Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: Why School Security Shouldn’t Have “Assault Weapons”

John White (courtesy

“It’s not easy to respond to an active shooter. Will [Douglas County security guards] be trained to judge when to shoot and when not to? It’s more complicated than running in and gunning down the shooter. When a police officer on patrol or a SWAT team comes in, they’re not just going to shoot to kill. If a suspect is contained, the ideal situation is to get him to surrender, and that can take hours. If the person’s not shooting anymore, there’s no justification for opening fire. The goal is to contain and control, to bring it to a peaceful, nonfatal ending if at all possible.” John White, CEO of Protection Management, quoted in A School Security Expert on Why Giving Guards AR-15s Isn’t the Best Way to Protect Students [via]



  1. avatar James says:

    “I can’t line my pockets, overcharging the government schools for useless security theater if schools take more proactive measures and stop a shooter before he racks up the body count.” – inside John White’s mind.

    1. The knowledge of an armed guard at a school would at least help deter a small percentage of attacks. Even if they never had to use a gun defensively.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        The presence of armed personnel AT a school has ALREADY contributed to stopping at least one attack: Arapaho, CO SRO confronting the bad guy very early in the attack let to limiting the number of victims to one.

        The investigation revealed a specific victim list the baddie wanted to get. He didn’t that target.

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    “I’m just a security monitor. I’ll only notify you if there’s an active shooter.”

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a sash.”

      1. avatar Julio says:

        Do you have a hall pass, Son? I can’t let you run around here with that scary rifle unless you have a permission slip. Otherwise, I’ll have to write you up for detention over the weekend.

  3. avatar Alex waits says:

    This guy is a little disconnected.

  4. avatar LarryinTX says:

    He claims that a fruitcake who has murdered children in a school should not be shot as soon as possible, if he is not actually killing more children right at this moment? Just wait and chat until he kills some more kids, then reconsider? Is he for real?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      But…but…but… Shooting the child shooter would add to gun violence!

      (Nobody in their right mind would ever say…)

    2. avatar Tile floor says:

      I am an SRO. If there is a person in the building who has shot students, faculty, or anyone else for that matter I am not going to be negotiating, or trying to get him to surrender, even if he is contained. I am going to shoot him until he draws his last breath, at any cost, self preservation be damned.

      And I would like to have an AR in my office in a safe, seeing as some of the hallways are over 125 yards long. Unfortunately my patrol rifle got yanked as soon as I got transferred.


  5. avatar C.S. says:

    “bring it to a peaceful, nonfatal ending if at all possible” … began and ended with the gun-free zone.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I cannot for the life of me understand why these people are so hell-bent on bringing it to a peaceful conclusion and taking the shooter into custody where we can spend millions in court costs, prisons and useless psychiatric care.

      And it’s not like a School security officer is going to go all Rambo with his AR. The point is to be able to confront the shooter if necessary or at the very least to set up a defensive position while you wait for SWAT to decide if it’s time to enter the building.

      IMO hostage negotiator’s major focus should be distracting the guy while the snipers get in position for a clean shot.

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    How many actually last long enough to get on with a drawn out negotiate/surrender scenario?
    Most of them blow their own heads off as soon as they see somebody else draw on them.

    This attitude folks have about taking them alive or sending in teams of shrinks to find out why is a complete waste of time. There is no master key answer to why. Just end the threat and move on.

  7. avatar Sunshine_Shooter (formerly WedelJ) says:

    Jeeze, it’s like this guy has no idea whatt he’s talking about! Oh, wait…

    But really, the things this guy could learn from a simple CCW class, much less the multiple force-on-force and/or team tactics training that would surely be required for such security guards.

  8. avatar Swilson says:

    Well the schools are becoming more and more like indoctrination centers anyway…not that I’m arguing against effective security measures though.

  9. avatar Gunsplain says:

    “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” Bang!

    Second and a half, tops. And that’s only if the rifle isn’t shouldered and/or pointed at anyone.

  10. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Sounds about right.

    Most CEO’s know f*ck all about the product and/or service their company actually provides.

  11. avatar PeterK says:

    HA! It’s just a tired retread of the same argument. You’ll just screw it up! Wait for the cops.

    Which sounds great when you aren’t waiting for the cops.

