Georgians flocking to Atlanta-area courses on surviving mass shootings

Gary Francois filed into the auditorium at Etowah High School in Woodstock this week for a seminar on how to protect his family in case of a mass shooting.

A network engineer from Holly Springs, Francois said he tries to not let his wife see him worried. But it’s getting to the point now, he said, where people can’t go to the mall without being concerned. Frustrated, he bemoaned how his children sometimes go out in public “willy-nilly.” He urges them to keep their wits about them, worrying what could happen at the supermarket, even his workplace.

Francois is among many Atlanta area residents flocking to so-called "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" seminars following a string of highly publicized shooting massacres. On edge from a steady stream of tragic news, those showing up for the discussions are looking for ways to protect themselves in case they are caught in the middle of a slaughter.

“We are living in dangerous times now,” Francois said glumly. “You have to be prepared.”

The next seminar is set for Jan. 21 at First Baptist Church of Woodstock.