Buford Allison, a professor of criminology in Boston has data that goes back to the seventies. During that time mass killings have remained constant at about 20 a year. Mass murders have occurred at the work place, in schools, an Olympic park, shopping malls, office parks, court houses and theaters. The murderers range from school boys, angry day traders, ministers to respected members of the community. Nobody knows when someone will go beserk.
We hear of mass killings constantly on TV and in the newspapers. The shooter in Colorado who barged into the theater aiming his guns at everyone in the vicinity, the white supremest shooting in the church in Wyoming, the Mark Barton killings in the Security Building in Atlanta where he killed 9 people and wounded 13. Is there anything that could stop this madness? Probably not. We can’t have security everywhere, and it seems not anywhere
Brian Nichols was on trial in the court house with security all around him, when he grabbed a deputy and wrested the gun away from her. He killed four people including the judge. We are sitting ducks anytime a crazy person decides to open fire. Some law enforcement agencies are trying different preventive approaches. Buford Allison, professor of criminology in Boston says,”What’s not predictable is who will do it and where. Some gun control might be advisable but they wont prevent mass murders. If someone wants to kill a lot of people, they will find a way.”
In recent years law enforcement have studied ways to become more responsive to these situations. Police are increasing training and have emergency communications systems used in incidents and there is more involvement with the higher command. The Columbine school shooting in 1999 was a large factor in changing how agencies react to violent actions. Before, SWAT teams assembled at the site and waited until officers arrived before going in. Since that time, they don’t wait to react.
Some law enforcement officers think a visible presence of police might put the publics mind at ease but wouldn’t prevent mass murders. Before 9/11, Police kept bomb squads out of sight and heavy control weapons hidden during large events to keep from alarming people, now they bring them out to show they are ready for any event.
Some employers have human resources to watch employees who are going to be fired for any alarms that might go off. If there are any signs of a problem, a police officer will be on hand for the firing. It’s one preventive step although the employee can come back with a gun if he chooses. The media doesn’t help with it’s insistent harping, some mentally challenged people seek publicity and they think this is the way to get it.
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