Random Violence Now A Common Occurrence

Experts use statistics to show that during the 1990's, intentional violent acts increased ten fold. Casinos are not immune to the random violence, but executives stress that Saturday's shooting spree was an isolated act and that 25 million people visit Coast casinos every year without anything happening. Duncan McKenzie of the Gulf Coast Gaming Association says "We hope that everybody understands that this is not a casino issue, but a societal issue. And these type of violent acts have occurred in schools, shopping malls, postal areas, so it's really not a casino act," McKenzie says.

A psychologist we talked to says shootings happen everywhere in all workplaces and more frequently than you might imagine. Dr. Julie Teater says "And going back to some of the numbers we look at, there's 20 homocides a week in the U.S. workplace. So, this isn't anything unusal actually. It's a very bad situation but it's occurring everywhere."

Statistics bear out that fact. Teater says according to OSHA reports, workplace violence cost six billion dollars a year, one million people are attacked each year in the workplace, resulting in seven million lost days of work every year.

While experts acknowlege the growing numbers, they can't say for sure why someone takes out their anger on innocent people. "It would be so hard to narrow down with each individual incidence. There's probably different triggers, stress being one of the them and an inappropriate response to stress. Society has become more violent we know from statistics and unfortunately we're seeing it acted out in the workplace and in school systems more often now," Teater says.

Because of the more common violence, Teater says many companies now offer stress reduction programs for their employees, recognizing that the threat of someone snapping is more real than ever before.