Coping with the recent Mass Killings without LIVING in FEAR

14 Nov Coping with the recent Mass Killings without LIVING in FEAR

 Embracing “The New Normal.”

Coping with the recent Mass Killings without LIVING in FEAR.

According to the U. S. Mass Shooting Tracker, the total mass shooting incidents in the U.S. for just this year alone (2017) are up to 378. This includes the most recent tragedy at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

This type of news is becoming commonplace. Random people are being targeted for no apparent reason.  These types of acts have occurred in the work place, airplanes, elementary schools, universities, restaurants, night clubs; and movie theatres, — but the church? I mean really, when you consider what the “church” represents, clearly evil has no boundaries including the church shooting in Charleston, SC which, according to ABC News (Jan. 10, 2017),  was a Hate Crime.

Is it no longer safe to walk down the streets in the city? How about taking your family out for dinner? What options do you have for date nights, girl’s trips, field trips, vacations, attending school or going to your place of employment? If it happened to them, surely it might happen to any of us.  Each media report conveys tragedies closer and closer to our homes. How do we proceed with our regular lives and daily routines?

The answer is: we must purposely implement a new thinking process and embrace it as our “new normal.”   The following are 10 ways you can get back to maintaining your daily routine:

  1. DO NOT ALLOW FEAR or the “what ifs” prevent us from living the life that we have worked hard to enjoy. Living in Fear is equivalent to losing your power. The power we have to make the best decisions for ourselves and our loved ones is priceless. Plus, fear can develop in to paranoia and result in paralysis. When this happens, we will become a prisoner in our minds.
  2. Focus on the Positive things that occur around us every day opposed to the Negative things. The truth is, we are more likely to encounter positive situations than negative situations. Consider, adding to the positives by offering good acts and kind words towards
  3. Be aware of your environments. Upon arrival in any place, immediately, locate exits in the event you need to make a quick escape. This includes windows on main or second levels if required.
  4. Quickly identify places you can hide or barricade yourself if escaping is not an option.
  5. Take notice of “people or situations that just appear out of the norm.”
  6. Report anyone or anything that seems out of the norm or suspicious. Be sure to alert others in your group to do the same.
  7. Talk to a close friend or therapist about your fears and concerns. Do not allow your thoughts and fears overwhelm you or isolate yourself by no longer attending school, work or other functions.
  8. Consider taking a self-defense martial arts class.
  9. Consider going to the shooting range for proper lessons and safety instructions and requirements to use a gun.
  10. Be supportive of others that may express their fear and anxieties due to the recent tragedies. Share this article with them.

In conclusion, acknowledge these tragedies that have occurred in common places to common people. We must purposely increase our awareness of our surroundings including people who strike us as out of the norm. Look at their clothing – for example – is someone entering a store with a trench coat in the middle of July? When you enter a new location, take a moment to observe the sights and sounds of where you are standing. Are they appropriate for the location? For example, a bowling alley has loud crashes and groups screaming and cheering which is loud but not out of the norm, while those same sounds wouldn’t be appropriate coming from a quieter location like a library.

Take some precaution with simple plans in the event of an emergency. But more importantly, think positive and expect the good out of one another.

FEAR is Contagious, remember to remain positive with and around others. If we try to embrace these suggestions as our “new normal,” we may better cope with the evil that seeks to destroy what is pure and good.

     Living in FEAR, is NOT an option!


Sharon P. Johnson, MSW, LCSWA, LCASA

CEO & Psychotherapist

Top Priority Care Services, LLC.




References:  (How to Survive a School or Workplace Shooting.)

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