Thoughts on the Sandy Hook Tragedy from a Cop, Father and Husband of a Teacher

by December 17, 2012 12/17/12

I’ve enjoyed a bit of anonymity here at ITS Tactical over the last few years. Bryan and the ITS staff have been very supportive of my request to keep a lot of my personal information private. Those who know me, see that I use a pseudonym on Facebook and other social media sites. Those in Law Enforcement or other sensitive fields do this to keep their families safe.

Today I’m going to step way outside of my comfort zone, as the murders that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School have hit me and my family very hard.

Just an Average Family

We are your typical middle class American family who happens to fall right in the center of the Sandy Hook shooting in several ways. I work as a Sherrif’s Deputy, my wife is a teacher who grew up thirty minutes from Newtown Connecticut and we have three school age children (one of which is in first grade and the same age as most of the children murdered). Two of our children attend the same school where my wife teaches and we are active in the school and church.

This incident has hit us like a ton of bricks. Our family represents the first responder, the teacher who was unwillingly thrown into a terrifying situation and the parents who couldn’t imagine anything like this happening to our children. We have been watching the news and talking about this event to the point of mental exhaustion. We have no answers for the madness that happened, just questions.

It’s made me and my wife angry, it’s made us scared and it’s taken away another slice of a normal life that we are trying to live. It seems like every day an event takes place that rips away another piece of a simple childhood that we are trying so hard to give our children. Yet another incident which our parents didn’t have to worry about when they were raising us. Another event that weighs on my shoulders as a parent.

The days of a childhood like my own are slowly being taken away by madmen. Be it by sociopaths or terrorists, the reality is our children have been stripped of the “simple times.” Our country and the world is changing. It’s our jobs as parents to shield them so they can just be kids, but it is getting harder every day.

Jaded

I’ll say it right now; I’m already jaded in life. Having been in a mix of the Army and Law Enforcement for 17 years, I’m at the point where nothing much rattles me. I’ve witnessed first hand the brutality that we can bestow on each other. I’ve built up walls and ways of coping, as those in a maddening line of work do. I recognize this and I try my hardest to deal with it. Its not easy but it’s what we do.

I feel that it’s my duty to keep my family away from those things in life that no one should have to see or experience. My wife doesn’t ask about the crazy calls I’ve been on and I don’t share the gruesome details. Right or wrong, it works for us. I try very hard to let my kids be kids and to let my family be a family.

Innocence Removed

Thank God my wife isn’t jaded. By all accounts she is just like those teachers at Sandy Hook. She had the calling for educating our youth and she enjoys working with children. She has a passion for her students and puts a lot of personal time into her class. The pay isn’t great, but it’s not about the pay or the monetary benefits. It’s about making a difference in life and doing something that affects others in a positive way. It’s about being an American and ensuring its children have every opportunity to be successful in life.

My wife and I have been together for thirteen years and she has been teaching for twelve. She enjoys the simple things in life and leaves the thoughts of violence in our society to me. I’m the Army “vet” and “cop” whose job it is to deal with evil. Until recently she didn’t put a lot of thought into school shootings, even though she has to listen to me get on my soapbox about “terrorists taking over a school” (more on this later).

Sure they do lockdown drills at her school and being married to a “cop” puts her sense of safety at a higher level, but overall I will go out on a limb and say most teachers and educators put thoughts of active shooters in the back of their minds. They just don’t want to think about it because its just not part of their everyday life.

A good example of this is when I took a class in 2008 on school safety which talked extensively about the Beslan School Massacre and Virginia Tech shooting. The book “Terror At Beslan: A Russian Tragedy With Lessons For America’s Schools” was given out at the end of the course. Update: It’s been brought to our attention that there’s controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the credentials that the author of Terror at Beslan presents in his book.

beslan-By Sergey Ponomarev, AP

I came home and talked to my wife about the class, about terrorism and about her thoughts on school shootings. After I completed the book I asked her to read it. She said she didn’t want to, as I gave her enough details and she couldn’t stomach reading about it. She didn’t want to know the details about children being tortured and read about how barbaric we can be to each other.

Well that all changed Friday.

Talking About Evil

My wife and I have been talking about Sandy Hook non-stop since Friday and we have been glued to the news. We have been discussing my wife’s school’s lockdown drills and talking tactics. We have been discussing what the school may do now that this happened, how the parents are going to react, the questions her students might have.

But where do we go from here? What are we going to change to keep this from happening again? Are we as a nation going to change “gun control,” mental health care, “violent” video games and school safety? Are we prepared as a nation to have a system like Israel? Does each community stand up and take care of their own by putting “armed” guards at their schools? Will our laws change? There are so many issues that relate to this type of incident that it will boggle your mind; there are no simple answers.

What can you do as a parent to try to keep your children safe at school? What do you tell them and how much do you tell them? My wife and I have been having this same conversation. I think every parent in the nation has been thinking about this. What do you tell your six year old about a full on adult topic? This is the tough part of being a parent and it puts you in the hot seat.

It pulls at every emotion and in our case will leave you struggling for answers. I don’t want my family to be jaded; I don’t want my young children to be scared to go to school. I dont want them yelling “stranger danger” at every  unknown  person they see. I don’t want my wife to struggle with how she would deal with a situation like this. But the reality is, this and other murderers have forced us to take action. You cannot burry your head in the sand, you owe it to your family to do something about it.

I think at this point the only sure fire thing you can do is talk about it among adults. If you think the government or your school district (or anyone for that matter) is going to solve this problem anytime soon, you’re dreaming. Put pure evil on the table, look it in the eye and talk about it. Figure out how you are going to talk about it to your children. If you can’t do it you are doomed to be a victim and your children will pay for it if evil arrives to do them harm.

