A deranged teenager kills 19 kids and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. A gunman kills 10 at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket. A Highland Park, Ill., shooter kills seven at a Fourth of July parade.

Yes, the headlines keep coming regarding mass shootings. And, even though we all hope and pray something like this does not happen in Enid, Garfield County or Northwest Oklahoma, these incidents are impacting our local area.

For the first time, organizers of the Summer Chautauqua week-long event hired security. Other public venues are being more aware of the need to have security personnel around and visible. Don’t be surprised if you see more armed security at public events in the future.

Just recently, a man was arrested for brandishing a firearm at a local restaurant. And, Enid’s own Fourth of July celebration was marred by some bizarre behavior by a man that caused some brief panic.

It’s unsettling. And, more and more people are coming to terms that these events are happening so regularly, it is certainly possible that such a tragedy could happen here. Autry Technology Center continues to offer active-shooter training.

And, as we learn more and more about the incompetence of the law enforcement response in Uvalde, hopefully law enforcement agencies all across the nation are taking note and learning from those tragic mistakes.

Here in Enid, we are fortunate that our police department — along with other area law enforcement agencies — have access to the EPD’s state-of-the-art active-shooter simulator training facility. This high-tech simulator has received local and national press coverage.

Enid Police Department policy is that officers don’t wait in such a situation. They go in. Officers here learn there is an average of one dead person every 10 seconds of an active-shooter situation. So, there is no time to waste. Eliminating the threat is the key part of the training for our local officers.

Yes, we continue to hope and pray that our area is spared such a tragedy. But, we must all be aware of our surroundings and keep our personal safety and the safety of our families and co-workers in mind at all times.

And, we can’t escape the fact that we all must think about what we will do and how we will survive should such a horrible situation occur.

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