"Gun Free" Schools and Terrorism


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Mr. Designer
September 11, 2007, 10:27 AM
Another effect of "Gun Free" Schools. Tonight and all week long, Glenn Beck is reporting on the intelligence information we have been getting concerning terrorist looking to attack elementary schools. We have found floor plans of six US schools in Iraq. The schools were located in Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon and California. I would advise all to watch.

http://www.schoolsecurity.org/

7 & 9 ET on CNN Headline News

From CNN:
Exposed: The Perfect Day
For Islamic terrorists, the perfect day is a series of coordinated attacks that kill as many Americans and create as much chaos as possible. All next week, we'll take a closer look at one of the areas where we are most vulnerable to this kind of attack -- our schools. Don't miss Exposed: The Perfect Day. Every night at 7 and 9 p.m. ET.Tonight on CNN Headline News.

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Blackbeard
September 11, 2007, 07:13 PM
Don't worry. If the terrorists bring a gun onto school grounds it'll go on their permanent record.

PistolPackin'Papa
September 11, 2007, 07:38 PM
I live across from a elementry school in a town of 20,000. Because of pervert alerts from time to time, parents in this town are usually very conscious of strangers. Especially if they are walking close to the school. However, I have noticed strange cars parked within RPG range that have been parked for hours with folks just sitting inside a half block from school. (I call the cops when I see them.) There are just sooooo many ways to strike at a school. How do busy parents watch out for all of them?

PPP

churched
September 11, 2007, 07:43 PM
Watching schools and protecting our children while at school are not the jobs of parents. It is the job of the school it self and the police to protect our children from danger. But sadly neither party including the parents will catch every thing 100 percent of the time.

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 07:44 PM
No one here wants to live in the kind of society it would take to defend every school against a Belsan type attack. This is not the kind of thing you can defend against by eliminating gun free zones around schools or by arming the teachers, admin staff and custodians. You're talking about turning every elementary school in the country into a prison and expending the resources to defend it with the equivalent of a rifle platoon at the minimum.

If terrorists were stupid enough to do this, there would be no stopping the rage of the American people. I don't see how this would help their cause at all.

Jeff

wheelgunslinger
September 11, 2007, 07:49 PM
And here I thought you'd gone and left us Mr. White. :)

I'll agree with Jeff on all accounts. This wouldn't make sense to their cause to do this. But, I can imagine there are a few loose cannon in their more radical movements that might just give it a try.

And, that would be the beginning of the end for all of them.

MikeG
September 11, 2007, 07:53 PM
If terrorists were stupid enough to do this, there would be no stopping the rage of the American people. I don't see how this would help their cause at all.


I believe the plan is to outrage Americans enough to go after all Muslims indiscriminately, not just the extremists and terrorists. If they can drag the rest of the Islamic world into the fight on their side, it'll be very bad for us.

JLStorm
September 11, 2007, 08:06 PM
Even if we did make the schools into prisons...it wouldnt help...racial profiling would get in the way after all.

Aaryq
September 11, 2007, 08:07 PM
Bingo, MikeG. YOU hit the nail right on the head. If we can go after the Muslims of all races (and all of the Middle Easterners regardless of religion), we will actually help their cause and use our reaction to strengthen their cause one hundred-fold.

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 08:10 PM
The Belsan attack was supposed to be the outrage that sparked a civil war. That didn't happen. All in all it was a costly operation that didn't accomplish it's mission.

I don't see our nation indiscriminately attacking all Muslims in response to this. Sure there would be a radical fringe that would scream for it, but I think our response would be more measured...terrible, but measured.

That's not to say it's impossible, I just don't think it's all that likely.

The question is, what can we really do at our level to defend against it? I'm afraid the answer is, not much.

A couple CCW holders and a school resource officer banding together to fight off the terrorists might make a good chapter in a techno-thriller or part of a movie script, but in real life, it's not going to happen. The terrorists will come in big enough numbers with enough firepower to render that type of defense hopeless.

Jeff

Waitone
September 11, 2007, 09:19 PM
We've evidently been studying up on Beslan. Not publicly but certainly within the LE community. When Mr. White said there may not be a lot we can do he is reflecting what I've read. Once the op starts we are pretty much spectators. Any attempt to interfere will no doubt be played in our media as a screwup on our part. Hence, then need for preparation before the attack.

What I don't have a handle on is how the president will handle the howls of rage and demands for revenge that will inevitably result. A very wise man who has worked his entire life in the middle east told be at the beginning of 911 that this country will be faced with moral choices which will stretch our civilization in ways we've never experienced. He very clearly said we will be asked to do things which are unthinkable 10 years ago.

SJG26
September 11, 2007, 09:30 PM
"If terrorists were stupid enough to do this, there would be no stopping the rage of the American people. I don't see how this would help their cause at all. "


I disagree---there would be much wringing of hands and loud protests---but what EXACTLY would most Americans do-----roll over and let politicians discuss ways to fix the system,

Only about 99% of the reading audience here would take up arms and actively protect our children on a daily basis------most others will roll over and let the "government" do something !

Hazel
September 11, 2007, 10:28 PM
A couple CCW holders and a school resource officer banding together to fight off the terrorists might make a good chapter in a techno-thriller or part of a movie script, but in real life, it's not going to happen.

While that may be true, it's a whole lot better than doing nothing and just letting the terrorists kill hundreds (or at the very, very least, dozens) of innocent children without even trying to fight back. Besides, even if arming teachers and administrators wouldn't do a single thing in a full-scale terrorist attack, there are many other possible situations in which it would be extremely useful and would prevent a lot of needless deaths.

I apologize if I got the wrong impression from what you said, but I felt that that needed to be said.

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 10:43 PM
SJG26 said;

Only about 99% of the reading audience here would take up arms and actively protect our children on a daily basis

Let's be real here, just for a minute. Belsan was a paramilitary operation, they brought in a platoon sized force of terrorists with enough firepower to overwhelm a much larger force then they expected to encounter at the school.

There is absolutely nothing short of pulling your children out of school and dropping out of society that you can do to actively protect your children from that threat. There is little the government can do except to try to keep tabs on those who would conduct such an atrocity. That's not an impossible thing to do considering the size of a Belsan type operation.

The pistol or revolver in your waistband and the AR, AK, shotgun FAL, SKS whatever in your home or automobile are not magic talisman that will keep all evil away. The 99% of those who are reading this and who would arm themselves and actively protect our children on a daily basis would have no training, no organization and would most likely soon be very bored with the day in day out routine of nothing happening.

There are a lot of things that armed citizens can do. Mounting a credible force to protect every school in the US isn't one of them. The government doesn't have the resources and we wouldn't want to pay the bill for them to attempt it.

The threat has to be fought in other ways. We simply can't make every school in America a hard target.

Jeff

Mauserguy
September 11, 2007, 10:46 PM
Churched, I agree that protecting the schools is a job for the police and the schools, unfortunately, they are not doing anything. They are just teaching Caesar Chavez facts and leftist pacifism. In Colorado, they aren't even allowing the kids to play tag because it might hurt somebody's feelings. You know what will really hurt somebody's feelings? An Islamic attack will. We are pretty stupid.
Mauserguy

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 10:50 PM
Mauserguy,

Please post your plan that would protect the school from being over run by 30 terrorists armed with automatic weapons and high explosives.

Jeff

cwmcgu2
September 11, 2007, 10:55 PM
I was talking to a ex Marine, special forces, and military contractor (and I know he is telling the truth about his qualifications) who has started a new operation to help schools plan for active shooter scenarios. He said that after he set up his website he began getting a number of hits from Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, Saudi Arabia and so on. The extremists know how utterly unprepared we are to protect out children.

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 10:59 PM
We're not talking about an active shooter scenario. We're talking about a platoon sized force taking over a school. Two very different threats.

Jeff

F4GIB
September 11, 2007, 11:01 PM
Please post your plan that would protect the school from being over run by 30 terrorists armed with automatic weapons and high explosives.

It's not 50 single officer squad cars responding (after the fact) from all over the county. The counterforce has to be IN PLACE when the attack STARTS.
Interesting, the counterforce doesn't appear to need to be as strong as the attackers (I suppose the military rule of thumb that defense is to offense as 4 is to 1 ratio applies in some fashion).

Here's an answer proven to reduce, not eliminate, the risk of terrorist attacks.


*** All over Israel, guns became pervasive in the schools:

"Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns, schools were protected by parents (and often grandpas) guarding them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip without armed guards. The Police involved the citizens in a voluntary civil guard project “Mishmar Esrachi,” which even had its own sniper teams. The Army’s Youth Group program, “Gadna”, trained 15 to 16-year-old kids in gun safety and guard procedures and the older high-school boys got involved with the Mishmar Esrachi. During one noted incident, the “Herzliyah Bus massacre” (March ’78, hijacking of a bus, 37 dead, 76 wounded), these youngsters were involved in the overall security measures in which the whole area between North Tel Aviv and the resort town of Herzlyiah was blocked off, manning roadblocks with the police, guarding schools kindergartens, etc."

After a while, “When the message got around to the PLO groups and a couple infiltration attempts failed, the attacks against schools ceased.”

This is not to say that Palestinian terrorists never target schools. In late May 2002, an Israeli teacher shot a suicide terrorist before he could harm anyone. ***

http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel200409022215.asp

Is this the perfect solution to a platoon sized attack? No.

But remember the military axiom that "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." At least in the Israeli approach, that first contact occurs immediately and the situation favors the defenders. It's no guarantee of victory but it'll sure F. U. the terrorist's plan. Remember United Flight 93.

Steve499
September 11, 2007, 11:12 PM
The terrorists will come in big enough numbers with enough firepower to render that type of defense hopeless.

Even if we put up signs on the doors? They wouldn't be able to use guns, can't take those into a school. We'd have to get real creative with their arsenal menu so we covered all the bases. That ought to work!

JLStorm
September 11, 2007, 11:13 PM
Comparing Israel to the US is like putting a professional boxer's experienced child in the ring with a complete novice his first day in the gym. People in Israel grow up seeing violence first hand, they were all in the military at some point, and guns on the streets are accepted. They are much more realistic and hardened than the American people that live sheltered lives and sit around eating hoho's all day. They also know their enemy well, they have basically been at war since Israel was formed. They are seasoned fighters raised by more seasoned fighters.

The US is fat, lazy, and dependent on the government...comparing the two is probably insulting to anyone from Israel. I love the United States and everything the constitution stands for, I wouldnt want to live anywhere else, but to compare us to Israel just isnt realistic, at least not as a whole.

F4GIB
September 11, 2007, 11:16 PM
No one here wants to live in the kind of society it would take to defend every school against a Belsan type attack.

Unfortunately, the choice isn't ours. It's that of the terrorists.