Our Plan of Action

I won’t BS you and say we have a plan figured out ourselves. There are so many aspects of this situation that it’s going to take time to dissect them. We haven’t figured out what to say to our kids and who knows what their fellow students are going to say about it this week. My wife hasn’t figured out how to answer student’s possible questions. Like 9-11, how do you explain pure evil to children?

As a Deputy, I have training in active shooter response, I’ve mentally rehearsed going to a school shooting and have equipped myself outside what the agency issues to be able to respond. I have made up my mind that I will go into a situation like this by myself without waiting for backup if needed. This is my calling and I signed up on the dotted line, but my wife is a different story.

As a teacher and parent, my wife is struggling with the reality of what happened at Sandy Hook. She has a unique “issue” since both of our children attend her school in separate grades. If an active shooter happens at her school how can she protect her class, while knowing that our children are in other classrooms? She not only has to think about her own students, but our children as well. She trusts the other teachers to protect our children, but it’s a tough situation to think about. Unlike 2008, she’s at least talking about it now. I’m very proud of her for stepping up.

My wife and other teachers around the country, have been pushed into a first responder roll. Whether they like it or not, this is reality. My wife wasn’t in the military and didn’t sign up to be a cop or firefighter and she hasn’t had the training needed to deal with an active shooter outside the lockdown drills. But like Lt. Col. Grossman talks about in his books and classes, mental rehearsing is a key step in a plan of action. I feel a great first step is to talk about a plan and mentally rehearse it.

Teachers

If you are a teacher you are limited on what you can control. In talking to my wife about her situation the only real thing she has control of is her classroom. Yes, teachers can help shape policy and procedures, suggest ways to help secure the school and offer support to the principle, but it really boils down to controlling the  classroom.

This is where as a teacher you are going to have to mentally rehearse being in a horrifying situation. I think the days of simply going through the motions during lockdown drills are over and you owe it to your students to think ahead. How do you control your students while gunshots are being heard outside? How can you further fortify your room and protect the students from gunfire? What actions are you going to take if a gunman is  attempting  entry into your room? Do you have what it takes to confront evil when it steps into your classroom?

Just like Law Enforcement, you have to confront your fears and mentally rehearse these things. Seek some training outside your comfort zone. You’ve been thrown into the first responder roll whether you like it or not, how are your going to prepare yourself for it?

Law Enforcement

If you are in Law Enforcement, you owe it to yourself and our children to get the equipment and training to deal with active shooters. Think about the equipment you have. Do you have enough ammunition for your weapons systems? Do you have a plate carrier and ballistic helmet?

Do you have breaching tools in your trunk? The Virginia Tech shooter used chains and locks on the doors to slow Law Enforcement response. The Amish School killer also secured the schoolhouse doors from the inside.

Think outside the box and mentally rehearse things like using your vehicle to breach doors or gates. Talk to your squad mates about these things. I know my team is sick of hearing about my theories on terrorists attacking schools, but at least they are thinking about it and its out there.

Think about the training you get, do you train for multiple well armed and trained attackers? As we saw in Mumbai, the terrorist were able to overwhelm responders by creating chaos in different locations. Even if your agency doesn’t train on it, at least keep it in your mind and think about how you would respond.

Remember that by the time you show up it will most likely be over. You will have to walk over the dead and see things no civilized human should. This is part of the burden we carry and perhaps it will bring on guilt. Mentally rehearse this and when its over seek help.

Use social networking to your advantage. Follow people and training companies who are relevant to active shooting situations. There are several groups on Linkedin such as “Active Shooter Intervention,” which discuss these topics. Network with other officers and talk about their SOP’s and GO’s.

Parents

Hug your children and hold them tight. You are the  proverbial  ”mamma bear” and you owe your children protection from the evils in the world. How you go about doing this is up to you. I dont have all the answers, but we all have the ability to take steps to protect our children. Talk to your spouse, family, and friends. Think of ways to get the skill sets to help you and your family be safe in the world.

Weapons in School?

This is a hot topic for sure. Statistics are starting to show that a homicide/suicide event is planned to be over before law enforcement arrives. Most of these cowards are taking their own life rather than confronting police. Statistics also show that these events can be stopped by armed citizens or off-duty Police Officers.

One thing I’m going to do is familiarize my wife with a few common weapons systems like the Glock, AR-15, shotgun and AK-47. While we all wait for the government to post armed guards, issue teachers concealed carry permits and change the laws for carrying weapons on school grounds (are you laughing yet?) I’m going to teach my wife about “battlefield pick-ups.” This involves the “possibility” of a shooter dropping a weapon due to jamming (or another reason) and my wife having the option of picking it up. This is a big burden and one which my wife is honestly scared to death of, but at least it may be an option. One more tool for the tool box.

I’m asking my wife to do something totally outside her normal thinking and comfort zone. This is also way outside her job description and she is actually really pissed that it has come to this. I don’t blame her at all.

Speaking of weapons in school and church. If you are a parent do you “carry” regardless of the state or local laws? This is something you are going to have to decide on your own. James Yeager makes some good points in this video (NSFW for language). If you are in a “gun free zone” you should be on high alert.

More To Come?

We all know this isn’t the end of this type of violence. We are in a new era of madness where children are targets. My personal fear is a terrorist attack like Beslan, which we are woefully unprepared for. If you think this isn’t a possibility, you have your head buried in the sand. It would only take a coordinated attack of a few schools throughout the country to cripple us as a nation.

