We Have a Problem
Yes, my thoughts and prayers are with and for the good people of Uvalde, TX today. My thoughts and prayers are also for the good people of America.
Please hear me though, we do not have a gun problem in America. We have a people problem. We need to quit blaming inanimate objects and start doing something to stop the problem.
This isn’t an opportunity to push mine or your politics using a tragic incident. We can do something though and we must, we must harden the target.
Harden the Target
We defend our politicians (President, congressmen, governors, celebrities, sporting events, jewelry stores, banks, office buildings, factories, courts, social security offices, and the list goes on) with personnel committed to defending and they do so with guns. When it comes to our children in schools, we simply place a sign up that reads, “GUN FREE ZONE” and expect that to work.
I absolutely support the arming of staff members after meeting rigorous requirements including proficiency and even a psychological evaluation. If staff members at the school don’t want to be armed and trained to meet threats to our children with deadly force, then harden the target a different way.
Control access to the building. Limit the points of entry to the school grounds. Have quality locks on doors into the building and classrooms. Have quality surveillance systems in place and share those feeds with the local police departments.
Install windows in classrooms that allow for egress and evacuation. Yes, remodel the school buildings to be ready for these types of events and to get our children out of harms way. Yes, change building codes for new schools to include safety plans for this nonsense.
Select quality and well-trained police officers to serve in the schools again instead of finding the touchy-feely officer that’s ready to retire and is looking for a dayshift, Monday-Friday gig.
Don’t have the staffing in your local PD for this program, then try embracing the National School Protection Force like that conceptualized by Steve Reichert (see link.)
Keep Talking but Talk About the Heroes
This conversation could and should go on but it needs to not be a political conversation nor a gun-focused conversation. We have gun laws; those were broken just like in every other incident. We have laws against assault and murder, those were broken just like in every other incident. Until we are ready to address the mental health problems and the accountability problems we have as a nation, gun laws will change nothing.
Talk to your school board members and school staff about their plans and insist that they make efforts to harden the target, refuse to allow them to be fish in a barrel.
As we move forward try to focus on the heroes like the US Border Patrol Agent that rushed in and stopped the evil, commit to never speaking the name of the evil doer.
Are you ready to train yourself to respond? If you are, come join us for some basics and work yourself up to the more complex, we can help you with that too. Be Ready to Respond, Be Your Own First Responder.