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 11:24 PM
F4GIB said;
t's not 50 single officer squad cars responding (after the fact) from all over the county. The counterforce has to be IN PLACE when the attack STARTS.
Interesting, the counterforce doesn't appear to need to be as strong as the attackers (I suppose the military rule of thumb that defense is to offense as 4 is to 1 ratio applies in some fashion).

I agree. But you can't put a large enough force into a school to repel this kind of attack at any kind of reasonable cost and you can't harden the school physical plant to make it very difficult to attack at any kind of reasonable cost either.

Here's an answer proven to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.

Quote:
*** All over Israel, guns became pervasive in the schools:

"Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns, schools were protected by parents (and often grandpas) guarding them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip without armed guards. The Police involved the citizens in a voluntary civil guard project “Mishmar Esrachi,” which even had its own sniper teams. The Army’s Youth Group program, “Gadna”, trained 15 to 16-year-old kids in gun safety and guard procedures and the older high-school boys got involved with the Mishmar Esrachi. During one noted incident, the “Herzliyah Bus massacre” (March ’78, hijacking of a bus, 37 dead, 76 wounded), these youngsters were involved in the overall security measures in which the whole area between North Tel Aviv and the resort town of Herzlyiah was blocked off, manning roadblocks with the police, guarding schools kindergartens, etc."

After a while, “When the message got around to the PLO groups and a couple infiltration attempts failed, the attacks against schools ceased.”

This is not to say that Palestinian terrorists never target schools. In late May 2002, an Israeli teacher shot a suicide terrorist before he could harm anyone. ***

Yes and those attacks were carried out by single terrorists and small groups. Belsan was carried out by a trained and equipped force who came in prepared to overwhelm a much larger force.

Your plan of arming people in the school would be no deterrant. None. There is no way they could assemble from their widespread locations within the school and put up any kind of credible resistance.

The rule of thumb ratio of attackers to defenders is 3-1 by the way. But it's immaterial. Because in your scenario the attackers will overwhelm the defenders 10-1 or better as they meet the defenders one or two at a time. It would take a dedicated security force to stop a Belsan type of attack. Armed faculty, no matter how well trained and motivated would be nothing but a speed bump as the terrorists overwhelmed the school. One man with a gun against 10 or more willing to die to kill him is no deterrent.

How quickly do you think you could assemble your force of armed staff in a typical American elementary school? How your armed staff member going to deal with the terrorists herding a classroom of children down the hall in front of them? Going to fire into the kids to stop the terrorists? Or are they going to hand over their weapons and surrender to keep the terrorists from harming the children?

Jeff
'

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 11:35 PM
I really don't get it. It's all but impossible to protect a school from a "platoon-sized force", therefore we do nothing at all?

Maybe we're "not talking about an active-shooter scenario", but I would think anyone paying attention would have noticed that we have had plenty of THOSE--and it clearly ought to be part of the conversation. Even a small number of armed and trained teachers and staff could have prevented at least some of the deaths in school shootings over the last decade or so.

Moreover, terrorists don't ALWAYS attack in huge crowds. Small groups are much more common, if only because they are harder to spot in advance. ANY armed resistance is better than none, as the Israelis have learned the hard way.

It would be all but impossible to defend a bank against a "platoon-sized force", too, but for some reason they still commonly have armed guards on the premises. Is our money more worth protecting than our kids?

As usual, the Israelis are getting it right. They have to.

(They're not afraid of "ethnic profiling", either. "You don't like being searched because you're an Arab? Then tell your people to stop killing us.")

JLStorm
September 11, 2007, 11:38 PM
(They're not afraid of "ethnic profiling", either. "You don't like being searched because you're an Arab? Then tell your people to stop killing us.")

I wish the US had the balls to say that, besides its not racial profiling, its playing the odds and if lots of blonde hair blue eyed people started committing the same crimes we would start playing different odds.

The_Shootist
September 11, 2007, 11:49 PM
I understand the scenario where the terrorists would LIKE to quickly move in 30 or so bodies well equipped into a school - but how realistic is it?

The cells that have been uncovered have all had - what? 6 members? 12 members? Now all of a sudden they rush 30 well armed gunman into a school?

I just have a hard time believing they can mass that amount of men/material ata specific point without someone - even a wary pedestrian or motorist along their route of assembly - spotting "something". It just takes that little chink in the armour to let an arrowhead through and blow the whole thing.

Whats is more likely is a group - say 4-6 scumbags - assembling and pulling a W Va Tech situation. I would suggest 1-2 reasonably armed/motivated CHL holders on/ariving at the scene quickly could screw things up for them pretty quickly.

The whole idea is to buy time - not exercise any John Wayne nonsense. Every second the terrorists are looking over their sholder / exchanging shots with a civilian is one in which they aren't shooting at kids and the security response teams come closer. Heck, a couple of minutes could bring a patrol car or two and then its probably pretty much over. The odds would just keep getting worse for the vermin in question.

If you want to be REAL macabre - what about all that handwringing that goes on about how our schools are awash in drugs/weapons. Can you totally discount the fact that a "morally challenged" student or two fishes a .380 out of his locker (or his person) once it all started going down?

Wouldn't that be ironic - fresh martyrs courtesy of some homeboy bustin' a cap in their hide :evil:

Jeff White
September 11, 2007, 11:53 PM
cnorman18 said;
I really don't get it. It's all but impossible to protect a school from a "platoon-sized force", therefore we do nothing at all?

There are other ways. Intelligence operations to find and stop the attacks before they ever get to the point where they would be launched.

Maybe we're "not talking about an active-shooter scenario", but I would think anyone paying attention would have noticed that we have had plenty of THOSE--and it clearly ought to be part of the conversation. Even a small number of armed and trained teachers and staff could have prevented at least some of the deaths in school shootings over the last decade or so.

Why should it be part of this conversation? We're talking about a terrorist attack on a school, not a lone nutcase shooting things up. Apples and oranges and what is a defense against an active shooter is no more then a distraction to a terrorist take over.

Moreover, terrorists don't ALWAYS attack in huge crowds. Small groups are much more common, if only because they are harder to spot in advance. ANY armed resistance is better than none, as the Israelis have learned the hard way.

The last school take over by a radical Islamic terrorist group was in Belsan. That's the worst case scenario that we have to plan against.

It would be all but impossible to defend a bank against a "platoon-sized force", too, but for some reason they still commonly have armed guards on the premises. Is our money more worth protecting than our kids?

I don't remember the last time I've seen an armed guard in a bank here in the midwest, except when the armored car company was making a delivery or pickup. The visible armed guard is not even much of a deterrent to the lone bank robber who most often these days never even displays a weapon and just passes a note to the teller. There aren't a lot of takeover bank robberies these days. In those banks that still have them, the armed guard is eyewash. He's there to establish a presence and maybe deter someone from a spur of the moment action. He's no way, shape or form a credible deterrent. I happen to think that our children deserve better then that.

I've got nothing against arming every staff member in the school building. But I'm not going to convince myself that it's protection against a Belsan type attack, because its not. There are some things that require other solutions.

Jeff

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 11:54 PM
--we just don't know it yet.

I suspect that the U.S. is going to have to become a lot more like Israel over the next decade or so.

We'd better. And I think we will. I have great faith in the American people.

When--not "if"--the war is being fought over here on a daily basis, we'll see the pacifist weenies overwhelmed by the great mass of Americans who aren't willing to surrender and submit to Sharia law.

Joe Demko
September 11, 2007, 11:56 PM
Jeff White explained some of the realities of making a school a hard target and asked those who disagree with him to submit their idea of how things should be done. Other than some vague muttering about ethnic profiling and Israel, nothing has been put forward.
I work in the public school system. The way people complain about their taxes now, I can't imagine them funding what hardening every building and providing a full-time defense force for each would cost...but if that magically did happen, I can easily imagine many of you here blowing a gasket over the militarization of the schools. You already call them "indoctrination camps."
Guns aren't the solution to all problems. In this case, the solution, imperfect as it is, lies largely in investigative and intelligence agencies heading the terrorists off before they attack a school.

chris in va
September 11, 2007, 11:56 PM
Well, wow. All this assumption that 20 terrorists will attack an elementary school.

Bringing things down to a more realistic level, how about 1-2 guys? Surely a large number of BG's will be noticed by the .gov types before it takes place. In fact a few plots have been foiled overseas recently with more than 5 people involved.

A more believeable scenerio is the lone or semi-lone guy that simply walks into a school through the unlocked door. Now in THAT situation I may submit that someone armed in the school could considerably reduce the threat.

Gaucho Gringo
September 12, 2007, 12:04 AM
If you look historically the US has always been at war with Islam. not by our choice but by theirs. The first war we fought after getting our independence was with Muslims, the Barbary Pirates. This is the reason the US Navy was established. If they had not attacked our ships there would have been no USS Constitution. I have no respect for Islam as a religion because of it's bloodthirsty ways. It has always been a religion of warfare no two ways about it. I went to college with a bunch of Saudi students and lets say they they reinforced all my opinions of people who folllow Islam. I am sorry my opinions are not very high road but what about their's.

Joe Demko
September 12, 2007, 12:07 AM
What about theirs? You are the one in control of your opinions, not them.

No matter what somebody else does wrong, it isn't an excuse for you to do something wrong. My parents taught me that. The Sisters of Mercy taught me that. I believe that. YMMV.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 12:10 AM
The_Shootist said;

The cells that have been uncovered have all had - what? 6 members? 12 members? Now all of a sudden they rush 30 well armed gunman into a school?

They did at Belsan.

I just have a hard time believing they can mass that amount of men/material ata specific point without someone - even a wary pedestrian or motorist along their route of assembly - spotting "something". It just takes that little chink in the armour to let an arrowhead through and blow the whole thing.

Which is why it's pretty unlikely to happen here in the US at the present time.

Whats is more likely is a group - say 4-6 scumbags - assembling and pulling a W Va Tech situation. I would suggest 1-2 reasonably armed/motivated CHL holders on/ariving at the scene quickly could screw things up for them pretty quickly.

I think you gravely underestimate the enemy. That's a dangerous thing to do. I also think that you are greatly overestimating the ability of CCW holders in general. That is also a dangerous thing to do.

The whole idea is to buy time - not exercise any John Wayne nonsense. Every second the terrorists are looking over their sholder / exchanging shots with a civilian is one in which they aren't shooting at kids and the security response teams come closer. Heck, a couple of minutes could bring a patrol car or two and then its probably pretty much over. The odds would just keep getting worse for the vermin in question.

They probably aren't going to exchange shots with civilians for very long. they'll use the children as a shield or just bypass the civilian, leaving one or two to deal with him. We're talking about a planned raid. Not some nutcase who wants to shoot people. They have a mission, they have a plan and they probably are familiar with the layout of the school.