You should familiarize yourself with past events and have a basic understanding of how they were conducted. Study the Beslan School Siege and watch some of the videos found overseas where the terrorists are training to take over schools. Why does the intel point toward elementary schools as opposed to high schools? You should have an understanding of your potential enemy. Talk about this stuff with your family and friends. Get people thinking about it.

As I was writing this another teen was arrested in Oklahoma for plotting a school shooting. This guy in Indiana was arrested recently for making threats to an  elementary  school, it seems like it’s never ending!

sandy-hook-victims-list

Remember Sandy Hook Elementary and the young souls lost. Look at their photos online, it will make you sick to your stomach. It should piss you off and make you say to yourself “never on my watch”!

While the politicians and school  administrators  try to figure out how to deal with this complex topic, mentally rehearse and carry your gun; you may be the only one between evil and innocence.


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PeggyNetrics
PeggyNetrics

10 years ago over 50 corporations controlled mainstream media.  Today, 6 companies control mainstream media.  The mainstream 'News' is not legally required to tell the truth or present the real facts.  It's entertainment.  If you doubt it, look what happened with the 2 Fox Reporters that sued Fox for protecting their high paying client, Monsanto.  Monsanto's BT Toxin was in cow's milk and babies drinking that milk were dying.  Not only did Monsanto and Fox keep the poisons out there to kill more babies, Fox fought hard to suppress the truth while babies continue to die, and they won an appeal against the 2 Reporters.  Seems that since Fox didn't have a policy about reporting the truth, they were not legally required to do so.  If you are in a hurry, search google images for 'Sandy Hook Hoax'.  Smiling happy parent faces less than 24 hours after a brutal murder of your child is not normal or possible.


PeggyNetrics
PeggyNetrics

Anyone who is simply sad about Sandy Hook, hasn't truly looked at the evidence.  Anyone who clocked hours to look over the actual facts, is infuriated.  Sophia Smallstorm does an excellent 90 minute Youtube video laying out the evidence.  It appears that Sandy Hook was a staged event that was controlled by mainstream media.  Some think it coincided with a Satanic ritual.  Don't be manipulated by your human emotions.  These 'people' do not deserve that.  We have yet to see one body.  The hospital was 12 miles away.  3 adults showed up.  One drove herself and it took her an hour.  Who were those men caught on video running away from the shooting and towards the Masonic Lodge?  One runner, Chris Manfredonia was caught, knocked to the ground and handcuffed.  Why did they let him go?  Because he said that he is a Dad and that he didn't do it.  He said he was at the school to help his daughter's class make gingerbread houses, yet he was wearing cammo and was at the school over 4 hours early.  Oh and he was an off duty SWAT team guy.  Rich, isn't it?  The aerial video of the crime scene shows clearly that the entire Sandy Hook shooting crowd, just kept walking in one door and out the other.  Mainstream media takes strategic photos to elicit emotions to get real people screaming, "Ban guns forever!"..Look at the aerial video and you'll be infuriated.  We have been duped.  Withhold your comments until you actually look at the evidence.  Put your emotions aside.  That is how they control you.  Stick to the brutal facts.  This was a staged event to support the gun law ban and it worked.  On top of that, U.S. Tax payers paid for $50 million to destroy the school and all evidence for the freaks who put on the show.  Who is being protected here?  Masonic Satanists?????  I don't know what the true story is, I just know we have been deceived and now it is a huge cover up.  Seriously....they took down the school????

Bryan Black
Bryan Black

While we can't verify that your link is truly the origin, we have updated the photo, thanks for the heads up.

Ron Simpson
Ron Simpson

Let's be honest, the possibility of violence in the workplace is up too. I have a go-to-hell plan in place in case that happens at my office. It is smart for all of us to realize the world we live in has spawned violent, evil people who want to harm others. The reasons why don't matter when they show up at the door. What matters is that you have to deal with it. So have a plan.

Unfortunately, most companies are afraid to allow their employees to carry concealed on company property. So, my plan is to follow my chair out of the window by my desk, get to my car and retrieve my gun. Which in my state, I am allowed to keep in my car, even on company property. They cannot take that right away from me.

Ron Simpson
Ron Simpson

Let's be honest, the possibility of violence in the workplace is up too. I have a go-to-hell plan in place in case that happens at my office. It is smart for all of us to realize the world we live in has spawned violent, evil people who want to harm others. The reasons why don't matter when they show up at the door. What matters is that you have to deal with it. So have a plan. Unfortunately, most companies are afraid to allow their employees to carry concealed on company property. So, my plan is to follow my chair out of the window by my desk, get to my car and retrieve my gun. Which in my state, I am allowed to keep in my car, even on company property. They cannot take that right away from me.

ChiefFlynn
ChiefFlynn

Thank you Eric! I signed up to ITS today and this was the very first article I read. I must say your words hit home. I'm a father of 3 young children and have spent the past 15 years in Law Enforcement. Reading this echoed my every thought and emotion. As a LEO and Active Threat Instructor I can't help to be absorbed by these tragedies. It's one thing to teach my fellow officers and help them to create the mindset for winning in these difficult situations but its an even bigger challenge preparing your loved ones to face evil. Things as simple as riding a bike to a friends house like we did as children, I cannot even imagine allowing my kids to do. You are absolutely correct in saying their childhoods have been robbed. I've often thought of moving to an area where I thought it would be safer to raise a family but as we've all witnessed, it doesn't matter. Evil doesn't sleep, evil has no conscious. We owe it to our families to educate them and prepare them for what we all pray they will never have to witness.

Feff
Feff

How come the photo at the top has people wearing shorts, I'm pretty sure it was cold in Sandy Hook on December 14th--I know Gene Rosen, the neighbour who took in 6 children (and didn't contact police), was sure bundled up?

