Prevent, prepare for active shooters

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Do you realize that single unarmed civilians just like you and me have accounted for the prevention of half of the potential mass murders in our country? Research has determined that aggressive action by even a single individual is the most effective countermeasure in stopping an active shooter. As these incidents increase across the United States, all of us can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations.

As we all know, these unfortunate events are not limited to school shootings. All locations are vulnerable: banks, churches, hospitals, sports events, public meetings, shopping centers, daycares, etc.

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In the Miss-Lou we are so fortunate to have emergency response and law enforcement personnel who care and who prepare themselves educationally and physically to protect us. But…we can help by continuing to educate ourselves about all the critical incidents and situations that could occur in our daily lives. Come take advantage of the guidance and awareness that can help us prepare and respond to any potential active shooter situation.

Education is our best prevention! On Thursday, there will be two seminars in our area on “Active Shooters — What You Can Do.”

The first one will be at 10 a.m. at the Steckler Building at Natchez High School. At 2 that afternoon, the same seminar will be repeated in Ferriday at Central Louisiana Technical Community College in the Multipurpose Room in Building B. John Elfer, with the Warren County Emergency Management Team, will present both sessions. It is not necessary to register.

This seminar is being brought to our communities through the partnership of Alcorn State University, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez-Adams School District, the City of Natchez, the Adams County Board of Supervisors, Concordia Parish School District, Central Louisiana Technical Community College and the Miss-Lou Regionalism Subcommittee on Education and Workforce.

In really could happen here!


Dr. Ruth Nichols is the assistant to the vice president for educational and community partnerships at Alcorn State University.