Nine weeks into 2018 there have been 12 school shootings in the United States, according to reports from CNN. That's just school shootings. It doesn't include any other active shooter situations that may have occurred. Needless to say people are scared.

As a military veteran, I've been trained to use firearms. I spent a great deal of my youth with my grandfather. He had lots of rifles and shotguns. So while I've never been afraid of guns, I do have a healthy respect for them.

Despite the fact I'm not afraid of guns...and I've been trained to use them...I'm not certain of how I would react in an active shooter situation. I'd like to think I would be calm and clearheaded under pressure. But who knows?

Because there are probably many, many people just like me...some trained to use firearms, most not...the Portsmouth Police Department has partnered up with the Portsmouth Chamber Collaborative to provide FREE Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events.

According to the Portsmouth Chamber Collaborative, the course is designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend strategy developed by ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training).  Their website says the training will provide strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

And while I hope none of us are ever faced with a situation where we need this type of's better to have it and not need it. Than need it and not have it. And since it's free...what have you got to lose?

The training takes place at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel, 250 Market St, Portsmouth, NH, on March 21 from 8-10am. You can register HERE.