    1. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

      It also sounds great as long as you don’t know how often cops screw things up.

  12. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    When seconds count the police are minutes away. At best. Such a suspect will not contain themselves ultimately, so having someone there who can present force to create such a situation is a good thing.

    1. avatar C.S. says:

      Well, it’s possible that by the time police arrive, the suspect has run out of ammo…

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        Nah… those clip things only hold seven bullets so they can’t kill more people than that.

  13. avatar 16V says:

    “When a police officer on patrol or a SWAT team comes in, they’re not just going to shoot to kill.”

    Um, yeah. Yeah, they will. Been watching too much TV, have we?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Agree. It seems to me that every time I read about a SWAT entry, there are five adrenaline hyped guys yelling contradictory commands, and then the shooting begins. If you are a civilian who gets up in the middle of the night to investigate a commotion, if you arm yourself and its the police, you have signed your death warrant. And it will be deemed a justified shooting, even if the police are in the wrong house. it is no different in schools. If they see a gun, they will open fire.

  14. avatar John Dalton says:

    I can recall a day when the liberal use of “Sparky” was the best defense against murder in all of it’s heinous forms. Ever notice that pre-Furman (1972) there were no “school shootings”, but that post-Furman that there have been a plethora?

  15. avatar Robert W. says:

    “It’s not easy to respond to an active shooter…what if he’s not shooting anymore.”

    Then by definition he’s not an active shooter.

    How do some of these morons get around thinking that police officers are some ultra-trained super heroes that spend 20 hours a day on the range doing shoot/no-shoot drills.

    When has the ever been a situation in which a first responder that encounters a shooter in their ‘active phase’ has been engaged in a spirited debate, and then gives up peacefully.

    It’s the same thing over and over, invent impractical solution, spend all resources and press coverage trying to promote that solution.

  16. avatar John E> says:

    I am curious if he was the hallway monitor in grade school…

  17. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Of course, if it is known that school security guards are armed with powerful weapons, the likelihood of said schools being targeted for an attack will be reduced, essentially, to zero.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      There’s a lot of evidence to back up that point.

      What happens next, though. Does a would-be spree killer just move on to a softer target? Even if we could tool up everywhere, and we can’t, he still has first shooter advantage. So we’re still talking more about minimizing carnage rather than preventing spree shootings outright.

      Maybe that additional planning and target selection time would give him pause, perhaps enough to seek mental help or abandon the plan? Or maybe enough time to slip up and get discovered? I don’t know.

      I endorse the idea of armed defense wherever my family and I are. That’s proven effective. I don’t have a solution that scales up for society as a whole, however.

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        “…I endorse the idea of armed defense wherever my family and I are. That’s proven effective. I don’t have a solution that scales up for society as a whole, however.”

        If each takes responsibility for their own then it scales up quite nicely.

        1. avatar Jandrews says:

          Bingo. The 2nd Amendment was created as a check on government force but works just as well against any lethal force/violence aggressor. It’s an individual right so that we can all watch our own asses, because the Founding Fathers assumed Americans would be adults, not the sniveling babies in aged bodies that half of them have become.

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Not at, say, a Florida beach. Practicalities and such.

          “Is that a GLOCK in your speedo, or are you just happy to see me?”

  18. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Mr. White makes a lot of sense in the article up at The Trace, right until he says this:

    “There’s deterrence, and there’s defense. Guns provide defense, not deterrence.”

    Those guys standing with ARs at the ready outside of military bases? Not a deterrence. The armed guard at the bank, not a deterrence. That’s why they put the words “ARMED GUARD” on armored trucks, so that a criminal won’t be deterred. Prison guards armed with rifles, not a deterrence.

    Asinine. The dude went full retard.

  19. avatar Mighty Mo says:

    GOD! FLAME DELETED If some psychopath walks into my kid’s school with a gun I want him dropped immediately. The moment some nut job walks through those doors therapy time is over. No more coddling. It’s time for the little shit to go meet his maker. No more touchy feely bullshit. And the more we can intimidate these little fucks into not doing it in the first place the better. FLAME DELETED

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      But Mo, how do you really feel about it?

