Charlotte NC November 10 2018
When an active shooter incident goes down, more than likely, that business will have some form of security already in place.
If that happens to be a security officer, more times than not, that person will neither be armed nor trained in current Active Shooter response protocols and procedures, and will almost certainly become an immediate victim of that active shooter.
Sadly, we know this because of the onslaught of shooting incidents involving shooters with the mindset of slaughtering anyone and everyone within their means and sight.
Five unarmed security officers have been killed during these incidents just in the past two years, with the latest being Justin Meek, 23, who was working at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, as an unarmed security officer.
As he stood at the front door, a gunman suddenly appeared and shot and killed him immediately then began shooting dozens of other patrons and responding law enforcement at around 11:30 p.m.
Sergeant Ron Helus, a twenty-nine-year veteran in the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office was shot soon afterward and was mortally wounded when he responded to the incident just minutes after 911 calls began flooding in, authorities said.
Local media reports also indicated that a second unarmed security officer was among the dozens of others who were shot and injured during the barrage of gunfire.
During the mass shooting on the night of Sunday October 1 2017, at a country music festival in Las Vegas, an unarmed security officer there was also shot to death as he helped others escape.
While trying to escape the gunfire of Stephen Paddock’s rifles, fifty- eight people lost their lives and another eight hundred and fifty-one others were injured that night.
The placement of unarmed and untrained security officers in entertainment venues, schools, churches and government facilities is a recipe for disaster at best and an invitation to those looking for the right opportunity to unleash pure hell and death upon the unsuspecting who thought that they would be safe and secure at these businesses.
Early this year, on February 14, 2018, another gunman opened fire, this time at a school that had numerous unarmed security officers who conducted external patrols on golf carts and made foot patrols of the expansive campus.
A county deputy, acting as a school resource, was also on hand at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when a former student entered the campus grounds undetected and opened fire, killing seventeen students and staff members including a heroic security officer who sacrificed himself while getting others to safety. Seventeen others were also shot but recovered from their injuries.
Would the tables have been turned if those security officers had been armed? Would they have been able to stop the threat before so many were killed?
Honestly, we can Monday morning quarterback every which way but the fact is, we’ll never know and it’s too late to second guess what might have been.
They say that we’re suppose to learn from history, but frankly the only lesson that we’ve learned about active shooters in the past two years is that these incidents are increasing, randomly, violently and without warning.
The Pulse nightclub in Orlando Florida was yet another tragic event in the history of America. Another business who had marketed their fun, food and dance facility as the place to be but evil came in with the crowds and hundreds who were only there to relax and have a good time would soon become quick victims on that fateful night of June 12, 2016.
The shooter, an armed certified security guard himself, was unfazed by the fact that the club employed a staff of unarmed security bouncers who he knew would pose no threat to him as he fired wildly throughout the club, killing 49 people including one security officer and wounded 53 others in this terrorist attack where he held the upper hand for hours.
Had the security staff been better trained or armed or had they all been armed police officers, would it have made a difference? Here again, there’s no way to know for sure but we do know that having the right tools for any job, makes that job easier, safer and prevents bad things from occurring.
President Trump, has himself, spoken about unprotected businesses and stated that having armed security at schools and churches and business might have changed the outcome of some recent shootings.
Sixty-one school districts have added additional security measures including armed and trained security professionals since the beginning of the year.
Private security providers and business owners need to get on the same page and become more serious about the protection of life.
Liability will always be part of the equation when you put guns in the mix but properly trained, managed and well-prepared frontline protectors will save lives and make the difference.