Who Will Stand For Our Children? Voluntary Armed Parents in Schools
by Ron Borsch
INTRODUCTION AND DEFINING THE PROBLEM
It is important for us to first understand the "Rapid Mass Murder"© problem, the most common motivation of these active killers, how we can reduce the copycat effect, (http://www.lorencoleman.com/copycateffect/), as well as the number of these incidents and then look at the "Final Option" of armed intervention. We hope to at least initiate all that within this article. What qualifications do we possess to be an authority on the subject?
Our post-grad, non-profit regional police training academy has specialized in tactically training 1st responding officers and deputies since the year 2000. We have been so fortunate to have our research and statistics gain attention on the national and international law enforcement scene. Our premier "Tactical 1st Responder" course, emphasizing the "Single Officer's Lifesaving Others" 70 % successful response as a countermeasure to the active killer has attracted officers from eight different states to Bedford, Ohio. Our free law enforcement only newsletter goes out to officers in a few dozen states and several countries.
Our research protocol is limited to "Rapid Mass Murder"©, (RMM) and certain attempts at RMM. Our definition is "Within 20 minutes, four or more murdered at the same time and public place"©
The term active killer is self defining, but we further define it as "One who commits Rapid Mass Murder"©, so there is no confusion with the law-abiding recreational practice of being an active shooter. Pre-Columbine High School in 1999 back to 1975, we averaged +/- one RMM a year. Post-Columbine, we averaged +/- four a year up to 2010. In 2011, we broke the record with eight RMM in one year, and in November 2012, that record was again broken with nine. December, tied at 3rd as the most dangerous month, had our 10th RMM with half the month remaining as this is written.
Aborts, or successful stoppages of RMM only occur in slightly more than half, (+/- 51%) of RMM incidents. In two thirds of these aborts the killing is stopped by citizens, initiated by a single citizen in 8 out of 10 incidents. Remarkably, in +/- two thirds of these citizen aborts, the actors are unarmed. Barehanded against a firearm is certainly a steep and very dangerous learning curve! Law enforcement, handicapped by time, distance, delayed notification and often faulty belief systems about RMM, handle the other third. The law enforcement successes were by a "Single Officer's Lifesaving Others"© in 7 out of 10 RMM incidents.
Is it possible to improve upon the overall dismal rate of only half of RMM incidents being aborted? Certainly! We must have serious skilled people in place properly equipped to protect the children. The top three most repeated targets of the copycat active killer, (Schools, Universities and Churches combined comprise +/- two thirds of the active killer targets), are also the most commonly designated "Gun-Free" zones. Is there a logical cause and effect connection here? Yes, of course there is!
"GUN-FREE" ZONES ALWAYS STACK THE DECK IN FAVOR OF THE MURDERER
Who benefits? By prohibiting the honest, God-fearing, law abiding, and legally armed citizens from carrying their firearms in these facilities, by default, the active killer now has assurance for his own personal health, welfare, safety and enjoyment while committing murder upon defenseless innocents. If this sounds backwards to you, it certainly is! In many schools and workplaces, their first line of defense is denial. Unfortunately, the second line of defense may be similar to Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish fairy tale about the Emperor not wearing any clothes.
REDUCING RAPID MASS MURDER INCIDENTS: LOSE MEDIA INSTANT CELEBRITY!
While law enforcement and the media are searching for motives in each of these incidents, they are failing the heed the obvious, the largest and most common motive, that of the active killer achieving "instant celebrity status." Consider the active killers as typically not so much loners as “failed joiners”. In their twisted minds, the copycat active killers see "Rapid Mass Murder"© as a shortcut to their own instant recognition and celebrity status, graduating from a former nobody to a "big deal." Why then, are we giving them what they want?
For those that study these incidents, it is easy to see that eventually, it will be revealed that the typical active killer has been found to have "Numerous Unstable or Troubling Symptoms," ('NUTS'©). Some became stone-cold-killers. Since a third, (+/- 35%), of these cowards commit suicide on site, they seem to not care whether they achieve this infamy dead or alive. Publishing these cowardly copycat's pictures and names has got to stop! The obvious solution is the effective concept of "Shunning."
SHUNNING: NEVER TO SPEAK OR PRINT HIS NAME OR DISPLAY HIS PICTURE
We need to convince the media that they are unintentional enablers of potential active killers that commit "Rapid Mass Murder"© and are promoting the copycat effect. They are giving the active killers exactly what they seek. When potential active killers see the current event murderer's pictures and names, they seem to view themselves just as "famous." Since "Rapid Mass Murder"© is a copycat crime, there is a vicious connecting circle between the notoriety they want and their unfortunate serious desire to get it.
