There are some realities that can only be seen through eyes that have been cleansed through tears”

Written by Robert D. Sollars

The above quote was spoken by Pope Francis. While he wasn’t specifically talking about workplace/school violence (WPV/SV) prevention…it fully applies to the outcome of an incident. And such is the outcome of many of these incidents.

The tears that are shed, real or not, show the world whether these incidents are actually true, then the inevitable hand-wringing, soul searching, and the like will begin. Then after the tears have been shed, all that is left is anger and, still, misconceptions about who is responsible for the carnage. But…such is the reality of security and explicitly WPV/SV prevention. If you look at the numerous incidents over the past few years, you’ll notice several similarities in the survivor’s statements given to the media and others.

“We just never knew it could happen to us.”

“How could this happen…here of all places.”

“Why did this happen to us? We’re good people here.”

“Why did they (the school or business) let this happen?”


Whether or not the managers/administrators actually tried to do anything to prevent such a tragedy, trauma whether it be verbal or physical is known only to them and their immediate staff, and with the proliferation of remote workers because of the virus… Yes, they say they did this and they did that. But it is always hidden behind a veil of invisibility & secrecy as if saving lives is a secret from the world, that no one can see through. Their words usually do nothing but confuse everyone involved and obfuscate the actual facts…not the creative or stretched ones.

Usually, that is because the facts show us that they didn’t really prepare or have the individuals in place and in charge of their security program, equipped for such an event, which is unrealistic to believe that anyone other than a security professional could realize everything necessary to prevent such an incident. They don’t have to occur with the accompanying carnage on friends and families.

The main key to preventing these incidents is locked away in a cabinet somewhere…prevention by planning & training. Organizations need to get their heads out of their proverbial asses and learn a couple of things when, and if, that cabinet is ever unlocked;

  • Prevention, with proper instruction and planning, can prevent most, I would say roughly 50% of the firearm-related ones, of these incidents with minimal financial expense compared to technological fixes that may cost thousands of dollars, instead of the cost of a few printed pages…maybe.
  • Stop spending financial resources that can be better spent on security…while not being nearly as expensive. The idea is to not spend financial resources on new equipment that may be the latest & newest on the market, but spend some of those resources on upgrading the security program, including training of…everyone in the facility.
  • Learn the actual security methods needed to prevent them and not knee-jerk reactions that waste money. Public opinion, the media, and nearly everyone will push you to make the most expensive possible, such as training of officers & employees in the warning signs and the extent of WPV.
  • Harden the perimeter before doing anything inside the organization. Would you let a burglar come into your home before trying to stop them with a camera system? Of course, you wouldn’t, you’d lock the doors, light the yard, lock the car, and so on…do the same with the facility.
  • Plug it into your brain that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, and keep in the forefront of your brain, not an afterthought.
  • Choose to act upon the warning signs and not ignore them. Ignoring the warning signs is tantamount to saying “It Can’t Happen Here”.
  • Understand that just one WPV/SV incident can force you into bankruptcy.
  • There is no reason to study the problem for months or years to put a prevention plan in place and design, write, & implement it. Absolutely none. Should take less than 3 – 6 months to study & research before work on the plan gets started.
  • Stop depending on the government to solve the problem…step in and start your own action plan for prevention. Enough people can prevent these incidents…if they are willing to do the work and not whine about the inconvenience.


literally, everyone down the line from Executives & administrators needs to understand and learn those items. They are innumerable resources out there that are low cost and can handle the issue better than any money from the government or investors. Learn what they are or forge ahead on your own.

Need an example? My book, Murder at Work: A Practical Guide for Prevention, can show many of these. The biggest item in it that can prevent violence is teaching everyone involved the warning signs of a potential violence issue from someone who is prepared to perpetrate an act of violence. Teach everyone in the organization the warning signs and let no one dismiss them.

If you learn those warning signs you can prevent nearly 99% of these incidents. The key for the warning signs? Don’t ignore them by making excuses and dismissing them as a bad time in their life.

Yes, everyone goes through difficult times that are hard to get a handle on. Unfortunately, some people handle it by committing violence against someone, anyone, at their organization. Let me ask you this…do you want to see your mother, father, grandparents, children, or anyone else on the evening news because of an incident? Remember the quote from above before saying you have no issues with it…

There are some realities that can only be seen through eyes that have been cleansed through tears.”

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

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

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Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars


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