In the United States, tragic instances of gun violence continue to occur.
Sadly, in recent years many innocent people have fallen victim to insidious acts of gun violence.
Worse, perpetrators don’t discriminate when it comes to which places to target.
Schools, churches, and workplaces have all been the site for catastrophic occurrences.
The likelihood of these atrocities persisting remains high, which is why former Navy SEAL Jason Perry has spent the last eight years devoting his career to ensuring that everyday people are prepared the next time they are presented with a dangerous situation.
Perry founded Trident Shield in October 2013 with the hope that he could empower individuals with the skills and knowledge they would need in order to save lives.
For a man like Perry, starting Trident Shield was never about capitalizing on his expertise in risk management and emergency preparedness.
Instead, Perry simply wanted to help others.
Years ago, Perry enlisted in the military and eventually became a member of the Navy SEALs, a special operations force that carries out some of the most important initiatives related to the security of the United States.
For sixteen years, Perry served his country well, and it appeared that he would continue along this path, until one day a devastating event rocked his universe.
“While I was deployed, I lost my little brother to heroin,” Perry says. “When I went to his funeral, none of his friends were there.”
Still reeling from the emotional pain of losing his brother, Perry cornered one of his brother’s acquaintances and asked why none of their friends had come to the funeral.
“Jason, they are already dead. We lost them to heroin,” the acquaintance revealed.
It was then that Perry realized that he needed to do more for his local community, so after sixteen years he walked away from the military and joined the Boston Police Department.
Immediately, Perry began to focus his efforts toward the war on drugs.
Soon, Perry was selected to become a member of the SWAT team in Boston. This also coincided with the arrival of his first son, who was born with autism.
“When you’re on the SWAT team, you have no life. You are constantly on call and doing everything you could ever imagine,” Perry says.
Once again, Perry felt he needed to do more for those he cared about, so he moved his family to Charlottesville, Virginia to be closer to other family and also find a way to best help his son.
Of course, Perry still needed to secure gainful employment, and through his contacts, he was able to land a job as a bodyguard for a man with a net worth that exceeded $50 billion.
“The deal was that I could live anywhere I wanted in the continental United States,” Perry says, who adds that his schedule consisted of working for thirty days, and then having thirty days off.
This gave him enough time to be with his wife and son, plus earn a steady income.
“It was an amazing job. I got spoiled being able to fly in a private jet. I had a really good lifestyle. I had a Mercedes-AMG SUV waiting for me whenever I got off the plane. It was epic,” he explains.
It seemed that stability was finally returning to Perry’s life, but then, on December 14, 2012, the United States was once again rocked by a calamitous affair when a young man shot and killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
This harrowing event led to Perry altering the trajectory of his career once again.
“I decided that I didn’t want to protect just one family. I wanted to protect as many as I could,” he says.
As mentioned at the outset of this article, Perry founded Trident Shield in October 2013. As a security consulting firm, his organization seeks to educate workforces around the country on how to handle active shooters and other malicious acts of violence.
Perry says that it’s important that companies today are not only educated, but also prepared for these types of events.
“It’s a duty of responsibility, and the key is prevention. I train everyone on signs and symptoms, advising them on how to harden their spaces because once “bang” has happened, I can only try to mitigate damage. I can only try to keep things at three deaths instead of thirty,” he explains.
“Outside of the moral aspect of this, employers have to provide a safe workplace from recognizable hazards. There have been enough active shooters now that it’s a recognizable hazard. Some states mandate it, and others do not.”
Perry emphasizes that sensitive topics like workplace violence and gun safety need to be addressed, and that even during the COVID-19 pandemic gun violence was still occurring, despite the lack of coverage from mainstream media.
“The American press can only pay attention to one tragedy at a time. During COVID, they didn’t want to talk about active shooters even though they were still happening, but as soon as COVID calmed down and states started opening up, then you started seeing all the press on the active shooters,” he says.
Perry calls the issues at hand a “worldwide societal problem,” at the same time stressing that there are many things both companies and citizens can do to protect themselves.
“When you take active shooter training, you’re not just safer at work. You’re safer beyond the corporate footprint. You’re safer walking to your car at night. You’re safer shopping. You’re safer at a football game. You’re safer during a home invasion. All those tactics and techniques still apply,” he says.
With dissension continuing to permeate among the general populous of the United States, Perry says there is now even more incentive for companies to act before potentially disastrous situations take place.
“You’re seeing violence on the rise because now you’re not just seeing workplace violence. You’re now seeing political violence,” he remarks.
