The Active Shooter Threat and Why We Need to Stay Situationally Aware

2012 will be remembered as the Year of the Active Shooter, where terrible tragedies across our country refocused people on issues surrounding gun control.  In many ways, it’s that old argument about whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

In many schools and hospital, it could be argued that the needs of the many to be safe, and NOT TO GET SHOT,  outweigh the needs of the few – to possess assault rifles and high capacity magazines, which allow them to kill a large number of people with almost no effort.

No matter what side of the debate you fall on,  the debate has certainly brought the debate back from and center.

And along the way, it took the Active Shooter threat from a phrase that only a few security people knew about, into a phrase that was trending on the web and Twitter.

The Department of Homeland Security made a variety of resources available to deal with the Active Shooter Threat (many can be found at with tools includes a video, and booklet.

Whether you are an elementary school, like Newtown, a movie theatre, like Aurora, a regional mall, mountain resort or anything else, the number one way to counter the Active Shooter threat is to increase security awareness of the staff.

I have had teachers tell me  “my job is only to teach, I shouldn’t have to be responsible for security, too”.

Unfortunately, everyone has to be responsible for good security, or we are all at risk.  And again, there’s the trade-off (aka, the risk calculation):

Measure the inconvenience of having to keep your eyes open and be willing to report any suspicious behavior VS. being a casualty of a mass shooting, or having someone you know killed.

Looks like a pretty easy calculation to me:

Small Amount of Effort (no cost) = Big Increase in Security !!

Make sure you friends, family and staff are aware of the Active Shooter Threat!