In this series entitled “Anatomy of an Active Shooter Event”, we’ll take a look at a number of factors that create the perfect storm leading to a school shooting.
- Part 1: Before an active shooter event
- Part 2: During an active shooter event
- Part3: Immediately after an active shooter event
- Part 4: Months after an active shooter event
Today, we are analyzing what happens during an active shooter event. School shootings are a deeply shameful reflection of our society, but it must be bravely faced in order to mitigate these events in the future.
Do Drills Work?
Schools have taken an initiative with establishing active shooter drills, aimed at preventing a loss of life and possibly neutralizing the gun-toting threat as safely as possible.
According to a recent survey by the Government Accountability Office, 2/3 of schools in the US conduct active-shooter exercises, and virtually all of them have a plan if a shooter enters the school. But there are a few concerns:
Some parents obviously feel that these types of drills put a strain on their children, or worse, inspire individuals that are on the fence about bringing a firearm to school grounds.
But the question remains: do these active shooter event drills work? With a wide adoption of preparation methods in schools, it can be tough to tell whether they have an impact, as the number of school shootings has been on a rise in the last decade. Whether these drills work remains to be seen. However, there have been instances, including a school shooting in California, where a school’s lockdown procedures were credited with saving lives. Even being able to save one life makes these drills valuable.
It is nearly impossible to predict what a killer’s motivations may be beforehand. However, mental illness, bullying, social ostracism, violence at home, and sociopathy can all be attributed to a killer’s motives. In the case of the Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza, it was a withdrawal from society attributed to Asperger’s syndrome and a host of other maladies. For the Columbine massacre, the killers were considered “other” and bullied relentlessly. However, the effect they wanted to have on local communities is clear: to cause unspeakable horror to communities, both local and national.
What makes an active shooter event at schools so sad is that it inspires other disenfranchised individuals to discover the possibilities of damaging others through gun violence. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t an optimal way to thwart a motivated killer. The only solution is to be prepared. Check the Nightlock Lockdown out HERE
How Long Do Active Shooter Events Last?
What makes school shootings is not only their long-term effects, but the time that an active shooter event is occurring. According to Homeland Security statistics, the average school shooting lasts only 12.5 minutes. Response time by police is 18 minutes, showing that even with proper institutions to protect your children, a shooter can wreak havoc for nearly a quarter of an hour before a threat is neutralized, whether that is through negotiations or the death of the shooter(s).
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As you can see, an active shooter event is one of the worst things that can happen in your family’s lives. But, a thorough examination of what transpires during the tragedy of this sort can help minimize the carnage caused by individuals with ruthless desires.