Written by Operations Director Gail Stallings

“Tomorrow…hopes we learned something from yesterday”  John Wayne

I saw a meme about fear the other day and it got me thinking, there is a conversation we are not having, and it’s because of fear.  With the dramatic increase in active shooter events, 106 as of June 19, (that’s one about every 38 hours) there are definitely things to be afraid of.  The first thing fear does is point fingers, someone has to be at fault.  We’ve seen no shortage of this, there is no easy solution to this problem, no clear why, even scarier.  

The second phase of fear is denial, this causes us to pretend it “can’t happen to me” and do nothing so we don’t have to acknowledge the fear.  This is the conversation we need to have.  We should not live in a world where this conversation is necessary, but we do.  There is not quick fix for this, so we must learn how to help ourselves and each other survive it, until we do find a cure. 

Well then, what to do? What to do?  Step one: education.  Learn basic first aid, how to apply a tourniquet properly.  Most deaths in active shooter situations are preventable, you just have to stop the bleeding.  Step two: talk to people, all the people.  Your children their schools your place of business.  Is there a plan?  Are there drills?  What? Drills? That would scare the children!!  Fire scares kids and we have fire drills all the time.  Why?  So they know what to do…. Knowledge is one of the single most effective weapons against fear.  There are a multitude of resources available, start talking, keep talking, get involved, take classes.  Yes, it’s scary, but let’s take the lessons learned and do more good with them, for tomorrow.

 Comments by Aaron Jamison

I would like to take this opportunity to speak to this topic of fear and what is happening in our country.  This is my personal views on what Gail's message.  Being in the business of helping people, agencies and businesses prepare for the worst case situations, I still shack my head on how people just don't doing anything about preparing and protecting themselves and their most precious assets with the tools required to have the best possible outcomes..

Everyday, if you can listen to the news, the finger is being pointed at someone else. My perception is that we are looking for the government, wether it is local or federal to do something about Active Shooting Hostile Events and Natural Disaster that we currently are facing everyday. What should the government do?  Take guns away from law abiding citizens? make more laws in order to make it harder for criminals?  which if you look at any of the mass shootings, how many laws are broken? and if the government added more laws and regulations do you think the criminal cares?  Hell no. So we point the finger, we criticize our leaders, and we as citizens don't hold anyone accountable including ourselves. We waste time by having another committee, we talk about what is the next step, but all the while, acts of this nature continue.  Who pays? Our children, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
We sit around waiting for answers, actions, and for someone else to fix the problems. We continue to deny that this will happen in our schools, our churches and our business because we don't live in a big city or some metropolitan center, but guess what? most of these acts happen in every corner of our country.  small towns, large cities and yes even in federal facilities.  So, if we continue  to stick our heads in the sand, the outcome will continue to be the same.

We can continue to wait, we can continue to deny, we can continue to do nothing at all. Things will get better right? I have been around for a while and I have seen, civil unrest, terrorism, plane hijackings and war.  I have seen random acts of violence and people with a complete disregard to human life.  These events that we are encountering now are not new, they are not random, they are planned, logistical backed and  are acted upon resulting in devastation to all victims and their families as well as our communities as a whole.

What we are learning is that the people who commit these acts, pick their target, study and learn, and in some cases escalate the force of violence and terror. This results in people being wounded, killed, and physiologically impacted, as well as  loss of business with monetary impacts that are deviating as well.

I can go on and on about this, but I won't.  I am passionate about these effect on my friends, family and communittee,My company and I do many things for those who ask for our help. I talk to individuals, groups, businesses, public safety and local government, however the interesting thing I encounter everyday is that 99 percent of these folks say they are going to do something to better protect their families, their schools, their house of worship, but don't.  The excuse I come to encounter time and time again is, It won't happen here, the police will take care of this, our mayor is making changes, but the reality of all of this is, it takes time and money which seems to be the common threat.  
Business leaders tell me that security or HR  will handle this, but what is the first thing we cost mitigate? security, education and training for our employees because it is a cost center not a profit center.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear this!  

Now that I have got this out of my system, I challenge all of you that do care about your children, families, business, communities, and this country to act. Educate yourselves, train, get involved, hold your leadership accountable, and most of all prepare and improve your survivability.   If we do this, our country would be a whole lot safer and better equipped to preempt and respond to these acts of violence.

This is why I ask,
Are you Aware and Prepared?



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