Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh, Is That All?

I'm sorry, but a team of commandos in every school is not going to be one of the answers...

As a nation we are all reeling from the horror of Sandy Hook.  Even before we understand precisely what happened and why, we are flailing around for the means to reduce our fear of future attacks.  A company called Chameleon Associates posted an article titled, Countermeasures against School Shootings.  Some of their ten countermeasures are thought-provoking and bear further consideration, but number eight is typical of a very popular notion we've been hearing since last Friday.

“Have armed response capabilities – Having an armed security guard on premises does not mean you have “armed response capabilities”. Most armed guards are neither trained nor experienced with tactical response to an active shooter scenario. The armed security guards must be trained in: instinctive shooting, when-to-shoot scenarios, when to stop shooting or chasing, shooting through a face-forward crowd, hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness training and more. The shooting technique for the guard must be based on an instinctive reaction where he does not need to think, only react and attack the shooter fully neutralizing him as soon as possible. He should not call for backups (someone else will.) He should not take cover (this allows the shooter to be in control.) He should not stop to treat or evacuate the wounded (someone else will.) The guard must know how to shoot while moving fast, forcing the adversary to defend himself. This type of shooting and response requires A LOT of training to the point where the guard’s response is completely instinctive.”

Oh, is that all? Most cops aren’t trained to this level; just ask the nine wounded bystanders at the Empire State Building shooting this year. I wonder what recruiting, screening, selecting, training, equipping, insuring, maintaining, providing time off, and supervising a person at this level would cost each year. How many of these shooters does Chameleon Associates recommend per school to provide sufficient counter-force for one attacker?  How many for two?  On these details they are silent.

Posting heavily armed and armored Navy SEALS in every school in America is certainly a comforting fantasy as we recover from the horror of Sandy Hook, but at some point we'll have to reclaim all our senses and find solutions we can sustain in the real world.