Active Shooters: Upstream work to be done

Hi All,

We watch cameras in a Security Operations Center (SOC) to capture footage, hopefully, left of bang, of bad guys planning to do bad things. And it’s good. We should keep it up and indeed we should grow our SOCs into ever more sophisticated centers.

Yet, we still, collectively, as a society, are not going far enough upstream to sustainably stop the next active shooter. We should be looking at “cameras” that show us “footage” of what is happening years, yes years, before the present moment.

Stopping an active shooter does not just entail stopping the threat at the point of impact (the shooting), effectively locking a door, spotting him on camera 30 minutes prior to the shooting, or identifying him in a threat assessment based on a social media post. No, stopping a shooter means doing what is effective and necessary to prevent a young man from even reaching the point where he desires to kill others for no reason. This is where valuable work in stopping active shooters is waiting to be done. And it has nothing to do with cameras, door locking mechanisms, or bullets.

We must get much, much further left of bang than we are currently getting. We must improve our collective efforts at stopping active shooters.

I highly recommend the valuable book by Jillian Peterson Ph.D and James Densley Ph.D, The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic. In this book, Peterson and Densley go well beyond the current upstream efforts (which are barely upstream) to stop the next active shooter. Seek out this book if you wish to broaden your perspective on how to stop active shooters.

Let us never forget the wisdom shared with us by Frederick Douglass:

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Farewell…

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