Probably the best example of this is the Norwegian Island murderer of 69 children. He gave up to police with the expectation of getting to read his lengthy manifesto in court while wearing the uniform of his alleged organization. The Court was wise enough to nix both of his delusions. Shunning the pictures and names of these cowardly murderers of defenseless innocents must be done to prevent or at least reduce these impulsive "NUTS"© from achieving perpetuation of their notoriety, sick glory, fame, Etc. Need a label? Choose among cowardly murderer, sick copycat, Etc. We need to focus our attention on having the media so shun the active killers before America hits the snooze button again.
ILLOGICAL GUN-CONTROL PROPOSALS ARE DEMOLISHED BY SIMPLE LOGIC
We need a simple and direct standard test for the validity of alleged solutions to the growing "Rapid Mass Murder"© problem. Here is one standard test proposal: Ask yourself: "Would the proposed solution have stopped Cain from killing Abel?" If the answer is no, then the proposed solution is based on a faulty premise. There seems to be a defect isolated in some humans that leads them to cross over to the dark side, defaulting to inexplicable violence and murder. Since our best weapons are logic and reason, outside the motive of instant celebrity, we will never understand the acts of the unreasonable and illogical "NUTS©."
It is ridiculous to blame inanimate objects like firearms for the evil that men do, In our research of "Rapid Mass Murder" there are at least two relatively quiet ways to commit mass murder that have occurred. For those interested in intelligently understanding the gun-control nonsense, consider the books "MORE GUNS – LESS CRIME: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws," by Professor John Lott(http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/), "400 YEARS OF GUN CONTROL: Why isn't it working?" by Howard Nemerov (http://pjmedia.com/tatler/author/howardnemerov/), and the essay: "The Criminal Steering of Gun Control by Ron Borsch, (http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7932).
In spite of "Rapid Mass Murder"© being a documented increasing problem, they are nonetheless isolated incidents. For those who have lost a loved one to an active killer, it is certainly personal. However, an unemotional examination of the number of gun owners will reveal that these isolated incidents are statistically insignificant. Any consideration of punishing the overwhelming majority of honest, God-fearing, law abiding gun owners for the crimes of criminals is ridiculous. Go to the documented source of what is actually motivating these active killers, instant celebrity.
We have to ask ourselves: "Who benefits?" From the active killers perspective, these target rich environments full of defenseless innocents, are magnets designed exclusively for his health welfare, safety and murdering enjoyment. Are the persons who make the laws and rules about the faulty premise of "Gun-Free" zones in cahoots with the active killer, or are they merely delusions from an alternate universe or Utopian planet? One of the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission was that there were "Failures of imagination." When will the powers that be get out of the "Who could have imagined this happening here" mode?
THE ARMED CITIZEN AND THE FINAL OPTION, ARMED INTERVENTION
The armed citizen in America is an important consideration, and to the enlightened, a regularly demonstrated force-multiplier partner to law enforcement. However, and curiously, the honest law abiding God fearing and legally armed citizen is prohibited in the facilities most often targeted by the copycat active killer. Does it strike you that reason and logic have not been applied here?
FORMER MILITARY OR LAW ENFORCEMENT
In his presentations, Dave Grossman, (U.S. Army Lt.Col Ret. and former West Point Psychology Professor, www.Killology.com) is fond of using the descriptive terms "Sheep, Sheep dog and Wolf." The wolf is of course the attacker, the sheepdog is the protector and the sheep are victims. Not everyone can be a sheepdog, but he or she should be what we are looking for. Military veterans, especially those that have served in a combat zone, and former law enforcement are far more likely to aggressively, reasonably and justifiably use deadly force.
MIND SET: ACTIVE KILLER IS A DEMONIC ROGUE HUMAN
Our primary goal is to "Stop the Killing!" As in nature where an animal turns man-eater, it must be hunted down and killed so it does not prey upon humans again. If the cowardly active killer gives up as some have, then he is a problem for the justice system. At the moment of truth, in contact with the murderer, merely hoping for him to give up is a terrible strategy. The active killer is in complete and total control until effectively stopped. What right would we have in hesitating to use reasonable and justifiable deadly force with children in jeopardy? What right would we have to unnecessarily endanger ourselves, our children’s parent, or our partner's spouse?
SELECTIVELY ARMING TEACHERS, ADMIN, SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS AND PARENTS
Some will prefer hiring off duty officers, or armed Security Guards. When the emotion wears off and when the hard reality of cost sets in, it may be only a short term solution, Teachers and other school staff are on site for the entire school day. It would be quite natural to consider arming some teachers, (a pay-perk should be considered). There are two considerations here. Teachers or school staff that are not interested in being armed should of course, not be. The teacher who volunteers to be armed may or may not be a good candidate, so some sort of selection process should be in place. Those that were interested enough to already possess a valid concealed weapon permit are a good beginning.
