The Feb. 29 editorial, “Target sharp active shooter drill” highlights the importance of effectively implementing a campus active shooter drill to avoid catastrophe when and if an actual shooting incident occurs.
The editorial notes that poor communication during a Feb. 11 drill requires campus leaders to review and correct the drill procedures so that future drills or actual incidents can run more smoothly.
However, the nature of active shooter incidents makes it unlikely that drills or reactions during actual events will ever run “smoothly” or meet whatever standards may represent a “successful” shooter incident, real or rehearsed.
There really is no way to plan or practice what to do when someone is going around campus shooting people.
We can create a general understanding of how to react immediately when we know an event is occurring, such as block the doors and hide. Beyond this, we are probably going to have to rely on instincts and spur of the moment reactions as the event unfolds in real time.
Every shooting incident is different and what determines if you will survive a shooter depends on how you react to that particular incident rather than how well you follow the predetermined steps of a shooter drill.
I think there is a danger in trying to create a response plan that can become too complicated, making people reluctant to try and save themselves during an actual incident because such actions do not follow the procedures of the active shooter drill.