Mass Shootings Reality: A Call for Active Shooting Drills

A+student+fires+simunitions%2C+at+role+playing+%22bad+guys%2C%22+to+be+better+prepared+to+take+down+any+threats.++
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Mass Shootings Reality: A Call for Active Shooting Drills

A student fires simunitions, at role playing

A student fires simunitions, at role playing "bad guys," to be better prepared to take down any threats.

By U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Pilots participate in an Active Shooter Scenario at NATC, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51175397

A student fires simunitions, at role playing "bad guys," to be better prepared to take down any threats.

By U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Pilots participate in an Active Shooter Scenario at NATC, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51175397

By U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Pilots participate in an Active Shooter Scenario at NATC, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51175397

A student fires simunitions, at role playing "bad guys," to be better prepared to take down any threats.

Javier Ortega III, Journalist

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In recent years, the world has seen an increase of mass shooting headlines. According to a report by The Washington Post, titled, ‘The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting,” updated January 24, 2019, 161 mass shootings have taken place in the United States since 1967. It is important to note that the authors of this article defined a mass shooting as an event in which “…four or more people were killed by a lone shooter (two shooters in a few cases).”  The article states that in the 50 years prior to 1967, the number of mass shootings in the United States was 25. If these numbers are correct, the United States has seen a 644% increase in mass shootings in the last 50 years. Those 161 shootings resulted in a total of 1,148 people killed and many more injured.

The United States is not alone. In the article titled, ”Sorry, Despite Gun-Control Advocates’ Claims, U.S. Isn’t The Worst Country For Mass Shootings,” published in The Investor’s Business Daily, the author claimed that the United States has a mass shooting death rate of .089 per million. Ten other countries have higher mass shooting death rates. Norway is at the top of the list, with a 1.888 death rate, followed by Serbia (.381), France (.347), Macedonia (.337), and Albania (.206).

However, perpetrators of mass shootings have different motives for committing their acts. An example of this coming from one of the most recent mass shootings that took place in Kenya. On January 15, 2019, Somali militants stormed the DusitD2 hotel and business complex killing 21 and injuring at least 28 people. According to the BBC News, the Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabab is a militant group whose primary purpose is to wage jihad (war) against “enemies of Islam.” In a statement issued by this terrorist group, the attack was a retaliation to “US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”  The motive for this attack, just like the majority of foreign mass shootings, was a response to a political event fueled by religious beliefs.

In contrast, the perpetrator’s motive of the recent Las Vegas shooting, committed on October 1st, 2017, was not known to have been tied to any political and/or religious beliefs.  On that day, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert crowd located on the Las Vegas strip. With 59 deaths, this became known as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The investigation by the Las Vegas sheriff’s department was not able to determine a motive.

In the most recent U.S. school shooting, the perpetrator’s motive was not connected to a religious and/or political view either. On May 18, 2018, a 17-year old student stormed into Santa Fe High School carrying a shotgun and a pistol and killed ten people and injured ten others. According to police, the perpetrator “did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told.”  

All mass shootings have something in common: they have devastating consequences to the families of victims and to the communities in which they occur. Regardless of the perpetrators motives, one thing that can assist to minimize the impact of such events is to increase the preparation needed to more effectively deal with such deadly occurrences. Freshman Julien Donovan Pineda supported this by saying, “…schools should be more prepared for these type of things since they are more common.” Pineda continues, “…schools could be more prepared by getting armed security…and also by giving teachers a course to help them be better prepared in theses situations.”

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident,” The department provides, “products, tools, and resources to help prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident.” In their website at dhs.gov, the department provides ‘active shooter preparedness’ resources.

Another organization that provides active shooter preparedness is ready.gov. According to this website the goal of ready.gov is ‘to promote preparedness through public involvement.’ Their ‘Active Shooter’ page lists the things one should do in an active shooting event. Although, these two resources may not guarantee no fatalities during mass shooting events, they provide great information that may one day save lives.   

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Mass Shootings Reality: A Call for Active Shooting Drills