This is about a conversation that I had with several of my clients - parents who bring their children to me for self defense training - about several catastrophic workplace violence attacks that occurred practically back-to-back. I'm sharing this story because it demonstrates what I call, "backwards thinking," and how your beliefs about a thing can be the very thing that is preventing you from solving it.

This event centers around the unfortunate event that took place at a military post, where a doctor - an officer of the U.S. Army - killed and wounded several soldiers in a fit of rage. Then, the very next day, a gunman shot and killed or wounded several employees in Florida.

While several of my clients were standing around discussing these incidents, only hours after the Florida incident, another client was arriving at my academy. She overheard the words shooting and, not knowing that we were discussing the most recent Florida catastrophe, assumed that we were discussing the attack at the military post.

After being brought up to speed on the conversation, and the fact that there had been another attack, she wondered out loud how and why these things could be happening. I told her that I really didn't care why, just that they were and that was the reason that I was offering training to companies in the area of self-protection and personal safety.

At hearing this, she blurted out, "Well, I guess you were too late for them, huh?" Without missing a beat, I turned to her quickly and said, "Absolutely not. THEY were too late for me!" This statement caused everyone to fall silent as I proceeded to share my reasoning behind, what sounded like a very blunt statement. I said, "I can do nothing to help anyone who doesn't think they need me, or somebody like me in the first place." "As long as everyone is living in denial, apathy, or ignorance, they are at risk."

I then added the reality that, "I can't just barge into a place and force this training on people. And, unfortunately it takes an attack to wake people up out of their delusions that 'it won't happen to them!'" And this is the truth. It's not pretty. It doesn't sound nice. And, it's not supposed to. It's the truth.

The nice sounding words that allowed the victims of these, and many other attacks that happen every day, are the ones that allow them to wait until the day it actually happens. These are the things that make us comfortable in our ignorance. But, they don't make us safe.

Was I sorry that I said what I did to my poor client who was under the same backward thinking that many of those who have the decision-making powers to institute the workplace violence training in their company that could have saved the lives that were lost?

Absolutely not. No more sorry than I am to share the story and tell the world that I said it. Cold? Maybe. Heartless? Not on your life! Because that's exactly what I'm talking about here. And, the very thing that you're gambling with every day that you go without some kind of workplace violence defensive tactics or personal safety training in your company.

YOUR Life! With 17 to 20 people being killed every week, and another 33,000 being assaulted, robbed, beaten, raped, or otherwise attacked, it's only a matter of time before the odds are against you. And, when that happens, I won't be too late for you either. But, you WILL have been too late for me!

Author's Bio: 

Does your company have a solid and complete workplace violence training program? Do you and your workers know what to do should the unthinkable happen and you come face-to-face with violence in the workplace? Or are you betting the lives and safety of everyone involved that there isn't someone right now, inside or outside your company, planning an attack? Get the facts and stop making safety decisions based on denial, apathy, or ignorance. Read my new workplace violence report, "Attack-Proof Your Facility!" It's available free at:

Jeffrey M. Miller is an internationally-recognized self defense expert and workplace violence defensive tactics trainer. Every month, he teaches literally thousands of individuals - alone or as members of groups and companies - how to defend against and survive acts of workplace violence. Mr. Miller is a co-author of the books, "Workplace Violence in the Mental and Healthcare Settings," (Jones and Bartlett Pub. 2010); and "Using GIS in Hospital Emergency Management," (CRC Press 2010); as well as several others. He may be reached through his international office in the US at (570) 988-2228 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (570) 988-2228      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.