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SHOOTINGS In Our Schools

One cannot find words to frame a school shooting and its aftermath; the event beggars description.

 

Seemingly, our society is becoming immune to the awful consequence of mass slaughter no matter where it occurs.

 

Are we becoming so insensitive, that even when the victims are babies, our shock and concern is short lived?

 

It serves no useful purpose to delineate the many instances wherein mass murders have occurred in our schools; a solution must be found and implemented to prevent them or to lessen their impact.

 

With the realization that no solution can be had that does not have negative ramifications, I offer the following:

 

Screen and train a group of volunteers from the student body as to the best method of coping with the incursion.

 

Their training will stress the safety of their fellow students first and retaliation thereafter. Arm the volunteers with Tasers, a non lethal weapon that will subdue the gunmen before they can kill multiple victims.

 

A common thread woven through the fabric that is the campus massacres is that theses killers are intent on and prepared to murder as many people as possible before taking their own lives.

 

Campus security can only act after the fact and by then it is too late to stop the killings before there are more victims.

 

Must we not keep this issue omnipresent in the eyes of the public and in doing so press for a workable solution?  

 

I WOULD LIKE YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS MATTER!!!

 

Angelo

 

 

Afraga8 Afraga8 70+, M 5 Responses Mar 14, 2008

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Please read the article that I posted on this site; it is titled:



"The Little Brown Eyed Girl Of Nickle Mines"

Again, Read my post:



SCREEN AND TRAIN a group of volunteers from the student body as to the best method of coping with the incursion.



Their training will stress the safety of their fellow students first and retaliation thereafter. Arm the volunteers with Tasers, a non lethal weapon that will subdue the gunmen before they can kill multiple victims.



Rotating police officers, armed with tasers and posing as students to different schools, could prove effective; a person contemplating a shooting would never know if, indeed, an officer was present.



IF ONE OF THE STUDENTS COWERING BENEATH A DESK AT THE VA. TECH MASSACRE HAD A TASER, MANY LIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED.



Your likening food fights in the cafeteria to taser fights does not even require a response.



If you Google Navy Log and put my last name, Fragapane, in the search field, you will see a part of my service record.



At my present age, 86, I no longer have any shock absorbers in my make up; I take these killing as a personal affront.

I understand the "no shock absorbers " concept.


But I also ask that you read what I am saying. Unless you are simply spouting off, with no intention of accomplishing anything, nor listening to anyone with current experience, I sincerely ask that you consider what I am trying to tell you.


But I humbly submit that the schools of seventy years ago are not the schools of today. And - Sir, if you think that Tasers, if available, would NOT take the place of a food fight in the cafeteria...then you have not been in a high school cafeteria lately.


I was in one on the Friday, June 4th - it started with thrown tater tots and elevated to a broken nose, a concussion, one girl with eight stitches and another with twelve stitches. I am quite GLAD that I did not have a taser to use in breaking up that particular fight. I did use SCIP and wound up putting two girls into a half-nelson, one in each arm, while standing on the chest of a boy and telling him to "stay down" - which was when the school security showed up and then we needed to do a HAZMAT cleanup for all the blood. Close to 300 square feet of blood contamination.


Most certainly - a motivated and courageous student at VA Tech with a Taser AND THE WILL TO USE IT - could have ended that particular tragedy quickly. But some of those students died - because they were more afraid of the two story fall to the ground, than the man with the gun at the door.

I ask you - did you notice that part in the VA Tech Report? Twelve students escaped through the windows of the lecture hall, while the professor held the door - the other eight cowered under the window, too scared to jump, until the gunman came and shot them.

And - an unconfirmed report that I got from a student I know, at VA Tech - an item not in the official report - one of those girls killed at that window? - had both pepper spray and a taser in her purse - and DID NOT USE EITHER.


Have you ever read SLA Marshall's work and his analysis of how many men actually shoot to kill in combat? It is rather interesting - and I would bet that you are probably one of the "three or four" that are actually actively killing the enemy - while a lot of your fellow soldiers were just boring holes in the air.

But don't confuse yourself - and YOUR warrior spirit - with the run-of-the-mill person. Certainly not what I see in the hallways of my school.


We actually discussed this very discussion item at my school. Came to the conclusion that there were three teachers that we might consider as an "Auxiliary Security Force." - no students whatsoever.


The students I see today are so hormonally unbalanced and prone to whim and whimsy that such an idea is just ASKING for the very problem you seek to solve.

Perhaps, in the Thirties, when you were a teen, things were a lot different. The Cadets from VMI who marched with Stonewall Jackson, the Mexican Cadets who stood at Chapultec - that was a very different day.


These teenagers of today?


THIS is what you and I are disagreeing on. You seem to think they are capable, on the whole of far more than I do. I see them every day in my classroom. The "why" of these biologically mature and mentally immature teenagers of the current day is our fundamental difference.

