Mass casualty incidents, such as the Aurora tragedy, logically cause us to wonder what could have been done, and then what should we do. I guess Steven Covey's recent passing got me thinking of this event within the context of two of his key principles, the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.
The Circle of Concern encompasses a wide range of issues we may fret over, such as our money, our children, our work, or threats of violence similar to the Aurora incident. The Circle of Influence includes the concerns that we can actually do something about, or issues we have some control over.
Covey argued that we increase our Circle of Influence to cover our Circle of Concern by focusing on issues we can control (see image below). We have to actively work on what we can do, instead of sitting around and worrying. The key is to be proactive.
As we consider the Aurora tragedy, let's remember the victims, the families, the first responders, and everyone else touched by this incident. Let's also recognize that there are things we all can do to address our fears and concerns.
As law enforcement professionals, we will continue to work with businesses to improve public safety. We will gather intelligence on potential threats and train to respond effectively to all incidents.
You can help us expand our influence by raising your level of awareness. I promote the "see something, say something" philosophy. Simply call us if you see something that just doesn't seem right.
A word to my colleagues in law enforcement. Consider your off-duty carry habits. Think about how you would respond to active shooter scenarios, in all circumstances.
I see no value in the debates over missed warning signs, violent cultures or inadequate laws. The threats are real, but we can manage our concerns by being aware and involved. Let's be proactive. Stay safe.