Provided they haven't already cut phone lines and equipped themselves to jam cell phone signals (the technology is available to the public), how long do you think the response time is. In many rural areas it might be 20 minutes or longer before one officer could arrive on the scene. It's just not realistic to think that we can protect ourselves from a Belsan type of attack by arming the school staff.

Jeff

F4GIB
September 12, 2007, 12:12 AM
In this case, the solution, imperfect as it is, lies largely in investigative and intelligence agencies heading the terrorists off before they attack a school.

And, when (not if) they evade the I&I services and get inside the school, what do we do?

IMHO, first, we F. U. their plan by getting some return fire. Who knows, the shooters might be lucky and get the 3 terrorist leaders in a stairway. Or, the defenders might die. But time and confusion favor the defenders and the rapid response force (I hope the police don't stand around with their collective thumbs in their a**s like SWAT did in San Yesidro, CA, 101 California Street, and Columbine, CO). "Don't do nothing!" should be the first command.

There is no way to avoid the desirability of armed teachers and staff inside the school. At best they stop the attack or impair it severely. At worst, they lay down their weapons and hope for outside rescue.

But SOME counterforce must be present in the school at all times it's occupied. It's not a guarantee, it's an opportunity. The Israeli's have learned this from sad experience. We should avoid that tragedy.

F4GIB
September 12, 2007, 12:21 AM
Jeff White posted:
It's just not realistic to think that we can protect ourselves from a Belsan type of attack by arming the school staff.

So when intelligence fails and the school IS occupied, we are left with a Waco-type assault that kills the children to save them? Isn't that what happened in Belsan?

I've observed FBI's HRT in action at Waco and Ruby Ridge, I don't think they can take a force of 30 hardened, trained, veterans ensconced in a hard structure without destroying the facility and killing almost everyone in it. That's an "operation" by "operators", it's not a victory.

Wes Janson
September 12, 2007, 12:35 AM
Personally, I suspect that a Beslan on American soil is about as significant of a threat as killer asteroids-theoretically possible, but not remotely likely to occur anytime soon. The smaller threats are the likely ones..although statistically "likely" still means that something on the order of 99.99%* of schools won't ever face such situations.

*Extremely approximate figure, given that there are approximately 100,000 public schools in this country, and that each year there are perhaps only one or two widely reported school shootings of a significant nature.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 12:41 AM
F4GIB said;
IMHO, first, we F. U. their plan by getting some return fire. Who knows, the shooters might be lucky and get the 3 terrorist leaders in a stairway.

Why don't you read this account of the attack at Belsan and then we'll talk about armed staff being a credible deterrent.

http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0606BESLAN_140?school

But time and confusion favor the defenders.

What defenders? Again I ask you, what kind of credible resistance do you think they will put up? What is your plan to get enough armed staff together in time to put up a credible resistance? You seem to be putting all of your faith in what's likely to be minimally or totally untrained, possibly poorly motivated teachers, administrative and custodial personnel to repel an attack by a trained, motivated force that isn't afraid to die to accomplish it's mission.

At best they stop the attack or impair it severely. At worst, they lay down their weapons and hope for outside rescue.

Read the article on Belsan. Then tell me that armed staff could stop such an attack.

But SOME counterforce must be present in the school at all times it's occupied. It's not a guarantee, it's an opportunity.

Do you think the terrorists won't search the staff once they take the school?

So when intelligence fails and the school IS occupied, we are left with a Waco-type assault that kills the children to save them? Isn't that what happened in Belsan?

Yes, that's what we're left with. And no one, not HRT, not LAPD D Platoon, not the SAS or CAG, no one possesses the ability to make an assault like that without massive loss of life. It's a lose/lose situation. The only way to stop this is with intelligence operations that can prevent it from happening.

Arming the staff is fine. But in this situation it will make little difference. You could issue every staff member an M4A1, require them to wear it on their body in a chalker sling whenever they are on school property, send them to Thunder Ranch or Gunsite for carbine training, and they'll still lose the fight for the school. In the end, arming the staff is not a solution to this problem and we're kidding ourselves if we think it is. I'm not against it, for it might be the solution to some other problems, but it's not the solution to this one.

Jeff

Mannix
September 12, 2007, 12:42 AM
Somehow I find in hard to accept that our government is so incompetent it could let a force of that size slip through the cracks, I just can't see it happening. Our situation is TOTALLY different from Chechnya's, they have an on going civil war between the pro-Russian forces led by their president, and the various Chechen separatist groups, and the entire area is a terrorist breeding ground. We, on the other hand, have no civil wars going on, and very few homegrown terrorists.

The biggest threat as it is right now are attacks from individual and groups of 2-5 people, both of which I think would be deterred in part by arming school staff.

Oleg Volk
September 12, 2007, 12:53 AM
Jeff, defenders might lose but any time during which the site isn't secured by attackers would allow flight by the students and unarmed staff.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 01:02 AM
Oleg,
Not once did I say it was a bad idea to arm the staff. If it allows one child to escape it's worth it. All I'm saying is that it's not a solution and we're kidding ourselves if we think it is.

Jeff

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 02:31 AM
There seems to be this idea that any "suspicious" activity would get noticed and someone would alert someone and that would mess with the BG's plan.

Which is fine.

Except that a SCHOOL BUS FULL OF PEOPLE isn't suspicious.

There you are. There's the school. And there's a school bus pulling up in front of the school. The fact that it's a slightly different model of school bus, with markings that aren't consistent with the local district, and with the name of some school you've never heard of, will probably not raise any flags with a casual observer.

Why would it? In competitive sports, public speaking/debate, and other inter-mural activities, it's not at all unusual to see GOOFBALL UNIFIED SKOOLZ on a bus outside your school.

You can fit a force of 40 or so, complete with equipment, on a normal school bus. And you'd never see it coming until they were storming out of the bus toward the school.

And this is my own personal naive scenario, based on five minutes of thought, not months of planning.

Whatever you are used to seeing in the news about "school violence," this isn't going to match that template.

This requires a new thinking model.

(And, yes, I'd arm the teachers. No sense giving any ground you don't have to.)

F4GIB
September 12, 2007, 08:06 AM
All I'm saying is that it's not a solution and we're kidding ourselves if we think it is.

If you said "not a complete solution," I think Oleg and I would agree.

But available counterforce is essential (like fire extinguishers at an oil refinery) even if, as it turns out, it's not used. Lots can go wrong in an assault, lets be prepared to take any advantage God gives us.

thegriz
September 12, 2007, 10:42 AM
Glenn Beck said that architectural plans of several schools in the US were found on a hard drive in Iraq that was possessed by a known terrorist.

a snippet from the transcript:

THOR: Okay. What was found in an insurgent, an Al-Qaeda affiliated safehouse over in Iraq, they were school blueprints, basically, floor plans for schools across the country. San Diego, California, West Salem, Oregon, Boyertown, Pennsylvania, schools in Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, and this was very, very disconcerting and there was a cover story that was concocted that, hey, this was just some Iraqis who were involved with the Ministry of Education in Iraq and they're looking to rebuild their schools and all that kind of BS.

GLENN: Unbelievable. I mean, who would buy that, that they come to us to look at the architectural plans of schools all around the country, six or eight -- I mean, were these remarkable schools, architecturally speaking, Brad?

THOR: No, no, it wasn't incredible Frank Lloyd Wright but it shows you how desperate the FBI is to get to the -- they are desperate. They are working so hard to prevent this from happening. That's one thing I want your listeners to know is that they do not want this to happen. They are working hard, but at the same time they are trying to prevent people from panicking.

GLENN: Right.

http://www.glennbeck.com/news/09112007a.shtml

On today's program Beck stated the specific schools were listed in a newspaper somewhere but he refuses to repeat this info on the air or even quote the transcript above.

Does anybody have the list of schools? Since I'm in Texas I sure would like to know which Texas schools were on the hard drive.

El Tejon
September 12, 2007, 11:03 AM
If the Israeli model will not prevent a Beslanesque attack here in the USA, why has not a Beslan styled attack been waged against an Israeli school?:confused:

I would think such an attack is unlikely here, from The Base. Lots of nutballs out there though.

A Beslan here is small potatoes for The Base. With a much smaller number of operators and a much more extended lines of communication and supply, they need a big operation to make a dramatic statement. I would think that they would run the same play that worked before on 9/11/01. Maybe this time use planes from a more vulernable source such as the cargo industry.

With 8 or 9 years between operations and using another historically significant date, say March '09 or '10 to hit us again. Just speculation.

Mr. Designer
September 12, 2007, 11:06 AM
From the terrorist point of view, they are assuming that there will be zero armed citizens when they enter the school. Having just a few armed good guys could possibly change the situation resulting in fewer lives lost.

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 11:10 AM
A couple CCW holders and a school resource officer banding together to fight off the terrorists might make a good chapter in a techno-thriller or part of a movie script, but in real life, it's not going to happen. The terrorists will come in big enough numbers with enough firepower to render that type of defense hopeless.

Strange how that doesn't seem to happen in Israel.

You can let yourself and the children be killed without a fight or you can fight back.

Being a willing victim doesn't make you a good person.

It just makes you dead.

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 11:17 AM
(And, yes, I'd arm the teachers. No sense giving any ground you don't have to.)
Given the known facts of Beslan and Israeli practical experience, there's simply NO downside to arming the teachers, at least none which outweighs the need to resist ALL such atrocities on GP.

Arguments to the contrary sound like the arguments that it was good that nobody on the LIRR was armed when Patrick Ferguson shot it up, since people MIGHT have been shot in a "crossfire". Clearly such people prefer the CERTAINTY of a bullet in the head from a mass murderer than the POSSIBILITY of being shot by someone trying to stop him.

But there will always be people johnny on the spot with a reason why you should passively accept your own murder and that of your children...

Siderite
September 12, 2007, 11:37 AM
As Jeff White has pointed out, against a Beslan-type attack (20+ heavily armed individuals), nothing short of a dedicated defense force could stand a chance of stopping the attack outright.

This leads to a different sort of strategy - how can we lose less? Given the unreasonable demands of terrorists, it seems unlikely that negotiation will work. Also, an assault on the terrorists with hostages in a defended position would lead to a result similar to Beslan.

So, to mitigate the situation, a defense in depth is needed, not as a means of stopping the attack (though it is possible), but as a means to evacuate potential hostages.

Here's what I could see as possibilities:

1) effective communication within the school - an alarm to alert everyone that a situation has started.

2) armed individuals within the school - though unlikely to stop the attack, it will force the attackers to either divide their force or to re-route around armed defenders. This will slow down the attack (the 'speed bump' Jeff spoke of).

3) massive noncompliance with terrorists by teachers and students - as most here know, the best defense is put into effect immediately, not when you've been 'secured' by the attackers. Chaos would be the goal, making the situation so disorganized that the attackers can't herd people. This will be a hard one - convincing people that they stand better odds by running from attackers than surrendering. It also is a challenge, because the education system in this country works very hard to get compliance with authority.

