When deciding which conferences to attend, we look at the cost of the conference and how many attendees it typically has. We also consider what is included with the booth such as electricity and wifi. Additionally, we evaluate who the attendees are so that we can ensure the conference will be attended by those relevant to our industry. Transcript: "How do you determine which conferences to attend? And what criteria do you use to decide if they are worth the investment? Great question. There are so many different conferences that we could attend. It could probably be one a week if not more and we need to look at several factors. One is of course, what is the cost of the conference? And compared with that, how many attendees do they typically have? Of course, if you're going to be paying more for a conference, you have to look at, hopefully you'll have more attendees there. But then also you need to look at what you get with that booth. There are some conferences where you may pay $1000 for a booth and that's all you get is a display space, other conferences, electricity is included. Wifi is included. There may be opportunities to get up and speak to the attendees or opportunities to sponsor a break or other events at the conference. So all of those are taken into account when we go through and figure out which is the best for us to attend. And then of course, who are the actual attendees? Is it our specific users, would it be crime scene, texts or forensic personnel or detectives or investigators or is this a conference where it is more addressing the decision makers, the chiefs, the sheriffs, et cetera. So all of those are the different criteria that we look at in making a determination as to which conferences that we want to attend?"
We need to focus on the root cause of school shootings and gun violence, which is often a mental health crisis in individuals. We also need to make sure that juveniles don't have unrestricted access to firearms, and that those deemed to be a threat through proper legal proceedings are prevented from gaining access to guns. Transcript: "Josh, this is a great question when it comes to talking about gun violence and especially how it relates to school shootings and active shooter events in the United States. I think that oftentimes it's real easy for us to blame a tangible object like the gun when we really need to be focused on the root cause, which is the individuals that are doing these attacks. We know that either documented or undocumented, that they have a history of mental health or behavioral issues. Oftentimes this is going to be tied around inability or negative coping mechanisms to deal with life stressors and negative events that are occurring in their life. And so I think we need to be focused on being able to increase resources to provide mental health, to being able to do threat detection and behavioral analysis to try and do early intervention and get these individuals help so that this never becomes an issue. Now does that not mean that there also isn't an issue with these individuals having unrestricted access to firearms? No, that's not the case at all. We do have that problem and we do need to focus on that. We do need to make sure that these juveniles don't have unrestricted access to firearms, that firearms are stored safely where they can't get access to them. We do need to make sure that if we have an individual that has been deemed to be a threat through a proper legal proceeding involving mental health, that we are preventing that individual from being able to gain access to tools that can be utilized to commit these deadly events. So there is a certain case to be made for being able to also tackle the gun violence as it relates to that, but I still think the underlying root cause is going to be that mental health crisis within the individual that leads to this."
I don't think it needs to be a balancing act between active shooter prevention and other criminal justice needs. The same resources used for active shooter prevention can also be used to detect and prevent gang violence, violent extremism, and other criminal activity. Transcript: "So the question is, how do we balance the need of active shooter prevention and the resources that go into that with a lot of the other needs in criminal justice? I actually don't think that it's necessarily a balancing act. I think that when the resources and the efforts that we use to try and combat active shooters, you can use those in other areas as well. When it comes to threat detection and behavior monitoring and behavioral assessments, those same resources are also being used to detect gang violence, to be able to detect violent extremism, a whole variety of other things. There's a lot of other criminal activity that you can prevent and detect using that same methodology. So I don't necessarily think that it's so much a balancing act as it is just dedicating resources to crime prevention in the right and the most effective areas."
In an active shooter event, you should try to get behind cover if you are a distance away, and fight back with whatever resources you have available if you are in close proximity. It is important to understand that this is a fight for your life and you must do whatever it takes to stay safe and alive. Transcript: "So this is a really good question. What do you do if you're involved in an active shooter event and you're unable to either escape or run away or lock yourself in a room or barricade or try and prevent the shooter from getting access to you? This is going to involve understanding and being able to analyze your environment and your scenario. If you are in kind of an extended distance away from the shooter, maybe it's in an open retail establishment, you're on the other side of the store, something like that, you want to get out of open space where you don't want the shooter to be able to shoot at you. So you want to get behind some sort of cover, some sort of hard object that's going to stop those bullets. If you're in close proximity, maybe a shooter walks into the room where you're at, you're right up on him when he starts shooting, you need to fight back. You need to use whatever resources, whatever tools you have available to try and take control of that situation from that bad guy. This is a lot easier said than done. A lot of people out there, they'll talk about, this is the good guy with a gun. It's not that simple. You need to have the right mentality. You need to have the right conviction. You need to fundamentally, you need to understand that this is a fight for your life and you need to do whatever it takes to do what is necessary to keep yourself safe and alive when that happens."
There are many common misconceptions about active shooter events, such as that rifles or assault rifles are the preferred weapon, that they only occur in gun-free zones, or that gun laws prevent active shooter events. In reality, handguns are most commonly used by active shooters, they can occur anywhere, and gun laws have no effect on active shooter events. Transcript: "So the question is, are there any common misconceptions about active shooter events that we want to address? Definitely. There are so many misconceptions and falsehoods out there as it relates to active shooters. We could literally do an entire series just on this one topic alone. But I'm just going to address just a couple of them real fast. So one of the biggest ones being that rifles or assault rifles are the preferred weapon by active shooters. That is false. Handguns are actually the most common weapon that's used because we're able to sneak them into a location concealed. Another misconception is that these events only occur in gun-free zones or that shooters primarily target locations because they're a gun-free zone. Again, that is also false. Now that has happened. Obviously we have had events in gun-free zones. However, in the majority of times, the shooter is going to choose a location based upon some sort of personal connection. Maybe it's their office or their workplace or school or something like that. So the majority of the time, the location being a gun-free zone is actually completely irrelevant to the target selection. They're going to choose something that's more personal in nature. Another big falsehood that's out there is that gun laws prevent active shooter events. Again, we've seen this to be false. We've seen active shooters use every weapon system imaginable, knives, vehicles, explosives. You take your pick. The weapon that's used is just purely the tool that's being utilized. So again, these are just some of the many misconceptions that are out there as it relates to active shooter events."
We need to encourage people to report suspicious online behavior and train law enforcement on how to investigate and analyze online activity. This will help us detect threats and identify possible active shooters before they commit gun violence. Transcript: "All right, so the question is, how can we improve our threat detection and behavioral analysis in order to help identify individuals that are being active shooters or committing gun violence? Again, this is a complicated question, but I think one of the easiest and initial things that we need to do is we need to be encouraging people and getting people to report behavior, especially behavior that they see online. This is where we know that most active shooters will commit what we call leakage, and that's releasing details or threats as part of their plan. And so when somebody sees that kind of posting online, they need to know to immediately take that seriously. We need people to take screenshots of it and then immediately contact law enforcement. Law enforcement needs to be trained in what to do with that information, on how to get in and look at online search histories, how to look at online activity in order to be able to see if this is an isolated threat or part of a larger trend. That's probably one of the biggest impact areas we're going to have as far as being able to detect threats, is being able to identify it online and then having the investigation techniques and skills necessary to be able to see what an individual is posting and searching about in these online forums."