The Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security recently released a Department of Homeland Security-funded PSA campaign video entitled "RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event." And it's drawing plenty of national attention.
The six-minute-long video, also available in Spanish, looks to have been filmed at the LEED-certified Houston Permitting Center. It features employees reacting — by running away, hiding in closets or fighting back with improvised weapons — following the appearance of a black-clad gunman in the otherwise idyllic office.
A solemn voiceover enumerates tips on survival as employees block doorways with copier machines, dodge behind dumpsters and arm themselves with coffee pots, office chairs and fire extinguishers.
The acting is amusing and the music dramatic, while the voiceover makes trite remarks about life feeling like an action movie, about how "sometimes bad people do bad things." You want to laugh, but you can't.
Though the video was completed months ago, it was released last Friday — just one week after the horrific movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., that has left everyone feeling unsafe.
Does this seem like a joke, considering the circumstances? Or is the seemingly obvious information all the more important in the wake of that disaster?