Discussing violence in public places on the Diane Rehm Show

I was thrilled to be invited to the Diane Rehm Show (WAMU) this week to participate in a special program on preventing violent acts in public places, which also featured Dr. Lisa Gold, of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Bruce Shapiro of Columbia University’s Center for Journalism & Trauma, who was a victim himself of a stabbing in New Haven, Conn.

With recent events in Overland Park, Kansas, the school stabbings in Pennsylvania, the second active shooter at Fort Hood, and the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon, it was a good time to revisit the discussion.

Here’s a link if you’d like to listen in: http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio-player?nid=19198.

Some think that we need to focus on more gun controls, place increased emphasis on violence prevention and improve our mental health outreach to stop these incidents before they occur. However, while these are all great long-term goals, it’s unlikely they will happen anytime soon. And even if they did, it would take years to change a society with our frontier background.

I spoke about needing more security controls, and I think that just making a few minor and affordable changes would make a big difference and certainly save lives and limbs.  

Reasonable, risk-based security programs and the resulting controls actually prevent violent incidents, especially things such as having an adequate security staff, strong access controls, and panic alarms throughout an organization. 

These controls would all have made a big difference in many of the tragic events that have occurred over the last five years.

We in the security community need to constantly push for more controls, better controls, and controls that are based on an integrated security risk assessment because these controls prevent violent incidents and save lives.