Today’s shooting at the University of Texas library reminds me that, despite the apparent calming nature of our profession, that at no time are we truly safe.
We had a situation at work recently that involved a domestic violence incident that ended in suicide at our building. I can report that at no time during the incident did I worry about my safety. The people in power did a fine job of putting emergency plans in place, and there was no feeling of panic within the building.
It wasn’t until the details of the incident unfolded that I started to realize the “what ifs” of the situation. And how much potential danger we could have been in. That’s when my internal freak out began.
I’ve never worked in an environment where I honestly thought something like this would happen. And working in a library, why would I? But these sort of events make you step back and realize it could happen anywhere.
This is the second incident in the last year that involved co-workers. The first involved someone who was shot and killed while attempting to rob a bank. Again, that incident did not impact me directly, but it really shook me much like the latest one.
There was a time where schools and libraries and homes were safe havens. But it’s not like that any more. And we’d be foolish to naively think they still are.
My thoughts go out to those who were in Austin today dealing with the events in the library. It’s certainly something that will stick with you for life.