GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- 14 people killed Wednesday afternoon in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, 14 others injured. This shooting is not the first one this year in the United States, and unfortunately something we see far too often.
Some incidents that happened in 2015 are the television journalist gunned down on the job in Virginia, a Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado a week ago, rival motorcycle gangs that killed 9 people in a restaurant Waco, Texas, a white supremacist gunman killed nine black church goers in Charleston Church, or a gunman in Oregon who busted into a community college killing 9.
The shooting in San Bernardino is a lot different than the other tragedies listed above according to experts. The other shootings this year usually involved disgruntled employees or individuals, lone shooters, who were prepared to die. Wednesday, there were multiple shooters and their attack seemed to be carefully planned. They made a quick and structured escaped from the scene according to authorities.
A former secret service agent, Jason Russell, tells Fox 17’s Cassandra Arsenault that the reality is these incidents are becoming more and more of a regular occurrence, and preparation is key.
“For whatever reason these shooting are definitely more prevalent, I don’t know whether it’s more coverage or whether they are actually more prevalent, but we certainly seem to be hearing about them every day. We have to face that reality. We have to prepared,” said Russell.
Jason Russell, a former secret service agent and owner of Secure Education Consultants, said this type of violence is not going away, and it’s something people need to be ready for at any time.
“If I said stop, drop, you would say roll, because we learned stop drop and roll as kids and that’s how we respond to a fire. We have to start preparing for these more violent incidents in much the same ways so we cannot bury our head in the sand and think it will never happen here.”
From journalists being gunned down, to a Planned Parenthood facility in Calorado, a restaurant by a motorcycle gang in Waco, Texas, a church in Charleston, or a community college in Oregon, Russell said after incidents like those there’s a spike in people asking for his services, but then afterwards he sees a rapid decline because people forget.
“Any place that a mass shooting has ever happened, the day before people never expected it. We have to begin to prepare, and training is the lowest common denominator. We have to start training people.”
The shooting in California is different. There were three shooters, so Russell explains how people can prepare for something like that.
“We train our clients how to respond not only to respond to the active shooting, but the active incident so the steps to take to keep themselves and the people in their building safe.”
Aside from preparation for coming face to face with a mass murderer, he said a shooting like the one in San Bernardino was meticulously planned, and they urge their clients to stay vigilant.
“ Anytime there is planning there is the opportunity for prevention which means generally people are doing surveillance on their targets they are visiting these locations ahead of time, so you know, people need to pay attention to suspicious activity and report it because these incidents can be prevented.”