The Truth About School Shootings

The truth about school shootings: they happen. Not often. But when they do, they are horrific. What could be more of a nightmare than kissing your child goodbye in the morning, leaving him or her in the care of others and never seeing your loved one alive again? Here’s what I don’t get. If your child died at school because their care-givers failed to protect them from a foreseeable accident, you’d blame the teachers, administrators and school system. You might even blame yourself for putting your child in that school. But if a child is shot at school, it’s society’s fault for giving him access to a gun. Where’s the sense in that?

Truth be told, the vast majority of United States schools are completely unprepared for what’s called an “active shooter.” Actually, it’s worse than that. The accepted practices our schools have adopted to react to an active shooter put our children in greater danger than if those in charge had done nothing at all.

For example, why would you put schools into a “lockdown” in response to an active shooter? The idea that gathering children together in an enclosed space to save them from a madman (or men) with a gun is, well, madness. To use military parlance, the practice creates a “target rich environment.”

Common sense—and blood-soaked experience—tells us we should instruct children to run away from the shooter or shooters. As in away from the school. From each other. Anywhere. Everywhere. As fast as they can.

Concentrating children supposedly makes it easier for law enforcement to take out the active shooter. As we’ve seen in Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Brazil, the sudden ferocity of the active shooter’s initial attack makes a mockery of that strategy. The police no longer wait to “pack up” to take out an active shooter. So why should unarmed students form a passive group?

In fact, the term “lockdown” is a complete misnomer. Because of fire laws, most schools’ classroom doors don’t lock. (When was the last time you heard of children dying in a school fire?) How strong are the classroom doors at those schools where the portals do lock? Would you bet your child’s life on them?

If Americans took the threat of school shootings seriously, they wouldn’t be arguing about whether or not teachers or other adults within the school should be allowed to bear arms. They’d be talking about which adults should be armed, what training they should receive and what strategy they should employ.

Every school in America should have one of these, and someone designated and trained to use it. All the adults in a school environment should have some active active shooter training, both individually and as a team. I repeat: they should know how to do more than assemble terrified children behind a closed door and dial 911. They should know how to attack.

We should also be teaching our children active shooter prevention and survival skills. How to identify a potentially violent student. How to mount a counter-attack against a gunman (e.g. gather on both sides of a classroom door, throw objects at the shooter as he enters, jump on him, take away the gun). The difference between cover and concealment. Etc.

We all want our children free from the threat of gun violence. That’s never going to happen. The fact that schools are preparing for the possibility of an active shooter or shooters is a sign that they recognize this, and take our children’s safety seriously. But they’re not taking it seriously enough.

Just as a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a little security is false security. It lulls the entire school community into thinking that they have the skills needed to deal with an active shooter. Clearly, tragically, they don’t.

comments

  1. avatar Mark says:

    On the face of it, a ‘lockdown’ does seem to be a terrible idea. However, I have yet to run into any examples where it increased the casualties of any school shooting. If that happened every time, it’d be an easy point to make that it was the worst tactic ever.

    Not there yet as far as I can tell, so it may not be as bad as it sounds. Also, you give credit to people who shoot up schools for being at all tactically minded. For the most part, they seem to be partially deranged people operating on strong emotions, and save for a rare few instances (VT), not looking to rack up the highest kill count possible.

    Arm the teachers sounds like a great idea to me (assuming they’re the type that can use a gun responsibly under stress).

  2. avatar Andrew Wiggins says:

    I think it’s great idea to form security groups within the school employees and train them for these situations. They do it for fires, earthquakes and medical emergencies, so why not for this? Maybe they should even pay the trained and armed teacher a little more.

  3. avatar Magoo says:

    Robert, I don’t want to turn America into your gun fantasy. If we have arrived at the point where we need to train teachers in weapons and tactics just to keep the children in our schools safe, we are doing it wrong.

    Guns are not the solution, any more than guns are the problem. When I was a kid, we carried our guns into school after early morning hunting. We didn’t have gun violence because we didn’t have the sick culture of violence we have today, the one TTAG helps to promote.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      The genie is not going back in the bottle. Deal with it. Or accept responsibility for the consequences of your inaction.

    2. avatar E. Zach Lee-Wright says:

      Hey Magoo, you posted “If we have arrived at the point where we need to train teachers in weapons…. we are doing it wrong”.

      Does this mean Israel is doing it wrong?

      The biggest school shooting was not Columbine but in the former Soviet Union and it was done by radical Muslims.

      We tend to “prepare for the last war” instead of the next one. Robert is trying to get people to focus on the real threat, not the last threat. This website is about substance over image. Your objection is about the repugnant image of having to have armed people in the midst of our children. Focus on the threat, not the image.

      Regarding you last sentence insult to Robert, he is part of the solution and not causing the problem. You really came off as a uber-liberal with that remark. Uber-liberals who cannot face up to the greatest threat we have in our lives are NOT the solution.

      And I am….. E. Zach Lee-Wright

      1. avatar Karl says:

        Just like the globalists are wrecking the sovereignty of the United States by bringing in millions of third world Mexicans, Salvadoreans, Nicaraguans, etc…Israel elite are wrecking the Jewish stability by bringing in thousands of Africans into Tel Aviv. Same strategy of destruction all around in America, Europe, Israel…all so that they can bring in their vision of a global government. Screw Soros and his twisted vision. Yes, the Jews too are doing it wrong!

        Multiculturalism is a FAIL, FAIL FAIL!

        Americans bought it, now deal with it dummies. At least the Jews are fighting the purposeful influx of Africans.

  4. avatar Kevin Kehoe says:

    Promoting Violence is not the problem.

