Can Schools Be Made Any Safer?
That was the headline in the the Chicago papers today. My answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!”
After much thought on this subject and going through hours of Active Shooter Response Training, I have come to a few conclusions, some of which will make those of you of a liberal world view uncomfortable. With that said, I ask that you show your tolerance and to please read through this blog entry, and to think about what I am suggesting.
The United States is not Great Britain, gun control laws in our country are a nice idea, but in reality, they are a failure. The sooner we come to terms with this reality the better. By doing so will allow us to free ourselves from a failed idea. Next, we as a society have to come to terms with the fact that criminals will always be able to obtain firearms, no matter what laws have been passed, hence that is why they are criminals. This is an undisputed fact, no gun/firearm has ever fired by itself and killed anyone. Any firearm requires an external force upon it to operate and fire a round. Once we have accepted this we can now move on to the next set of ideas.
This idea that inanimate objects are evil is ridiculous. People are evil, inanimate objects cannot act upon evil intent and desires on their own.
Since Columbine in 1999, we have all been aware of the potential of school violence. Law enforcement was forced to re-think its response to school shootings. First and foremost of the sacred ideas to crumble was the policy that responding units will surround, isolate, and contain the scene till the Tactical or SWAT team arrived to take over and deal with the incident. Columbine put a stake in the heart of that sacred cow. No longer can law enforcement wait around while lives are being lost. Now most departments practice Active Shooter training that can apply to the school or workplace where a shooter is taking life and immediate action must be taken to stop him/her. The FBI has come up with this lockdown plan for the schools. By now most of us are somewhat familiar with the basics. Lock the students in the classroom, turn off the lights and hide.
Since that time we have seen school shootings at Northern Illinois University,Virginia Tech, and now Newtown. What is becoming a trend is for the gunman to have decided beforehand that they will not be taken alive. They will do their carnage and with the knowledge that the armed response by police will be to kill them, not arrest. So they now commit suicide. So how does a society deal with those people? Lets be honest, there are some people who just should not be walking this earth amongst us. Their moral compass of determining right from wrong is broke, and cannot be fixed. As with all the shooters, there were and are people who knew that the shooters were fucked up, and they said and did nothing, for that they should be held culpable. I have no sympathy for the family and friends of the shooters who knew, yet did nothing, nor said anything to anyone.
Getting to the crux of this problem.
The idea of a school lockdown is good for an external threat happening near the school, but is a bad idea for a school dealing with an internal threat. My point is this, when an active shooter is in the school, locking a classroom door, turning off the lights, and hiding hoping the shooter does not stop at your door and force his way into the classroom is like waiting for death. In my opinion this is not a good defense, in that it does not stop or eliminate the threat. Most of all classroom doors have a glass window embedded in them, like at Virginia Tech, the shooter simply shot through the glass, reached in and unlocked the door, then entered and killed the people. I have spoken to my co-workers, those that have children, and we have told our children that if there is an active shooter in their school, they are to get out of the building as quickly as they can, by any means possible. If that means taking a chair and breaking a window, to crawl out and escape, so be it.
Now when the Newtown details emerge I think it will be determined that the shooting did not last any longer than 3-4 minutes. That is not enough time to first responder police units to arrive at the scene and deploy into active shooter mode. When the shooter has determined to go on a suicide mission, responding units will be left to deal with the aftermath of the carnage, the shooting will be over, the damage done.
With that said, it now becomes incumbent that some school teachers must be armed, trained to deal with the active shooter. I know that most teachers are liberals, and have a natural fear of firearms because they have never shot one much less handled a gun. But I would suggest that their fear of death and that of their students is a much more over-riding fear. In the time it takes for a call for help, a well trained armed teacher can stop the active shooter. If nothing else that teacher will be able to distract the shooter from his goal and interrupt his plans, maybe even long enough for a law enforcement response to arrive and deal with him. Does it mean that all lives will be saved? No, what it means is that there can be a less loss of life, maybe no loss of life, if the armed teacher(s) respond fast enough and put the mad dog down.
I do not have a crystal ball, nor am I an Oracle, but I have to question that if teachers at Sandy Hook had been allowed to be armed, how would this critical incident turn out? Could it have turned out differently? We do know this, gun control laws protected no one. Any thought to the contrary is just as naive as those that proposed the gun control laws themselves.
The time has come upon all od us a society to grow up and realize that no matter what kind of gun control laws that are passed, they are a failure. The time has come for us to realize this fact and go down a different road that will protect our children at school, because the idea of “gun free” zones, and criminals will respect our gun control laws are a deadly fantasy. The reality is that the time has come for teachers to stand up, and demand that they be allowed to be armed in defense of their students, themselves, and their workplace. The lives of our children are at stake, do we dare to continue this non sensical view that gun control laws will make any of us safer? I, for one, say not.