Warning Signs of Violence: Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Fascination with Weapons – especially if it is new, Free Expression, & Impact on supervisory/instructor time
Written by Robert D. Sollars
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Never a definitive sign of a potentially violent individual, but this abuse can be a sign of someone who will go off and begin threatening, assaulting, or otherwise menacing others. The individual who abuses these substances may not even comprehend or know what they are actually doing, which can be even worse.
Unfortunately, left alone like that, there is no one to stop the wild stupid thoughts or actions that run through a person’s mind and cause them to do something completely and totally stupid.
Illegal drugs are another matter altogether. Driving their car naked, taking off their clothes and walking thru a discount store, being naked and jumping on cars and running barefoot on 120-degree asphalt, possibly just smashing windows in a strip mall parking lot…because they didn’t like looking at themselves.
- Fascination with Weapons – especially if it is new
It may not be anything but then again… Many people develop a fascination with bladed weapons or firearms later on in life. Some turn to hunting as a way to relax and get into nature. Others view firearms as a way to blow off steam at a firing range.
But if this fascination becomes a bit overpowering to the people closest to them and they begin to get scared… But being scared must be tempered with common sense as well. Just because someone is scared of firearms or bladed weapons, doesn’t mean that the other individual is going to kill them…can we say overreacting?
- Free Expression
Yes, free expression must be considered in these warning signs, as much as it may violate your sensibilities of the Constitution. There are many forms of free expression in today’s modern digital world. If you have someone dancing around a 20-ton press, an anodizing pool, climbing on the railing with skateboards, or drawing pictures of violent content …
Writing poems, short stories, a novel, or things like this can be troubling to some people, usually only the ones that report it and are scared of it. But please keep in mind that some people do these things to relax because of stress of some kind. what would have happened to Stephen King, Boris Vallejo, Dean Koontz, and many, many others who did their creative works in today’s world instead of 60 or 70 years ago?
- Impact on supervisory/instructor time
This is more pronounced in adults than it is in teenagers. And it will accumulate over a period of time, possibly months. Rarely does someone take so much time it’s noticeable over a few days or weeks.
However, when you have an individual that begins to take more time than others, it may be worrisome. This is when one individual begins to have issues and the superior needs to spend an ever-increasing amount of time counseling, coaching, reprimanding, or just talking to them. And as I said the amount of time will be accumulative.
One week they may spend 10 minutes a shift with that person. The next week it’ll be 15, then 20. After a while, you may be looking at the fact that one individual is so monopolizing a supervisor’s time, that they don’t have the appropriate amount of time to give to others.
The discussions could be on a range of problems. Attendance issues, not properly shutting down a 50-ton press, reckless driving with a forklift, running willy nilly through the halls and running into others, or just plain discourteous behavior to others.
There are also students who regularly use an inordinate amount of instructor time while in class. This can also be alarming, especially if they’ve suddenly begun doing this and not completing their work on time. There is a myriad of distractions for both students & employees in today’s world, so the supervisor/instructor MUST do what they can to hone in on the issue…quickly.
You can check out my books and discover a whole lot more: Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention or Murder at Work: A Practical Guide for Prevention
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