It is astonishing to see that we have arrived at a point in this country where an innocent group of people can no longer worship in church together, attend a country music festival, or simply have softball practice, without fear of some crazed gunman opening fire. I frequently refer to the world today as “dangerously developing” for this very reason.
What we know about the shooting...
The facts surrounding the horrific attack at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs are relatively clear at this point. A lone gunman, armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle and a handgun, casually parked his vehicle across the street and began walking towards the church building firing his rifle into the building. Upon entering the building, he continued his indiscriminate rampage by executing any person he could get his sights on, to include an 18 month old child. The killing continued as he met no armed resistance from within the building and sought maximum carnage. It was the heroic act of a neighbor to the church that cut the carnage short after that neighbor retrieved his own rifle and engaged the suspect causing the suspect to flee in is vehicle. That Good Samaritan as well as another passerby gave chase and pursued the suspect vehicle until the gunman lost control and crashed. The gunman was eventually pronounced dead at the scene of the crash from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Waiting for first responders is no longer enough...
The death toll at the church stands at 26 people ranging in age from 18 months old to 77 years old. Twenty-three people died inside the church, two outside the church and one at the hospital. Why is this important? Because it illustrates my point that an enormous amount of death and destruction can and does occur long before first responders arrive. In this incident, the two heroic citizens that chased down the gunman had to direct law enforcement to their location where the suspect vehicle crashed only minutes after the shooting first began.
Let me be clear, I am not knocking our law enforcement and first responders. They are amazing people that risk their lives for every one of us every single day. However, they cannot be everywhere they are needed instantaneously, although, I know that every cop in America wishes he or she were in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday morning. The days of relying on law enforcement to get there to stop an incident are over. The average police response time to an active shooter is three minutes. In a critical incident, that will be the most important three minutes of your life.
Lets send a message...
At the end of the day, we need to accept this very simple fact: There are mentally deranged individuals among us who will continue to prey on targets that they perceive as weak. Every citizen of this country needs to begin to take a serious look at personal safety. It is passed time for each and every one of us to seek ways to make our businesses, our churches, our schools, and our homes a more difficult target for those seeking to victimize and inflict harm. Whether you decide to hire a professional to evaluate your facility and train your personnel or simply become more vigilante about your security protocols, send a message. Send a message that says there are no victims here. I am a firm believer in the fact that there is no such thing as a fair fight; in my mind, the only fair fight is the one that I win, every time.
Our mindset has got to change... now.
If you want to learn more about strengthening the security presence at your church or business, go to defendsystems.com or give us a call at 615-236-6484. We are passionate about helping organizations achieve real security in this dangerously developing world.