Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thinking about risks

Several months ago the UW gave our group a talk on what to do with an active shooter. The IT and management team had gone over this as part of a ContinuityOfOperationsPlan exercise earlier. Escape, Hide, Fight. If there's just one that sort of works, but several of us thought over tactics and risk later. The degree of risk depended on who was the gunner(s).
  • A student? Somebody failing in life and blames it on the teachers? Lots of people can escape, though the prof he goes after may not.
  • Politically motivated? There are law offices on the top floors that work with Republicans, and most of the unhinged attackers have been leftists, so that's not impossible. They're hard to get at, though, and the easiest ways to attack are indiscriminate--firebombs, fire alarm and shoot people coming out of the stairways--that sort of thing.
  • Attack on police office? There's a new Federal office above us. I've no idea what their security is like, but I'd guess the easy ways mentioned above would be the methods of choice.
  • Terrorists looking for big name targets? Yeah, we qualify--sort of. Known around the world, soft target--two guys could kill a few dozen people quickly and encourage a reputation for their group's ruthlessness. Recon wouldn't be too hard, though strangers would stand out. We have a little sign forbidding guns and knives, of course. We're not on 5'th, and we figured a couple of ways to escape.

But all in all, an attack doesn't seem very likely. Terrorists will attack somebody, but I can think of a half a dozen more dramatic targets without scratching my head.

I wonder if the kind of student protests we're seen this past week are cathartic for the unhinged, or inspire them to attack? Attacks are rare enough that I don't think we'll get good statistics on the question. Fortunately.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

An interesting thing to consider, that a good target for one type of violent protester would be a bad target for another.