Shooting Tragedy at UCSB

shooting tragedy at UCSB

The tragic news of another shooting has saddened us. As we learn more about the shooter and circumstances, I find myself reflecting on the many similarities between Elliot Rodger and the warning signs of violence I teach in my training. Elliot is said to have held on to a grievance for a very long time. He experienced a sense of what we call “failure of masculinity” that troubled him deeply. He was jealous and resentful and lacked the coping skills to adequately deal with those difficult emotions. He saw himself as an outcast, having friends but never quite fitting in with the “cool kids” while growing up.

A troubling statement about the shooting tragedy at UCSB

You may have heard the following statement made by Janet Napolitano: “This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.”  I have to disagree. The Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), of which I am a member, issued a statement regarding this unfortunate comment: “As you know, there is a pathway to targeted violence, and while as an Association we don’t claim to be able to predict such events, we believe they are highly preventable when pre-incident indicators are recognized, reported and acted upon. We are not in a position, nor do we have the desire to judge or second-guess the actions related to this incident, but we can certainly work to dispel the misbelief that incidents like these are completely unpreventable. Through continued education and outreach we can hope to influence change, to facilitate action and hopefully reduce the likelihood of future incidents.” I couldn’t agree more.

Knives – the new weapon of choice?

knives - the new weapon of choice?

Suddenly, we are reading and hearing about knife attacks in our schools. While the use of knives to perpetrate violence is not new, this type of violence seems to have jumped onto our radar all at once.

My first thought was, “if there is going to be violence in schools, surely the use of knives can’t inflict the degree of damage that a gun-wielding perpetrator can.”

Or, can it?

I did some research and was stunned to learn that knife wounds to any part of the body can result in rapid loss of consciousness and death. Not only do we need to be concerned about wounds that target the body’s core and internal organs, the reality is that a cut to an arm or leg can sever or injure an artery resulting in grave damage. It would behoove all of us to learn more about how to defend ourselves against this type of injury.