Local & Regional News
12:19 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Session To Train Arkansans To Respond To Mass Shootings

Ed Monk, co-owner of Last Resort Firearms Training, speaks to a group Tuesday night. Photo: Maggie Carroll

The owner of a central Arkansas gun range is hoping to educate people on how to respond if they find themselves in a mass shooting.

Retired Army Lt. Colonel and former high school teacher Ed Monk hosted the free presentation.

Speaking to a small group of concerned citizens, including those who own guns and those who don't, he spoke about people needing to prepare themselves in the event of a shooting in a place like a school or church.

"Can we predict it? Nope. Some we can, if they're stupid and sloppy enough, but not usually. So if they're going to happen, all we can do is respond and react and that's what our plan has to be."

Among those coming out to learn more was Sheridan School District Superintendent, Brenda Haynes. She was hoping to get some specific tips that she could bring back and share with her staff.

"Something maybe that we don't think of that might cause us to catapult into a stronger program," Haynes said. "We want the best for our kids. That's the number one thing, keeping them safe."

Monk discussed trends in past shootings, as well as ways ordinary civilians can best handle an "active shooter" until law enforcement arrives.

He says the three most common places an attack will take place are schools, churches, and malls, which are often open, gun free zones.

The presentation included a description of a typical suspect, trends and statistics that can help the public better understand an active shooter situation.

Monk told the group it's important that people react quickly if such an unthinkable attack occurred around them.

He said he plans to hold more educational events like this, in hopes that if such a tragedy occurs here, people can handle it in the most efficient way possible.

Meanwhile an Arkansas state senator is drafting legislation that she says would help schools better prepare for the possibility of violence.

Republican Missing Irvin of Mountain Home wants to require schools to hold drills, in much the same way tornado drills are held, demonstrating how they would react to an act of violence.

It would also include training for faculty and find ways to improve communications between school officials and law enforcement.