    Tolerating it along with all the other dishonorable shit like cheating, stealing,Plucking, ignoring and any other uncivilized and bad mannered crap we can think of.

    Telling GOD to take a hike has not helped.

    It ‘s a fact when folk are packing and concealed, things happen at a much more genteel pace.

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      Promoting and tolerating violence are the same thing. However, you aren’t going to stop these mass school shootings by arming teachers. These kids want to die in a hail of gunfire. That’s the key to and the culmination of the act. At best we are only enabling their desires. Just like the growing trend of suicide by cop. Killing them is no deterrent to others so inclined; quite the contrary.

      Pretty screwed up, isn’t it?

      I totally agree that children lack guidance and supervision. The schools are taking a lot of heat these days, but what should we expect? Parents drop off their nearly feral offspring at school every day and then we wonder why teachers can’t educate them.

  5. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I have always thought, from a tactical perspective, that “lockdown” will one day be used against itself and the entire policy will have to be be reconsidered after it’s too late for some. It’s the proper response in some situations and even perhaps most. But not all. And it seems to be SOP.

  6. avatar ExNuke says:

    The schools can’t possibly teach or enact a policy of self-defense and preparedness. The administration and faculty have been throughly brainwashed in the belief that any violence anywhere is always wrong no matter what and are in turn brainwashing the students in the passive acceptance of anything anybody does to them. Telling the students to resist would go against everything they believe in.

    Not to mention that the Brady Bunch wants the occasional mass murder for their hand wringing propaganda. After all, if you want to make an omelet you have to break eggs. Just like the BATFE needs a lot of American guns to be found in Mexico so just send them a few thousand.

  7. avatar John says:

    Actually, I am a big fan of citizen involvement. It is not about guns, it is about the refusal to be a victim and being armed is the best choice. Not being armed is a bad choice.

    For instance, no one was armed at Dodger Stadium when Paramedic Bryan Stow was beaten. Over 100 witnesses and only one came forward. After the beating, the two assailants were pulled off but not held for police; only half the job, and too, too late.

    A spirit of refusing to be a victim within the crowd of onlookers would have been useful. (Think Todd Beamer and other bystanders who stopped active shooters at schools in 2010.) The onlooker fans could have swarmed the bastards and held them for police.

    Failing that, if Security were notified, a lockdown would have contained the parking lot where the crime ocurred, such as not letting out any vehicles. If the two eluded the lockdown, the remaining vehicles would have been run and the two identified, by a bolo or other action.

    At this time, someone is going to have to turn them in for the reward to get those guys.

    I really like citizen involvement as the first solution.

  8. avatar Joe Markham says:

    Robert-
    I think the suggestion that we teach kids what to do if there is school shooter is an excellent one. We already teach them many things about how to be safe on the road to adulthood. Who didn’t grow up without hearing, “Stop, drop and roll!” or “Use direct pressure to control the bleeding”?

    Many on this site have talked about the importance of teaching children gun safety. Teaching children some basic information about how to respond to a threat by someone using a gun seems like a very good idea.

  9. avatar Jay says:

    I read in some columbine investigation years ago that the original plan was to take advantage of the lockdown keeping the students inside, and herd them into the cafeteria where the perps had a lot of pipe bombs.
    If they had been able to do this, then the lock down would have been involved in increased casualties.

    A lot of the public schools in my city have a cop car out front for most of the day. I assume the cop(s) are inside hanging out. This probably deters shootings by psycho students. However, if terrorists were interested they would simply get the cops first.
    Having some teachers armed as well would be a good second line of defense.

  10. avatar Tim says:

    Don’t confuse the law abiding citizens with drug dealers, gang bangers, thugs and gitter bugs. Anyone with a firearm permit I trust, arming teachers isn’t a bad idea. It’s a shame that some people respect a firearm more than God or man, Isreal had to arm there teachers to stop the terrorist from killing there kids. You can like it or hate it I foresee or teachers packing heat. I fully believe the presence of firearms reduces crime.

  11. avatar Ivan Pisstov says:

    In our concealed carry classes and renewal classes the emphasis is always on “the last resort” theory, whereby you don’t shoot, or in some states, even display or draw your gun until you’ve run out of options. Usually by then it’s too late. I advocate good law abiding citizens with legal carry weapons should be able to draw, to be TOTALLY prepared, without fear of prosecution in serious situations. After all WE DIDN’T start the thing. At best the only thing we can do is hope to FINISH it, and it would be nice and it would generate a lot of confidence if armed citizens could act without fear of being in more trouble than the perpetrators. I would like to see some comments on this concept. It seemingly doesn’t add a whole lot to the picture but in reality it adds a lot more than it may seem.

  12. avatar Ivan Pisstov says:

    I heard a feature on NPR this morning about the new movie on HBO coming this week. Ms Kopple seems to me to be one of those anti gun people who just wish guns would go away, and she would love through this movie to change our minds about our guns, to make us reconsider and forsake our attachment to our guns and live in peace and harmony, let the authorities take care of criminals. Even hunting would go away as people would give up the killing and let animals live a long peaceful life. They won’t let US try to change THEIR minds, and we are not forcing them to own guns. Their stance is that the “normal” opinion on this is that gun owners are wrong, manufacturing and selling guns is wrong, therefore why in the world can’t we just go along with them? We will never find common ground with them. They might as well crawl into their shell and give it up.

  13. avatar Alana W says:

    I agree that we need to teach students what to do in case there is a shooter at school.To learn more and take action against school shootings, I recommend you take a look at this continuing education website to learn how you can help prevent a school shooting from taking place.

    http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/schoolshootings-sse

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