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"Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis" | Reviewed by Bill Schwab

“Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis” presents insights into the troublesome issue of guns and gun violence. Katherine Schweit challenges readers to consider what they can do to end the active shooter crisis in the United States. As a former head of the FBI's active shooter program, she provides an insider's view into what investigators have learned about protecting businesses, houses of worship, and schools.

In a single volume, she has delivered evidence-based research and up-to-date information about shooting prevention programs and shooting aftermaths. Schweit begins with methods to prevent shootings and ways to identify potential shooters such as spotting their psychological cues to aggressive behavior.

Readers are provided procedures for assessing building security vulnerabilities and weaknesses in policies, programs, and people. The former FBI special agent gives practical advice for training every age on how to run, hide, and fight. Examples of how to build emergency operations plans are included as well as how school districts can secure government funds to implement their active shooter emergency plans and to provide aid to survivors, victims’ families, and first responders.

The author’s advice is primarily gathered from survivors and responders of the shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Aurora theater, and elsewhere. The common theme is that mass shootings can happen anywhere, therefore the more people understand what is happening, the more likely the killing can be minimized or prevented, or stopped.

The author accepts that stopping the killing is a multifaceted issue that must be addressed from many perspectives. She stresses the importance of leadership, the mass media, and the Internet. Sensationalism, extremist reactions, and reporting inaccurate information only make a crisis worse.

Schweit provides a wealth of statistics. For example, two-thirds of the firearms used in 118 shootings that killed four or more people over the past 28 years were handguns. This book also is a guide to finding additional resources including information about what agencies are available to assist all involved in the crisis. The vocabulary the author uses is easy to understand, which makes the information available to all readers. To her credit, Schweit takes the politics out of the discussion of how to save lives during an active shooter event. This 303-page book is indexed and has five charts, and a table of contents.

About the Author: Katherine Schweit is an author, attorney, former Chicago prosecutor, and career Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent. She is the executive producer for the award-winning film, The Coming Storm, widely used in security and law enforcement training. The film earned her a second US Attorney General Award. Schweit earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and a law degree at DePaul University, wrote for daily newspapers in Michigan and Chicago, and joined the Cook County prosecutor’s office as an assistant state’s attorney. Locally she is an adjunct faculty member of Webster University.

Schweit will make a presentation and sign books at the Washington Public Library on Thursday, November 16th at 6:30 P.M. All are welcome.

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