I am trying every day, and every way I know how, to convince them NOT to be a Victim. And all of their lives, everything else - militates to making them into "sheeple".


And - I can guarantee you, Handing a sheeple a weapon will not give you the results you are hoping for.


Been there. Done That. Got the Scars.

OH, Lord, where do I start.



You may start by looking at the title of my post: "Shootings In Our Schools".

The killer in the Bath incident used dynamite and this was an event not likely to be repeated. There is a difference; your response goes downhill from here



"Volunteers with TASERS? - OMG!"



All nine people wounded in an incident when a man gunned down an aquaintance outside the Empire State Building and then was killed by cops were hit by police gunfire, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly confirmed today.



Tasers are safe and effective, guns, even in the hands of professionals, can do a great deal of harm.



"...I have seen involve people are suffering from such a severe case of recto-cranial inversion that they need to use toilet paper before speaking".



HOW VERY CUTE, if you can't address the issue, attack the messenger.



"Biggest thing - immediately - intruder with a gun - classrooms go on lock down. NOBODY in the hallways. NOBODY. Classroom doors need to be secure, so they cannot be easily broken -as at VA Tech."



The guy is already in the classroom and you can lock him in there as he begins his carnage???



" So, how is the problem "worse" than ever?"



You may not have noticed that there are more victims per incident.





"..and not the "panicky screaming passenger trying to grab the wheel on a mountain road" sort of assistance."



How sad, with your hand firmly gripping the elephents tail, you are certain that the animal resembles a rope.



I am 86 and I served for two years in the South Pacific in the navy during WW2; I was among the first americans into Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped there.



What I saw there that day, or perhaps what I did not see there, scared the hell out of me. Mass killings are an outrage, they must be stopped.



More and more police departments have come to the conclusion that an on site and immediate response to these killings is necessary.

Well, sir, first of all, let me say, that I appreciate your service. I did 28 years in the military, and went from serving in Baghdad in April of 2003 to teach high School in the Bronx that following September.

Dynamite is not going to be used again? Really? Dynamite, maybe, but explosives like PETN or ANFO? google a fellow named "McVeigh" - The Columbine Killers used pipe bombs, so did the kids that they caught in California, earlier this year. IEDs are not going to go away anytime soon.

I HAVE used Tasers operationally, as well as pepper spray, and several other non-lethal and semi-lethal methodologies - both as part of a Military Research project, Operationally as a military Officer, and a Public School Teacher.

Which is where I base my reaction to the Issuance of Tasers to ANYONE - student, faculty or administration, in the school. Law Enforcement - or Law Enforcement Trained School Security Personnel - would be the ONLY people I would trust to maintain the emotional detachment necessary to use Lethal or semi-lethal force.

and a lock-out? What is your problem? Have you indeed read any of the school shooting reports? - with the exception of the Columbine Library and Cafeteria, or the Aurora Theater - many of the school shootings occurred when the shooter entered a classroom.

My own personal experience with this is the same - shooter in the hallway, all the heavy wooden doors were blocked and we moved the nice heavy wooded teachers desk in front of the door. He pounded helplessly on the doors, expended his ammo, and the SWAT team took him down and got him out with nobody hurt but him.

Putting a thick barrier between the shooter and his victims is EXACTLY what I propose, Most shooters pick low caliber weapons with low penetration. I am still unsure of what happened at VA Tech - how did a man with two low caliber pistols manage to kill that many people? - but according to some accounts, many curled up in a fetal position and laid like sheep for him to kill, instead of escaping. Only one of his victims - that Professor who barred the door to block his entry for a few minutes - showed bravery or sense, it appear to me.

There are indeed more victims per incident - but less incidents. - and also - if you look at it, the incidents on TV - which is probably what you are looking at, are the ones where out in the suburbs, or like the Manhattan shooting this week, where the wealthy can see it or more correctly, "not ignore it".

But - with all due respect sir, as someone pointed out below, your suggestion of student volunteers with tasers is ludicrous in the extreme, I visualise Taser fights in the cafeteria replacing food fights. Arming teachers with tasers is only slightly less stupid. Close proximity to teens erodes your self control - I have seen the phenomenon and observed both for myself and in myself for nine years.

Sitting on the cupola of a up-armored HMMV with a Mark 19 40mm Grenade launcher under in front of you, and resisting the urge to use it while a crowd of Iraqis curse you and pelt you with rotten garbage is nothing compared to dealing with teenagers and you really,really want to - take the actions you know how to do.

Sir, this is not the High School you went to back in the Thirties. Please don't confuse the kids I teach - with your memories of what you were. Where I teach - put it this way - 730 students, and we buried five of them last year. That is worse odds than some of the Infantry battalions in Afghanistan. That is not necessarily the fault of the children themselves - many of them now are "damaged goods" - I see many that, if I was still a Combat Officer, I would refer to Psych for PTSD indications - tremors, nervousness, shudders, thumbsucking, difficulty in speech - all of it.

