Run - Hide - Fight: Active Shooter Survival Training Video from the U.S. Homeland Security Department
The subjects of active shooters, gun laws and teachers carrying firearms at school are hot topics right now for sure. It stirs up a lot of emotions (in me as well) and arguments. Despite all of the difference in opinion, the common ground is this: We are afraid and we want to feel safe. This includes the children, students, teachers, parents, administrators, support staff and community. Some people advocate that in order to protect ourselves and others from potentially lethal threats such as an active shooter that we (in this case teachers) need to be armed, ready to take down the threat. Other people's opinion is that guns are a part of the problem and even considering this "armed teacher" option is adding fuel to the fire and making things worse.
Both sides of the discussion have valid points, however the more we argue the more we continue to become polarized on the subject. As we do this we lose sight of the common ground and spend more time arguing our point and creating adversaries, than working on a solution.
We are all innate protectors. It's what we do. Allow me to illustrate my point:
Would you protect yourself if someone were to threatening you? (emotionally, verbally or physically)
Do you have anyone in your life that you would protect? (your kid, parent, loved one, family, friend, etc?)
Do you have anyone in your life you would risk your own well being for?
Yea, me too.
Well, to take that idea a step further, some of us are leaders (such as teachers) so we have even more of a responsibility to be a protector because of our career choice. Parents put their child's safety in the hands of licensed professionals to have a safe and respectful learning environment. Even more to the point, the children look to the teachers for safety, guidance and leadership. So, whether or not you believe in, or carry a firearm, isn't the point. The point is: How can we all be better protectors of ourselves and others? If you don't like guns, fine, but what CAN you do to maximize your own safety, the safety of your loved ones, those you are responsible for and quite frankly, everyone around you? How can you be more of an effective protector and leader? You should absolutely support your own personal views, exercise your right to vote, advocate for your opinion in whatever manner makes sense, however when the rubber meets the road, it is your personal decision, so don't rely on a law or policy to dictate your personal ethos, or to protect you, your kids or other loved ones. Do your research, train appropriately and respond as needed regarding the situation. As a friend and mentor of mine Jack Hoban says: Our Ethic drives our Tactic which drives our Technique. The Ethic is simple (not to be confused with easy) to protect life. This Ethic > Tactic > Technique concept is even more important when we are faced with situations regarding potential conflict and violence.
1) See conflict as an opportunity.
2) Activate your Life Protector instinct.
3) TRAIN how to be a better protector in a way that fits into your life philosophy.
Speaking of training, here is the "Surviving an Active Shooter" video put out by the U.S. Homeland Security Dept. to get you going regarding this dangerous type of situations.
Remember, when it comes to discussing emotional subjects like this try to make Allies not Adversaries as you brainstorm solutions and as always keep going!
All the best,