All in all, this sort of attack seems to have no good solutions, only delaying actions for a retreat to reduce the number of hostages.

Colt
September 12, 2007, 11:52 AM
I discussed this topic with a coworker who immigrated from the Ukraine a few years ago. The fact that he's from the Ukraine doesn't mean anything other than that he is a bit more objective than me.

From what he saw there, and what he's seen here, he's convinced that an attack on schools would generate violence against mosques and muslims living in the US.

He agrees that such an occurance is the ultimate goal of the muslims. Currently, they're in a holy war with us, though we don't feel we're in a holy war with them. They want that perception to change, so that they can unite muslims all around the world.

He's also convinced that the national guard would be deployed immediately. Not to protect our schools but to protect muslims from vigilantes. The last thing the powers that be want is to be drawn into a true holy war.

One of Many
September 12, 2007, 12:12 PM
The Islamic extremists are training their young children to hate all infidels, and to kill infidels. The schools indoctrinate them, and train them in methods such as suicide bombing. When people hate so much that their own lives are worth less that the death of the enemy, there is no way to use force to defeat them, short of killing them first.

We need to start training our youth, in the reality of terrorist attacks, and the fact that some of them may be killed if they don't take an active role in defending themselves, by running and hiding, or even bashing the bad guy with a chair if necessary.

Hostages will be killed by the terrorists, and there is no way to stop those hostage deaths. If you want to reduce the number of hostages taken in the future, you eliminate the hostage takers immediately, even if it means that the hostages are killed by friendly fire. Only by making the cost to the enemy great enough to discourage enemy attacks, will we win against terrorists. It is a matter of sheer numbers. If their are 100 terrorists, and we have 1 million students, then sacrificing 200 students to eliminate the 100 terrorists is good math; total elimination of the enemy with a small loss of your own people is how wars are won. The hard part is making sure that the enemy has been completely destroyed. That may require that we start destroying the training grounds of the terrorists, including the schools that indoctrinate their young children.

War is war, and many non-combatants get killed in wars; you can not win a war if preventing collateral damage is your highest priority; you must destroy the enemy at all costs, if you have any hope of being victorious. You must be willing to accept losses among your own non-combatants, if defeat of the enemy is assured by doing so.

The biggest reason we are incapable of winning wars, is that we have become a culture of cowards; unwilling to accept any loss of life on the part of our military and civilians, and looking to technology to wipe out the enemy with no losses on our side. The terror war is not going to be fought on a battle ground where there is clear separation of good guy and bad guy (no uniforms), so technology (smart bombs and missiles, etc) will not help us. The war on terror will be fought in our streets, our schools, our churches, our farm fields, our shopping centers, our highway systems and railways, and our air transportation systems.

We will have casualties and deaths in this war; it is inescapable - we need to toughen up our mental processes, and cope with that concept. Then we can determine the best way to destroy the enemy. Not to subjugate the enemy, not to imprison the enemy, rather to destroy the enemy - you must keep them from breeding and indoctrinating new warriors, if you want to have peace.

This is a war that will take decades to complete; we can not win it in 100 days, or in the term of office of a single President of the United States. We can certainly lose it in the term of a single President, or even the term of a Representative to the Congress, if we (voters) allow the elected officials to surrender to the terrorists. Victory comes at great costs, but the costs of defeat are much greater. Freedom is not free; it has been, and will continue to be, paid for with the lives of brave men, women and children.

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 12:13 PM
From the terrorist point of view, they are assuming that there will be zero armed citizens when they enter the school. Having just a few armed people could possibly change the situation resulting in fewer lives lost.
And what do you lose by resisting someone whose ultimate goal is to kill as many children as possible?

These guys' OPSEC is DREADFUL. I'm betting that their ability to adapt on their feet isn't much better. They say that no plan survives contact with the enemy. When your reaction to changed tactical conditions boils down to, "And then my imaginary friend performs a miracle", anything unexpected especially effective resistance, can derail the plan. And once again, when the goal is to kill as many children as possible, how is impeding that goal a bad thing? Allowing terrorists to concentrate victims (and rape and torture them) unmolested so that more can be murdered at one time, doesn't seem much of a solution to any conceiveable problem.

A lot of the pooh poohing of armed resistance sounds an awful lot like, "Why do you need a gun? The criminal will always have the drop on you! Just do what the criminal tells you and you'll be alright! Why do you think we have police?"

ZeSpectre
September 12, 2007, 12:20 PM
Watching schools and protecting our children while at school are not the jobs of parents. It is the job of the school it self and the police to protect our children from danger.

Sorry I disagree. Just because the task of safety gets expanded to others doesn't necessarily relieve one of basic parental responsibility to maintain that safety as well.

RLsnow
September 12, 2007, 12:23 PM
If you look historically the US has always been at war with Islam. not by our choice but by theirs. The first war we fought after getting our independence was with Muslims, the Barbary Pirates. This is the reason the US Navy was established. If they had not attacked our ships there would have been no USS Constitution. I have no respect for Islam as a religion because of it's bloodthirsty ways. It has always been a religion of warfare no two ways about it. I went to college with a bunch of Saudi students and lets say they they reinforced all my opinions of people who folllow Islam. I am sorry my opinions are not very high road but what about their's.

about the Islam thing, you should remembered that pretty much every religion is violent. with Christianity the Crusades spring to mind


im sorry this has nothing to do really with the argument, just wanted to point out that his statement was a bit unfair.

cnorman18
September 12, 2007, 12:32 PM
As I've said before, arming teachers and staff is a good idea; the hard part of that will be finding teachers who want to be armed. Teachers, as a group, are about as liberal a group as you'd ever want to see. Even here in Texas (where I was a teacher for 26 years), most teachers are liberal Democrats. Consider: Most teachers are female, relatively young, and the products of liberal colleges. The education departments of most colleges are hotbeds of far-left political correctness. It's taken for granted, without reflection, that schools ought to be "weapons-free" zones. I was once told that, even as an adult, I should not carry a pocketknife while at school (the knife in question was a mini Swiss Army with a 1 1/2 inch blade).

Also, all of the teachers' unions are very liberal; the NEA, the largest, is practically a wing of the Democratic Party. Any attempt to arm teachers would be met with HUGE resistance from that quarter.

Bad news indeed, but there it is.

Best we can do, probably, is make it LEGAL to carry in a school and hope that at least SOME teachers and staff will do so.

God, I hate liberals.

Mr. Designer
September 12, 2007, 12:50 PM
If you asked anyone what the most precious thing in their life is, most people would answer their family or children. With this high value placed on children it is amazing how deliberately unprotected they become when they leave for mandated government schools. This fact is illustrated even more when you compare how money is protected with armed guards and safes while anyone off the street can gain access to school children almost immediately. I believe people need to demand school children be protected as much as or more than the local bank protects it’s money.

Correia
September 12, 2007, 12:59 PM
Jeff, brother, I've got to disagree with you a little bit. (and you know I've done a little bit as OpFor on this issue)

It is all about defense in depth.

Will the janitor, the school resource officer, and the football coach armed with .38s and 9mms stop a platoon of dedicated shock troops? Hell no. But speed bumps never hurt.

You've got levels of threat, and levels of defense.

A threat against a school can by a lone whackadoo with a Tec-9, to a gang fight, to a car bomb, to Beslan. Having some armed staff in the mix usually doesn't hurt, and in most of the levels of threat can actually stop the problem.

At the highest level of threat (Beslan level platoon of crazies) then anything the speed bumps do is valuable. We both know what most jurisdiction's response plans are for active shooters are now. Anything that hinders the terrorists, or slows them from locking the place down is valuable.

And I've read the reports in depth. The absolute last thing we want is they to herd everybody in the gym, wire the doors with explosives, and torture, rape, and behead until there is a dynamic entry. And I would hate to be the team doing that one.

On the defense end of things, stopping the guys up front, through intel is obviously best. Which is one thing that really ticks me off about these discussions. The government gets berated constantly for not doing anything, but in this one facet, I know for a fact that they've done some pretty darn good work. I associate with a lot of interesting professionals, and they've stopped a lot of big operations through intel and preemptive arrests.

Could we actually prepare to stop a Beslan scale attack against every school in America? Nope. Impossible. We can't harden most of our military facilities for that level. But every little bit helps. Ironically, if we did harden our schools that much, they would just go hit something else. You've got to prepare whichever way you can, but there are limits to everything.

The odds of us facing 30+ troops in one location are doubtful in the US, but possible. Honestly, I figure it would be a much smaller group.

But I have no doubt, whatsoever, that it is a matter of time before this happens here. As for the terrorists not doing it because it hurts them, I don't believe that at all. They want a total war. They want us to start burning mosques and hanging innocents. We're satan, rememeber? They want to piss us off and provoke us, and make us react stupidly. We're talking about people that worship a man that quotes Noam friggin' Chomsky, so I'm not going to dismiss any crazy idea.

Now we both also know that there are quite a few other targets that would hurt America even worse. But I'm not even going to bring them up here.

Geno
September 12, 2007, 01:01 PM
I have a question:

How many who have posted here thus far, are employed in the educational system? It doesn't matter if you are employed in a public, a charter, or a private school, and at any level, Pre-K through Ph.D. and in any capacity.

There is not intention to degrade the concern of those who have posted who do not work in education, but I assure you that the view of bus drivers, cooks, custodians, play ground and classroom aides, teachers, administrators will vary radically from those who are outside, including school board members. Life looks different as you walk the halls daily versus periodically.

My years of working in education have provided me some ugly experiences, including working with the Michigan State Police, who coordinated with the FBI and BATF to ward off an attack on the first school where I was a principal of grades 7-12. It is a long and difficult story, but I assure you the fact of the perp thinking that I had a Colt 1911 under my suit coat, caused the perps them pause. But, that can be assumed only to the extent that the perps desire to continue to live. Had these perps had a total disregard for life, as many terrorists seem to have, the fact of one or two or 20 people possessing firearms will make little difference.

Furthermore, the problems reside not merely at the school level, they exist at the national level. We are talking about putting out buckets to catch the rain, when the front, back and side doors and every window in the place is left wide open to bring in ever-more illegals. It’s like locking your door at night, when the perp is hiding in your bedroom closet.

In closing, I can assure you of one fact, to effectively and proactively lock-down a school in terms of prohibiting intruders is a danged-near impossible task. It requires massive security fences, and gates that are kept locked, alarms, armed guards, etc. I will state for the record that I am fully in support of allowing for the possession of firearms in school. Furthermore, they should all be required to complete training such that they are all qualified and competent shootists. I will further state that they should be required to engage in on-going training. But, make no mistake about it, we still are talking bandages over gushing wounds.

