Indiana Daily Student

EDITORIAL: "Fight back" option in mass shootings increases paranoia


In light of the increasing threat of mass-public shootings, the nation is seeing a sort of renaissance of post-9/11 fear.

Towns across the nation are reaching out for new tactics to protect their citizens from gun violence.

In Douglasville, Georgia, police officers are teaching citizens to with fight back with their own weapons to survive during a mass shooting.

Individuals have long undergone trainings for active shooter events at their schools or workplaces that call on them to run, hide or fight when they are in such emergencies.

However, the classes taking place in Douglasville and in other towns in the U.S., suggest a higher value placed on the fight option, which can cause serious problems with paranoia and hostility among residents.

The people of Douglasville have apparently accepted the idea of using aggression when they feel they are in danger of being in an active-shooter situation.

In fact, some of them even glorify the idea of being able to fight back against the “bad guys” as if they were heroes in an action movie.

One Douglasville resident said he was glad that they were spreading the message to potential terrorists that, “Americans are people who fight.”But that’s just the 
problem with this plan.

By endorsing the idea that we are a “people who fight,” we are fostering an environment of paranoia and hostility among our people. Just because we can fight doesn’t mean that we always have to. This is the important distinction that the fight back 
mentality loses.

Classes like the one in Douglasville employ scare tactics that may sway people into purchasing dangerous weapons, even if they have little experience with them, just to protect themselves from the possibility of a shooter 
entering their lives.

More gun purchases, especially by those ignorant about guns, to protect ourselves is not an answer to our gun violence issue.

And it is not necessarily proven either.

There hasn’t been enough evidence to show a militant population increases safety or cuts down on instances of active shooters.

According to a study at Texas A&M, “Stand Your Ground” laws that allow civilians to attack potential killers out of self-defense have led to an increase in homicides in the states with the policy.

If these classes teach everyone to look for threats everywhere they go, then pretty soon they will actually see threats everywhere they go, whether or not threats are really there.

If the “fight back” type of education is present in schools with young children, we would create an entire generation plagued with paranoia and aggression. We would grow up to make this country a tense, violent place to live.

We’re neither killing machines nor fight-or-die animals. We’re not action movie protagonists who can beat up all the bad guys.

Instead of teaching classes about how to protect yourself from killers using brute force, we need to focus on mitigating the gun violence problem by limiting gun access and accentuating a “see something, say something” type of citizenship.

The violent fantasies make us forget what we should 
really do.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 Indiana Daily Student