I recently read an article released by the FBI about the “active shooter” incidents that occurred in America during the years of 2016 and 2017.
Important facts stated in the study; 221 people died (down from 231 in 14/15), however the amount of law enforcement officers killed tripled from 4 to 13, (6 of those officers were killed in ambush-style attacks). The most important figure in my mind was that 8 (yes, only 8) shooters were stopped by citizens. And out those 8 only 4 used firearms. The amount of lives those brave citizens saved can’t be measured. Those people are true heroes.
The paltry amount of citizen intervention in the face of an active shooter is understandable. Most people (no doubt myself if I were ever faced with that type of situation) simply flee to protect themselves. Fight or flight, it’s a basic human instinct. Please don’t think I am berating anyone for not fighting back. That is not my intention. A survivor is a true hero as well
My gleanings from this study are the opinion of a layperson with nothing more than a layman’s understanding, but I think we laymen are the ones best poised to stop these incidents from happening. First, we have to understand that even though the action done by an “active shooter” no matter how heinous, is not the most important variable, we must focus on the intention behind the action. Choosing to take lives is unspeakable, but no one pulls the trigger without a intention behind it.
So what can you do about it? First and foremost you must work to know your friends and family. In each and every situation someone close to the shooter missed their chance to intervene, now obviously that intervention may not be enough to succeed but there is no way to track how many people have had decisions changed by loved ones. Secondly you must always be armed. 99.9999% of times you have a firearm with you you will not need to use it. But that is not the point, out of the hundreds of millions of people living in America during those two years only four were in the right place at the right time with the right tool for the job.