It is our position that officials at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis did the right thing by putting the campus and surrounding areas on lockdown and high alert after reports of a person with a gun was seen on campus. For more than four hours, the entire University, surrounding hospitals, schools and businesses remained locked down while five police departments searched the area looking for a gunman.
Though against school policy, possession of a firearm on a college campus is not illegal in the state of Indiana – so why the panic? With the onslaught of gun violence and mass shootings, it’s obvious that most Americans don’t feel safe. Perhaps the question has changed from, “How could this happen to me?” to “When will it happen to me?” in the minds of many.
And if in fact, lockdowns are the new normal, there needs to be a greater emphasis placed on education of the process along with semantics clarification such as “lockdown” vs. “high alert” in potentially dangerous situations to ensure the maximum safety of all. Yes, it is an inconvenience, however, it’s better to be safe and keep the hope that all this preparedness will provide piece of mind and ultimately, save lives.