Tuesday, January 22

2012 in Review by Carl Chinn

Think About It - Carl Chinn
2012 in review

As you may have noticed, I do not try to be the breaking news of deadly force incidents – that just isn’t my calling. It always takes a few days for the real story to work its way out. Since the intention of {www.carlchinn.com} is to provide helpful insight from lessons learned, it is incumbent to get the stories as correct as possible in a fair time frame.

All the 2012 stories are in now, and it was a bad year for violence at faith-based organizations. Here is an overview of 2012;

· There were 135 deadly force incidents discovered (the highest of any year yet). Of those 135 incidents, 39 (28.9%) were an attack which resulted in the death of others (ARDO’s).

· In those 39 ARDO’s, 56 victims lost their lives.

· Of those 56 victims, 40 (71.4%) were Intentional current or former participants (member, past member, employee, guest, volunteer) of the ministry. 16 (such as stories from 12/30, 11/11, 8/16 & 8/7 as examples) were victims of a homicide that took place at the ministry, but had no known victim connection to the ministry.

· 19 aggressors (counting suicides) died in these incidents, bringing the total violent deaths at faith-based organizations in 2012 to 75 – the most I have ever seen in one year – by a long way. This was nearly a 39% increase from the previous most violent year (2009) in which we saw 54 violent deaths at FBO’s.

· As typical with the multi-year study, nearly 90% of the attackers in 2012 were not stopped by others – they stopped when they were ready to stop. There were only 2 stopped in the process by responding active-duty law enforcement (the Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist killer on 10/29/12 in Texas, and the Sikh Temple shooter in Wisconsin on 8/5/12). 3 were stopped by church members (though one of those was an off-duty officer and one was a former officer).

· The most common weapon was a firearm (55.9%), followed by stabbing weapons (17.9%).

· It was once again evident that the exterior of the buildings is most volatile. Again it was 2 to 1 more likely that an incident would happen outside than inside.

· Catholic and Baptist places tied for the most incidents – each had 23 experiences on US soil this year.

Think About it:
  • Though a gun is still the most likely weapon any church will face if there is an attack, there are still a lot of folks (and state laws) who don’t understand the need for armed security. As we all know, the best way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.
  • There was an average of 1.44 people killed in each ARDO. The average killed in attacks that were stopped by congregants in place was 1.33. The average killed by the time responding law enforcement got there was 3.5. This rating is consistent through the years – fewer people die when there is someone ready in the building. Year after year if the shooter isn’t stopped until law enforcement arrives, the death toll is going to be high. Yet there are still many who simply think 911 will suffice in a pinch.
  • Though slightly off-topic, I want to encourage all of you to watch the Saturday Bulgarian assassination attempt. The suddenness of the attack should be a real eye-opener to all protection agents. Gavin de Becker’s book on the subject -- Just Two Seconds – is a very good read on this subject as well.

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