While I could provide more detailed description and explanation of the rationale to support my position statement, I will not for the fact that it could provide insights from an insider as to the very real, and across-the-board weaknesses of all schools. We are talking a larger problem that arming school employees.

JMPO,

Doc2005, Graduate Professor
Education & Educational Leadership

Riz58
September 12, 2007, 01:11 PM
Let us all concede that Mr. White is right and armed staff would not stop a Belsan type of attack; however, we cannot assume that a Belsan attack was being planned simply because school plans were on a terrorist's hard drive.

It seems that a Belsan attack, while possible, is not probable in the US due to the large number of people who would have to gather and coordinate with others (assuming a multi-school attack across the country). Intelligence would probably pick and be able to grab them.

The terrorists have studied Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Amish school case, and the recent rural Colorado case. They more likely would attack with 4 to 6 people knowing that schools are weapons-free zones. If the goal is to get the US to become isolationist (pull all the troops and resouces back to the continental US), it would be an active shooter sceanrio. If we responded like the Spanish did to the Madrid bombing, we would give up and come home.

Remember, the terrorist are working with a different paradigm. They do NOT understand the American pschye. Sometime in the next election cycle, the risk will increase greatly because they wish to influence the election cycle for a more pacifist group to be in control; thinking we will react like the Spanish did.

The televison show "The Unit" had an episode on a Belsan-type attack last year that you might enhoy watching for.

El Tejon
September 12, 2007, 01:20 PM
Concede?:D

I won't concede that. Deterence, to win without fighting, is the greatest of all victories.

Deterence works in Israeli schools where the bad guys know that the schools are armed and yet no Beslan-inspired attacks transpire.

DC3-CVN-72
September 12, 2007, 02:03 PM
I don't have the answer to defend against a Beslan type attack but I do know one thing. the terrorists hate our fredom and our way of life. They want to change the way we live by using terrorism to scare us into takeing away fredom from ourselves. At best a terrorist attack on a school would be about as devestating as a tornado here in the midwest, and no way near as likely. I have an 8 yr.old doughter and a 12 yr.old son, and would give my life to protect them, but I would have about as much chace against a tornado as a platoon size force of terrorists.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 02:51 PM
F4GIB said;
If you said "not a complete solution," I think Oleg and I would agree.

But available counterforce is essential (like fire extinguishers at an oil refinery) even if, as it turns out, it's not used.

Armed citizens are no more a solution to the problem of a terrorist attack on a school then life jackets were a solution to the Titanic hitting an iceberg. An armed citizen in that situation may allow someone to escape. But we are kidding ourselves when we say that if we just arm the staff nothing bad will happen.

Mr. Designer said;
From the terrorist point of view, they are assuming that there will be zero armed citizens when they enter the school. Having just a few armed good guys could possibly change the situation resulting in fewer lives lost.

Yeah, that worked out well at Belsan:

http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0606BESLAN_140-2
The terrorists appeared as if from nowhere. A military truck stopped near the school and men leapt from the cargo bed, firing rifles and shouting, "Allahu akhbar!" They moved with speed and certitude, as if every step had been rehearsed. The first few sprinted between the formation and the schoolyard gate, blocking escape. There was almost no resistance. Ruslan Frayev, a local man who had come with several members of his family, drew a pistol and began to fire. He was killed.

They will come prepared for armed resistance. They did at Belsan.

Deanimator said;


Quote:
A couple CCW holders and a school resource officer banding together to fight off the terrorists might make a good chapter in a techno-thriller or part of a movie script, but in real life, it's not going to happen. The terrorists will come in big enough numbers with enough firepower to render that type of defense hopeless.

Strange how that doesn't seem to happen in Israel.

That's why Israel is such a peaceful place and everyone lives in blissful harmony there now. :rolleyes: All terrorist attacks have stopped since many Israelis now carry guns? I must have missed that on the news....

Given the known facts of Beslan and Israeli practical experience, there's simply NO downside to arming the teachers, at least none which outweighs the need to resist ALL such atrocities on GP.

How do you suggest we change the culture in the US so that;

#1 the people accept the fact that their children will go to school with armed staff.

#2 and this will be the tough one, how are you going to change the institutional culture in the American education system so that teachers and
administrators will readily accept their new role as soldiers?

Arguments to the contrary sound like the arguments that it was good that nobody on the LIRR was armed when Patrick Ferguson shot it up, since people MIGHT have been shot in a "crossfire". Clearly such people prefer the CERTAINTY of a bullet in the head from a mass murderer than the POSSIBILITY of being shot by someone trying to stop him.

Please point out where I said that teachers and staff shouldn't be armed or shouldn't resist. The discussion here is about what to do about the problem of a Belsan type attack. I would hope we can do better for our kids then a simplistic solution like arming the teachers and staff.

These guys' OPSEC is DREADFUL. I'm betting that their ability to adapt on their feet isn't much better.

So you are willing to bet the lives of innocent American schoolchildren on that? I don't think it's real smart to underestimate the enemy.

When your reaction to changed tactical conditions boils down to, "And then my imaginary friend performs a miracle", anything unexpected especially effective resistance, can derail the plan.

Ruslan Frayev sure managed to derail the plan at Belsan. Slowed them down by maybe 30 seconds. I'm not saying that what he did wasn't right, and I'm not saying he shouldn't have taken action. I'm just saying it wasn't effective.

A lot of the pooh poohing of armed resistance sounds an awful lot like, "Why do you need a gun? The criminal will always have the drop on you! Just do what the criminal tells you and you'll be alright! Why do you think we have police?"

Maybe you take some sort of comfort in the fact that someone resisted. That's great, but at the end of the day innocent people still died. In a scenario like we're talking about, most likely as many as would have died if there was no resistance.

Personally, I'd rather see a solution that actually has a chance of succeeding. I hardly think arming the staff is the best this country can come up with. Maybe you think it's ok and maybe even kind of neat for kids to go to a school that more closely resembles a prison then a school, I think that is giving in to the terrorists.

Correia said;
Jeff, brother, I've got to disagree with you a little bit. (and you know I've done a little bit as OpFor on this issue)

It is all about defense in depth.

Larry, the difference between defense in depth as OPFOR and defense in depth as a second thought is huge. When you were OPFOR you had the luxury of stacking magazines, straightening the pins on your grenades and waiting for the bad guys to come in. An armed staff as the defense against an attack like this will not have time to assemble and react. Their fight will be piecemeal and not layered at all.

I have never once stated that it was wrong to arm the staff. I'm saying that we are doing ourselves a disservice by thinking of this problem in such simplistic terms.

The standard internet firearms forum answer to every human problem is to give everyone a gun and it will be alright. I don't think that giving every staff member in every school in America a gun will solve this problem. At best it may allow someone to escape. So it could be a part the solution. But arming the staff in our schools will never be the solution. The problem is much bigger and more complex then that.

When someone can explain to me how they are going to change American culture to accept turning our schools into armed camps, and how every teacher, administrator and maintenance person in every school in America is suddenly going to happily embrace their new role as armed protector, I'll accept that it's even possible. Eliminating the laws against concealed carry in schools and allowing those who choose to carry a firearm to legally carry it in the school environment is about the best we can hope for. And those weapons will be like the life preserver on a ship, not the avenging sword of truth, justice and the American way.

Jeff

Correia
September 12, 2007, 02:58 PM
I have never once stated that it was wrong to arm the staff. I'm saying that we are doing ourselves a disservice by thinking of this problem in such simplistic terms. That's why I said I mostly agreed with you. :)

I'm against mandatory arming of teachers. Being armed is a question of mindset and committment.

Now volunteers should be allowed to be armed. Just remove the prohibition against CCW in schools, and now you've got a handful of speedbumps.

As for cultural change, that is achievable. We've done it here, got CCW allowed in school, so it can be done.

Geno
September 12, 2007, 03:09 PM
We need to be careful not to confuse our personal and professional desire to arm educators and other school employees, and our desire to secure schools. We errantly assume a correlation between the two, and I choose my word carefully. Correlations assesses only two variables. If we consider these two variables alone, we set ourselves up for little more than a false sense of security. Then, when it fails, the antis can say, "We told you so."

I will assert a potential closing assertion to this discussion: America is not willing to commit to comprehensive security, either in the general population or in our schools. Our bleeding borders are our greatest proof of that fact. We are not willing to tolerate the dictatorial, prison-like, or military base-like conditions required to secure a facility. I submit for your consideration that schools are social systems, and they are a combined open and at times closed systems. Read up on those.

Are you willing to transition all educational entities into categorically closed-systems? It begins with permitting no discussion of, and no knowledge of said same, and forceful inquiry of those engage in a breech of that dictate (word very carefully chosen).

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 03:36 PM
That's why Israel is such a peaceful place and everyone lives in blissful harmony there now. All terrorist attacks have stopped since many Israelis now carry guns? I must have missed that on the news....

Attacks by gunmen on schools have stopped. Once the Israelis decided that the schools would have the capacity to defend themselves rather than HAVE to rely SOLELY upon outside assistance, the Palestinians stopped attacking them. All they were achieving was an incremental decline in the number of available gunmen. No doubt some people would consider that a BAD thing...

george_co
September 12, 2007, 04:05 PM
Quick insert before posting - A number of posts have been made since I started typing this so hopefully I am not being redundent. ****

Jeff White - I hope you don't mind but I am going to pick on you. Hopefully, in a non-abusive non personal way, even though I use "you" a lot, it is not you personally but you as a representative of your profession.

When I read your first posts you sounded like the normal cop to a civilian, Paraphrasing here " Just stay out of the way, you can't help, and anything you do will likely just screw things up more than they already are, let the professionals handle it." Which, for the record, is very true for most of the normal things that happen in life. If the problem can wait for the professionals to show up, it is better to wait for those who have the training, the equipment, and the support to handle it. Except every now and then if the citizen doesn't start CPR before the EMT's get there, the victim will be dead and there is nothing that the professionals can do.

Then you latter clarified that you weren't opposing civilians carrying in schools, just that it wouldn't be successful. The CCW would barely provide a road bump in most cases. Again I mostly agree with you, the resource officer will be the first victim and likely won't even be a road bump he/she will just be the starter pistol for the event.

I have had many debates with our Emergency Mgmt. Coor., he was a deputy sherriff here before he went back in the army and shipped out to IRAQ, If, a Beslan style attack occures here, they will have complete control of the school inside of five minutes. Any defense of the school has to happen within those five minutes. Any hope of children escaping is within that same chaotic five minutes. There is no way that there is going to be any kind of reasonable police response in 5 minutes. It took 9 minutes at VT and they were already deployed due to the earlier shooting.

