Active Shooter Response – The Findings from a Master Instructor

Why don’t we seem to be making an impact on the number of active shooter incidents that are happening? Are we focused in the wrong areas? Possibly. Is it because there are major breakdowns in our mental health, corrections, and safety programs? Acknowledged. Is it because we don’t have dedicated people and first responders trying to prevent these situations from occurring? No. We do have that. We can all answer these questions fairly quickly and easily, yet it is something deeper and something less easy to admit out loud.

We simply don’t care enough to fix it

How dare this be suggested? There are a number of reasons, but this article will provide you with one reason in particular why this claim holds a great deal of truth. The focus will be the data, not just thoughts or opinions.

Active Shooter Response – An Disinterested Society

For those of you who do not use Google Adwords, or know what it is—stand by for a very quick lesson, which will help you understand the images.

1.  When you type in a search word or phrase in Google and are provided with the results, certain “ads” will show up either to the right of the screen, or on top of actual “organic” (non-sponsored) results. Companies like mine pay to get our ads to show up for those terms or phrases you enter, in the hopes that they catch your attention, and you may click on them and go to our website. Of course, showing up in the “organic” results is the ultimate goal, though we additionally have these Adwords “ads.”

2.  The image shown is a snapshot of the “analytics” or “click data” directly from Google for our actual ad’s that are utilized for our Active Shooter Response Training online marketing campaign.

3.  In the image you are shown the amount of “impressions” by the blue line. This represents the number of times people typed search terms such as “active shooter response training” or similar preventative training terms like “active shooter prevention” or “armed intruder security training.” We have about 50 terms and/or phrases that we use, with ad’s targeted towards the Human Resource, Healthcare, Education, Corporate, and Security industries.

4.  You are also shown the actual “clicks” (orange line) representing the actual number of times people actually clicked on one of our ad’s linking to our website where people could attend our Active Shooter Response courses.

This chart shows that in the month leading up to the day of the Navy Yard Shooting in DC (September 16th, 2013) there were on average about 100-300 impressions (searches in Google in the USA for our 50 or so keyword phrases) and about 20-30 clicks to our site from those searches.

Notice how the searches and clicks skyrocket near 1000 on the day of the shooting and in the few days after. Yet, within a few days (about 2-3 days, to be exact) everything is back to the normal, day-to-day activity which existed before the shooting.

This Demonstrates there is very little serious interest in Active Shooter Response training, minimal focus on methods to keep safe, minimal interest in providing individuals and employees with skills to deter and minimize harm from these types of incidents. Instead, the “It didn’t happen here, so we are ok for now” mentality prevails.

Need another snapshot? Try this one. This image now shows a longer time frame, which includes the November 2012 Newtown, CT incident until the Navy Yard in September 2013, to the present.  Notice the spikes, and how quickly after these incidents, response and interest drops. I believe due to the fact that Sandy Hook involved many children, the interest took a bit longer to fade, as can be seen. Even so, I believe the images speak for themselves.

(*The small sections showing a flat line/no clicks or impressions were due to the account being frozen unintentionally during those periods.  It is safe to assume that there would be a semi-straight line from one side of the gap to the other in those sections)     

Active Shooter Response Training – What We Need

To sum up: I believe we are failing to prevent, deter, and reduce the number of these incidents because we do not care enough to do so. Yet we are engrossed by discussions about Miley Cyrus twerking, Call of Duty release dates, and similar pop-culture “issues.” Only when it is too late do people seem to realize what they have been ignoring, and it takes a very short time for them to once again forget.

We as a society do not want these incidents to happen, and pray they won’t happen to anyone, anywhere. Yet we stop thinking about prevention once the reality is out of the headlines. When companies weigh out the costs to get effective training vs. the odds that it may or may not happen where they work, the decision makers often play the odds. Yes, the chances of an active shooter event happening in your workplace may be small, but the VA Tech and Sandy Hook shootings were so shocking for that very reason; they were the last places people expected would be attacked. No matter your industry or location, our cost-sensitive training options provide real-world solutions to this real-world problem.

We provide Active Shooter Response training for your staff, along with various other crisis intervention and workplace violence training options. We work within budgets to balance your needs and maximize the results.

Contact us today to find out more.