A FREE RESOURCE: ABLE-BODIED ARMED PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS
An untapped resource for real security inside schools is able-bodied volunteer parents and younger grand-parents that of their own volition and expense have already obtained their concealed carry permit. This permit would merely be a starting point in training and vetting. Parents and grandparents have a vested interest in their community's children. They should also be more likely to be focused in their single mission than teachers and administrators who have other primary responsibilities. Many citizens commonly do volunteer work, and this may be a more noble service than most in the community.
MISSON: VOLUNTARY ARMED PARENTS INSIDE SCHOOLS ("VAPIS"©)
The VAPIS© staff's mission should be limited to suspicious activity known to be related to the known behavior and characteristics of copycat active killers. Portable radio's enable VAPIS© staff to communicate with the school office, security personnel and other VAPIS© staff on site. "Observe and report" should be for normal school disturbances. Otherwise and naturally, VAPIS© staff needs to maintain a low profile.
ACTING AS HALL MONITORS
VAPIS© staff would serve as unofficial hall monitors or "observers" (not tasked with any responsibility or authority over students or school staff). Observe and report is the order of the day, an extra set of eyes for the school, but to generally not become involved with lesser incidents. VAPIS© volunteer staff could be scheduled in blocks of two, three or four hours to fill out the school day. Depending on both the size of the school and number of schools in the district will affect the number of VAPIS© staff in each school. An effort should be made to schedule at least two VAPIS© in each school so when someone is sick or necessarily absent, there would be one.
While each school district could develop their own standards beyond the basic concealed carry permit, it should be in cooperation with the local law enforcement agency. Here are some recommendations for applicants:
Some sort of vetting process approved by legal council.
Shoot and qualify on the course required for police by the state annually.
The annual qualification session should include classroom use of force training, and updates on behavior and characteristics of the active killer and relevant miscellaneous.
Train on some sort of combat course quarterly using a humanoid silhouette target with both facial features and presenting a deadly force stimulus, (gun or knife).
The quarterly training sessions should include weapon retention skills with training safe pistols.
Twice a year, participate in dynamic reality based scenarios, preferable inside a school, using training pistols such as Air-Soft or Simunition type marking cartridges.
The twice a year training sessions should also include dynamic shooting drills using Laser training devices, ("Beam-Hit" for example)
SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT
In almost every school shooting, we seem to have courageous heros both known and unknown, deceased and survived. Nothing here is intended to diminish their bravery. We have looked at over a couple hundred shooting incidents to examine whether they fit our RMM protocol or not. While we do not keep records of those that do not fit our protocol, we are told that in "lesser" events, the shooter's characteristics and behavior are often very similar to the active killer's behavior characteristics in our records.
The Newtown, CT incident solidly fits our protocol but there is something conspicuously missing from the early reports. In typical RMM incidents, there are usually multiple wounded, sometimes more wounded than murdered. As it stands, this incident is both remarkable for the high number of killed alone, but also the low number of wounded. The early Newtown reports say that there were 26 murdered, 20 of them children. We are trying to chase down blips of only one wounded and evidence of three to 11 shots in each body. Active killers are typically amateur close-range, cheap-shot cowardly murderers of defenseless innocents. The coward here, (his name never to be spoken or printed, nor his picture shown), was certainly a stone-cold remorseless killer, apparently repeatedly shooting each victim to make sure they died. As Dave Grossman would likely infer, was this an attempt to beat the old "high score" record from their typical practice of violent video games that involve shooting people?
WHO WILL STAND AND EFFECTIVELY DEFEND OUR CHILDREN?
Parents, Legislators and School Boards everywhere, have you had enough? If not, what will it take to do something EFFECTIVE for the safety of our children? Take a hard look at what really works, and realize that some safety and security concepts are only empty promises. Locked glass doors are not impervious to bullets or breaching by motor vehicle as has been done in the past. Residents in Ohio are fortunate that wise legislators designed a clause in the law that persons with written permission of the school board are permitted to carry firearms inside the school. "We suggest, you decide."
About the Author: Ron Borsch: After a three decade police career, Ron is semi-retired. While retaining a police commission as a consultant-trainer, he manages and is the lead trainer for SEALE Regional Police Training Academy, a post-graduate non-profit facility cooperative of seven communities in Bedford, Ohio. SEALE Academy has specialized in tactically training 1st responders since the year 2000. Their current evolution of active killer countermeasures is SOLO, "Single Officer's Lifesaving Others"©. Ron has presented various subjects in several different states to fellow officers, national and international instructor audiences, and Chiefs of Police. Officers from eight different states have journeyed to Ohio to take Ron's "TACTICAL 1st RESPONDER"© course. His ideas, concepts and articles have appeared on numerous premier law enforcement web sites.