Any delay or disruption of the terrorist's plan plays into our hands not his. Maybe twenty kids can climb out of windows and run away. I hope that I would give my life to save twenty, ten, five, or 1 kid. Maybe I get lucky and kill or wound the lead explosives guy, that is a benefit. Now how long do I expect to last with my Beretta 9000 and 21 rounds? I would be very lucky if I manage to empty one mag. before I get to meet St. Peter. But if you have ten or fifteen people like me in that school (out of 200 teachers, parents, administrators), maybe we disrupt thier plans long enough for you the professionals to arrive and start doing your thing.

However, you the professional, will have to start making very tough choices. Do you shoot through our kids to get to the terrorist? You, the professional may kill or wound numerous kids, but you will hopefully save 5 or 10 times as many. But, if the terrorists are given uninterrupted time to crowd the gym with kids and explosives we have lost and hundreds of kids, parents and teachers will die. How long will it take to rig explosives in the gym? If they aren't interrupted probably no more than 20 to 30 minutes - can you react that fast in a coordinated manner? Not bloody likely in most areas of the country.

The Adult Parent/Teacher/Citizen is the last line of defense for our children. We are the only thing that may buy (with our lives) the time for the professionals to arrive and start their immediate offensive to retake the
school. If the terrorists here follow the Beslan templat anybody who represents a threat will be shoot anyway, so I figure I am dead no matter what. But, we can only be that last line of defense if we are allowed to be, and in most states the professionals say stay out of the way, you don't have a dog in this fight. By the way I have a wife and two sons in schools.

Part of most defensive strategies is to make the requirements for a successful attack high enough that a simpler target is chosen. Kind of like putting motion sensor lights on your house so the burgler hits your neighbor. The more people who carry at school, the less likely a school will be chosen as a target, because the resource requirements (number of attackers needed due to uncertainty) grows too large to move into place without loseing operational security and hopefully being intercepted by the professionals.

Right now in my county we have 12 to 14 different school sites. If Oshama got on TV today and said we will attack a school in Colorado tomorrow, we don't have the ability to professionally protect these schools. We can't use the law enforcement community anyway because they, as you rightly pointed out, should be out trying to intercept them before they get to the schools because that is the best way to do it. So all we have is the unorganized militia, we need to organize it before it is too late. The professional mindset that we civilians are just worthless lumps needs to change.

And if you think that the Jefferson County Sherriff's office got blamed for failing at Columbine, wait for the public reaction to the Law Enforcement Community's failure to protect a school from a Beslane style attack. In the immortal words of John Wayne "Let's be clear about this - Your fault, My Fault, Nobody's Fault Your Dead!" Meaning the police will be hung out to dry long before we get around to start killing muslims indiscriminately.

Again, this isn't aimed at you personally, but at the professional mindset that no defense is better than a poor defense when it comes to our kids.

George

F4GIB
September 12, 2007, 04:08 PM
Jeff White posted:
But we are kidding ourselves when we say that if we just arm the staff nothing bad will happen.

I have never said this. No other poster in this thread has said this.
Jeff, only YOU are saying this.

BTW, what is your "perfect" solution? You want to read ours, we want to read yours.

Riz58
September 12, 2007, 04:16 PM
El Tejon, I agree that deterrence is effective against a small group (2 to 6 people or so.) I think school staff should have the option to be armed (properly trained as Doc2005 noted) to serve as that deterrence.

A platoon-size force would not be deterred by such. Armed response would buy some time, but we would have to change our response from hunker down in a locked classroom - to get out the window and get out of Dodge! On second thought, I think maybe being hunkered down with the first person breaking open the door being shot might slow them down some, although the consequence would probably be the room being randomly sprayed by automatic/semi-auto fire.

Man, you could keep following this trail for some time! Glad I am not the one having to develop detailed sceanarios and responses - there must be a thousand things to consider!

Wes Janson
September 12, 2007, 04:26 PM
This isn't going to be a popular viewpoint, but I'd like to point out that any discussion of the widespread arming of individuals needs to take into account the overall costs associated with such an action. If Congress passed a law allowing teachers and faculty to carry concealed on campus, it seems likely to me that only a minority of schools would have at least one staff member armed on a consistent basis (particularly the smaller schools). From a preparedness point of view it makes little sense to only arm a fraction of schools as a deterrant to terrorist action, since a determined group of individuals would simply choose another school as their target. Forced armament of schools doesn't really seem valid either. Assuming only one staff member from each school is armed and trained by the government, that still represents tens of thousands of people. Ignoring the financial costs, it seems valid to me to ask whether the potential for misuse and accidents by individuals who aren't armed by their own choice is worthwhile outweighs the benefits of deterrance and reduced response times.

george_co
September 12, 2007, 04:41 PM
Wes Janson - Speaking for myself I will provide Me, My Arms and train myself at no expense to the State (it would me nice to get a tax write off though), All I ask that I be allowed to carry in schools, like I used to be able to, without getting arrested.

A side benefit would be if the liberal teachers would think of me as a Good Guy - Not a Gun Nut!

George

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 04:44 PM
As for cultural change, that is achievable. We've done it here, got CCW allowed in school, so it can be done.

They've achieved cultural change of a sort in inner-city Cleveland. It's now considered quite acceptable not only to have a CHL, but to shoot people when they try to rob you. The robbers and their families and hangers-on were quite chagrinned to discover the profound LACK of sympathy for them in the community. I guarantee you there isn't more sympathy for Islamo-fascist child killers.

It's almost a dead certainty that there's not going to be a cop standing around when somebody tries to rob you, nor if somebody tries to attack your kids' school, at least unless it's in some high crime area already. It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that terrorists not be allowed the time to consolidate their hold on school grounds and hostages (whom they intend to kill anyway). Relying SOLELY on the police virtually guarantees them the time they need to kill a LOT more people. Relying on a combination of armed citizens and police to disrupt potential attacks that cannot be preempted is only common sense.

It is dishonest to claim that armed civilians are a guaranteed solution to EVERY problem, or even to the SAME problem EVERY time. It is equally dishonest to denigrate the abilities of armed civilians to save lives, or indeed in the right circumstances to outright defeat an attack.

Jerry Morris
September 12, 2007, 04:57 PM
What I don't have a handle on is how the president will handle the howls of rage and demands for revenge that will inevitably result. A very wise man who has worked his entire life in the middle east told be at the beginning of 911 that this country will be faced with moral choices which will stretch our civilization in ways we've never experienced. He very clearly said we will be asked to do things which are unthinkable 10 years ago.

In mt view, a Beslan attack is pretty darned hard to defeat totally. Even a 50% success factor is going to putthings through the roof.

I suspect a better method is to plan and publicize, the counter attack. What effects the Arab/Islamic mind? What do they need above all else? A nuke over Mecca? I do not think that is going to happen and it would not be effective, in my mind.

What will not only divide Islam, but seriously hurt it? Shut off the flow of money. Close our ports to their most precious commodity. Now,this is the unthinkable in their minds! It is also something that would throw this country into a turmoil of emotion. It would hurt greatly and instill in the terrorists mind that we mean to win. I would think this would be their greatest nightmare.

It would give the "the moderate Arab" a grudge to hold against the terrs. It might cause an action by the moderates we have yet to see.

It would be much easier to bankrupt them all, than to kill all of them.

Now, IMO, this would be something! A wartime effort towards energy self sufficiency. And a follow up business plan to drain those economies.

Jerry


Jerry

azredhawk44
September 12, 2007, 05:04 PM
The biggest benefit I see to arming teachers and staff at schools is the deterrent factor.

Jeff is correct in his assertion that a well armed group of 20 commandos will bowl right over impromptu resistance by a School Resource Officer and 1-2 CCW carrying teachers.

What the SRO and unknown teachers accomplish is MANDATE that the attacking force MUST be large to overcome the potential resistance.

If 1-2 crazy shooters (Columbine, VA Tech) hit a campus, the SRO and any other available defenses will help in neutralizing the threat... but the biggest deterrent they offer is FORCING the size of an aggressive attacking force (Beslan) to be large enough that they must plan, coordinate, build an arms stockpile... and leave enough sign for US intelligence services to find them and hopefully pre-emptively stop them.

Just another tool in the war against terrorism, IMO.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 06:09 PM
Deanimator said;
Attacks by gunmen on schools have stopped. Once the Israelis decided that the schools would have the capacity to defend themselves rather than HAVE to rely SOLELY upon outside assistance, the Palestinians stopped attacking them. All they were achieving was an incremental decline in the number of available gunmen. No doubt some people would consider that a BAD thing...

Apples and oranges. The Palestinian attacks on schools in Israel were not takeover attempts. They were closer to an active shooter scenario as we know it here. There were armed civilians at Belsan. It made no difference in the outcome.

george_co said;

I have had many debates with our Emergency Mgmt. Coor., he was a deputy sherriff here before he went back in the army and shipped out to IRAQ, If, a Beslan style attack occures here, they will have complete control of the school inside of five minutes. Any defense of the school has to happen within those five minutes. Any hope of children escaping is within that same chaotic five minutes. There is no way that there is going to be any kind of reasonable police response in 5 minutes. It took 9 minutes at VT and they were already deployed due to the earlier shooting.

We both know there won't be sufficient police response in 2 hours to take the school back by force. The resources do not exist anywhere in this country. And once there was sufficient force to retake the school, any attempt would be a blood bath. Unless we spend the money to make our schools physically impossible to take by force in a few minutes, the terrorists will in fact take over the school. And we both know that we aren't going to spend the money that would be required to turn our school houses into fortresses. We can't even get a new roof on a school building around here without the school district increasing taxes. The money it would cost to bring the physical plant of every school building in America up to a reasonable standard of security does not exist. 5 minutes, 9 minutes....it's really immaterial, we're not going to stop them from taking over the school once they are in the school yard.

Any delay or disruption of the terrorist's plan plays into our hands not his. Maybe twenty kids can climb out of windows and run away. I hope that I would give my life to save twenty, ten, five, or 1 kid. Maybe I get lucky and kill or wound the lead explosives guy, that is a benefit. Now how long do I expect to last with my Beretta 9000 and 21 rounds? I would be very lucky if I manage to empty one mag. before I get to meet St. Peter. But if you have ten or fifteen people like me in that school (out of 200 teachers, parents, administrators), maybe we disrupt their plans long enough for you the professionals to arrive and start doing your thing.

The possibility of someone escaping because an armed citizen is present is the best thing we can hope for. That is a realistic expectation. The possibility of armed citizens holding the terrorists at bay long enough for the professionals to arrive and take them out is pretty slim and I think we both know that.

However, you the professional, will have to start making very tough choices. Do you shoot through our kids to get to the terrorist? You, the professional may kill or wound numerous kids, but you will hopefully save 5 or 10 times as many. But, if the terrorists are given uninterrupted time to crowd the gym with kids and explosives we have lost and hundreds of kids, parents and teachers will die. How long will it take to rig explosives in the gym? If they aren't interrupted probably no more than 20 to 30 minutes - can you react that fast in a coordinated manner? Not bloody likely in most areas of the country.

