Putting armed guards (teachers) in the schools has its advantages and pitfalls. If the guard takes out the intruder quickly with no collateral damage that is great. If the armed defender gets into a gun battle, stray bullets could cause innocents to be injured. Thus, armed police (teachers) can be dicey, potentially dangerous, and expensive and maybe should not be the only choice in securing schools. It would be more effective to follow a systematic approach to secure the school and protect children. Enacting a whole new set of gun laws might make politicians feel good, but will do little to reduce violence.
Re: New Town school shooting. The news reported that the intruder broke a window adjacent to a door to gain access. Once inside the school, the intruder went about killing at will. It was reported that it took the police 10-20 minutes to arrive at the school by then 26 people were shot to death.
Staged approach: The school needs improved security to: 1) limit access, 2) alert the staff of the danger, 3) alert the police of the danger, 4) slow the intruder until the help could arrive, and 5) if necessary use deadly force to remove the danger.
1. Improve security and alert the staff/police.
a. All windows should be non-breakable glass or lexan to prevent access for opening the doors.
b. Exterior doors should be secure from breach using a pry bar; hinges and locking bolts must be strengthened.
c. Install wireless cameras and door sensors. When an intruder trips a sensor, an alarm should sound in the office.
d. The office must be manned at all times.
e. TV monitors in the office simultaneously display multiple high resolution images of camera data. The image from the breached area could be high-lighted. The office staff can see the intrusion and alert police or other agency of the danger level.
f. Alternatively, the police are simultaneously alerted with a transmission of camera data. The alert can be general or specific (like intruder, fire, etc).
g. All available officers would head to the school with prior knowledge of the danger.
2. Slow the intruder to give help time to arrive.
a. Spray tear gas or pepper spray in the breached area to immobilize intruder.
b. Deploy fire doors or nets to isolate intruder.
c. Fog the area with smoke to confuse and blind the intruder.
d. Install dead bolts on classroom doors; teacher activated or electronic from the office. Use of multiple bolts would prevent intruder from shooting out one.
3. Use deadly force to take out intruder.
a. take into consideration the type of ammo to minimize harm to innocents (bullets that fragment on impact).
b. armed staff need ample training. Shooting at a paper target is not the same as at a live, moving person. Some police go to the range a couple times per year. With an adrenalin rush, it is difficult to shoot accurately.
c. Taser might be an alternative.
d. Staff must carry gun at all times.
e. Older students could disarm teacher and take gun.
f. Stray bullets could hit innocents.
g. Uniformed police would be first target.
h. It must be a felony to reveal the security system details. There is a big advantage if the intruder doesn’t know the system.