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DUFAULT: Companies need to promote better security, active shooter training

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Gun safety has arguably been the most prevalent issue in America the past few months. It seems as if a tragedy happens every few weeks, renewing this issue over and over again.

This time, there was a crisis at YouTube headquarters, where a woman attempted to gain access to the campus and allegedly shoot her boyfriend. Excluding the shooter, who shot herself, there were no deaths but four injuries.

There were several problems with how this situation occurred. First, YouTube’s work campus may be too open, which is a problem that YouTube is now addressing. The shooter allegedly got easy access to the YouTube headquarters campus because of its open design.

This highlights a distinct issue with American workplaces. It exemplifies how companies need to better promote employee safety. By doing this, they can both prevent active shooter situations and emphasize what to do when one happens.

It’s unbelievable that YouTube, a company that has been the subject of much controversy over the past few years, did not have better security at their workplace. It’s a shame that it took such a frightening situation to make the video-sharing site realize that it’s time to up its security.

Open campuses are an issue that needs to be addressed. While having a community friendly looking workplace is certainly attractive and makes the company look better and more open, they also need to consider the safety of their employees.

Key cards and fences should be standard for most American workplaces. Yes, they are ugly, but when there has been a string of violence at places with large compositions of people, security measures are necessary to prevent potential disasters.

But there is another aspect of this issue that YouTube and Google have not addressed: active shooter training. Active shooter training needs to be emphasized more in both the workplaces and universities.

Active shooter situations are something that a gun ban or heavier restrictions cannot completely solve, as people will always find a way to obtain weapons. But keeping employees informed about how to handle active shooters can, and will, save lives.

There are some companies that have taken the initiative to emphasize active shooter training, and this is a precedent that needs to be taken into heavy consideration by all American workplaces.

When somebody gets a job, sometimes the hiring party will require the new employee to get CPR certification. When I got hired at my first job, I had to go to a three-hour session that taught me CPR.

Companies should establish a similar precedent for active shooter training. It is important for employees to know how to handle situations like what occurred at the YouTube headquarters, and understand the resources that are available in case anything happens at their workplace.

Additionally, active shooter training should coincide with evacuation plans involving fires and severe weather. Something that YouTube did get right was their evacuation plan during the situation. There should be a law that requires companies to have an evacuation plan for active shooter situations.

But the physical parts of active shooter training are not the only important aspect. The emotional and psychological are equally important. When seeing someone with a gun, a human’s natural reaction would likely be to panic and attempt to get away. This triggers mass hysteria within the workplace and can make the situation potentially more dangerous if people are panicking with no sense of what to do.

By promoting active shooter training, companies can ensure that employees have an idea of how to handle the situation at hand. While there will always be some panic, promoting these safety guidelines will better ensure that people are more prepared to handle situations if they arise.

One of the biggest misconceptions about active shooter situations is that they happen rarely. A rationale that some companies and people have is that these occurrences do not happen enough to warrant attention. However, this is not the mindset that anyone should have, and it shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore preparedness.

The fact is, these situations do happen, and they occur when people least expect it. It’s more beneficial to be prepared then take chances.

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