That picture reminds of the chopper footage aired that day where the network (KSDK) put the caption "Newtown School Shooting" over top of a video of cops running toward an obviously different school. There's even what appear to be faculty members walking to their cars and driving away like nothing is going on.

Anyways, did the Original Poster just use a wrong photo by mistake, or was the Sandy Hook shooting staged and that photo is just part of the media's attempt to make this event look real.

Wag the Dog anyone?

Feff
Feff

How come the photo at the top has people wearing shorts, I'm pretty sure it was cold in Sandy Hook on December 14th--I know Gene Rosen, the neighbour who took in 6 children (and didn't contact police), was sure bundled up? That picture reminds of the chopper footage aired that day where the network (KSDK) put the caption "Newtown School Shooting" over top of a video of cops running toward an obviously different school. There's even what appear to be faculty members walking to their cars and driving away like nothing is going on. Anyways, did the Original Poster just use a wrong photo by mistake, or was the Sandy Hook shooting staged and that photo is just part of the media's attempt to make this event look real. Wag the Dog anyone?

wade vancleave
wade vancleave

A WORD ABOUT SANDY HOOK.

It seems most ironic to me that when we have a tragedy in this country like the school shooting in Sandy Hook, that the liberal politicians in this country are just stunned as to why! How could this happen? Of course, the usual reaction is to blame GUNS! But the truth is that guns are not responsible for anything. They have no brain and no heart. You cant change the gun, you have to change the person holding the gun. If these same politicians really don’t know what caused Sandy Hook, or cannot figure it out, then they are not intelligent enough to hold their job.

When I went to school in the 1940’s and 50’s we had good schools, good teachers, and plenty of books. Lots of books.

At the beginning of each day, a student would come on the intercom to say a prayer to almighty God, Jesus Christ. Then, we all stood, placed our hand over our hearts, and pledged allegiance to our country’s flag, which was either standing in every classroom or was affixed to the wall.

We were taught family values and that human life was sacred. We were taught that God was almighty. We were taught patriotism. And we were taught discipline.

We had one principal and one vice principal and both were popular with the students. The vice principal had a long paddle, which he applied to the backside of any unruly kids. More often than not, if your parents found out you had to be paddled at school, you would be punished when you got home. Most likely a second paddling. I don’t believe that this discipline warped anybody’s psyche. Instead, boundaries were set and students knew the consequences for crossing them. Children today have few to no boundaries and have no fear of being punished.

Parents didn't debate with school administrators whether or not a child needed the padding. Parents knew and respected the judgement of teachers and administrators.

I know that half the boys in school had a penknife or jackknife in their pocket, which was normal at that time. But, nobody ever pulled a knife on anyone. That was just unheard of. And certainly no one ever came into a school and started shooting kids. Most if not all of today's "shooters" are students themselves or very young adults who never learned any social values in school and probably not much at home.

Unfortunately, In the 1960’s, our country began to “liberalize” itself. Liberal politicians came to power and these politicians over the last 50 years have managed to take social values out of the schools. They said that the kids should not have to pray to God every morning so as not to offend someone. They should also not have to pledge alliance to the flag so patroitism went out the window. They said that kids should not be paddled at school so as not to warp their little physic. So discipline went out the window also to the point where now over half of the teacher’s time is taken up in trying to make students behave. But the point of all this is that our young people are not being taught VALUES. So now when some nutcase walks into a school armed and starts shooting children, these same liberal politicians seemed so stunned and just can't imagine how this could happen! Their first response is to blame "GUNS!!" Those evil GUNS are killing our children!! But I can tell you in no uncertainty that guns are not responsible for Sandy Hook or any of the other gun related tragedies.

Liberals are responsible for Sandy Hook and they should be imprisoned for what they have done. I am not naive enough to think that will happen but what we can do is get these people out of public office and replace them with more conservative God Fearing people.

I know that Sandy Hook is especially tragic and different because this nutcase went into a elementary school and shot little children….babies. But for grown men in our government to stand up and blame GUNS for Sandy Hook is stupid on top of stupid.

I am most discouraged over what has happened to our school system in this country and especially in Texas where I live. Remembering the schools we once had, it is really heartbreaking to see that we have come down to such a shabby instruction material like Cscope.

Cscope is attempting to teach Islam to our children. Our children are not allowed to read the Bible and learn about Jesus in school, yet are directed to read about a false God called Allah. Who are these liberal wack-o's responsible for this? Muslims would cut off the heads of anyone that would try this in their schools.

Until it can be determined who is at the bottom of this, I suggest we start at the top, the superintendent. Find out why your children have no textbooks. Demand paper copies of the CSCOPE lessons. According to one Cscope lesson, Paul Revere was a drug dealer and the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism. Who are these communists that have taken over our Texas Schools? Who wrote this trash? Let them stand up and be identified.

There are forces at work in this country that are attempting to destroy America by warping the minds of our children. We do not have to take this!