I'm afraid that everywhere in the country, the terrorists will take the school before a force capable of stopping them could be assembled. What it will amount to is if the political leadership will negotiate with the terrorists for the lives of the children. That will be the problem. There won't be any taking the school back by force. No one could do it without causing nearly as many civilian casualties as letting them blow up the school.

The Adult Parent/Teacher/Citizen is the last line of defense for our children. We are the only thing that may buy (with our lives) the time for the professionals to arrive and start their immediate offensive to retake the
school. If the terrorists here follow the Beslan template anybody who represents a threat will be shoot anyway, so I figure I am dead no matter what. But, we can only be that last line of defense if we are allowed to be, and in most states the professionals say stay out of the way, you don't have a dog in this fight. By the way I have a wife and two sons in schools.

I have nothing against CCW in the schools. What I am arguing is that it will never be anything more then a last ditch chance for someone to live, and we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking it is the solution. It's not, and the idea that a terrorist organization would not attack a school because it's possible they might meet an armed citizen is just not reality.

Part of most defensive strategies is to make the requirements for a successful attack high enough that a simpler target is chosen. Kind of like putting motion sensor lights on your house so the burglar hits your neighbor. The more people who carry at school, the less likely a school will be chosen as a target, because the resource requirements (number of attackers needed due to uncertainty) grows too large to move into place without losing operational security and hopefully being intercepted by the professionals.

Even if every adult in the school was armed, they would be spread throughout the building and it would be very difficult to put up a credible resistance. Right now it would be hard to assemble a large enough force to take over an unprotected school without being caught. And that is the way we'll fight this. We aren't going to harden every school in the country and provide it with it's own trained and equipped security force to repel boarders. It's not going to happen, it's not feasible. It's also not possible to take a school back by force after it's been seized. Not without an unacceptable loss of life. So we're not going to do that either.

Right now in my county we have 12 to 14 different school sites. If Oshama got on TV today and said we will attack a school in Colorado tomorrow, we don't have the ability to professionally protect these schools. We can't use the law enforcement community anyway because they, as you rightly pointed out, should be out trying to intercept them before they get to the schools because that is the best way to do it. So all we have is the unorganized militia, we need to organize it before it is too late. The professional mindset that we civilians are just worthless lumps needs to change.

If you go back to TFL and do a search of my posts over there, you'll find that right after the 2001 attacks, I advocated using volunteer groups like the old civil defense organizations, arming them with surplus M16A1s out of war reserve stocks and equipping them with old AN/PRC77 radios and other gear that we have in storage, calling up military retirees to cadre the units and using them to protect our infrastructure. I hardly think civilians are worthless lumps. But I'm a realist and I recognize the weaknesses in the entire system.

F4GIB said;
BTW, what is your "perfect" solution? You want to read ours, we want to read yours.

Just what we're doing. Fight them on their turf not ours, and keep a good watch on their communities in this country and in the prisons where they are recruiting to stop these events before they happen. It's the only possible solution.

Jeff

Deanimator
September 12, 2007, 06:10 PM
What the SRO and unknown teachers accomplish is MANDATE that the attacking force MUST be large to overcome the potential resistance.
They act as skirmishers, forcing the enemy to deploy early, to his disadvantage.

Peaceful John
September 12, 2007, 06:22 PM
"If terrorists were stupid enough to do this, there would be no stopping the rage of the American people. I don't see how this would help their cause at all."

Something happened six years ago that I thought would generate American rage, but it seems like it devolved into only a moment of angst. We're still learning that our Democrat half doesn't "do" push-back.

Jeff White
September 12, 2007, 06:47 PM
Deanimator said;


Quote:
What the SRO and unknown teachers accomplish is MANDATE that the attacking force MUST be large to overcome the potential resistance.
They act as skirmishers, forcing the enemy to deploy early, to his disadvantage.

The attacking force has to be large to control the large number of hostages and to hold the building once it's taken. That requirement already exists.

Unless the SRO and armed civilians manage to engage the terrorists before they exit their vehicle, they will deploy anyway. The second they leave their vehicle the security teams will be moving to their assigned positions and the assault teams will be moving to their objectives. You'd better hit them before they get to their dismount point if you are hoping to get them to deploy early.

If you look at Belsan, you'll find that it was a pretty well planned operation. The terrorists were broken down into special teams with specific missions to accomplish. You need to plan on an attack at least that well planned and executed and hope it's not that good.

Jeff

Wheeler44
September 12, 2007, 07:59 PM
Peaceful John: Welcome to the High Road. In regards to your statement;
Something happened six years ago that I thought would generate American rage, but it seems like it devolved into only a moment of angst. We're still learning that our Democrat half doesn't "do" push-back.
If I remember correctly pretty much everyone in congress and most of the country supported "push back" and it seems that we still have troops in Afghanistan looking for Osama bin Laden. Perhaps if we had continued looking for him instead of starting a different war we might have found him. Thats water under the bridge at this time though.

To everyone else, many here profess that "situational awareness" is of utmost importance when out and about in our world. It doesn't matter what you are packin' or how good you are, if you get sucker punched with your piece in your pocket. Consider armed school employees and volunteers to be the "piece in your pocket" and intelligence to be "situational awareness".

Now doesn't it follow that the same "situational awareness" that keeps you from havin' to throw down every time you go to the store would keep you from havin' to be sacrificed to save some school kids?

Despite what some of us may think of ourselves there ain't no John Rambo/John Mclane/John Wayne clones.

Joe Demko
September 12, 2007, 08:11 PM
I've been teaching since 1985. I've taught in two states, several districts, and many different buildings. I have found the stereotypical "leftist liberal teacher" that is regularly pilloried here to be largely a myth. In all those years, I've known only a couple teachers who were anti-gun. Teachers as a group, BTW, tend to be very socially conservative. Economically, they are all across the spectrum.
That said, arming teachers would have to be strictly a volunteer thing if you want it to work at all. Many teachers would say, and have a good point saying it, that they became teachers to teach...not to be armed security. If you make it strictly voluntary, and offer to offset the training costs, you'll get enough volunteers to have a few in every building. That could prove invaluable in whackjob with a gun scenario. Against an organized terrorist operation, I think you'll be lucky to accomplish more than having a few shots fired in resistance. One thing you have to keep in mind is that armed teachers are still primarily teachers. They aren't going to be crack troops on the watch for terrorists every moment of the day. They'll still have all the stuff to occupy their attention that they have right now.

ROMAK IV
September 12, 2007, 10:08 PM
I have long thought that public schools represent a significant psycological target, rendered largely "a stiing duck", not only by societal prejudices, but even in a practical way by "gun free zone" laws. Two kids in Mississippi and two kids in Colorado defeated school security. It's not brain surgery or Rocket science. A small team could attack either at the beginning of school or as it lets out. That would defeat any attempt at a lockdown, and allow the murder of many parrents as well. They could easily commendeer a bus and pick up the rest of the students and then invade the school. It's easy enough for the occassional crazy to do so. In Isreal, the bomber will follow a bus, and detonate a car bomb when they get near. Unfortunately, not a thing will be done until it happens, and gun control paranoia will prevent anything until then. I'm just glad my kids are out of school.

MudPuppy
September 12, 2007, 10:39 PM
How do you suggest we change the culture in the US so that;

#1 the people accept the fact that their children will go to school with armed staff.

#2 and this will be the tough one, how are you going to change the institutional culture in the American education system so that teachers and
administrators will readily accept their new role as soldiers?

The day after, I suppose.

I think the first thing that needs to happen is that people need to be aware of this as a possiblity. I was talking with folks today that didn't even know what Beslan was!!!

While Beslan didn't engulf Russia with chaos as hoped, it likely demonstrated that the bad guys just have to do it bigger. WTC's first attempt paled in comparison to 911.

Educating teachers on when/how to evacuate immediately might be a useful step. I wonder how many local teachers know/remember Beslan?

CPerdue
September 12, 2007, 11:50 PM
MudPuppy, thanks, you set me up nicely.

The words, "fire drill" have been strangely lacking from this discussion. It seems like all we can do is A) prevent the metaphorical fire and B) be prepared to get everyone out when it happens.

To that end, we should design schools which are purposely hard to secure - sprawling structures with lots of doors. I know there are social factors pushing design in the opposite direction, but I believe it is probably easier to keep a few riffraff out of a 'diffuse' school than to keep a commando from securing a 'dense' one.

Schools should also be smaller in general. It is hard to kill a thousand students in a class of 200.

Someone else said back on pg. 2, "The professional mindset that we civilians are just worthless lumps needs to change." Amen to that. Arm everyone who is willing.

Jeff White
September 13, 2007, 02:13 AM
CPerdue said;
The words, "fire drill" have been strangely lacking from this discussion. It seems like all we can do is A) prevent the metaphorical fire and B) be prepared to get everyone out when it happens.

That's exactly it. The nation does not possess the resources necessary to secure every school in America with enough force to stop such an attack. To put it simply, we can't put this fire out if it starts. There are too many schools spread out over too much area, and there are not enough security forces to secure them against a Belsan type attack. That's the cold hard truth.

To that end, we should design schools which are purposely hard to secure - sprawling structures with lots of doors. I know there are social factors pushing design in the opposite direction, but I believe it is probably easier to keep a few riffraff out of a 'diffuse' school than to keep a commando from securing a 'dense' one.

Schools should also be smaller in general. It is hard to kill a thousand students in a class of 200.

How long would it take to rebuild the physical plant for the entire education system in the US? How much would it cost? How will we secure our schools while the infrastructure is being rebuilt?

Let's focus on real solutions not pipe dreams. We're at war now, this very minute, we don't 50 years to redesign our society and replace the infrastructure in the education system.

Jeff

SteveS
September 13, 2007, 09:40 AM
Jeff, I tend to agree with you, but could you give more on:

Just what we're doing. Fight them on their turf not ours, and keep a good watch on their communities in this country and in the prisons where they are recruiting to stop these events before they happen. It's the only possible solution.

Israel has done this, and just like having armed citizens hasn't stopped the attacks, this approach hasn't either. Simply fighting them on their turf doesn't prevent others from coming here, nor would it stop the ones already here. Watching them helps, and I am not suggesting that we don't aggressively pursue them abroad, but I guess I don't fully understand your position.

Mr. Designer
September 13, 2007, 10:46 AM
http://www.schoolsecurity.org/

This website has some information on terrorists and schools. It was mentioned by Bernard Kerik on the Glenn Beck Program today.

F4GIB
September 13, 2007, 11:11 AM
Jeff White posted:
Let's focus on real solutions not pipe dreams.

OK.

