Memo from Senior Management: Other-Than-Active Shooter Awareness

by Josh Trapani 

beyond active shooter.png

Hey, Team! Wasn’t last week’s mandatory active shooter awareness training a blast? Those instructors did a bang-up job. We were blown away! So glad we bit the bullet and shelled out for it.


Our company’s liability protection office, however, informs us we missed the mark in our exclusive focus on active shooters. Who knew there were other types? This list will arm you with what you need to keep your powder dry no matter what kind of shooter you encounter:


Active shooter

Your average, ordinary, workaday person armed to the teeth with a Rambo-style arsenal and hellbent on killing you and as many of your beloved colleagues as possible. An inevitable byproduct of the nation’s gun laws, there’s a new one making headlines every week. Run-hide-fight: we covered this already, remember?


Passive shooter

Enjoys naps, using GrubHub to order from the Thai place on the corner, and taking the elevator to the second floor. Would rather binge-watch “Making A Murderer” than make themselves one. But if they install a new productivity app or view an inspirational quote on Instagram, look out: there’s a 13-minute window in which they’re incredibly dangerous.


Hyperactive shooter

Can be difficult to distinguish from your standard, run-of-the-mill active shooter. But count yourself lucky. Too much fidgeting does not an expert marksperson make. Didn’t you see American Sniper?


Radioactive shooter

The company has purchased enough combo hazmat suits/bulletproof vests for Senior Management … and the people in the liability protection office. For everyone else, good news: get within 50 feet of this type of shooter and guns are no longer your main problem.


Sexually attractive shooter

And speaking of glowing, be aware that company policies regarding workplace conduct remain in effect during mass shooting events. Inappropriate comments or sexual advances, even if directed at someone trying to turn you into swiss cheese, are prohibited, and may result in severe penalties up to and including termination. No, not that kind of termination, we mean firing. No, not that kind of … forget it.


Salad shooter

The saving grace here is that being pelted by sliced radishes or cucumbers is unlikely to kill you, or even cause serious injury. However, the jingle may drive you mad.


Progressive shooter

Yell #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, or other leftish hashtags/slogans. (We strongly discourage using #TimesUp.) Grab the nearest copy of A People’s History of the United States or anything by Ta-Nehisi Coates and wave it around while proclaiming it life-changing. If all else fails, assert your identity as a member of a group marginalized in society but overrepresented in mass casualty events. Like children. Use the words “woke” and “intersectional,” whether or not you know what they mean. And don’t say anything triggering, like uttering “white male” other than as a putdown or admitting you wouldn’t pay more than $175 for Hamilton tickets.


Passive-aggressive shooter

You'd have no idea this type of shooter was agitated and dangerous were it not for three tell-tale signs: 1) the silent treatment, 2) the lack of eye contact, and 3) the AR-15 aimed at your face. The best approach is direct confrontation. Label their emotional state. For example, say: “you’re upset,” or “you seem to be in a murderous rage.” When they deny this, mention they’re pointing a gun at you with obviously homicidal intentions. If they deny that, too, point out they’re covered in gore and have already killed 16 of your co-workers. Once their façade cracks, gently suggest they put down the gun and move somewhere passive-aggressive behavior is more acceptable. Like the Bay Area. Or your in-laws’ house.


Obsessive compulsive shooter

Ask: What kind of gun is that? How many bullets did you load into it? Are they the right kind? Are you sure? When they start checking, run away.


Bel Biv shooter

Never trust a big gun and a smile. Luckily, rather than bullets, this type of assailant — who may or may not answer to the name “Devoe” — prefers to use poison. But exercise caution. Wrong move, you’re dead.


We hope this helps. There’s no silver bullet, but we’re always aiming higher, with workplace safety squarely in our sights. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to fire away and shoot us a note!



Josh Trapani is a scientist turned policy wonk based in Washington, D.C. His stories and humor have appeared in The Writing Disorder, The Big Jewel, Neutrons Protons, Brick Moon Fiction, The Higgs Weldon, and others. He’s working on a novel about climate change, which becomes less funny with each rewrite.