Unfortunately for modern society, active shooter incidents are a phenomenon that will not be going away anytime soon. In fact, they seem to be on the rise, with many attackers researching, studying, and trying to outdo those that came before. A study on active shooter locations (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019) showed that a majority (65%) of the 277 active shooter incidents studied from 2000-2018 occurred in places of commerce and in educational facilities. T his affects all of us in our daily lives, as we all engage in some sort of commerce and many of us have children in our schools systems. Add in a few other aspects of our lives and this issue has the potential to affect us even more. Many in our communities feel that the answer to prevention is a firearms issue, while others feel it is a mental health issue, or it may be due to concerns over violent video games. What is clear is that actions taken not only during an active shooter incident but more importantly before the incident occurs, are critically important in impacting the prevention of and survival during such attacks. Although there is no clear or easy answer to solve this issue, prevention of these incidents is best dealt with at the local level by the community stakeholders, in all of facets of society, working together in order to mitigate the threat.

ideology driven. Motivation may come from a religious ideology or inspiration could come from previous active shooter attacks. Many active shooting attacks can be tied back to Columbine (Langman, 2019). The attacker may have developed a grievance or sense of injustice against a particular person or business. Research shows that in 2018, “In half of the incidents, grievances appeared to be the main motivating factor (National Threat Assess- ment Center, 2019, p. 7).” The grievance may be enhanced by a re- cent stressful event or events that have occurred in the attacker’s life. Be aware of concerning behaviors such as mental health issues, suicidal ideations, concerning interpersonal interactions, making threats, substance abuse, and any increased fascination with firearms or weapons. “Two-fifths of the attackers exhibited a fixation… to the point that it negatively impacted aspects of their lives (National Threat Assessment Center, 2019, p. 8).” Usually, those driven by inspiration want their opinion or story told, so there may be opportunities to intervene prior to the attack. During the period before the attack, the attacker may have created and maintained a diary, log, or manifesto that details their motivation. In many cases the attacker leaks information through verbal communication with family and friends, online postings, and other written communications prior to an imminent attack. Be cognizant of this leakage as there may be unintentional or intentional comments made about feelings and thoughts that relate to a pending violent act. The FBI found that, “On average, each active shooter displayed 4 to 5 concern- ing behaviors over time that were observable to others around the shooter (Silver, 2018, p. 2).” Be vigilant and report any such concerns to a family member, teacher, counselor, and especially to law enforcement. If you are on the fence about doing so, don’t be. It might just be a call for help and you have found yourself in a position to do so. You may find that not only have you saved your loved one’s life but also the lives of many others.

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Note. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019) Reprinted with permission

Note. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019) Reprinted with permission

One of the goals of law enforcement is to try to prevent such incidents and to do so, we need to better understand what drives an attacker to attempt or to complete such a heinous act as a mass attack. If an attack is directed by a foreign entity, or a ter- rorist or other group, it is most likely more of a covert operation that requires significant planning, coordination, and control for success and that can make it more difficult to prevent. Involve- ment from the intelligence and counter-terrorism community will most likely be required to detect and hopefully intervene. However, there may still be a chance for citizens to intervene if behavioral changes and suspicious activity are recognized and reported to law enforcement. If the attack is inspired, it is more

A review of FBI data shows that in a Study of 277 Active Shooter Incidents in the US Between 2000-2018 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019), the problem is actually increasing in intensity over time. As such, society needs to be more in tune to preventative measures. There have been numerous studies com- pleted in recent years studying the motivation of mass attackers and active shooters and what has become clear is that there is no one profile that can be used to identify an attacker. However, many offenders who engage in targeted violence may display certain behaviors during pre-attack planning and these may

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