When, not if,
(1)they come here because we've controlled them overseas,
(2)they get to the school because CIA/FBI/State intelligence has failed,
(3)they have all their tools of war because Customs missed that particular container, and
(4) their truck starts, they don't blow any traffic lights, etc., so
(5) their platoon of terrorists DOES ARRIVE at the school,

NOW, assume you are the Illinois Commissioner of Public Safety, what is your perfect plan to deal with the situation?

It can't be to do nothing because "nothing will work." Surely you don't believe this bit of defeatism: "To put it simply, we can't put this fire out if it starts."

Mannix
September 13, 2007, 12:01 PM
There are MAJOR differences between the situation surrounding the hostage taking in Beslan(Not Belsan), and the situation here.

The area in which this attack occurred is essentially 3rd world. Chechnya(bordering the country where this happened), is in civil war. There is a separatist government set up controlling parts of the country. One side wants to be separate from Russia, the others are pro-Moscow and want to remain part of the Russian Federation. Their CT forces are a joke, the citizenry(who, may I add, had them illegally) were handing them loaded AK mags because the pros didn't bother to bring enough ammo for an extended fire fight.

Now let's pretend those differences didn't exist.

If such an attack were to happen, and it was not stopped before they got into the building, the only thing that could help would be arming teachers and practicing evacuation drills. An armed teacher might buy 10 seconds or so for the kids to get the heck out, and knowing what to do in case of such an emergency couldn't hurt. Who knows though?

That plan is far from perfect, but it's about all we can do until SWAT arrives, and we can't give every school it's own counter-terrorist force.

Me, though, I find this sort of situation to be rather unlikely. Bombs are FAR more effective if what you're looking for is body count. For instance, what if some loony in a truck filled with fertilizer and fuel drives right up and set's off his cargo near a few buses loaded with kids arriving at school in the morning?

Or what if they just come by and mow down some kids getting off the bus in the morning?

What if they split up into 2 man teams with PKMs and do that at multiple locations simultaneously?

This is all, of course, assuming they can get trained men, guns, ammo, armor, explosives and the like into the country without raising a red flag somewhere.



Short answer, if we don't catch it before it happens, there are going to be some serious casualties, no way around it. I still think it'd be alot easier to get 1-5 people with supplies in unnoticed than it is to get 30+ people + supplies in unnoticed, so arming teachers would work somewhat for the type of attack that is most likely to occur.

ArfinGreebly
September 13, 2007, 01:18 PM
For instance, what if some loony in a SCHOOL BUS filled with fertilizer and fuel drives right up and sets off his cargo . . . ?
There.

Fixed it.

Jeff White
September 13, 2007, 06:38 PM
SteveS said;

Jeff, I tend to agree with you, but could you give more on:

Quote:
Just what we're doing. Fight them on their turf not ours, and keep a good watch on their communities in this country and in the prisons where they are recruiting to stop these events before they happen. It's the only possible solution.

Israel has done this, and just like having armed citizens hasn't stopped the attacks, this approach hasn't either. Simply fighting them on their turf doesn't prevent others from coming here, nor would it stop the ones already here. Watching them helps, and I am not suggesting that we don't aggressively pursue them abroad, but I guess I don't fully understand your position.

What more can a free society do? How many more rights and freedoms are you willing to give up? The situation here isn't all that similar to the situation in Israel. The Palestinian leadership has done everything in their power to keep their people living in abject poverty which gives them an almost unlimited number of young, disaffected, angry people who have little hope to sacrifice as pawns to accomplish their political goals.

Those conditions don't exist in the US. The poorest Americans live in conditions that most of the Palestinians would consider luxurious. So the fanatical fighters that it would take to mount such an attack here would have to be either brought in from the Middle East and kept under constant watch by their controllers, lest they be corrupted by the Great Satan that is our society, or they would have to be recruited and trained from the Muslim population here, which while not impossible, would be difficult because most Muslims living in the US enjoy a fairly high standard of living. Converts living here probably are the best bet to recruit from as converts to any cause tend to be easy to radicalize. We just don't have the disaffected population that they can draw from. The groups they do have to draw from are small and easy to keep an eye on. Bringing in a large enough force to pull off an attack like that and hiding all of their preparations wouldn't be an easy thing.

F4GIB said;
OK.

When, not if,
(1)they come here because we've controlled them overseas,
(2)they get to the school because CIA/FBI/State intelligence has failed,
(3)they have all their tools of war because Customs missed that particular container, and
(4) their truck starts, they don't blow any traffic lights, etc., so
(5) their platoon of terrorists DOES ARRIVE at the school,

NOW, assume you are the Illinois Commissioner of Public Safety, what is your perfect plan to deal with the situation?

First off, I do not possess the financial resources to buy a high position in Illinois State government. So even if there were a commissioner of public safety, I could never hold the job, because in Illinois you get to positions like that because:

A. You bought the position for yourself with cash donations to the party. (There are no campaign finance laws in Illinois)

B. You have done the appointing official a seriously large political favor and the official owes you or your political sponsor.

So F4GIB, just for the sake of argument, let's say you opened up your checkbook and sent me say, $120 K to buy the position with here is what I would do:

DISCLAIMER: This plan is based on what might be actually possible based on the current political and fiscal limitations that we face. It does not include pie in the sky proposals that have no chance of being implemented either because they are too costly or because the political climate would never allow them. That doesn't mean I personally am against other perfect world proposals, it just means that I acknowledge that we don't now live and most likely never will live in a perfect world. I prefer to live in the real world and to base this discussion on what's actually achievable.

1. I would move funding from things like studies on the impact of community based policing in rural areas into intelligence units and add liaison officers into the headquarters of the various federal agencies charged with gathering intelligence.

2. I would secure the funding to put a mobile data computer in every squad car in the state. I would have a computer network created where every sworn officer, if he/she didn't work out of a squad car, they would still have daily access to the network.

3. The state police intelligence center would put out a daily email intelligence update to every officer in the state.

4. I would propose and push for the passage of legislation that would require every school district in the state to hire a full time security director. The security director would have to have a military combat arms or intelligence background or extensive law enforcement experience and be able to pass a background check equivalent to a US Government SECRET clearance. The security director would have a voice equal to that of the district superintendent and the power to amend or veto construction plans or activity plans for security reasons. The security director would be on the distribution for the daily intelligence updates.

The security directors in each school district would have a statutory requirement to complete an annual risk assessment. School Boards would be mandated to fund physical security measures before they funded anything else. The school security plan would be tested annually. The district would have 30 days to correct any deficiencies identified in the exercise or would lose accreditation.

5. I would propose and push for the passage of legislation permitting any school staff member who was interested to take the 40 hour mandatory firearms training portion of the basic law enforcement certification and permit them to carry a weapon on school property. (CCW would be nice, but it's not politically possible in the foreseeable future. This is a state that just voted to deny parole officers the right to carry their issued weapons off duty.)

6. I would propose and push for the passage of legislation requiring school districts to conduct 40 hours of in service training per year for all staff members on response to a terrorist attack. No staff or faculty member would be permitted to work while students are in the building until they had completed that requirement.

That's the plan. That's about all we can do.

It can't be to do nothing because "nothing will work." Surely you don't believe this bit of defeatism: "To put it simply, we can't put this fire out if it starts."

It's not defeatism. It's a fact. Once the truck or bus load of terrorists is unloading on the school grounds, the game is over. The best we can do is try to get as many people out as possible before they seize control. We aren't going to fortify our schools and man them with dedicated security forces capable of stopping the attack cold. We don't have the political will nor do we have the resources to do that. Schools are soft targets. There are too many of them to make them hard targets. We need to fight this threat by doing all we can to prevent it and whatever we can to minimize the damage if we fail to prevent it. During the cold war it was readily apparent that we couldn't defend every possible nuclear target. So we adopted a policy of Mutual Assured Destruction. MAD isn't likely to work against our current enemy. But we're in the same position now. There are simply too many schools to harden and too few security forces to protect them all.

The American way of war is to fight it on the enemy's home turf. We need to continue to do that.

Jeff

F4GIB
September 13, 2007, 07:17 PM
Jeff White posted:
That's the plan. That's about all we can do.

Good plan.

Scanr
September 13, 2007, 07:54 PM
The only down side to trying to get these teachers to carry and train with firearms is that most teachers are liberals. They are some of the premier gun grabbers. Many of the people becoming teachers nowadays are women. Men for a lot of reasons are not entering the teaching profession anymore, at least in the K through middle school grades. A lot of women have a strong aversion to guns if not an outright fear.

RubenZ
September 13, 2007, 09:05 PM
Who cares if we cause all of them to join together and hate us. It'll at least be easier for us to make out the enemy. No offense, but if we continue to play the PC game and enter wars where our enemies have no uniform we will probably always lose.

Thats my opinion.

CPerdue
September 13, 2007, 11:26 PM
I mentioned school architecture because Roanoke did just rebuild one of the high schools - in exactly the wrong way. Obviously there is no overnight fix but physical plants do get renovated all the time. Every instance is an opportunity to make them better.

If I may try for a bullet-point condensation of some proposed remedies:
- intelligence sharing between schools and 'the pros'
- communications to LE assets and school administration
- on site resources, responsibility, and autonomy to prepare for disaster
- practice disaster drills
- long-term thinking to reduce size of and harden targets

Joe Demko
September 14, 2007, 06:57 AM
The only down side to trying to get these teachers to carry and train with firearms is that most teachers are liberals. They are some of the premier gun grabbers. Many of the people becoming teachers nowadays are women. Men for a lot of reasons are not entering the teaching profession anymore, at least in the K through middle school grades. A lot of women have a strong aversion to guns if not an outright fear.

Stereotype much?

crankshop1000
September 14, 2007, 08:46 AM
May 18, 1927 in Bath Michigan a disgruntled school board member dynamited a school.45 were killed and 58 injured , mostly children. This kind of thing can and has happened.Plots are discovered on a daily basis.Some plots are carried out (VT murders). What gives any government the right to deny law abiding citizens the means to protect themselves? Discussion and debate on this issue should be short and sweet. We need to get some type of rapid, on site responders in our institutions. What better source than legal CCW holders? Be they faculty or students or the ex Army ranger pushing a broom it is far better than counting the dead. I couldn't bear the thought of losing a kid in a way that denied them any hope of fighting back.Waiting in line to be shot....how horrific.

george_co
September 14, 2007, 11:03 AM
Okay, I move we close the thread now.

I believe the consensus of the group is:
a. It is better fight them over there.
b. It is better to stop them before they get here.
c. It is better to stop them on a lonely stretch of hwy, rather than a school.
d. If all else fails, we need as many guns as possible, in the hands of (preferably trained) parents, teachers, administrators, janitors, and etc., to save as many kids, and reduce the casualties as much possible.

All in favor the proposed motion - Lock and load. :)

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