  20. avatar Al Swymer says:

    This is a carefully worded statement, written by lawyers, for a man who is selling an obsolete product to people who know little or nothing. But… it looks good on paper, costs a lot, and the soccer moms will love it.

  21. avatar Joseph says:

    If John White is a school security expert, I’m the Easter Bunny.

  22. avatar ACP_arms says:

    I’d rather have a rifle if a shooter is 50 yards down a hall then a handgun. Really, how many people target shoot at 50 yards with a handgun and I doubt that police and security do.

    1. avatar John E> says:

      I regularly hit a clay target, off hand, at 100 yds with my Sig Scorpion 1911 .45. Granted it wasn’t shooting back…

  23. avatar ACP_arms says:

    “…Take the example of lighting. Improved lighting will deter people from committing crimes on your property at night. Intruders don’t like it when flood lights come on…”

    This is about a shooter in a school not a burglary at 2:00 am.

    “…I’d be surprised if this became the norm. I’d be disappointed if it became the norm…”

    Because you would be out a job.

  24. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “Will [security guards] be trained to judge when to shoot and when not to? It’s more complicated than running in and gunning down the shooter.” — John White

    What is so ambiguous or fuzzy about this? When you (an armed responder) see someone trying to wound/kill students, you shoot that someone.

    There really isn’t anything more to it.

  25. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “If the person’s not shooting anymore, there’s no justification for opening fire.” — John White

    That depends on the totality of circumstances. An attacker is a credible, imminent threat of death or great bodily harm if the attacker shot or shot at people moments ago, has a gun in hand, is within range of bystanders or armed responders, and is not incapacitated or surrendering. And if the attacker is a credible, imminent threat of death or great bodily harm, then use of deadly force is legally justified.

    Trying to talk down the attacker only makes sense if the attacker has no ability to engage bystanders or armed responders … such as if the attacker locked themselves in a room and no one else is in the room with them.

  26. avatar Jon in CO says:

    All of this came about because the county north of here decided to implement some CHEAP AR’s in the school security program. By cheap, they ended up costing $1250 each. I’m more frustrated that they paid that kind of money for rifles that cost $600 out the door at the LGS.

  27. avatar H says:

    Police and SWAT are trained to shoot center mass which tends to mortal wounding. Guy sounds like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Have them continuously train. Police don’t continuously train with their firearms. Special details do. That may be once or twice a year.

    What I say here is not my opinion but fact from the sources.
    Perhaps they should implement everything not instead of.
    Perhaps his opinions are just those, opinions. Armed guards are a deterrent. Even the FBI recognizes that these 18-26 yr olds choose soft targets. The improved lighting comment! Since when did a school shooter invade a school when no one was there?
    He has a chance to make kids safer and sounds like a goof.

  28. avatar DaveL says:

    Are we still, as a society, pretending it’s really hard to tell someone who’s shooting school kids apart from somebody who isn’t shooting school kids?

    1. avatar Jandrews says:

      There are people out there who claim the shooter’s life has value after the point at which he/she begins to murder innocents. I wonder if they’d feel the same if their loved one were killed.

      1. avatar scott says:

        Those people are wrong.

  29. avatar Adub says:

    An AR offers greater range, capacity, and firepower than a pistol but it is not concealable.

    Once a school gets ARs, they have to store them, and now you have a theft problem. Plus, a school resource officer would have to get to the AR and then go to the threat. That takes time.

    Better plan would be a $200/week bonus to a teacher who carries concealed. Plus $100 month towards ammo expenses/training. For less than the price of one new teacher, you could have half a dozen armed guards at the school.

    Maybe even offer a hiring bonus to former soldiers. Lots have college degrees and real combat experience.

    1. avatar ATTAGReader says:

      Agreed. Example: JROTC instructor at our daughter’s high school, infested then and now a number of years after she graduated with hoodlums of every description. Excellent history/social science teacher. 20 years as Army officer. Desert Storm. Should have been able to carry in school. And the SRO, who definitely was armed, would have been better off if he also had access to a rifle.

  30. avatar Don says:

    1. Because doing so would finally provide adequate protection for the school children, and that would be highly visible evidence that gun rights supporters were right all along.

  31. avatar Royal Tony says:

    Every school should just hire Tom Berrenger as a substitute teacher. Problem solved.

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