American Lab Safety Training Now Includes Active Shooter Prep

Active Shooter TrainingLast week I went to the lab safety training that is required on an annual basis. I believe I’ve gone to it about a half-dozen times now and I know certain parts by heart.

However this time there was something brand new.

Active shooter training.

I have to admit that caught my attention.

What is active shooter training?

It is supposed to be prepping you for what to do if there is an gunman actively going around one’s workplace shooting and killing people.

Scary, huh?

Unfortunately, here in the US, we have more than our share of shootings, often killing large numbers of people and today’s new shooting in D.C. just reinforces the terrible trend.

As I was watching the training I had to wonder if such training would be completely unnecessary for scientists in other countries where there are a lot fewer guns and shootings.

Active shooter training was a video showing a guy going around blowing people away in the work place and employees, with varying degrees of success, trying to handle it.

There are 3 pieces of advice in the training:

  • hide
  • run
  • fight (as a last resort)

These are pretty self-explanatory, but it is interesting that that last one is in the mix now. If you can’t hide and you can’t run, apparently the next best thing is to attack the attacker.

So I guess these days, at least in America, us scientists need to not only worry about hazardous chemicals, biohazards, and radioisotopes, but also shooters with guns.

I can see how the training might be helpful, but the mere fact that we need it here in the US is very sad and seems like an implicit confession that we are nation deeply troubled by gun violence.

It’s time for a change somehow.