After a recent push by Director of Security Timothy Young, a mandatory active shooter training session is on the table for next year’s first-years. The training would demonstrate survival steps, and allow for classroom discussion of how to handle yourself in the scenario of a mass shooting; it would follow a structure similar to Young’s first-year forum led earlier this term. He hopes this program will make into the curriculum of first-year orientation, and has already begun the process of training faculty and staff.
While some might argue that the last thing first-years need is yet another mandatory event or training to attend, as these shootings become increasingly common we should be as prepared as possible. Ideally, we should limit the orientation curriculum in other ways in will irritate students who are struggling to fit one more thing into their busy schedules. One solution is to have these trainings replace one of the five existing first-year forum groups.
With the current political climate, it seems that laws to prevent shootings are unlikely to be passed in the near future. We need to take all the precautionary steps we can. Active shooter training is a good start, and should be implemented as soon as possible.
Other countries have proven that gun control policies work, yet the United States refuses to tighten restrictions. Such laws would in no way prevent Americans from exercising their right to bear arms — it would simply require more steps to purchase weapons, and prevent them from falling in the wrong hands. If you look at any data or visual for homicides by gun in the United States compared to any other country, the disparities are incredible. There is an average of 36 casualties every single day by gun violence in our nation. We cannot possibly sit idly by and not take any steps against it.
This is a national issue, and while there may not be a lot that we as Kalamazoo College students and faculty can do to change national laws, we can take every step possible to best ensure the safety of our community. Mandatory training in case of an active shooter is the least we can do to prevent more deaths by gun violence.