A: No, Mitchell says. "The threat defines the response. These kinds of threats have been going on for a century or more, but the number of events is going up and that's troubling," he said. In each of the recent cases, victims had to make swift choices about their own safety and protecting the people around them.
Q: Have police changed their response tactics?
A: Before the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, police response to mass shootings was slower and more deliberate. Patrol officers would often wait for a more heavily armed SWAT team to arrive and clear a building. But with active-shooter situations on the rise, authorities have changed their tactics to respond faster. Now more local officers know how to fan out in teams to quickly eliminate the threat of a gunman, said Thomas Aveni, executive director of the New Hampshire-based Police Policy Studies Council. Paramedics and firefighters are receiving the training, too, "to respond as quickly as possible, rather than wait for additional resources."