Wade VanCleave……… a proud conservative, a proud American and one who supports the American Constitution and all its amendments, including the right for every American citizen to own a gun, and I do.

wade vancleave
wade vancleave

A WORD ABOUT SANDY HOOK. It seems most ironic to me that when we have a tragedy in this country like the school shooting in Sandy Hook, that the liberal politicians in this country are just stunned as to why! How could this happen? Of course, the usual reaction is to blame GUNS! But the truth is that guns are not responsible for anything. They have no brain and no heart. You cant change the gun, you have to change the person holding the gun. If these same politicians really don’t know what caused Sandy Hook, or cannot figure it out, then they are not intelligent enough to hold their job. When I went to school in the 1940’s and 50’s we had good schools, good teachers, and plenty of books. Lots of books. At the beginning of each day, a student would come on the intercom to say a prayer to almighty God, Jesus Christ. Then, we all stood, placed our hand over our hearts, and pledged allegiance to our country’s flag, which was either standing in every classroom or was affixed to the wall. We were taught family values and that human life was sacred. We were taught that God was almighty. We were taught patriotism. And we were taught discipline. We had one principal and one vice principal and both were popular with the students. The vice principal had a long paddle, which he applied to the backside of any unruly kids. More often than not, if your parents found out you had to be paddled at school, you would be punished when you got home. Most likely a second paddling. I don’t believe that this discipline warped anybody’s psyche. Instead, boundaries were set and students knew the consequences for crossing them. Children today have few to no boundaries and have no fear of being punished. Parents didn't debate with school administrators whether or not a child needed the padding. Parents knew and respected the judgement of teachers and administrators. I know that half the boys in school had a penknife or jackknife in their pocket, which was normal at that time. But, nobody ever pulled a knife on anyone. That was just unheard of. And certainly no one ever came into a school and started shooting kids. Most if not all of today's "shooters" are students themselves or very young adults who never learned any social values in school and probably not much at home. Unfortunately, In the 1960’s, our country began to “liberalize” itself. Liberal politicians came to power and these politicians over the last 50 years have managed to take social values out of the schools. They said that the kids should not have to pray to God every morning so as not to offend someone. They should also not have to pledge alliance to the flag so patroitism went out the window. They said that kids should not be paddled at school so as not to warp their little physic. So discipline went out the window also to the point where now over half of the teacher’s time is taken up in trying to make students behave. But the point of all this is that our young people are not being taught VALUES. So now when some nutcase walks into a school armed and starts shooting children, these same liberal politicians seemed so stunned and just can't imagine how this could happen! Their first response is to blame "GUNS!!" Those evil GUNS are killing our children!! But I can tell you in no uncertainty that guns are not responsible for Sandy Hook or any of the other gun related tragedies. Liberals are responsible for Sandy Hook and they should be imprisoned for what they have done. I am not naive enough to think that will happen but what we can do is get these people out of public office and replace them with more conservative God Fearing people. I know that Sandy Hook is especially tragic and different because this nutcase went into a elementary school and shot little children….babies. But for grown men in our government to stand up and blame GUNS for Sandy Hook is stupid on top of stupid. I am most discouraged over what has happened to our school system in this country and especially in Texas where I live. Remembering the schools we once had, it is really heartbreaking to see that we have come down to such a shabby instruction material like Cscope. Cscope is attempting to teach Islam to our children. Our children are not allowed to read the Bible and learn about Jesus in school, yet are directed to read about a false God called Allah. Who are these liberal wack-o's responsible for this? Muslims would cut off the heads of anyone that would try this in their schools. Until it can be determined who is at the bottom of this, I suggest we start at the top, the superintendent. Find out why your children have no textbooks. Demand paper copies of the CSCOPE lessons. According to one Cscope lesson, Paul Revere was a drug dealer and the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism. Who are these communists that have taken over our Texas Schools? Who wrote this trash? Let them stand up and be identified. There are forces at work in this country that are attempting to destroy America by warping the minds of our children. We do not have to take this! Wade VanCleave……… a proud conservative, a proud American and one who supports the American Constitution and all its amendments, including the right for every American citizen to own a gun, and I do.

Josh
Josh

I've read that about Australia before and I believe it to be true. I've also read that Japan and England also have much lower violent crime rates than the US and both also have tighter gun restrictions and less weapons owned per person; so I think it's worth considering.

However, I'm not sure that the US is comparable to Australia, Japan, England, etc... None of those countries had a constitutional provision of gun rights for its people, and none of those countries (Australia included) had a population as well armed as the US. It was easier to do a buy back since such was the case.

If the US government ceased ALL gun production today, that would still not erase all of the weapons and high-capacity magazines that are already in circulation. There are too many to buy back, and too few willing to sell. There is no legislation that will erase what we already have, so I question the effectiveness of further gun laws/restrictions, even though I'd be willing to look proposals over.

If we were only comparing nations, then it's only fair to mention Switzerland. Switzerland has a booming gun culture and has a very low crime rate - but i don't think the US is very comparable there either. Their population is much smaller than ours and as a whole their economy may be better.

It's a tough situation and, like has been mentioned, it really doesn't make sense. It can be hard to predict what crazy might do. I just hope and have encouraged my representatives to thoughtfully evaluate everything and to honestly ask themselves, "will this work?" I hope they don't rush into a "quick fix" and thereby fix nothing while simultaneously creating more problems.

And as far as self defense goes, the 2nd Amendment is so that we can defend ourselves against a government that decides to overstep its bounds.

Such a tragedy.

TK6
TK6

I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I am a prior service military and I have a brother in law that is as well. We think about this all the time. How can we protect our family from pure evil? Thanks again!

Ron Walsh
Ron Walsh

I cannot thank you enough for writing this. I have been a fan for quite a long time, so it was not really a surprise to find that you are a LEO. I think the best part of the article was just the fact that you told of how difficult an incident like this is for you, a LEO, to deal with and also the feelings that your wife, a Teacher, have.

I know from being in combat that people die, that is to be expected. However, something like this shakes me to my core. I like you, am struggling to comprehend how this could happen and more importantly, how do we prevent the next attack on innocents?

Thanks again for writing an outstanding article, and for having such a great site. Semper Fi.

