I got a reality check yesterday when I and my staff participated in what has come to be called Active Shooter Preparedness. As a result of all the horrific gun violence on university campuses and elsewhere in our country, the police department here encourages employees to take a two hour course on how to deal with an ” active shooter.”
The course instructor gave numerous bits of advice on how to respond to a crazed killer intent on taking as many lives as possible. We discussed where to exit, where to hide if exiting is difficult, how we should deal with the killer if faced with a one on one confrontation, and how we should keep our cool under enormous personal stress.
The police captain who offered the mini-course was just great as he tried to calm our concerns over the possibility of gunmen targeting our office. He then walked through the office showing us how best to get out of the building safely or protect ourselves should the ” active shooter” come into our midst.
When the officer left I was drained and saddened that we have come to this in our country. Although the officer reminded us that every time we fly the attendants go through a safety check in case of an emergency, but active shooter preparedness is a new experience not just for me but for many Americans in the workplace.
As the saying goes, ” Better safe than sorry” but I am upset that the craziness gripping our country has required that I prepare to survive a gun attack. The days of a quiet and secure lifestyle are now compromised if not gone forever. It is likely that most Americans will be encouraged to take a course called ” Active Shooter Preparedness.”