I found over at the Mellow Jihadi this morning a nice little feature about a school that did an unannounced “active shooter” exercise.
This was stupid on so many levels. Let’s count them.
1. Human beings are incredibly EASY to kill, expecially when you don’t want to. They can slip and fall and whack their mellons on the concrete and it’s “lights out”, no re-spawn. So, civilized countries have gone to great lengths to minimize workplace accidents and therefore avoid life-threatening injuries. A masked man running into a school with a gun shouting, “I’m going to kill you” is definitely one of those ways that is nearly certain to cause injuries among innocent bystanders as they panic to get away and leap out of windows, cut themselves on broken glass, and slip on freshly polished floors. This goes way beyond negligence. This is pure stupid.
2. Every person who has ever conducted real military training understands the importance of isolating the military training environment from the real world environment. This is especially important in areas where you have both live ammo and blank ammo present. Any military leader conducting such training who does not effectively and affirmatively isolate the environment, and gets one of his soldiers killed, gets fired. Period.
3. Imagine one of the students or teachers present were carrying a concealed weapon (with or without the permission of the government) and decided that it was time to risk legal consequences to save children’s lives and shot the “active shooter” dead on the spot. Who’s fault would it be? The manager of the event would be both civily and criminally liable in the death. Even without a weapon. All it takes is ONE person present to have the courage to do something and someone is going to get killed. Since the active shooter doesn’t have a real gun, and is probably just an actor or “defense consultant”, he doesn’t have any intention of doing any real harm. Thus, he becomes an easy defenseless target got getting tackled and having his head bashed against the floor. Humans are EASY to kill.
4. The probability of an active shooter being at a school is miniscule. Almost a zero percent chance. Thus, in any valid risk assessment, there should be a management decision to not spend any resources preparing for it. Zero. Further, if there is such an incident, there is a very high possibility that the preparation would have been inefficient or ineffective or simply taught the wrong tactics altogether. You see, since active shooters at schools are such a rare event, no one has developed a good tactic to deal with them and tested that tactic in the real world. It is all just people pulling tactics out of the Good Idea Fairy’s ass. Bottom line, there was no training benefit that could reasonably be expected that was worth anywhere near the risk that was taken.
This is typical of the law enforcement community’s SWAT, “let’s train like we are going to war” mentality. But the school administrators should have never permitted this exercise under any circumstances.
It’s not enough that the teacher will win a settlement for having been traumatized. Whoever authorized this training needs to be fired.