Sergeant Bowman fires a blank round from a prop gun to demonstrate to the audience the noise level and characteristics of gunfire.
Paul Wellman

At a recent seminar on what to do in case of a shooting on campus, UCSB police and psychologist Turi Honegger offered startling information from various studies, including statistics showing that the number of personality disorders in young people is on the rise.

Sgt. Matt Bowman of the UCSB Police Department and Dr. Honegger said during their Tuesday, July 14 presentation to an audience of students, staff, and concerned parents that a major obstacle to preventing acts of violence on campus is that students these days don’t want to report the strange behaviors of a peer, because they don’t want to be shunned as “snitches.” In any case, according to the speakers, keeping a concerned eye on classmates can help only so much. “If I were to paint you some sort of profile,” Dr. Honegger said, “I would be creating a false sense of security.”

One commonality the presenters did identify was that most attackers have no history of mental evaluation or treatment, and they emphasized that these services could have helped dissuade people who became attackers from acting out violently. The seminar also featured tips on how to survive when trapped in a shooting scenario, including how to potentially disarm the attacker. The speakers gave much information on how to escape a potentially deadly situation, but the main focus of the presentation was to let people know that counseling services are provided for students who feel that they are in need of help, and that these services can prevent disillusioned students from turning violent.


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