Friday, October 20, 2006

Tough Choices

Perhaps the most frightening thought to a parent would be that their child’s school is under siege. Columbine High School in Jefferson County Colorado, Platte Canyon High School in Bailey Colorado, the Amish School House in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

All were schoolhouse shootings and people died in every instance. There have been many others with the same results. Innocent students and teachers shot and killed or grievously wounded by murderous punks with a vendetta against…what?

Who knows? Who cares what the reasoning is? The real question is; what can we do about it? Sadly, unless someone with advance warning comes forward before it happens, this type of violence won’t be stopped.

Banning guns isn’t the answer, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters at Columbine, were already banned from possessing the weapons they used. The law didn’t prevent the massacre. Did it?

The Independent School District of Burleson, Texas has come up with one answer. The school district has contracted with Response Options, a security company in Texas that has developed a training course that includes instructional video tapes that shows a man with a gun going into a classroom only to be attacked himself, by the students. The course instructs students and teachers to use as weapons, what ever is available at the time. Books, backpacks, desks, chairs, or anything they can get their hands on.

Robin Browne, a Major with the British Army, and one of the designers of the training course said students and teachers need to take action to defend themselves and each other. The course shows them how. It also show them how to stop the bleeding of a gunshot wound. This training has been well received within the school district by students, teachers, and parents.

This training is, of course, controversial, since it puts minors in harms way.

Ronald Stephens, Executive Director of National School Safety said; "When it comes to fighting an attacker even SWAT teams have a hard time knowing what to do. How can we expect kids to know what to do?"

This is a fair question. But the kids are already in jeopardy at this point. Of course, the younger and smaller the children are, the less chance of it being effective. This concept is not perfect. Those students and/or teachers who attack the attacker first will possibly be wounded or killed. But if they do nothing and wait for the SWAT team to rescue them, most will more than likely die or suffer serious injury anyway.

When a person with a gun or other weapon enters a school with the intent to kill and maim, the students and teachers become their own first line of defense. Unless a school is fortunate enough to have trained armed people on hand, in the school, locked and cocked.

Most schools do not.

Those kids at Columbine were shot and killed or seriously wounded while the SWAT teams sat outside. It irritates some people when I mention that, but it’s the truth


Blogger MonicaR said...

Every public school is basically an unarmed victim zone. Most places of business are as well as most churches.

For years we were taught to do what the criminal asked, cooperate and we would most likely survive. I think that mindset is changing and I am wondering if it all goes back to Tod Beamer and his 'Let's Roll' on that flight over Pennsylvania. We woke up and realized that we are going to have to stand up and not allow these crimes to take place. We possess a lot of strength but we just have not tapped into it. Especially two or more people working together.

Part of teaching my daughters includes self defense. It is a God given right. I tell them that many simple things can be used to defend oneself if need be.

We have a right to defend ourselves and I think it is wonderful that someone thought to teach the kids AND the teachers in that school district this very basic truth.

9:42 PM  

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