These are the headlines of the day, an Active Shooter in California, an Active Shooter in Virginia. Worried that your community, your office, your mall, your entertainment venue is missing out on all the excitement? Never fear, there are more knuckleheads out there plotting and planning to ruin a great day, a great life, a great family and their own prospects for a great future.
A bit of a flippant and provocative opening. But hey, you don’t think it could happen to you anyway, right! That might be the reason you have done nothing yet to prepare and prevent becoming the next victim or the next tragic event site.
Well, unfortunately, you are potentially very wrong. It can happen anywhere, at any time, and it could be…Coming to a theater near you soon! Except in real life.
How many times have we heard witnesses and victims make the far too often spoken statements,
“this kind of thing never happens here” or
“I cannot believe he/she could do such a thing!”
- Corporate Leaders,
- School Principles,
- Civic Leaders,
- Religious Leaders…news flash!
These are unfortunately the days of Active Shooters, kids going rogue and becoming killers, office workers acting violently for reasons that most never recognize before it all falls apart.
These are the days when you will ask the question “how did we not know, not see this coming, hear or read the warning signs?” You will be wondering why your officials and managers did not prepare, they were not there to stop it before it happened. You will wonder where the police were when the person was gathering weapons and materials used to harm others.
A father will question if he could have done something more. A mother will ask what could she have done and how she didn’t see the signs? Officials will come up with often and overused reasons why they could not “know” and prevent. All are valid-sounding reasons, but in the moment, inadequate.
People will look at the evil tool that the attackers used, whether a gun, rifle or explosive device. They will argue that these things are the cause. Officials, like me, will say…
“it is not the fire, it is the fire starter,
Yes, of course, the gun, the bomb, the vehicle, the knives are a part of the issue and the problem. But there is much more. Stop looking shallow. Look beyond the coughing and consider the virus, the bacteria, the disease. Because it is instead the mentality, the psyche of a person that thinks it is ok to do cause harm to innocent children, fellow workers, and random people. We seem to have a mental health problem in this beautiful but slightly dysfunctional country. We have a missing strong family value base. We have institutions that are not serving the needs of our people.
People like me will again say, “I told you!”
So here I am saying to you, for goodness sake, do something!
Teach your children. This is the main job of a parent… I thought!
Schools prepare you administrators, teachers and your facility to prevent, repel and protect those little people that are relying upon you 8 hours of each day, five days of the week throughout the school year.
CEO’s, Executives, Managers and HR people, up your game of preparedness if you even have a plan. Review, practice, test, question and evaluate. Bring in experts that have the knowledge and experience and are dedicated to making you and your location a less likely target.
Civic leaders (Council people, Mayors, Governors) and Religious leaders, do your job. I would include Senate and Congresses, but they are too busy fighting fights and taking vacations.
Have ready and capable law enforcement personnel with all the requisite resources to do what is needed, when it is needed.
Religious leaders start working with families and parents to make better and stronger bonds and relationships. Speak to your congregations and preach honor, integrity, and respect for your neighbors.
Everybody, stop the hate talk.
Stop saying it is the other guy that hates, that is the cause, that is the problem.
The problem is US, as in, you and me, all of us.
What if we spoke about ourselves, about each other, and about life in positive terms? What if we stopped looking for what is wrong and embrace what is correct (see what I did there, I avoided using a trigger word)? The idea being, make healthier children, co-workers, bosses, neighbors, students, politicians…and on and on.
I didn’t write this blog to offer a few clever suggestions and do’s and don’ts. I wrote this to hopefully inspire you to act. To do more than read my blog, but yeah, read my blog. But go beyond. Go the distance. Learn Situational Awareness. Teach awareness. Teach your children. Counsel your children. Play with your children. Listen to your children. Present an alternative to video games and texting. Go on a hike with them. Offer teaching that does not come from a stranger on some dark website luring your children into unhealthy thought and life. Take your children to your respective religious house if you have one. If you don’t, find one. Find an appropriate spiritual source for yourself and your children.
At the office, listen to that guy that complains. Take note of what is said. Let your H.R. people know…yes, I am saying tell on them. Snitch if you will! H.R. document and follow the protocols that serve the safety and security of your workplace. You CEO’s and Managers, bring in experts, like me! Bring in your chosen experts to lead workshops with your leadership and workforces. Have experts either review your existing protocols or get protocols established with those experts. Become compliant, be forward leaning in the business of providing a safe and secure workplace, so your workers can focus on being productive.
Maybe, just maybe we can see fewer of these tragedies. Wouldn’t that be nice!