March 10, SAMSON, Ala. -- A gunman kills 10 people and commits suicide in a rampage across southern Alabama.
March 22, OAKLAND, Calif. -- A man pulled over in a traffic stop fatally shoots two officers and then kills two more in a gunfight in which the suspect was also killed.
March 29, SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A man shoots and kills his two children and three other relatives, then kills himself at a family party.
April 4, PITTSBURGH -- A gunman opens fire on officers responding to a domestic disturbance call, killing three of them.
April 4, GRAHAM, Wash. -- A man fatally shoots his five children in their mobile home and then takes his own life.
April 7: PRICEVILLE, Ala. -- Two women and two children were shot to death in a home.
This list shows it’s been a deadly past few weeks in the United States. Nine multiple fatal shootings have left 59 people dead.
Maybe it’s the tough economic times putting pressure on people or just coincidence, but what seems to be very clear is that communities need to be on a heightened state of alert.
Law enforcement needs to be extra vigilant. Communities need to make as many counseling and job retaining programs available as budgets permit. School officials need to review their emergency plans. Families and friends of troubled people can’t be shy in reporting suspicious behavior by their loved ones.
And let’s take full advantage of the camera, access control and mass communications systems many cities have installed. It’s time to use every tool and tactic available to us.
We’ll likely never know the motives that led to each of these shootings. But we can’t allow ourselves to become afraid of sending or kids to school, going to a family party or attending church. Tough times require law enforcement, public safety, security and mental health professionals, religious leaders and ordinary citizens to come together to help us all survive.
-- Patrick Fiel, ADT Public Safety Advisor