There has been an increasing level of attentiveness to active shooters in our nation over the past couple of years. The Google trend is quite telling – attention starts to rise in July and August of 2012 after the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, CO in July and the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August. The curve really starts to rise in December 2012 after the Sandy Hook shootings, and it peaks in December of 2015 after the San Bernardino shootings.
The Google trend for the phrase “active shooter training” is even more telling about people’s fear. The general shape is the same, but the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012 resulted in a large peak of interest in active shooter training. Ditto with the San Bernardino shooting in December of 2015 – a massive spike in interest in active shooter training.
Its clear that people respond to events like Sandy Hook and San Bernardino by looking for information on how to defend themselves if they were to be confronted by such a situation. We’ve talked about this on the blog before, but its worth talking about again – having a plan in place to deal with an active shooter is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses and schools in today’s world. As an individual, there’s also some steps you can take.
Active shooter training classes geared towards civilians (as opposed to training for law enforcement on how to respond to an active shooter event) are popping up all over the country. Police departments, schools, and businesses are conducting training sessions in towns, cities, and schools all over the country. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), offers an independent study course on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter events. Similarly, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT), which trains law enforcement and first responders on dealing with active shooters, has developed a course for civilians entitled Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE).
The point is that there is training available to individuals wanting to learn more about active shooters and how to prepare for and respond to an active shooter event. Don’t think that you need to be a police officer or on a SWAT team to qualify for training. Many of these sessions are specifically geared toward civilians looking to gain a better understand of active shooters.
See for yourself if there is civilian training available where you live. A quick internet search will probably uncover a number of options, and if you live in a place where there aren’t in-person training options, take the self-directed FEMA/DHS course.