Patra Banks

Every year, there are more mass shootings in the U.S. than there are in any other country worldwide. Nearly a third of the mass shootings around the world have taken place in the U.S., according to the FBI. Of the 30 deadliest shootings in U.S. history since 1949, 16 have occurred in the last ten years. The number of background checks for gun sales continues to grow as high-profile mass shootings occur. Unfortunately, background checks aren’t always done, and in some cases weapons are obtained illegally. An active shooter is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area”. About 70 percent of active shooter incidents end with the shooter or the shooters’ deaths.

Excluding gang-related and domestic violence incidents, there have been four mass shootings this year, where four or more people were killed, not including the shooter. According to data from 2013, incidents in schools and businesses represent 7 out of 10 active shootings (Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and San Bernardino). The Orlando attack was by far the deadliest shooting in U.S. history with 49 fatalities. The most recent mass shooting would be the Dallas shooting, which resulted in the death of 5 police officers and injury to seven others. This shooting is considered the deadliest single incident for law enforcement since September 11, 2011.

In order to respond to an active shooter situation effectively, you should always be aware of your surroundings. It is important to take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit. If an active shooting occurs while you are in a private office, remain there and lock the door. If you are in a hallway, go into a nearby open room and lock the door. If you are certain there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. If evacuation is impossible, find a place to hide where the shooter is less likely to find you. In the situation where hiding or evacuation are not possible, remain calm and dial 911 to alert police of the location.


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