As part of inservice now days, alas, teachers have to learn about “active shooters” and what to do. Do you lock the doors, turn out the lights, and hide? Do you get everyone out of the building as fast as you can? Do you try to fight the bad guy? Yes?
So we had ours, and afterwards, I got to wondering a little. Because I was nodding along, running through scenarios, considering defense strategies based on X part of the building or Y class room or Z activity. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t shocked, or horrified. Listening to the librarian in Columbine H.S. talking to the 9-1-1 operator was sad, especially once you know what happened later in the library, but it didn’t surprise me. Does that make me strange?
Or, more correctly, does that make me stranger than average in this situation?
I’ve been gaming, hiding, and watching my back for… well, since I became the target-of-choice in junior high. Let’s call it “a while.” I tend to assume that someone is out to get me and then go from there. Once or twice, they were, either me personally or just me the warm body who happened to be in their path. That sort of experience tends to make one maintain situational awareness.
I also have the quirk of assuming the worst possible thing might happen. And then planning what to do. Terrorist attack while I’m in Germany. Fire in the mall. Nut in the school. Nut during worship. Fire in the restaurant. Tornado hitting while I’m at the library (almost did. I ended up organizing the other students to get into the basement because security had to sweep the building and get everyone moved. But I’d planned and had supplies. I was ready.) This is bad because sometimes my brain won’t quit with the “what ifs” and ties itself in knots. On the gripping hand, when the fertilizer hits the impeller, I’ve already gamed out possibilities and actions, so the time between “Oh Sh-t!” and “Out the door, now. Yes, you.” is a lot shorter.
So while I was saddened by the fact that we have to do this kind of thing, it wasn’t a shock, and having to think about emergencies isn’t a shock. I’ve done a lot of it already.
I’m not certain if that’s great, or depressing.