Tensions surrounding gun violence grow after false alarm of armed intruder at LSU

Updated: Aug. 21, 2019 at 9:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - What ever happened at LSU, most can agree on this: someone saw something out of place and said something, and law enforcement responded, ready to protect lives.

It’s a terrifying possibility, but the reality is our nation has seen more than 250 mass shootings so far in 2019, according to data from the non-profit group, Gun Violence Archive.


WAFB’s Elizabeth Vowell spoke with Greta Van Susteren, Gray TV’s veteran reporter and national political analyst, about the violence.

VOWELL:What is the conversation that our leaders need to be having as we’re experiencing all this?”

VAN SUSTEREN:Well Elizabeth, the thing is you said what kind of conversations should our leaders have? Well for starters, they ought to have a conversation. This country is so divided. Republicans and Democrats won’t even talk to each other.”

Van Susteren has covered many tragic shootings throughout her career. She says people all over the nation tell her security is a huge concern and false alarms are proof of that, but she says leaders are slow to find solutions.

“Politicians, you said you could do the job, you wanted our votes, we gave it to you, so get the job done. We’re not just paying you to occupy an office. We’re paying you to lead an to help us deal with the problems. There’s no perfect solution, but we’ll do a whole lot better if we all do our jobs," Van Susteren said.

Retired Baton Rouge police chief and security expert, Jeff Leduff, sees LSU’s scare as proof of something else: that people are now taking the threat of a shooting seriously. He says that could save lives.

“It’s just where we are. Is it a sad day? Yeah, we’re losing far too many people, but I think we can combat it with doing this training," Leduff said.

Leduff says training starts with education about the risk and making a plan for the “what if” scenario.

″Every single person over the age of 5 knows the response for fire: stop, drop, and roll. I think everyone needs to know the response to this. It’s see something, say something and if you’re in the midst of it, it’s run, hide, fight, and I think that message is getting out there, I really do," Leduff said.

The former chief also pointed out people speaking up when they saw something unusual has led to the arrests of nearly 30 people nationwide.

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