Here’s what working in a hospital in America is like:

Active Shooter Response in a Health-care Setting

A gunman wielding a pistol prepares to kill more victims in a hospital lobby, as patients and visitors crouch, cower, and flee.
2020.10.06, by Akihiko
Filed under Brutality, Essays

As part of our Workplace Violence Prevention training—and I swear they just gave us a course on this two months ago—we have to (well, not really have to) watch a 20-minute video on the hospital being shot up. Sorry, it’s not “shooting massacre” or “mass murder”, it’s “active shooter event”.

I think Ansel will be fine. In June when people were setting off fireworks out of quarantine-boredom his first instinct was to hit the deck. Also he’s trained to disarm people. He should be a security guard (our hospital rent-a-cops are mostly obese and out of shape; I don’t think any of those guys can do cartwheels, Tolly could probably serve their asses on a platter), but they pay barely over the minimum wage.

I’m the only one in my department who’s actually taken the time to watch the whole video and I’ve been telling everyone about it. Anyway, here it is:


Akihiko comments on a workplace safety video.

Someone at the hospital really wanted to make a video of patients and workers dying horribly.


A lone man in a dark shirt who definitely seems like he has problems stands in front of a hospital entrance.

[heavy, ominous music]

What the hell does “active shooter” mean? That implies the existence of an inactive shooter. What the hell is that?

[Ansel] They don’t have another rose bush to balance the other side?

[Julia] Amateurs.

In a warmly lit lobby, an older couple sits reading books and their phone, a father speaks with his impatient-looking son, a man steps out of the bathroom on his cellphone, and hospital employees pass by and discuss other matters amongst themselves.
The lone man walks into a different part of the hospital. It’s full of waiting family members minding their own business, and their phones. There are TVs on the walls.

[Akihiko] Over 60 people were cast in this film and a lot of them are actual families. The people sitting together are literally spouses and parents and children who were like, “Yeah, let’s be in a movie where we’re violently murdered! It’ll be great.”

[Ansel] I can’t stand that there were kids in this.

[Akihiko] C’mon, man. It’s like a school lockdown drill, except you get paid to do it.

[Ansel] Ugh…

Huh. This video is actually well produced.

The receptionist worriedly looks up at the lone man at her desk.

Ah, pre-COVID lack of cheap plastic screens hanging from the ceiling.

He raises his pistol at her and fires.

[Iseul] At least gurl’s eyeliner game is strong when she dies

[Akihiko] What the fuck? Those guys don’t wear scrub tops?

Next, the lone gunman fires at the security guard.
People in the lobby turn in shock.
In a panic, they start running and screaming.

One guy is yelling, “Get out of my way! Get out of my way!” Oh wow, this is pretty intense.

[Akihiko] Yeah, our security guard is definitely going to be the first one to die.

[Ansel] We got more techs who are ex-military and I trust them more than I trust three quarters of our rent-a-cop department.

[Iseul] You guys know he survives right?

[Akihiko & Ansel] What?!

[Blast Ant] Their lobby has paintings… How come our lobby doesn’t have paintings?

[Iseul] Is that bitch crocheting in a hospital lobby
  That is bad-ass

A young girl in pretty floral leggings crouches behind a sofa and cowers as her mother tries to gather her up. Other adults run past.
The lone gunman kills other workers in the reception area. One man lies dead on the ground in front of his office chair.

[Ansel] Sigh Not the kids…

[Iseul] Shut up about kids you hate children

[Ansel] Yeah, but I’m compelled to protect them.

[Julia] Where did she get those leggings? That’s so cute.

One of the receptionist flees.

[Akihiko] “Share your story!”

[Yumeka] What would you leave in their care card box, Ansel?

[Akihiko] 0/10, died horribly here, would not visit again.

[Ansel] …That’s basically it.

She is shot in the back and falls to the ground. The security guard from earlier is leaning against the wall around the corner, clutching the gunwound in his chest in pain.

[Iseul] See? I told you he survives.

[Ansel] Motherfucker.

A redheaded woman is killed.

Holy shit people are dying in this video.

A team of four police officers enter one of the hallways. One of them is wielding a rifle.
A nurse at her workstation hears the gunfire and gets out of her seat.

“Active shooter events are becoming more common”

Flashback to the first receptionist who was killed. She can see the pistol clearly in the lone gunman’s hands, the last image she sees before she dies.

“The chances aren’t zero. So it’s imperative that every organization prepare for the eventuality of an active shooter”

Let’s see what they mean by “prepare”

Who’s the hunk in the video?


In a staff lounge, three workers and a patient prepare to ambush the gunman as he enters the room. They are wielding a fire extinguisher, a coffee pot, a chair, and an IV stand.
The lone gunman enters the staff lounge, opening the door and pushing the little end table that was propped up against it. Three workers and one patient armed with office furniture are waiting for him.


Guy enters a staff lounge and everyone comes at him with furniture, including a patient with his fucking IV stand.

[Ansel] We actually keep knives in our staff lounge.

[Julia] “We”?

[Ansel] I mean… someone keeps a knife in in there.

[Iseul] You said it was plural

[Ansel] Look, they aren’t mine. I just know they’re useful for slicing cake.

[Nova] Hmph.

Aerial view of the hospital and its parking lots.

“the potential for an active shooter event is now greater than ever”

You know. I was expecting 2019 to have more mass shootings than 2020, since much of the country has been under lockdown for most of the year. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. To date there are 489 this year in 2020, and the year hasn’t even ended yet!. What the fuck are people doing?

