Letter Re: How to Survive Workplace Violence

Dear Hugh,

I would like to thank SM for useful comments that we should all think about in this day and age. I’ve actually been putting more thought into the subject of “workplace violence”, including the dreaded “active shooter” scenario, because my employer has recently implemented mandatory training for dealing with this event as well as a drill or two. Though the risk of such a tragedy remains low, it would seem that my employer feels that the risk is significant enough to justify the expense of such training. Though they would seem gravely concerned about our well-being, it is interesting to note that, by policy and by law, they have taken away the one tool that may serve to save lives in the event that a crazed, gun-wielding psychopath ever decides to make headlines at my workplace. Yes, I work in a “gun free zone”– the same bastion of liberal idiocy in which virtually every mass shooting in America (probably in the world) has taken place.

I’m quite sure that legal counsel has advised leadership to train us in order to reduce liability should a disaster occur. Or, perhaps it is merely an attempt at political correctness; after all, training and drilling for such events is the popular thing to do among big businesses. They even go so far as to encourage “fighting the shooter with whatever you have” in the event that escape and hiding fail. Great! I get to fight a semi-auto with a pencil! I wonder if an “active shooter” decided to execute me and/or 20 or so of my colleagues if the business would not incur some liability for depriving me of the only tool that might save us, a tool which some agent of the state will eventually use to stop the carnage, a tool which I am trained to use and licensed to carry virtually anywhere else other than my workplace?

I don’t have to convince this readership of the logic (or lack thereof) behind this dilemma, so I won’t waste time doing so. Suffice it to say that I, for one, hope the next time a ruthless assault occurs in a “gun free zone” (and there will be a next time) the family of at least one victim retains a high-profile lawyer and sues the pants off the employer, with much fanfare, for having a duty, breaching that duty, and actually aiding and abetting the perpetrator! Though tragic, it would be a welcome relief to the traditional chorus of liberals using the tragedy to advance their confiscatory goals. Yes, I’m a bit hot on this one! – SH in TX