Ron Walsh
Ron Walsh

I cannot thank you enough for writing this. I have been a fan for quite a long time, so it was not really a surprise to find that you are a LEO. I think the best part of the article was just the fact that you told of how difficult an incident like this is for you, a LEO, to deal with and also the feelings that your wife, a Teacher, have. I know from being in combat that people die, that is to be expected. However, something like this shakes me to my core. I like you, am struggling to comprehend how this could happen and more importantly, how do we prevent the next attack on innocents? Thanks again for writing an outstanding article, and for having such a great site. Semper Fi.

Don Chestnut
Don Chestnut

This was an outstanding article, thanks for putting yourself out there. I'm still very affected by the shooting... frankly, I'm mad as hell. I'm applying for a concealed weapon license in Maryland... which is a long and tedious process which they could deny, regardless of my justification, but I'm going to protect my family at all cost.

I'm really glad I've found the ITS community. To read the forums, DYI and articles has really inspired me to be prepared... and I'm really running with it.

Again, thanks Eric.

Don Chestnut
Don Chestnut

This was an outstanding article, thanks for putting yourself out there. I'm still very affected by the shooting... frankly, I'm mad as hell. I'm applying for a concealed weapon license in Maryland... which is a long and tedious process which they could deny, regardless of my justification, but I'm going to protect my family at all cost. I'm really glad I've found the ITS community. To read the forums, DYI and articles has really inspired me to be prepared... and I'm really running with it. Again, thanks Eric.

Michael
Michael

Great writeup thank you for sharing.

Oleg Schvets
Oleg Schvets

Thank you for your article. As I can see You really care and ask right questions. But the problem is that there is no simple universal solution. It's obvious even by all the controversial views expressed above. It's just because the root of the problem is hidden deep in the mankind's history. Some things do not merely depend on us (in a worldwide scale). Still some things we can do. Ready to discuss it in private? my mail: olko[dot]bolko@gmail[dot]com.

Daniel
Daniel

I wonder about the efficacy of arming teachers.

There are a few non-firearms solutions that need to be enacted in our schools:

1. Solid doors and locks in the teachers rooms

2. A policy that teachers don't abandon their students to confront gunmen

3. Quick lockdown procedures.

If all the classrooms at Sandy Hook had been locked down in a timely manner, then maybe we save some lives.

Additionally, the kind of firepower needed to stop a guy with a .223 semi-auto and bulletproof gear extends beyond what even a well-trained teacher is likely to accomplish.

Daniel
Daniel

I wonder about the efficacy of arming teachers. There are a few non-firearms solutions that need to be enacted in our schools: 1. Solid doors and locks in the teachers rooms 2. A policy that teachers don't abandon their students to confront gunmen 3. Quick lockdown procedures. If all the classrooms at Sandy Hook had been locked down in a timely manner, then maybe we save some lives. Additionally, the kind of firepower needed to stop a guy with a .223 semi-auto and bulletproof gear extends beyond what even a well-trained teacher is likely to accomplish.

Thinbluelion
Thinbluelion

As a police officer I am 100% for concealed carry and I routinely recommend the good guys without one to get one. I also chew out any concealed carry holder who is not armed whenever I pull them over. Only superior violence stops violence.

Steve Fraser
Steve Fraser

Very good arctical, and in the same note deeply saddening.

A view from the UK... I find it horrific that this has happened yet again, we here in the UK had a similar event in the Scottish town of Dunblane on 13 March 1996. The gunman, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton, entered the school armed with four handguns, shooting and killing sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide. Our firearm law changed drastically the year later, Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 was enacted, which effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom. This made a massive reduction in any similar type events here, surely that has proven that the unavailability of a firearm has worked! Still, gun crime is an issue usually associated now with gangs or drug related situations, fortunately not events like Sandy Hook.

Its a simple one for me, I doubt that even very strict firearm controls in the US will solve the problem, its a lump of metal and they last for a long time, and as with here in the UK they can be found, it’s really then a question of protection, the schools are perceived as a soft target for these nutters... a bank has guards, and in your country armed ones at that! That is the way to stop schools as being seen as soft, I’m not talking turrets and barbed wire, just making it known that they have protection, and they are able to fight back.

My thoughts are with the families and it sounds like a lot of hard decisions need to be made.

Keep safe

Steve Fraser
Steve Fraser

Very good arctical, and in the same note deeply saddening. A view from the UK... I find it horrific that this has happened yet again, we here in the UK had a similar event in the Scottish town of Dunblane on 13 March 1996. The gunman, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton, entered the school armed with four handguns, shooting and killing sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide. Our firearm law changed drastically the year later, Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 was enacted, which effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom. This made a massive reduction in any similar type events here, surely that has proven that the unavailability of a firearm has worked! Still, gun crime is an issue usually associated now with gangs or drug related situations, fortunately not events like Sandy Hook. Its a simple one for me, I doubt that even very strict firearm controls in the US will solve the problem, its a lump of metal and they last for a long time, and as with here in the UK they can be found, it’s really then a question of protection, the schools are perceived as a soft target for these nutters... a bank has guards, and in your country armed ones at that! That is the way to stop schools as being seen as soft, I’m not talking turrets and barbed wire, just making it known that they have protection, and they are able to fight back. My thoughts are with the families and it sounds like a lot of hard decisions need to be made. Keep safe

Cheri Pikett
Cheri Pikett

I am in the last chapter with the same book, "Terror at Beslin." It is very frightening and and revealing.

When I look at my granddaughters, I feel sad and angry, too, that they will not have an innocent childhood as I did.

Cheri Pikett
Cheri Pikett

I am in the last chapter with the same book, "Terror at Beslin." It is very frightening and and revealing. When I look at my granddaughters, I feel sad and angry, too, that they will not have an innocent childhood as I did.