…Aside from the obvious answer of shooting each other.

Police outside one of the building exits direct fleeing civilians to keep their hands up and go down a specific way.
One of the civilians exiting the building blithely ignores the officers’ commands and bolts straight ahead.

[Bedivere] This is really sad. Is this 2020? I’d say I was sad that I’d survived this long, but…

[Blast Ant] Oh, Bedi.

[Iseul] Why is the other side of the hospital parking lot completely empty

[Leotrim] Good eye.

[Iseul] There’s like, two cars there

[Ansel] The cops outside don’t have their weapons drawn? Huh.

[Blast Ant] SWAT came after me, with rifles and full kit, and I’m a tiny Asian girl, and they weren’t even here for me!

[Iseul] If being hot was a crime they would’ve shot you on sight

[Blast Ant] I love you, kyoudai.

But yeah honestly watching this gave me flashbacks to the SWAT raid. I felt really weird.

Twp cops tackle the confused guy to the ground and handcuff him.

The cops threw a guy down who ran the wrong way so that they “wouldn’t be a distraction”; this is brutal, man. Understandable in the situation, but the fact that any of this is a possibility!

[Iseul] What are the chances of the cops shooting that guy instead of tackling him if he were black

[Akihiko] Dude.

[Iseul] Honest question

Professor Farnsworth from Futurama saying, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

—Nova’s current sentiment

A nurse runs up to a young man attempting to enter the building, unable to hear her as he is listening to loud music on his headphones connected to his phone.

This either dates the video or makes it cheap.

Mid-video review: Move to safe location. Leave belongings behind. Know escape routes. Ensure path is safe. Take others with you.

“Move far away from the building, to a safe location. Upon running and escaping, prevent others from entering the area.”

A hospital worker and a physician move to block the door of one of the offices with a large filing cabinet. The nurse instructs two visitors to silence their phones.

“Silence your phones!”

[Akihiko] Ohhh. Now here’s my favorite part of the video.

[Julia] Isn’t this supposed to be educational?

[Iseul] HealthStream Course (mandatory, completion due by Dec. 21): How to not get murdered at your workplace (valid for Continuing Education credits)

A pretty nurse with an insane amount of make-up on for a 12-hour shift helps an elderly patient out of his bed.
They slowly make their way to the bathroom door.
The nurse leads him to the shower stall and keeps an eye on the IV bag and stand behind him.
She sits him down on the bench in the shower stall.
The nurse brings the IV stand into the shower stall.
She closes the curtain to conceal him.
The nurse shuts the bathroom door and rushes to the bed.
She pushes the bed up against the room entrance door.

[Ansel] What kid these days wears headphones and a watch?

[Hellebore] Isn’t that just you as an adult?

[Akihiko] I would!

[Ansel] Good head on your shoulders.

[Akihiko] Heh.

After propping the bed up against the door, the nurse sits behind it and clutches her knees, covering her face in despair and terror.

An RN helped her patient get up to the bathroom and hid him behind the shower curtain. She closed the bathroom door and pushed the bed in front of the patient room door, then sat down in fetal position.

One nurse cries into another nurse’s shoulder.

“We’re all gonna die!”

“Everyone grab something!”

One of the office workers scowls as he readies his coffee pot for mass destruction.
A patient removes his IV bag from his IV stand to use the stand as a weapon.
Four of the people in the staff lounge are ready. The crying nurse is off-screen, presumably crying in a corner.

I love how at this point in the video, they explain that choosing to save your life or your patient’s life first is just a “personal” choice. Like it’s a matter of personal preference. Like it’s a “Am I gonna wear red today or fucking blue” kinda dealio.

[Ansel] I feel like we’re watching one of those “duck and cover in the event of nuclear war” school videos from the 1950s.

[Julia] You don’t have to go that far back. They have mass shooter drills in American elementary schools now, don’t they?

[Ansel] Right… Yeah. We grew up with that. Except statistically speaking the kids are more likely to die in a shooting massacre than in a nuclear war.


You guys aren’t gonna take to the sidebar for this? You know, it’s my review. OK. OK then…


One of the cops being interviewed.

“So the last option is fighting. And that is, statistically speaking a pretty good option.”


“About 13 percent of the active shooter situations are taken down by unarmed citizens. And that’s compared to 4 percent that are taken down by law enforcement.”

I like the other cop better he had action figures on his bookshelf


“It’s very difficult if somebody throws something at you for you not to react to it, especially if it’s thrown at your head.”

[Ansel] It’s true.


An officer enters a doorway with a rifle.

“If you don’t do anything, then you become a statistic.”

[Akihiko] That honestly sounds like something you would say, Bro!


A team of police officers exit a van and prepare to enter the building. The officer in the foreground is piloting a drone.

Bet the guy was like “Aww yeah I finally get to whip the drone out! Great!
”Oh shit how do I fly this thing”

Wonder if our PD has any drones…

Some security consultant guy that was hired by the hospital chain doing the worst Smokey the Bear impression I’ve ever heard.

“It is up to you to remain ever vigilant and be personally prepared to act at any given time.”

This is the worst Smokey the Bear impression I’ve ever heard.

Pssssst. D’you wanna watch the video yourself? Ansel posted a link up top, but here’s a link, just for you.

[Tolly] I was paid to watch this.

[Iseul] Does that make up for the lack of COLA this year Chief

[Tolly] Oh hell no.