How Did This Happen?

How Did This Happen?

Written by Robert D. Sollars

Every perpetrator of violence forewarned their intent by showing warning signs, which are virtually the same, no matter where the violence occurs (yes, schools, businesses, & other public places), for a long time, sometimes for years. Yet, no one takes them seriously. Instead of acting upon them, they make a conscious decision to ignore them. The results of their IGNORANCE of the signs ended up with people dead, wounded, & psychologically traumatized for days, months, or in some cases years.

So, how do you know when someone is ready to pop their proverbial cork and lash out at someone? The most simplistic answer is the best one… we don’t. However, I can give you the warning signs for someone who is likely to. No matter what anyone will tell you, the signs are virtually the same, except for the actual wording used, for both WPV & SV.

Recognizing the warning signs for these individuals is the best defense you have against something tragic occurring. In my 35 years of researching, writing, & speaking about WPV/SV, I’ve created a list of 25 of them that are the most prevalent;

Attendance Problems


Continual Excuses

Concentration Problems

Cruelty to Animals

Disciplinary issues

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

New & growing fascination with Weapons

Free Expression

Impact on supervisory/instructor time

Inconsistent Work Habits/Decreased Productivity

Mental Illness

New Religious/Political Fervor

Obsession with Military/Police Tactics

Poor Health and Hygiene

Poor Relationship Skills

Safety Concerns

Serious Stress- both at work and home

Threats both open and veiled

Unshakable Depression

Unusual or Changed Behavior

Violent Music, Movies, and Video games


See anyone you know on this list? Just remember this little factoid…2 or 3 of these signs may not be anything to worry about, as one of the excuses I’ve posted about we all have issues”. But when they add up to 5, 6, or more of them…trouble will be on the horizon, not possibly or potentially…it will be ready to come over the rise and swat people. That trouble can be as deadly and dangerous as a tropical typhoon or Missoura tornado.

The solution to the warning signs? Don’t be an idiot and report any of these behavior indicators. Chances are the supervisor/manager will already be tracking them, if they’re worth their salt and title.

Part 2 will appear next week

Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along, with proper attribution,  to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit, from proper attribution. Have them subscribe at my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Copyright 2023 Robert D. Sollars

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