The idea of Marion County law enforcement agencies conducting a training exercise to take out an “active shooter” in one of our schools would have been an unimaginable scenario 20 years ago. Maybe even 10 years ago.
The 1999 massacre at Columbine High in Colorado—the most notable of a sad series of in-school shootings—changed our way of seeing the world. Then, the shooting of Amish school children in Pennsylvania last October taught us that the danger to the most innocent of kids comes from beyond as well as within school walls.
It only takes one unbalanced person to spread terror. Only one.
Even as courageous officers train to save us from the unimaginable, each of us must grow more proficient at recognizing and breaking down the simmering hostilities within alienated classmates, coworkers and neighbors that drive them to a catastrophic breaking point. The best intervention is the one that never reaches the headlines. —DR