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On The Radar

On The Radar

Threat Awareness to the Forefront

We have all been made aware of things that are inherently dangerous to us. Usually, the threat is vague and innocuous so we pay it little attention. It is easier and more beneficial to our hectic lifestyles to ignore threats to our safety than to take action against them. I mean, if we reacted aggressively to every threat to our safety we would be no better than Henny Penny (aka Chicken Little) running about screaming that the sky is falling.

There are some issues that burst to the forefront and demand our attention. One example is the spike in Heroin-related deaths that sadly became an epidemic. Our communities were besieged with reports of drug-induced deaths throughout all walks of life. The response was a quick flooding of the market with naloxone (aka NARCAN) to reverse the effects of opioid related overdoses. Additionally, physicians became more closely monitored to restrict the frequency and quantity of narcotics being prescribed to treat pain. Clearly, we identified the target on the radar and took swift action to address it. Now, the overdose reversal drug has become commonplace in both its’ existence and use in modern day society.

Other, equally dangerous threats exist

So then, what other target has been identified on the radar that has been responsible for claiming human lives at a rate unseen in previous years? Active Shooter incidents have continued to increase in frequency within the United States with very deadly consequences.

A Wall Street Journal essay by Ari Schulman claimed, “It isn’t your imagination: Mass shootings are getting deadlier and more frequent. A recent FBI report on “active shooters” from 2000 to 2015 found that the number of incidents more than doubled from the first to the second half of the period. Four of the five deadliest shootings in American history happened in the past five years, and 2017 already far exceeds any previous year for the number of casualties.” 1 In years 2014, 2015, and 2016 America averaged 20 Active Shooter incidents annually. In 2017, the country was witness to a staggering 30 Active Shooter incidents. 2 This reality is solidified by the FBI which reports that there were 221 people killed and 722 wounded in Active Shooter incidents between 2016 and 2017. 3 The enemy is clearly at the gate and we are doing little to mitigate the impending casualties.

How can combat active shooters?

There are a multitude of options available to protect populated areas such as schools, businesses, and government offices against active shooter threats. Identifying the threat is perhaps the most logical first step, much like seeing the enemy on the radar screen. Once the threat is perceived, we can evaluate it and decide the appropriate action to take. Denying access to a vulnerable population such as a classroom full of students or an office of staff members is essential to defeating the goal of the Active Shooter who is intent on piling up a large body count before being stopped by law enforcement. Creating systems to delay the shooter allows time for police response and decreases the opportunity for casualties. Door barricade devices such as Bolo Stick allow users to prevent room entry in a single step without risking their safety. There is no need to exit the classroom or office to engage the device, just insert a single steel pin to keep the door securely closed. Bolo Stick is affordable, easy to install, and code-compliant in most states. Perhaps most importantly, access to room occupants is safely and quickly denied.

So, the threat of an Active Shooter is clearly on the radar screen within the United States. The reality of the lethal consequences is known and the frequency of occurrences is increasing. Sometimes, there are no second chances. What you do or don’t do will be the difference between life and death.

Be aware, proactive, and safe.

Bill Barna

President, Bolo Stick LLC

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