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Protecting Schools from Active Shooters? Part I


Liberty Nation’s Graham J Noble – the author of this two-part series – is a former soldier, combat veteran and Certified Protection Specialist, trained in urban warfare, executive security, physical security and active shooter response. In these articles, he offers some observations and practical advice on how to better protect schools against would-be mass killers.

Another school shooting ignites another round of rhetoric, grossly inappropriate reactions and nothing in the way of preventative measures. Why is it that no action has been taken, despite all the demands that “something” must be done? There is a very simple reason why anti-2nd Amendment leftists have done nothing beyond feign outrage. It is harder to understand the inertia on the part of those who wish to mitigate the problem without restricting gun-rights for law-abiding citizens. Yet, there are measures that can be implemented with very little delay and at relatively little cost. These measures directly enhance the security of school buildings and the safety of students and teachers.

The gun-grabbers have no interest in discussing any preventative measures other than restricting gun-rights. To them, this is not about protecting our schools or saving lives; this is only about disarming American citizens. Mass shootings at schools are merely a convenient and highly emotive excuse to further their anti-gun agenda.

Proaction: Awareness and Mental Approach

Although some local school districts are already forging ahead with schemes to better protect their children, it almost seems that state- and federal-level officials are at a loss. Perhaps they are concerned about budgets and afraid that they might launch grandiose programs that ultimately fail.

There are some realities that must be faced; realities that demand we not ignore or overlook them. First and foremost is the fact that no activity in life can be totally insulated from misfortune, tragedy or those with bad intent. Violence is a part of the human condition and we should have the courage to guard against – and reduce it – without fear that we cannot completely eliminate it. To allow the fear that violence may occur is not a reason to do nothing to reduce it. The first rule of training as a knife fighter is that during the fight you will probably sustain a cut. Yet, the training continues.

To totally eradicate violence from our society, we would have to accept the total elimination of liberty and freedom of choice. That can never be an option.

Another reality is that we must all be willing to learn to be more aware of our surroundings and more aware of the people we interact with on a daily basis. Behavioral problems and personality disorders must be more quickly detected, reported and reacted to. Without infringing upon the rights of those who are merely a little strange or unorthodox, we must find more efficient ways to deal with those who are genuinely disturbed. Obviously, we must do what we can to keep these individuals separated from lethal weapons.

Reaction: Physical Deterrence and Response

In terms of more direct and immediate steps that can be taken to mitigate the danger posed by active shooters, we must better educate schools and student-bodies in how to react to such incidents. There is always the danger, of course, that the potential killer is among the students and, therefore, active shooter drills and other measures can be learned by these individuals. This is an inherent risk but it must not deter from practicing these reactions and procedures.

Active shooter drills are merely one part of the holistic approach. Detecting and dealing with disturbed individuals is another part. Armed deterrence is yet another vital component. The most immediate effective measure that can be taken is the hardening of the school building as targets. Physical features of buildings can be added or modified to make those structures less attractive to the would-be killer, more difficult to enter or – once inside – less easy to navigate and, ultimately, less easy to locate and engage intended targets. These physical measures, along with the most effective armed security measures, will be explored in more detail in part II of this series.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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