Colo. massacre: Educating the public on the five phases of the active shooter
We need to energize the public and educate them on how they can do a great deal to prevent these shootings
I predict the investigation into the Aurora, Colorado tragedy will reveal the actions the shooter took prior to his deadly spree did not go unnoticed. They just went unreported.
How many more times must police officers be dispatched to this type of mayhem when so many such cases can be prevented?
This may be an opportune time for law enforcement to strike while the iron is hot. We need to energize the public and educate them on how they can do a great deal to prevent these shootings. In a world that includes burgeoning active shooters, the public needs to be taught that a “head in the sand” citizenry must be a thing of the past.
Train the Public
We need to train the public in the five phases of the active shooter. Nearly every active shooter goes through these five phases.
If a citizen pays attention and calls the police they may very well prevent a tragedy of monumental proportions. The five are:
1.) Fantasy Stage
Would-be Active Shooters in the Fantasy Stage will often discuss their desires with friends and foes alike. If news of these fantasies are shared with you, believe them and pass them on to law enforcement. If police can intervene prior to the suspect acting on their fantasy there may never be a head line.
2.) Planning Stage
He will determine the weapons he will need and where he will get them. He will decide how to travel to the target area and how to dress to conceal his weapons without arousing suspicion.
If the police are tipped, during this stage, once again intervention can be made prior to people dying and families crying.
3.) Preparation Stage
If one of these friends calls the police about their concerns, this citizen intervention may prevent multiple funerals.
4.) Approach Stage
Contact with the soon-to-be active shooter could come in the form of a traffic stop, a citizen call, or a stop and frisk. A thorough investigation can still lead to an arrest of the suspect before he brings down a multitude of victims in a needless shooting or bombing.
5.) Implementation Stage
The sooner an on or off-duty officer, or citizen intervenes with an effective, efficient act of courage, the less casualties there will be. In past incidents, active shooters have been thwarted by police officers, security guards school teachers and students. One principal recently died successfully stopping an active shooter in a Wisconsin school. There is a risk in doing something, but the greatest risk lies in doing nothing.
All schools, businesses and Government buildings need to stop banning off-duty and retired police officers from carrying their weapons concealed on premises. Police officers are not the problem they are the solution!
Tell The Public They Can Absolutely Make a Difference
In the case of every active shooter before one shot is fired they dream, draw, write, discuss, twitter, plan, gather, purchase, steal, construct, case, practice, dress, pack, load, transport and approach. Quite often these actions, when performed by a future active shooter are disconcerting even without the witness knowing their context. Many lives have been saved, because someone saw something and said something… to the police.
The Public Response
Now is the time to sit your public down and tell them. Trust me, they are ready to listen.
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