The active shooter course offered in Ocean Pines demonstrates just how strange our lives have become. It wasn’t that many years ago, after all, that even the suggestion of such a class would have been derided as the product of paranoia at worst, and an overactive imagination at best.
Now, unnerving as it is to admit it, knowing what to do when the shooting starts is not a bad idea. Even scarier is realizing why that is: 11 apparently random shootings (shootouts between police and suspects in criminal cases are another matter) have occurred in the last nine months alone.
They took place in churches, schools, shopping centers, business and government offices and on highways or, in other words, just about anywhere people happen to be.
And the year before, 2018? Eighteen mass shootings occurred in this country, from the Parkland, Florida high school slaughter that February, to the deadly shooting in June at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, to the November attack at a line-dancing event in California that left 12 dead.
In fact, the number of such inexplicably random incidents in each of the past two years approaches the totals for entire decades that preceded them.
Clearly, something has gone terribly wrong, and no one knows why. Neither can people agree on what’s to be done about it. Most people have a theory, but they don’t know how any of these approaches will work out until they’re being shot at by someone they don’t know and didn’t see coming.
A class in Ocean Pines on what to do in an active shooter situation might seem a little crazy at first blush, but then, considering how crazy society seems to have become, no one’s laughing. Sadly, it makes sense.