Senseless. That's the only way to describe a jubilant event that ends in mass-killing. As a nation, we have just survived our most deadly mass-shooting and the third-deadliest terror attack against our country (behind 9-11 and Oklahoma City). We all mourn, we hurt, we grieve. As we should. But to only grieve leaves us as vulnerable as we were before the jihad in Orlando.
I say we turn the events in Orlando into a call for action!
Arming ourselves with pitchforks and amassing in the town square might have worked two hundred years ago, but today that action should manifest in the form of education... educating ourselves, our families, our workplaces and our communities how to identify, report and ultimately survive a terrorist act on our soil. Because as the FBI has told us just this week, this will not be the last attack that Americans are subject to.
I seldom advocate or endorse individual training programs, but this one is free and it has the potential to save lives. The training course I am referring to is called Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events. It is also known by the acronym CRASE.
CRASE is a product of Texas State University, a component of their Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response program (www.ALERRT.org). It's a program dedicated to training public safety officials across America how to better prepare themselves, and, through the CRASE class, teaches the public how to better protect and defend during an active shooter situation.
What I really like about this training program is that it's offered as a community service, and an instructor will take advantage of any time you can give to share this information. You can get a group together over your lunch break for 30 minutes, your community group can meet for an hour, or you may choose a four-hour training course. Any option is viable in this nationwide effort to help prepare our citizens.
The CRASE program is based upon three actions: Avoid, Deny, Defend.
- Avoid the area where an incident is taking place.
- Deny the perpetrator access to your area and prepare to defend yourself.
- Defend yourself if you are ultimately confronted with violence.
If you're wondering about the validity of a program such as this, let me ask you something. Do you have a fire alarm in your home? Do you support fire drills in our schools? Of course you do. It's not because you ever plan on your home or your kids' school burning down, but because you want to be prepared. 49 Americans, just out to have a good time, deserved a fighting chance as well. They will never have the opportunity you do.
Now that I have your interest, contact your local law enforcement agency and ask how you can enroll in a Civilian Response for Active Shooter Event (CRASE) class. There is no cost for this training, only a commitment of time and interest on your part to attend.
And if you find that no one has the information you need, get hold of me. I'm a CRASE instructor myself.