BrianI
BrianI

Great article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Chris "MOPP" Q.
Chris "MOPP" Q.

Great article Eric.

I do have to say that as an active duty member of the military I constantly keep my head on a "swivel" when in public. It drives my wife crazy, but I am sure one day she will understand why I do what I do. I do not have a CCW, but by monitoring my environment I see things that those who keep their heads down will never see. There are those that take advantage of the "masses of sheep" out in the world and it is our job to continue to protect them retired, off-duty, etc...

I was saddened to read about what happened at Sandy Hook and it made me hug my children a little tighter that night before bed. Something must be done and I do not believe new gun laws are the correct course of action.

Chris "MOPP" Q.
Chris "MOPP" Q.

Great article Eric. I do have to say that as an active duty member of the military I constantly keep my head on a "swivel" when in public. It drives my wife crazy, but I am sure one day she will understand why I do what I do. I do not have a CCW, but by monitoring my environment I see things that those who keep their heads down will never see. There are those that take advantage of the "masses of sheep" out in the world and it is our job to continue to protect them retired, off-duty, etc... I was saddened to read about what happened at Sandy Hook and it made me hug my children a little tighter that night before bed. Something must be done and I do not believe new gun laws are the correct course of action.

Frank Warwick
Frank Warwick

Great article and I really feel your pain in the word you have written.

In Australia in 1996, a mass killing of 35 people galvanized the nation’s conservative prime minister to ban certain rapid-fire long guns. The “national firearms agreement,” as it was known, led to the buyback of 650,000 guns and to tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those remaining in public hands.

The law did not end gun ownership in Australia. It reduced the number of firearms in private hands by one-fifth, and they were the kinds most likely to be used in mass shootings.

In the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings — but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect. The murder rate with firearms has dropped by more than 40 percent, according to data compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and the suicide rate with firearms has dropped by more than half.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-have-the-courage-to-stop-this.html?smid=go-share&_r=0

Crime is decreasing in Australia

(see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~National%20crime%20statistics~63)

and part of that is because we do not have guns.

Frank Warwick
Frank Warwick

Great article and I really feel your pain in the word you have written. In Australia in 1996, a mass killing of 35 people galvanized the nation’s conservative prime minister to ban certain rapid-fire long guns. The “national firearms agreement,” as it was known, led to the buyback of 650,000 guns and to tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those remaining in public hands. The law did not end gun ownership in Australia. It reduced the number of firearms in private hands by one-fifth, and they were the kinds most likely to be used in mass shootings. In the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings — but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect. The murder rate with firearms has dropped by more than 40 percent, according to data compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and the suicide rate with firearms has dropped by more than half. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-have-the-courage-to-stop-this.html?smid=go-share&_r=0 Crime is decreasing in Australia (see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~National%20crime%20statistics~63) and part of that is because we do not have guns.

C4 U no more
C4 U no more

great article eric and thank you for remembering that its the victims not the villian that need to be remembered in this.

KEITH
KEITH

Thanks for the insight, outstanding article.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Eric, well written thoughts. Also, good follow up from Gary Griffiths.

It's a shame and a fact that evil exists in the world. It's also a fact that the world is a dangerous place. Unfortunately, many in our society think they can legislate away evil and accidents. Not so.

To all those out there who stand watch either personally and/or professionally, stay safe and Godspeed.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Eric, well written thoughts. Also, good follow up from Gary Griffiths. It's a shame and a fact that evil exists in the world. It's also a fact that the world is a dangerous place. Unfortunately, many in our society think they can legislate away evil and accidents. Not so. To all those out there who stand watch either personally and/or professionally, stay safe and Godspeed.

Steve
Steve

I work in the dept of corrections for 12yrs, and I know the evil that people do (male & female). When my wife and daughters go out, I'm always on watch. You never know where or when it will happen. I hope and pray that never happens, but I pray GOD will give me the courage to do the wright thing. If you don't have a CCW I would advise you to get one. I do. As some of the comments said in the article, this isnt the 50s or 60s. we have new evils in this world to worry about. I dont like nor do you, but its a fact. This is a great article. Thank you ITS

Michael
Michael

Well said. Keep up the good work!

Bo
Bo

Thank you for the heart felt post and to ITS for consistently maintaining integrity and avoiding politics on hard issues.

I'm a hippy kid from California and not going to pretend that i know shit about guns or active shooter scenarios. Im writing to share a skill set that i've been fortunate enough to experience and it has had a profound impact on my life and capacity to deal with pain and suffering. Its breathing. Im not just talking about taking a deep breath and then trying to going on with your life, Im actually referring to breath techniques and have been used in therapeutic settings to heal wounds in a matter of hours that would have taken years of talk therapy to work through. This work has drastically improved my ability to move through emotions and heal relationship, and as an added bonus has massive improved my sex life. I've witnessed several Iraq vets use these techniques to get through severe PTSD and the power of witnessing their experience is why i felt motivated to share this here.

There are many similar types of breathwork but the two that I recommend are called: Reichian Therapy, and Transformational Breathing

Make no mistake that pursuing these outlets will likely bring you into the "new age" airy fairy alternative scene, but please don't allow that to discredit the power of these skills that every human should know - especially those of you soldiers out there bravely preparing to head into these horrifying situations that know could leave without scars.

It may be challenging to find a practitioner as this work is not mainstream by any means. I be happy to help anyone seriously interested in getting connected with this work.

