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Can we predict an “active Shooter?”
By Arthur Cohen

What we know about mass murderers

Mass murder is rarely an impulsive crime.  It is usually carefully planned out.  During the planning stage, there are sometimes clues to what is being planned.  Observant people were able to identify these people and prevented another serious event.  If more of the public were trained to see some of the early warning signs, more violent events might be prevented.
Mental illness is one factor that all shooters shared.
The killers demonstrate elements of planning, gathering of weapons and supplies, training and self-discipline.
The specific behaviors that they engage in before the attacks provide a window of opportunity to those trained in what to look for.

Shooters: what they think
Another factor is suicidal tendencies.  Most active shooters plan to die and don’t want to be arrested.
There is little preparation in confronting police. Few even fire on the police. 
There are two possibilities for their demise.
Commit suicide by their own hand
Suicide by cop where they force police to shoot them.

Shooters: what they do
They plan, train and make preparations.  This is not an impulsive act.
Firearms training is one of the most significant “Red Flags” to pay attention to.
Stockpiling ammunition, weapons and other military equipment.
In most of the active shooter scenarios, the shooter had multiple weapons and lots of ammo.  In many cases, some type of long gun was present.
Ammunition has a shelf life of decades.  Individuals could collect and stockpile over a period time.  While stockpiling alone can not indicate a threat, if it is identified then looking at the other threat assessment factors i.e. mental health, recent behavior, video game obsession might be clues to potential threat.
In a number of cases, the shooters used or planned to use equipment to secure doors in an effort to slow down police response or distract police.
At least a half dozen of the spree shooting was preceded by the murder of family members.
Making history and suicide are their goals. 

Shooters: What they don’t do

Not one single active shooter wore a ballistic vest during his attack.  The end goal of an active shooter is to die / commit suicide.None of the mass killers ever brought materials or made an attempt to fortify a position from which to engage police.  While some brought chains or cables, it was strictly to slow down police so they could prolong the carnage

Miami Herald 

Bullies in the workplace: Miami Dolphins incident an example of a common phenomenon


Priscilla Dames


Often people think of bullying as only being the domain of children and their school yard teasing.

But, when it became common knowledge that Miami Dolphins’ lineman Richie Incognito had harassed his teammate, offensive tackle, John Martin, to the point of causing Martin to quit for the season, an often overlooked phenomena - bullying in the workplace - was brought to light.  

Martin’s decision to leave the team (at least for this season) should not have been a surprise to many people. Workplace conflict has been shown to lower rates of employee productivity, increase absenteeism, cause loss of public confidence, and increase health complaints.  Or as in the severe harassment cases such as Martin’s, workplace bullying also leads to high employee turnover rates.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an NFL player, a teacher or a dishwasher, no one should have to give up their livelihood because of bullying.

The failure to recognize the harms of bullying can be due to many reasons including what questions about what behaviors should be considered harassment, the roles of the people involved in these behaviors and even the cultural environment of the business or organization itself. It was only a year ago celebrities and the public in general realized that bullying at its worse can and do lead to bullycide, suicide caused by bullying.

Defining a problem - what is bullying?

The textbook definition of bullying is the repeated mistreatment of an employee by a person or group of people with malicious intent, humiliation, intimidation and sabotage of person.

How bullying translates into real life is often in the form of insults, criticism of ability, yelling, stealing credit, inconsistent application of rules, sabotaging work, discounting of accomplishments and exclusion.  

On paper, these forms of bullying seem easy to point out.  In reality, it is entirely possible that co-workers and even supervisors may not believe that these behaviors are forms of harassment.

According to retired NFL player, John St. Clair, who has played for several professional football teams including the Miami Dolphins, “There is a big difference between hazing and bullying.  Hazing is a rite of passage that all rookies have to endure.  On the contrary, bullying happens to kids in high school and is unheard of in the NFL until now.”

Moreover, “you have to be a grown man to play and make an impact in the NFL. Consequently, there are times when you have to let other players know if they crossed the line in anyway, either

verbally or physically.  That’s just the nature of the game of football.” St. Clair said. He adds,   

“This is a rare; a unique situation.  I met Incognito once and he seemed to be a very nice guy.  However, the racist text message that he sent to the Martin kid is completely unacceptable.  He seemed very comfortable saying these things, which indicate that he’d been allowed to use these words before.”

 Bystanders and even the harassers themselves can perceive the situation differently from those who are the targets of bullying.

 Relational bullying is one of the most popular forms of bullying. This is where friends and relatives think that the victim and the bully are the best of friends but the victim is feeling just the opposite. The victim seems to smile and go along because he doesn’t know what to-he’s lost control.   

Gender expectations play a role in harassment.  Sexism can lead to bullying. Society expects men to behave in a certain way to prove that he is a man.

In the end, providing a safe work environment is everyone’s responsibility.  

Every job situation, every organization and every school must deal with it.  We have got to stop sweeping bullying under the carpet as if it’s ok.

The locker room, the school yard or the work place: The Miami Dolphins incident reveals that bullies are everywhere.

Priscilla Dames is the founder and president of Wingspan Seminars, LLC, a firm which provides training for the prevention and intervention of conflict and crises.  Ms. Dames is also a member of the national and state crisis teams and certified trainer of Kingian Nonviolence. Additional information can be found