The firearm is the most versatile self-defense tool that Man has ever developed. It allows the physically weak to equal and potentially best the strong. A 98 pound grandmother can drop a 250 pound thug with one squeeze of the trigger. There’s a make and model that will suit any user or application. But, there are times when you are unable, or not allowed, to have access to a firearm when you really, REALLY need one.
As I write this, the L.A. County Sheriff’s office is conducting an active shooter drill at El Monte High School. A school is an example of a “non-permissive” environment. While it’s physically possible to carry and use a firearm there, it’s not legal to do so. (And the State is trying to make it impossible for even local school officials to allow guns on a campus!) So if the exercise at El Monte High wasn’t a drill, and you were there, what options would you have?
What got me thinking about this was a trip to Disneyland. Disney has really stepped up their game when it comes to security. They used to concentrate on purses and backpacks that guests were carrying into the park. This meant searching mostly women (Who generally aren’t a threat) and ignoring men (…and most violent perps are men!). I don’t know how many times I walked into the park with my knife and they didn’t notice because they were too busy looking in my wife’s purse. That’s no longer the case. Everyone gets looked at now! So now that the knife stays in the car, I started thinking about “what if” scenarios. (Yes, that’s the sort of thing I do while waiting in line at The Happiest Place On Earth. Doesn’t everyone?) I began to notice that there are potential weapons everywhere. These aren’t stand-off weapons like a gun, but neither is a knife.
A school or an office is no different. There are potential weapons all around you. You just have to start seeing things for what they can be made into rather than what they are now. A chair is a place to plant your butt; until you throw it at someone’s head.
Students (or office workers) are taught to lock doors and keep quiet during an active shooter attack. This is a good start. In a classroom, there are lots of heavy objects like tables and file cabinets. Use these to barricade the door. The chairs in the room make nice projectile weapons or clubs, should someone force the door open. (It’s not easy to aim a gun when there’s a chair flying at your face!) Pens and pencils make adequate stabbing instruments; especially when directed at an attacker’s eyes. Look around and think about how this or that can be used to inflict life threatening injuries. Work in teams. While one group of students is throwing things, others should be moving flank the attacker.
Sounds dangerous? It is. But at this point, what have you got to lose?! At the very least, you turn yourself into a moving target. Passivity won’t save your life. You may become someone else’s “meat shield”, but that’s about all sitting and cowering will do.