Bo
Bo

Thank you for the heart felt post and to ITS for consistently maintaining integrity and avoiding politics on hard issues. I'm a hippy kid from California and not going to pretend that i know shit about guns or active shooter scenarios. Im writing to share a skill set that i've been fortunate enough to experience and it has had a profound impact on my life and capacity to deal with pain and suffering. Its breathing. Im not just talking about taking a deep breath and then trying to going on with your life, Im actually referring to breath techniques and have been used in therapeutic settings to heal wounds in a matter of hours that would have taken years of talk therapy to work through. This work has drastically improved my ability to move through emotions and heal relationship, and as an added bonus has massive improved my sex life. I've witnessed several Iraq vets use these techniques to get through severe PTSD and the power of witnessing their experience is why i felt motivated to share this here. There are many similar types of breathwork but the two that I recommend are called: Reichian Therapy, and Transformational Breathing Make no mistake that pursuing these outlets will likely bring you into the "new age" airy fairy alternative scene, but please don't allow that to discredit the power of these skills that every human should know - especially those of you soldiers out there bravely preparing to head into these horrifying situations that know could leave without scars. It may be challenging to find a practitioner as this work is not mainstream by any means. I be happy to help anyone seriously interested in getting connected with this work.

Ricebll
Ricebll

Nice advice, but, unfortunately, not all of us live in a gun friendly state. Take me, for instance, I'd love to get a CCW permit but unfortunately I live in CA and in my part of CA the county Sheriff has a habit of denying CCW applications to all but A list celebrities, (anti-gun) politicians like Diane Feinstein, law enforcement (to include trial lawyers and judges), the wealthy, or regular people facing a serious threat like a stalker or has been threatened with death threats and the like. So for a citizen that falls into none of those categories and want a CWW for general safety and to be able to protect myself and my family at all times I'd be turned down.

Ricebll
Ricebll

All that a gun ban accomplishes is to get guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, the criminals still have them and will never let them go. Sure an all out ban would reduce the likelihood of mass shooting but as events in China have proven, one does not need a gun to go on a rampage. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/world/asia/30china.html?_r=0

Studies have proven that gun control does not reduce or prevent crime, in fact it seems to be the opposite. In countries with more liberal gun laws and a high number of people owning guns the crime rate, esp. murders, are much lower than in countries with more restrictive gun laws and fewer guns. So as sad as the events in Newtown are, gun control isn't the answer and wouldn't have done anything to prevent it from happening.

Ricebll
Ricebll

All that a gun ban accomplishes is to get guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, the criminals still have them and will never let them go. Sure an all out ban would reduce the likelihood of mass shooting but as events in China have proven, one does not need a gun to go on a rampage. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/world/asia/30china.html?_r=0 Studies have proven that gun control does not reduce or prevent crime, in fact it seems to be the opposite. In countries with more liberal gun laws and a high number of people owning guns the crime rate, esp. murders, are much lower than in countries with more restrictive gun laws and fewer guns. So as sad as the events in Newtown are, gun control isn't the answer and wouldn't have done anything to prevent it from happening.

Ricebll
Ricebll

That makes Australia the exception then, elsewhere in the world, the US included, crime (esp. violent crimes) rates go down with looser gun laws/number of guns in the public. Studies of nations across the world have shown that there is no correlation between violent crimes/murder rates and the legal possession of firearms, these studies have shown that nations with high rate of gun ownership actually have a lower rate of murder than those with fewer guns and/or more restrictive gun control laws.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGoQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.law.harvard.edu%2Fstudents%2Forgs%2Fjlpp%2FVol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf&ei=hJnTUNnfL6S6iwKXkYD4AQ&usg=AFQjCNGEpT4LHNfY-pcjefcrgGnZLbX1Bg&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.cGE

Josh
Josh

I've read that about Australia before and I believe it to be true. I've also read that Japan and England also have much lower violent crime rates than the US and both also have tighter gun restrictions and less weapons owned per person; so I think it's worth considering. However, I'm not sure that the US is comparable to Australia, Japan, England, etc... None of those countries had a constitutional provision of gun rights for its people, and none of those countries (Australia included) had a population as well armed as the US. It was easier to do a buy back since such was the case. If the US government ceased ALL gun production today, that would still not erase all of the weapons and high-capacity magazines that are already in circulation. There are too many to buy back, and too few willing to sell. There is no legislation that will erase what we already have, so I question the effectiveness of further gun laws/restrictions, even though I'd be willing to look proposals over. If we were only comparing nations, then it's only fair to mention Switzerland. Switzerland has a booming gun culture and has a very low crime rate - but i don't think the US is very comparable there either. Their population is much smaller than ours and as a whole their economy may be better. It's a tough situation and, like has been mentioned, it really doesn't make sense. It can be hard to predict what crazy might do. I just hope and have encouraged my representatives to thoughtfully evaluate everything and to honestly ask themselves, "will this work?" I hope they don't rush into a "quick fix" and thereby fix nothing while simultaneously creating more problems. And as far as self defense goes, the 2nd Amendment is so that we can defend ourselves against a government that decides to overstep its bounds. Such a tragedy.

Ricebll
Ricebll

That makes Australia the exception then, elsewhere in the world, the US included, crime (esp. violent crimes) rates go down with looser gun laws/number of guns in the public. Studies of nations across the world have shown that there is no correlation between violent crimes/murder rates and the legal possession of firearms, these studies have shown that nations with high rate of gun ownership actually have a lower rate of murder than those with fewer guns and/or more restrictive gun control laws. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGoQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.law.harvard.edu%2Fstudents%2Forgs%2Fjlpp%2FVol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf&ei=hJnTUNnfL6S6iwKXkYD4AQ&usg=AFQjCNGEpT4LHNfY-pcjefcrgGnZLbX1Bg&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.cGE

Chance
Chance

That's an outstanding article. Thanks for linking.

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