Shot by both sides

2009

Annie, get your gun! Sure, it may sound like a clever way to start this post, but it's really not funny at all. According to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rise in workplace homicides is directly proportionate to spikes in unemployment.

Folks, let's be honest, it doesn't take a Harvard degree to know that we're in the middle of such a spike. The question is, how should authorities react to such statistics, if indeed they do react?

The last time we had such a situation was in 1982 and we're fast approaching 1982-level stats. Without wishing to appear reactionary, how can we protect people in the workplace from the person who feels that he or she (he, really) has nothing left to lose?

Now, anyone who knows Americans knows that you can't tell them anything when it comes to discussing gun control. It seems that we're happy to have metal detectors in public schools and, damn it, even in the workplace if need be. So, suggesting any sort of gun control is a waste of breath, so let's not consider that as a solution.

One rational approach is to keep an eye out for those who might exhibit signs of frustration or inner turmoil. Addressing any conflicts or subjects of stress with colleagues who are worried about losing their jobs is another good idea. It's important to let those whose lives are up in the air due to work uncertainties know that their friends and colleagues are with them.

If such solutions fail to yield a positive response, we can also go to American high school mode – cops and metal detectors outside workplaces.

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