The number of mass shootings nationally has been steadily increasing in the past years. Many groups have been organizing community trainings on what to do if one takes place.
The West End Improvement Group hosted an active assault community training demonstration to address this issue.
According to the Gun Violence Archive there have already been 93 mass shootings in the united states since the start of the new year, that’s more mass shootings than days in 2023.
The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence using police reports, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people were killed or injured. The number of mass shootings have been steadily rising. From 2014 to 2019, the average was 349 while from 2020 to 2022 alone the average was 649. With rising violence groups have been organizing trainings on what people can do in order to survive.
“You never know where or when something like that is going to happen, The important thing is to educate people on being aware of where they’re at, being aware of exit routes no matter where they’re at. Whether they’re at church, at the mall, a concert, these things can happen anywhere.”
Experts warn that anywhere where there’s a large gathering a mass shooting can occur.
“That’s an issue when you have mass gatherings, you have a lot of people in a concentrated area, for people that have these thoughts, that’s targets of opportunity,”
They also say that mental health plays a big part.
“Most of these people that are involved in these incidents are people that have mental health issues People that shouldn’t have fire arms to begin with and I think to instill into people that if you see warning signs. Our issues are to detect, deter and destroy.”
Community leaders like Rose Howarth from the West End Improvement Group are emphasizing the importance of organizing trainings.
“I think it’s time that we need to start thinking in a different way, As the trainer said tonight, not to be paranoid but to be aware of our surroundings at all times because you’re never sure when you might be involved in that type of situation It does take time for responders to get there and you might be able to save your life or your loved one’s life by remembering some of these tips that were presented tonight.”
The most important thing you can do is always be aware of your surroundings and remember to either run, hide, or fight.
“If you detect an issue, if you believe that somebody is having a mental health issue, that’s something you need to bring to the attention of the authorities,”
If you’d like to organize an assault training in your organization you can contact the Cambria County SERT team or your local police department.