Fatal Shooting at MSU – Most Colleges Still Woefully Unprepared; International Study Provides Simple Inexpensive Precautions, But Largely Not Followed
Fatal Shooting At Michigan State University
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 14, 2023) – Last night’s fatal shooting at Michigan State University [MSU] – with several additional victims reportedly in critical condition – reminds us all that campus shootings are now all too foreseeable, and that colleges and universities must take all reasonable precautions in advance to reduce the risk of death and serious injuries to students and faculty.
Although there is a recent international study of such shootings, and of the simple steps colleges and universities can and should take to be prepared, too many institutions of higher education - apparently including MSU - have failed to take them.
For example, although the study, like many others, had as a key recommendation that all classrooms be capable of being securely locked from the inside (so that professors do not have to step outside into the hall).
It's not clear that MSU students taking night classes, and then ordered to shelter in place inside the classroom, could do so safely - or even that all classrooms had locks so that students would not have to utilize makeshift barricades.
Because it's so important for law enforcement officials to be able to look into classrooms from the outside (with night vision or infrared viewers), the study recommended that classroom numbers be posted in windows to avoid confusion, especially at night. But video from MSU did not show that any of the classrooms were clearly marked.
Uvalde dramatized the importance of students hiding or otherwise afraid to be overheard being able to send silent text messages to school authorities. Yet it appears that MSU had no such arrangement - although it would cost little, and was one of the reports' major recommendations.
Wounds made by AR-15s and similar weapons frequently used in school shootings leave unusually large gaping wounds from which victims frequently bleed to death in minutes before outside help can arrive.
That's why many schools have mounted "Stop The Bleed" kits on walls, usually just below AED kids (for heart attacks), so that students can quickly help stop a shooting victim from literally bleeding to death. The University of Maryland has some 250 such kits, but it appears that MSU may have none.
The study, published as How Can Universities Tackle The Threat Of Active Shooters?, makes these and about a dozen other simple, inexpensive, effective, yet inexpensive recommendations to reduce the risk of death, disability, or other serious injuries from an active shooter on campus, yet many if not most universities have refused to follow them and are woefully unprepared.
The professor suggests that administrators and faculty at colleges and universities see this most recent mass shooting as a warning and as a wake up call to take reasonable steps to avoid a clearly foreseeable event. Failure to do so, he warns, can result in unnecessary injuries and deaths, as well as massive legal liability.