“The country has never been more divided. Half the country hates the other half of the country, and that other half hates them right back. The odds of this continuing to spiral out of control are good.”
In the eight years Trident Shield has existed, they have educated many clients on proper safety techniques.
Perry says he has never had a client regret taking Trident Shield’s training, and while this is good for business, the best part is that more people are being familiarized with how to respond to hostile situations.
“We put a lot of work into the emotional intelligence aspect of this. There are a lot of companies out there that try to scare everyone and then leave. That’s not what we do at Trident Shield. We are a confidence building program,” Perry says.
“I do this because I care. I’ve never done anything for money. It’s always been because I care, and if you understand that I’m a good guy, I can then start negotiating troubling concepts like profiling, teaching someone how to use a pair of scissors to take someone’s life if you had to, or using a blunt instrument as a weapon. All these things that I teach are meant to give people hope in their darkest hour.”
It’s this level of dedication and commitment that has resulted in many businesses and individuals feeling grateful for Trident Shield’s trainings.
Moreover, Perry says it is key for businesses to understand the type of companies they are bringing in to conduct safety trainings.
He laments the fact that his organization often has to reeducate clients because past companies have not properly instructed people on the various insights and techniques related to workplace safety.
“We go in as the second or third firm a lot of times because other people have done it incorrectly and scared the heck out of everyone,” says Perry.
“One of the reasons why a lot of companies use us is because we meet them where they are and dispel their fears. We show them that a firearm is not a death ray where you pull it out and everyone falls over. We show people how to disable firearms. We show them that if you touch it, you can turn it into a paperweight.”
That last aspect is crucial because even today many Americans are uninformed on how firearms work.
Much of this can be attributed to the fact that lobbyists and the media have spent incredible amounts of time and money fueling an anti-gun narrative, a strategy that does not educate Americans and only works to divide the country even further.
“So many people have been miseducated in the news on how a firearm works, to the point that they think they have no chance [in a threatening situation]. We show them how to disable firearms, and it is so empowering,” Perry explains.
He then cites two examples:
One involved an individual who took Trident Shield’s training and later performed admirably in a time of distress.
Perry says that person was at a Walgreens when someone attempted to rob the pharmacy.
In that instance, the person was able to act appropriately and the assailant was unable to hurt anyone.
Soon after, that person wrote a 2,000-word essay to Trident Shield thanking them for their program.
In the second case, a person with extremely liberal ideologies regarding gun control took Trident Shield’s course and then completely shifted their perspective.
Doing so then enabled that person to reconnect with their father, who was an avid supporter of gun control rights.
While Perry is certainly thrilled to have such a positive impact on people, his biggest concern remains the well-being of his fellow constituents.
“This is what I call modern-day street smarts. These are things that competent citizens need to know,” Perry says of the skills he teaches.
In addition to workplace violence, Trident Shield also offers safety courses to people who are traveling to some of the most dangerous parts of the world. This includes missionaries who visit remote third-world countries.
Once more, Perry highlights the value in possessing this type of knowledge.
“These are modern-day survival skills. They are the equivalent of how to start a fire or change a tire. How to barricade a room is something that everyone should know how to do,” he says.
Of course, even though many companies understand the importance of workplace violence training, many businesses still fail to address the topic.
Perry understands their hesitancy, but at the same time predicts that current events will continue to generate demand for Trident Shield’s services.
“We are a news-driven industry. Everyone knows they should do the training, but they only do it when they have a close call,” says Perry.
“The fact that the media is covering it more sends more business our way. I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish that employers wanted to invest in the safety of their employees.”
Beyond Trident Shield, Perry hosts the Patriot Crusader Mission Podcast, a show that is designed to restore much of the traditional masculinity that has been dismissed in recent years.
“I started the podcast because I am a Christian and I think this world needs strong men. The fact that there is a term called toxic masculinity, and that we have beta males who do not know how to protect their families and communities means that we lost the art of manhood at one point,” he says, then mentioning that his podcast will appeal to anyone who is interested in learning more about preventative measures that can be taken to help ensure safety.
“In essence, the Patriot Crusader Mission Podcast was started to create a protector class of citizens who want to be a part of the solution. They don’t want to be a victim and they don’t want their families to be victims. They want to know what they can do to prevent that.”
Ultimately, not everyone will be able to take safety training from Trident Shield, but for those who want to know what they can do today to be safer, Perry shares his recommendation.
“Be situationally aware. Get your head out of your phone and look at what is going on around you,” he says.
“If you do that, you will be able to avoid a lot of different things.” QS
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