At a yellow-brick public library in a quiet upstate town, 200 people participated in active shooter training Wednesday. It was the second session the library offered this week.
Retirees, college students and young parents crouched under desks, barricaded themselves in the local history room, and fled outside into nearby woods. Many said they came so they could move beyond helplessness, conquer fear and take control of the one thing they can: their survival.
“It’s going to keep happening,” said Ninevah Aranas, a 77-year-old retired family-medicine doctor. “We have to be prepared because you go to church, it’s not safe. You go shopping, it’s not safe. Just walking around the park, it’s not safe.”
Similar sessions are planned this week at a hotel in Michigan, a college in South Dakota, a church in Tennessee, a hospital in West Virginia, and a middle school in Massachusetts. The demand for the courses around the country reflects a growing acceptance among many Americans that they may face a shooting in their lifetimes.