FBI official says we need to look into the mind of the shooter.
Frederick, Md. (KM) – The fatal shooting of 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school last week has many people looking at ways to prevent such incidents in the future. But we also need to look into the minds of the shooters themselves. “Look at their life from the time they were born to the time that they actually commit a heinous act like that. What happened? That’s where we really need to address this problem,” says Jeff Ciser, a Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI.
He notes addressing mental and emotional issues, and getting the help these people need could possibly prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place. “It’s heartbreaking that we’ve gotten to this point where this is the way that people who are dealing with mental health issues, with emotional issues; this is the way that some people choose to deal with their problems,” says Ciser
Ciser is a former high school teacher himself who joined the FBI 18 years ago following the 9/11 attacks.
The FBI has developed a program to help teachers deal with school shootings so they can keep their students and themselves safe. “When we go into these schools, the main objective that we have is to remind teachers how important their jobs is,” he says. “They took this job because they love children.”
Another part of the training is reminding teachers they have options during an active shooter event. Ciser says some of those choices include locking classroom doors, turning out the lights and hiding their students. “If you can get out of there, you’ve got to get out of it. . If there’s a way to get away from the shooter, why would you not get away from that shooter,” he says. “So we want teachers to know they have options. But to give them the confidence to know that what they’re hearing could be a gunshot.”
Ciser says gunshots sound much different inside a school building than on the outside due to the acoustics. He says what may sound like a locker door slamming or books being dropped on the floor could be gunshots.
The program is called Operation Safe Schools, and it’s based on the principles of run, hide or fight.
Ciser says it’s a free program, but it’s not always available. A lot of that is due to when an FBI agent is available to conduct the training.
“If you ever find yourself in that situation, nobody is ever gonna to be able to tell you to do what to do. You have to have confidence to move your feet, to take action, be it to run away, be it to hide, and maybe, God forbid, be it to fight. Those are your options,” he says.
By Kevin McManus