LYNCHBURG, Va. – We’ve all heard the saying “see something, say something.”
This week, we saw the importance of the saying when a tip prevented a mass shooting on the Fourth of July at the Dogwood Dell event in Richmond.
A phone call led Richmond police to a home, where they found assault rifles, a handgun, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition.
Their findings serve as a stark reminder that public safety isn’t just a job for those who wear the badge.
“There’s no telling how many people that saved, no telling,” Marko Galbreath said. “They could have shot that venue and then went to another venue. We don’t know that. The community has to be involved.”
Galbreath is the owner of T4Tactics in Lynchburg. He travels around the country to teach active shooter response training, something that’s become increasingly important.
“We have to recognize that these attacks are a reality,” Galbreath said. “That’s what’s wrong with humans. We think, ‘Nothing will ever happen to me. It happens in Illinois, it happens in Richmond, it happens in Las Vegas at a concert.’”
Galbreath said there are many clues shooters put out there, the biggest being a change in attitude, and we’re all capable of assessing threats.
Galbreath’s advice to others is that everywhere you go, you should think about the ‘what ifs.’
“Where am I going to sit? Is there anyone who gives a reason for concern? Where are your exits?” Galbreath said.
“We’ve been programmed as a country that if we say something against somebody we hate that person, or we hate their lifestyle, so we tend not to say anything,” Galbreath said. “You have to profile people. When I say profile people it’s not based on their religion, it’s not based on their skin color. It’s you and I have the ability, God gave us the ability to have a gut feeling on somebody.”
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and Galbreath said this doesn’t mean we live in fear or paranoia, but we should have situational awareness and a plan.