This already violent year now carries the ugly scars of two more mass shootings, this time in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed more than 30 people and inflicted devastating wounds on dozens more. The shooter in each instance respected no place and no one. Their bullets ripped through victims of all ages, genders, races and origins.
The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks shootings in the U.S., defines a mass shooting event as “a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are shot and/or killed at the same general time and location.” Since January, the organization has logged 275 deaths and 1,065 injuries as a result of mass shootings.
No place where people gather is immune: Not hotels, churches, schools, malls, restaurants, convention centers, hospitals or corporate offices. How can anyone safeguard themselves and loved ones? Survival begins with a heightened awareness of surroundings. In a building, that means knowing the location of at least two exits and places to take cover.
Employers always have been held responsible for the safety and well-being of employees and customers on their property. But the stakes rise higher when that responsibility begins to include preparing large groups of people for a mass shooting event to minimize casualties. The best defense begins with an active shooter plan as part of an overall crisis management program.