When I was in grade school, in the middle of the Cold War, we had air raid drills.
We were taught to duck under our desks. I always thought (and I think I did back then) that it was absurd, if a bomb (and if it was an Atomic Bomb), what was my desk going to protect me from… but I digress…
We know, the bombs never came.
Fast forward to the last decade or so.
The air raid drills of yesteryear are now active shooter drills. From news reports on Uvalde, there were teachers that enacted those protocols. They, the teachers, may have saved their students from carnage and should be lauded for quick thinking.
What’s sad, on multiple levels, that both groups of children (from my era and today) had to learn skills to save our lives. But the kids of Uvalde aren’t able to chuckle at the stupidity of the lessons.
Today’s active shooter drills aren’t jokes and we as American’s need to have an honest discussion on a range of topics, along with the full understanding that no one solution will solve these problems.
Will any group of solutions solve mass shootings entirely, no. Why? Because of the glut of mental health issues, growing dissatisfaction with life in America, illegal weapons available for sale, economic disparity, political animus, the “acceptability” to solve issues with violence, among other ills of our society.
More importantly, no one system or group of systems is error free. As a member of the Emergency Management Community for years, one plans for the worse and hopes for the best. But all plans need to be constantly revised as we learn more, from testing and evaluating those plans.
Once we accept that fact, we can work toward minimizing mass shootings.
But if we don’t start, mass shootings won’t stop or diminish.
So, Everyone Let’s Talk! And more importantly LISTEN!