up the great work. We must remain very skilled at stopping threats during the event. This very small piece of time must be addressed.
However, until we start effectively going far upstream of these events (which is a far greater span of time than the shooting which is often just seconds long), we will continue, as a society, simply reacting to the next event, and then the next one, and then the next one, ad infinitum. In order to truly address the root, and not simply the consequences, of active assailant events, we must go way upstream to recreate a society less conducive to violence, particularly active assailants. We must recreate societal conditions in such a way that young boys are no longer reared in such a manner that they want to grow up desiring to, fantasizing about, and conducting the planning to, actively kill others (very specifically the active assailant pathology). Nothing less than a superhero ethic is needed here to work on this.
If we don’t go upstream, addressing how children are reared, how they are educated, how they are protected, how our criminal justice system connects with them, how they are healed of behavioral health issues, how they are raised in such a manner that they are not even afflicted in the first place with behavioral health issues, on and on (fill in the blank with your particular issue which could potentially heal society), then we are doing nothing more than waiting on the next head of the hydra-headed active assailant monster to manifest again. We are literally wasting time, money, and resources. Most of all, we are continuing to knowingly keep perpetuating a society which (like it or not) is creating these shooters.
As I mentioned, there is a place for a hero-ethic in the American consciousness. Let’s not, however, relegate the superhero to simply jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. Yes, that’s valuable. It’s a selfless act. It’s a manifestation of a hero-ethic. But it’s the hero-ethic in a tiny moment in time. What about all the other moments in time (for example, the entire formative period of a child from birth to teen years)? There are deeper and higher ways of bringing alive, for the benefit of all, the superhero ethic. It can, and should, permeate society, and not simply (simplistically) be assigned to just point of impact moments alone.
We must enliven this hero-ethic to actually do what needs to be done to really heal society. Make no mistake here. It will take generations to achieve this, just as it’s taken generations for us (collectively) to have arrived here, at this point in time, with the society we now have. Hence, we need to get busy…now!
The superhero for this work is actually all of us together. It’s parents and teachers. It’s psychiatrists and other health professionals. It’s criminal justice professionals. It’s sociologists. It’s psychologists. It’s our neighbors. It is us. But it’s all of us doing work very focused on going well upstream and not losing sight that just running, hiding, and fighting is not addressing the root of the issue. Not addressing the root of any issue is to invite its continued presence in our lives. This is long-term work.
The longer we wait on addressing the roots of this issue, the longer we will continue to endure active assailant massacres. It is action that’s needed. And it’s needed now, for the benefit of future citizens who are not even yet born.