Could SCC be doing more to prepare for a mass shooting?
No matter how prepared we are, a shooting could still happen, so what are we doing for prevention?
Mass shootings are often linked to domestic violence (or DV) incidents, and those incidents have happened to the SCC community.
One such incident occurred in 2002 when Lori White, a SCC student, was shot to death outside her apartment while breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. A neighbor was also shot while trying to help.
According to nonprofit gun violence organization Everytown for Gun Safety, 54 percent of mass shootings have been linked to domestic violence. Have you seen those posters in the bathroom asking if you’re in an abusive relationship? Getting help in an abusive situation could save not just your life, but many others.
SCC has also put a lot of effort into reducing domestic violence. The Women’s Center has a number of resources to help students avoid or get out of dangerous relationships.
In 2007, the SCC Parent Child Center was put on lockdown when an employee received a death threat. In response, SCC beefed up the security at the Parent Child Center, protecting and keeping the victim employed, instead of making the situation into her problem to deal with on her own. This response ensured that the victim remained safe and that future threats would be contained as well.
The 2007 lockdown took place the week before the Virginia Tech Shooting, and SCC was abuzz with talk about what to do in case of a shooting here. In the wake of the shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, has anything changed? In the 10 years since, several deadlier shootings have occurred, and SCC’s Emergency Response Plan now includes an Active Shooter Plan, detailing the official response. For more information, check the list below.
In event of a shooting here, SCC has plans in place to minimize the danger and keep as many students safe as possible. Any member of our community being affected by this violence is too many, however. By the time the school is able to react, it may simply be too late. This dissonance of being as prepared as possible, yet still not being able to stop gun violence is disturbing.
So what would happen? In 2013 the campus was placed on lockdown in response to an armed robbery off campus. This situation luckily wasn’t life-threatening, but did test SCC’s emergency response systems. The emergency alert was sent to staff and students, but it appears a template was sent without details filled in. In an emergency more details than “Nature of emergency. Location of emergency. Specific Instructions and actions required of recipients” would be useful. At least this gave an opportunity for lessons to be learned, and pertinent information should be included in case of an actual emergency.
Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but we need to be ready just in case.
What to do in case of a shooting:
• Report a suspicious or dangerous situation immediately!
• If safe, stay where you are and lock the doors.
• Hide, run or play dead.
• Stay calm.
• Don’t stay and fight.
• Call 911, or 9-911 from a campus phone, as soon as you are safe and able.
• Don’t use a weapon to shoot back.
• Follow security and police instructions.
• Note: It’s against campus rules to carry a gun. But mainly, the SWAT Team will think you’re the bad guy! Very seriously, this is a bad idea.
By FORREST BAUM, Staff Writer