Violence in schools and the workplace has increased exponentially. We know it’s true because we see it on the internet and hear about it in the news. The mystery though doesn’t lie in why it’s happening so much but why there are so many injuries when it does happen. What switch clicks in our minds that compel us to stay and investigate a commotion? The fact of the matter is that we are a society of voyeurs. When an altercation erupts we are drawn to it like moths to a flame most likely with cell phone recorders at the ready. An accident on the highway will do what heavy rains or snow can’t even do, slow us down to a crawl.
If you want to survive a shooting at school or in the workplace there are some things you need to keep in mind. The first thing you have to do to survive anything is to become familiar with your surroundings. Knowing where the exits and entrances are will give you a blueprint of the building you’re in and how to escape. It will also let you know how an intruder will enter. Whenever you exit your vehicle or intend to get into it you need to make sure your surroundings are clear, keep an eye out and be wary of the passersby. We teach our children to fear strangers, not talk to them and yet as adults we freely allow them to get close and personal.
When testing for a conceal carry gun license we are told that 21 feet is the magic number for an assailant to reach you before you can get to your gun. That is to say, it takes a person of average build just 21 feet and approximately 1 or 2 seconds to be able to put their hands on us. And regularly we stand around waiting to see a drama unfold before we decide to remove ourselves from dangerous areas or situations.
The next thing you have to do is become familiar with the type of people that are around you. When we go to school/college or work we don’t often take the time to get to know the people around us. This is a big mistake. Taking an interest in others will let you know what they are like even though some may try to hide their true intent. Learn how to read people and what their body language says about them. There are telltale clues with every little shrug, tic or gesture that will reveal a persons true intent. Do they laugh at inappropriate times or situations? Do they enjoy the suffering of others? Are they perhaps being bullied repeatedly and do nothing about it? These and other similar clues could save your life.
The third step you must remember to survive a school/workplace shooting is to be ready to move. If you hear popping sounds don’t walk to it thinking they’re party favors for a celebration. If there is a party and you didn’t know about then you weren’t invited so think the worst. Start moving to the exit. If you hear yelling or an argument grab your stuff and make for the door. If the commotion is just outside the door leave your stuff and stand by the window. Open it if you can or have a chair ready. Many people get injured in these situations because they stay where they are or take cover under a desk. A person who uses a gun in these situations won’t stop to think, they didn’t do anything to me so I’ll let them live. What they’re probably thinking is, they didn’t do anything to stop my suffering and should die.
The final step is probably the simplest of them all. Be kind. You have the power to negatively or positively impact those around you. If you’re a bully at school, a cut-throat at work or a jerk at the supermarket you could end up paying the ultimate price for your cruelty as well as those around you. People don’t realize the power they have as a group. As a group people have impeached presidents, taken down corporations, changed laws but when they see one man attacking another they run away in self preservation. A group could easily and quickly stop any assailant in a matter of seconds yet they don’t band together at the appropriate time. Yes, it could be dangerous but one person with a knife against 10 with chairs, sticks or anything you can get your hands on could save a life. What if it was your life in danger and everyone ran away? How would you feel about it then?
We can not condone the actions of crazy people who attack others at schools or workplaces but we have to ask one simple question; what motivated them to do this? Some of them are bullied beyond belief until their resolve breaks while others have their whole lives taken away by a corporate cut-throat who just didn’t want to share the rewards. You might think the reasons are more trivial such as a break-up or some such nonsense and don’t merit these violent reactions. Perhaps, but we constantly cry for understanding when it comes to diversity and fail to understand that people react differently to these situations. So what you might do in one situation may not be what another would do.