A lot of what I see today in the schools goes a lot deeper than any quick fixes or simple slogans. You sound like an intelligent man that cares - I'd suggest reading "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by Lt.Col. Dave Grossman - a sociologist and former Army Ranger.

As a military person yourself, you would probably appreciate that any study of violence by a sociologist that has never been to war is - well, as Lt Col Grossman observes, like "studying a sexual Education Manual written by an Opinionated Virgin."

The man is absolutely right - I've read a lot of sociologists and psychologist writing about violence and come away with a feeling of unease, like "this guy doesn't really know what he's talking about".

Colonel Grossman is a former enlisted Ranger who went to college and rose to the rank of Lt Colonel before becoming a Sociologist. So - he's got some suggestions. I will warn you - this guy does not, I repeat NOT pull any punches. He will take you to some very dark and nasty parts of the human psyche.

But - if you are indeed a Combat Veteran, then you have already been where this book will take you. It did awaken some old nightmares for me.

But it also brought clarity of thought. Which, indeed, is something I believe you are in need of, Sir.

Because, this IS an idea that does need some good answers. The world is going to Hell, I have the ugly feeling. But disarming the general public is merely making more victims for the storm, in my opinion.

"Tasers are safe and effective" - Sir, have you ever used one? Especially, operationally, outside a controlled training environment? I have, and I have observed others using them. I will allow that pepper spray is harmless, other than whatever damage you might do to yourself by trying to get it off of you, but Tasers can cause short term memory loss, trigger epilepsy, heart dysfunction and several dozen deaths have been documented worldwide...and there is fairly good evidence to suggest that Taser deaths in Police custody are much higher than officially recognized - as well as citizen-caused taser deaths. I have personally observed short term memory loss with Taser use, as well as epilepsy attacks and heart dysfunctions following tasing of a subject. So - with all, due respect, I'd like to know about your personal experience with these devices, Sir, not what you've read about them. Because, as one combat soldier to another, there's a lot of stuff written in books that just doesn't stand up in the heat of conflict.

OH, Lord, where do I start. Do you realize when the worst School shooting in American History occurred? 1927. Yep. 1927. Look it up. There are some - for example - I personally recall one in Olean, NY, in 1971 - 16 people killed - and I can find no mention of it on the Internet.



Volunteers with TASERS? - OMG! - I teach in an inner City School, and I did the "troops-to teachers" thing. Retired from 28 years in the military, and I've been teaching high school since then. In April of 2003, I was in Baghdad, in September, 2003, I was teaching in the South Bronx.



I have BEEN in military contingency planning, and I DO know how to do real world planning, and most of the "plans" I have seen involve people are suffering from such a severe case of recto-cranial inversion that they need to use toilet paper before speaking.



Biggest thing - immediately - intruder with a gun - classrooms go on lock down. NOBODY in the hallways. NOBODY. Classroom doors need to be secure, so they cannot be easily broken -as at VA Tech.



Evacuate the building after police give an all clear.



The school needs to be a weapons-free zone, EXCEPT for the LE personnel. I cannot emphasize that enough. No teachers or anybody else in contact with the students should have a weapon of any sort. I can't emphasize that enough. TASERS are only semi-lethal, and being a teacher erodes your own self-control.



I will tell you personally - I was in the profession of arms for 28 years, and I would not want to be armed in school. And - I am absolutely certain, beyond any doubt, that there are few of my colleagues that I would trust to carry weapons in the school. Certainly none of the ones that WANT to carry them, I can tell you that.



But - really, at the moment, school shootings today are at an all-time LOW. The thing is, when there is a shooting, especially at a suburban school, it makes the national news in a heartbeat. Heck, "student with a gun" makes National news in a suburban school, whereas, "student with a gun" at my school only makes the 5.00 local news on a slow news day.



I'm trying to remember the exact statistics, but I was on the "Safe and Civil Schools" Committee last year. The FBI statistics for 1980-1990 showed something like 20 shootings per 100,000 students per year. The statistics for 2000-2010 were something like 1.8 per 100,000 students per year.



Surely, even ONE is a tragedy - but we have reduced that rate from 20 to 2 in 20 years.



So, how is the problem "worse" than ever?



Or is this a matter of, you have just happened to notice the problem, sir?



Your assistance is good, but make it assistance, and not the "panicky screaming passenger trying to grab the wheel on a mountain road" sort of assistance.

While I agree that kids shooting each other in schools is tragic, I think that people get too caught up in what they hear on "the news". I don't believe that the world is more dangerous now than at other times in history, it's simply more accessible. Arming kids with tasers will only up the ante ... kids talk, right? Even if it's supposed to be a "secret", everyone would know who had 'em... and even if the chosen kids were supposed to be "responsible" sooner or later there would be a disagreement that led to a taser fight. How about arming ALL the students equally, and just stand back and see what happens? Or a Police State, where there are armed guards present everywhere at all times? There is absolutely no practical way to make life 100% risk-free....