Our Statue of Liberty invites all,
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Ours is a country of immigrants who left their native lands to come to America. Perhaps they wished to join family already here, to escape danger or persecution, or to seek a new life of unrestricted opportunity. We all can point to our past immigrant roots, or maybe we are the first generation planting new seeds in the United States of America.
For me, my great grandfather and grandfather immigrated from Scotland to Southern Illinois to work in the coal mines to make a new life. Once they could afford it, then the remainder of the family came. Although it took some decades, I will never forget my grandfather’s pride when he was able to purchase his own home in the promised land. He passed with a deep sense of gratification, having provided well for his family.
There are as many stories as there are people in this bountiful country. Looking to America from afar, hopeful immigrants may see view land of opportunity as new chapters to write in their books of life. Perhaps they look from afar with rose colored glasses, and see a far better life. Once here, reality sits in. Yes, our country is beautiful and full of opportunity. However, there is also a quick realization that all is not easy and not always safe. Like all living here, we must be aware of the struggles sometimes required and, unfortunately, threats to safety and wellbeing. We learn where to be safe, locations to avoid, and how to keep our families safe as possible from criminal acts.
Less predictable than locations to avoid is the incidence of mass victim attacks. We experience attacks from different types of terrorists, those filled with hate and prejudice, and those suffering from mental health issues. These attackers focus on innocent people of all ages simply gathering in a public place. Because such danger is not predictable, it is important for all living in America to know how to be aware of such threat. They need to know what to look for and, most importantly, what to do when the unthinkable happens if caught in an attack. The threat is there, and all need to know how to protect themselves.
I wrote the book, “Surviving Mass Victim Attacks: What to do when the Unthinkable Happens,” to increase safety awareness when in public, how to report suspicious behavior to prevent mass attacks, and, most importantly, how to survive. There are two sides to the coin in immigrating to America. Enjoy and make use of the many opportunities but, on the flip side, know how to be safe so that those opportunism may be enjoyed for a long and prosperous life.
Since April 27, 2018, America has endured 10 mass victim attacks, killing a total of 66 and injuring 67. This translates into one attack every 21 days! What do you do if caught in the crossfires of a shooting spree or mass victim attack?
The following is a small sample of the types of strategies presented in the book:
* When entering a location make note of any and all exit possibilities (e.g., back doors, kitchen doors, windows that could be opened or broken). Stay close to them or near an exit, if possible.
* If in a crowded location and you hear loud popping sounds, don’t assume that it’s fireworks. Run immediately and stay calm.
* Escape is almost always the preferred option. Get away from an out of control vehicle, a person with guns, knives, or bombs, Hiding should occur as only a temporary means to find the first opportunity to escape. Many fatalities have been discovered in rest rooms with no exits. Fight the attacker only as a last resort.
* Take extra care in public if you are responsible for others (e.g., children, physically or mentally challenged, physically impaired elderly, etc.). Be aware of the exits if in an enclosed public space or routes of escape if in the outdoors
* Do not be distracted – you need all senses to be operational. Do not use earphones or earbuds when walking or jogging. Do not text in intersections or alongside a roadway.
* If walking along roadside, always face oncoming traffic so that danger of a swerving vehicle can be spotted immediately, and escape is more likely to be successful.
* If in such public locations as a hospital, restaurant, bar, or school, make sure that the doors can be locked and be secure and make sure multiple doorstops are available that can be jammed under a door to serve as extra protection. Do not stand directly behind a door. Bullets can penetrate many doors easily. Turn off the lights if you’re in a small area where there’s no escape route.
Dr. Jackson is a behavioral psychologist with 30 years’ experience in artificial intelligence and automated threat assessment, and his rare specialty is blending computer science, artificial intelligence, and behavioral psychology to predict a threat. His decades of experience as an intelligence officer in the CIA, research psychologist within the U.S. Secret Service, inventor, professor, and scientist, make him an ideal person for you to feature in Immigrant Magazine. Dr. Jackson currently focuses his work on his concept of personal security and he has given hundreds of speeches around the country including to the United Nations.
As you can see in the charts below, more mass victim attacks occur within businesses than within schools. Note the incidents in red – businesses. 6 of 10. Last year in 2017 the same pattern was present. This is just a quick analysis and reason why business owners should know what to do in case of a disaster.
|Toronto Vehicle Run-Down||10||15|
|Waffle House Shooting||4||4|
|Sante Fe High School Shooting||10||13|
|Capital Gazette Shooting||5||2|
|Cincinatti Fifth Third Bank Shooting||3||2|
|Aberdeen Rite Aid||3||3|
|Temple of Life Shooting||11||6|
|Borderline Bar & Grill||12||22|
|Chicago Mercy Hospital||3||0|