With what feels like every day bringing news of another shooting in a constant string of reminders that there is no sign of the senselessness stopping any time soon — and with last week’s San Bernardino shooting feeling a little too close to home, it only makes sense that some kind of precautionary measures be implemented at ULV.
Administration has taken the first steps in a positive and safe direction with the announcement last week of various “active assailant” preparatory programs, including training for faculty.
As disheartening as it is to accept, active shooter preparedness is becoming just as necessary as California earthquake drills. Just like earthquakes, it is becoming clear that a shooter scenario could happen anywhere and at any time.
The very idea of someone terrorizing a campus with a firearm might have been scoffed at a decade ago, but today it is a very real part of life, and it is imperative everyone be ready. The University has done a great job so far keeping students aware, and although there can always be better transparency, this time students have not been left in the dark as it pertains to their own safety.
As part of the preparedness tools the University has embraced is the “Run, Hide, Fight” philosophy, which lists the three most effective ways to deal with a shooter situation in order.
Having an easy to remember pneumonic device is important in situations like these, since they are usually surrounded by anxiety and chaos. Something like “Run, hide, fight” might sound overly simplistic, but in a time of crisis, it may be all a potential survivor might have to hold on to.
A number of editorials for various publications have critiqued the recent prevalence of active shooter prevention training, calling it a needless precaution or even fear-mongering. But the potential preservation of life is anything but needless.
The hope is, of course, that the training ULV is offering is entirely hypothetical and the lessons taught will never have to be put into practice but actually addressing these issues in a real and practical way is a comforting move on the University’s behalf. It helps make one feel safer as part of the campus community.