NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - For the last two years active shooter forums have been geared for school, law enforcement and more recently industry and businesses. Those representatives were in the audience of about 175 individuals at an active shooter forum in Nacogdoches, but so was Margo Russell.
"I'm here as a grandmother, a mother, a wife, an educator. I’m just a person off the street," described Russell.
She’s the kind of person that has questions different than what a law enforcement and school protector may ask.
"If I'm ever in a situation I want to be prepared,” said Russell. “I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem."
Robert Hurst, the author of the training program Safe to Learn, Lead, Live, adjusts presentations for individuals with questions.
"They are coming to this for knowledge. They don't know what the limits are," said Hurst.
Hurst says Texans licensed to carry concealed weapons are familiar with state laws but are confused when it comes to civil consequences.
"In other words, the good guy wants to take that shot and they hit the wrong person. So, they're here trying to get knowledge to know what can I do to protect myself and those I love and that's what it boils down to,” explained Hurst.
Mike Claude delivers public safety programs in twelve counties for the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. He's hearing colleagues on the state level praising a grassroots learning approach.
“Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once. It’s going to have to start with us to protect ourselves until law enforcement arrives,” said the former law enforcement officer.
Thursday’s forum was a direct result of individuals asking for a forum that would answer questions from citizens and provide information helpful to them rather than what law enforcement is taught.
Margo Russell is licensed to carry. She says she prefers being armed with knowledge.
“I’m not here because I’m a licensed to carry. I’m just here for information, so I can help.”