Every single day around the world people go to work to both make a living and a difference. For the writers, editors, and support staff at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018 was no different. There was a life spent informing the public by reporting the news. But, when Jarrod Warren Ramos barricaded the Gazette’s back doors then shot out the glass doors leading into the newsroom, five hard-working people lost their lives. Instead of writing the news that day, they became it.
Depending on who you ask, workplace violence comes as a shock or as a sobering reminder that despite your surroundings bad things can and do happen. In the tragedy in Maryland, the shooter’s long-held grievance against the way the Gazette portrayed him in a 2011 criminal harassment complaint compounded with his failed defamation lawsuit against them in 2012 led him to make written threats against the paper, which he ultimately escalated with violence.
Fortunately, law enforcement’s rapid response and arrival on-scene made a critical difference in Annapolis – but as history has shown us, this is not always the case, and being personally prepared and possibly armed inside a building during such an event can have a positive impact on the outcome.
A Sad, All-Too Common Occurrence
Despite the perceived level of safety we feel in most situations, even the most benign environment can change in an instant. Most of us opt for careers based not on their relative safety but on our skills and interests. When President Trump issued his statement regarding the tragic workplace shooting at the Capital Gazette, he reminded everyone, businessmen and security personnel alike, that, “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.” And therein lies the problem. We “should” not have to work in fear of an attack, yet, there is no guarantee that we won’t be confronted by one.
For most of us, the last place we’d expect to fall victim to violence is the workplace. Being in a professional environment has, in many ways, lulled us all into a false sense of security. How prevalent is the threat? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, “there were 500 workplace homicides in the United States,” the highest number since 2010. What’s worse is the number of fatalities incurred by men in the workplace, which is a staggering 82%.
The Victims Aren’t Who You’d Expect
Historically, there’s no set statistic that shows who becomes a victim in a shooting situation. Oftentimes, the shooter has a connection with either a person or the company that he or she targets, but upon entering the facility, the victims are generally those within the shooter’s immediate range. If you don’t have security personnel at the ready, then a shooter is likely to injure more people in the direct area where no response is anticipated.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled data that shows certain occupations are at greater risk. For example, in 2016, 79% of all workplace homicides were gun-related, and “first-line supervisors” (aka managers) as well as police and sheriff’s patrol officers neared the top of the list.
Carrying On-Body Is A Great Line of Defense
As safe as your workplace may seem, the unexpected often occurs, which makes the need for personal safety a priority at all times. Laws for carrying in the workplace vary greatly, and your employer’s company policies must be followed to avoid penalty, but if policies permit you to have your weapon accessible and on-body during work hours, you’ll be better prepared and able to draw it in a timely manner with precision. Unlike a briefcase, where you’ll lose precious time trying to locate your weapon, on-body carry enables you to respond instantaneously when a crisis occurs.
How to Improve Your Chances While Protecting Yourself and Others
If you’ve been authorized to carry a concealed weapon in your state, then you know the difference carrying on-body can make. Clothing choices, however, may hinder your comfort and make printing a problem. Cacharme’s Concealed Carry Blazers are designed to address both needs. The blazer’s lining acts as a tactical vest, and the custom inserts cradle your firearm of choice. Unlike a briefcase or backpack, these blazers are designed to make precision access effortless, making it safer to draw your weapon in a crisis. You can even unbutton your jacket while keeping your weapon completely concealed.
You Must Prepare for What You Can’t Prevent
Just like having an earthquake preparedness kit or emergency rations in your vehicle, you should and must prepare for the unknown in any given location. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been more than 30,000 incidents in 2018 – and the year is barely half over. Events like the tragic Maryland shooting show no sign of ceasing, and when the unexpected occurs, having the ability to potentially intervene and protect yourself and others is more than wishful thinking. Safe, comfortable concealment offers peace of mind as well as protection and the ability to potentially reduce a tragedy.