Assure or Ensure

Assure or Ensure the Safety of our Children in School

“Guns don’t kill people, People kill people with guns”, we have all heard it from the Pro-Gun lobbyist and the NRA!  I agree with the accuracy of the statement; a gun does not kill anyone without someone pulling the trigger. However, I am not here to promote gun advocacy or gun control, my position or motivation is twofold:

  1. Let’s explore why people use guns to kill students! 
  2. How do we reduce the threat?

I think you will notice that I explicitly said “kill students” not the public at large, and I implied that society, not the police reduce the threat.

Let’s start by creating a baseline – people that shoot students with guns at school are probably nuts, (NUT’s is a technical word for mentally disturbed) there is something wrong, they are not able to cope, and they lack the rational thought to understand the permanence of the situation they are about to create.   So, what motivates a disturbed person to walk into a school and start shooting?

I am sure that the root cause is some level of anger, a wrong that cannot be righted, revenge or an I’ll teach you, somewhere in the equation!  But why elect to walk into a school and start shooting kids?

I am convinced the answer is FAME, yep the desire to go down in infamy, and how does the school shooter know that he or she will be famous- the immediate and uninterrupted transmission of information globally across the internet and the sensationalism created by the media!!!!!

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II. …………………. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (this is the abridged version based on the 2008 decision by the supreme court of the United States upholding the right of an individual).

I do believe that not very many people would support the elimination of the 1st amendment or a reduction in the rights of the media to freely broadcast any story it deems “News Worthy”.

Yet the left-wing media supports the elimination of the rights of Gun Owners.  Can you imagine their response if gun owners lobbied to eliminate their medias right to free speech! Sorry, I went off on a tangent, I am not here to support Pro-gun rights or, the or anti-gun movement, I am here to explore the rights of a society and their obligation to create a safe environment for our children to attend school and have a level of assurance that attendance at school will not result in injury by gunshot!

School Shootings have been around for a while.  One of the first publicly acclaimed school shootings was perpetrated by a 17-year-old girl named Brenda Spencer in 1979, she shot eleven people.  Eight children and a police officer were injured, the school principal and another police officer were killed.  The week prior to the event she told classmates she was about “to do something big to get on TV”. 

Most of us do not remember Brenda Spencer, she and the event she created were a splash on the National News for an evening or two and then the public dissemination and discussions died down and dwindled to the point of mute until her trial concluded, and she was sentenced. In 1979 the closest thing we had to “social media” was a party line, that we shared with two or three neighbors.  National Headlines/events were soon forgotten, and notoriety was short-lived unless you were a public figure (Politician or Actor). 

Brenda, did something big to get on TV, and she had a moment of FAME, the pain she caused and the wounds she inflicted has lasted almost 50 years for the victims, but the rest of us have forgotten.  Columbine, on the other hand, is an event we all remember

The absolute best way to avoid involvement in an active shooter event is to prevent it from happening in the first place. As a country, we have somehow developed an attitude that if we see someone acting strangely or we think that they may be a threat, we shouldn’t raise a red flag and speak up for fear of being insensitive or less compassionate than we should be.  Of course, people should be free to be who they are, however, once they cross the line and are a threat to public safety, we need to step in.  Once this occurs, its everyone’s responsibility to act. 

Active shooter/killer survival training that simply teaches any variation of Run, Hide, Fight is only providing a method, which unfortunately is half of what is necessary to have a fighting chance to survive such an event. A Survival Mindset must be emphasized just as much because most people are not born with or taught a survival mindset to effectively carry out the active shooter survival method. 

Let’s look at one of America’s safest schools in Indiana.  Some of what they have done to secure the school is plain old common sense and some things are more high-tech which of course are expensive and although expensive, it really is a drop in the bucket compared to most governmental spending. 

The Indiana school has obviously found the right security fit that works for them but where do you start if you are considering revamping your school’s security posture?  Of course, there are many options in choosing what’s right for each school.  It may be the same as the Indiana school, but it may be additional school specific issues. Goldbelt Security, LLC recommends that whatever you do, you should start with a comprehensive Site Survey to get the complete security picture.  Interviews with school board/district administrators, faculty, staff, school resource officers, as well as students and parents are conducted and documented.  Additionally, we’ll speak with local law enforcement to discuss the school’s security history and any potential current threats.  Once we have a clear understanding of the security picture we begin our Vulnerability Assessment.

At Goldbelt Security, LLC our Vulnerability Assessments are based upon proven methodologies and models we’ve used to assess vulnerabilities for government and corporate clients for years.

If we were going to defend something back in our military days we would look at the problem from the attacker’s perspective and reverse engineer the attack and solving a school shooting or active shooter/killer issue is no different.  The aim of developing a security plan should be to firstly Deter a threat. Secondly, we need to Detect a threat and Defend against an attack and lastly, if necessary Destroy the threat.  Our primary method was to use an acronym; CARVER.  CARVER is an acronym that stands for Criticality, Accessibility, Recouperability, Vulnerability, Effect and Recognizability and is a system to identify and rank specific targets so that attack resources can be efficiently used. CARVER was developed in World War II by the Office of Strategic Services or OSS for the French field agents as a simple, uniformly and somewhat quantifiable means of selecting targets for possible interdiction. CARVER can be used from an offensive (what to attack) or defensive (what to protect) perspective.

The security of our schools should be paramount and we can’t turn a blind eye to this issue as it is not going away.  Our team at Goldbelt Security, LLC stands ready to assist you.  We have the experience and expertise to solve your security challenges.