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Explaining the Tough Questions About School Safety

June 4, 2022
Questions from Ed Monk.

Few of us study violence. If we look at how violence works, one of the first things we notice is that our usual rules don’t apply. We notice that violent murderers ignore our laws about violence and guns. These murderers do follow some simple rules as they attack their victims. Ed Monk is an expert on mass public violence and how to stop it. He studied those rules. Anyone who protects our children needs to study those rules as well. I posted Ed’s questions for school administrators. That’s when I noticed that many of us don’t understand the question, let alone the answers. Let me fill in the gaps and give you a brief look at the world of violence. We are talking about life and death so please hold on.

“Who is ultimately responsible for the safety of staff and students in this school or school district?”

Safety isn’t an accident. Protecting the staff and students requires both planning and action. That means it has to be someone’s job. It is their obligation to protect our children. We hold them responsible.

The responsible person also needs the authority to take the actions that ultimately protect the students. That required combination of both obligation and authority means that school safety usually rests with the principal of a school and the superintendent of the district. They may have advisors and aids, but it is their responsibility. If they are doing their job then they know exactly who is responsible.

“How soon after the first shot does your school’s plan stop an active shooter?”

We know a little about armed murderers. We know that they will kill until we stop them. That means time is everything. The sooner we stop them the fewer children will die. Planning for a perfect defense that arrives an hour from now is a dangerous fantasy.

Violence follows a simple calculus. We will add another victim each 10 to 15 seconds during the first minute. More people will be shot if the defender is at the other end of campus rather than being in the classroom across the hall from the attack. Having more defenders simply means the nearest defender will engage the attacker sooner.

A defender should be close enough to the victims so he can hear and respond to the first shots in seconds. The school principal or district superintendent doesn’t really have a plan unless they’ve added up the seconds. A real answer has a range of times, from 30 seconds to 50 seconds depending on the location of the attack.

“Does your plan to stop the active shooter require a 911 call?”

The police will arrive in minutes after they are called. Once they arrive, the police are under no legal obligation to enter the school and defend the children. That is more than a legal opinion since we’ve seen the police wait outside the school while children were murdered. Even if the police go into the school to save the children, there will be a large number of dead children and teachers because the murderer had so much time while we waited for the police.

The school official is making a very clear statement if he has outsourced the school’s defense to the police. He is saying that he’d rather lose 20 to 40 students and staff to the murderer than have armed staff on campus. If that plan works for him then he should be out of a job.

“How may gunshot victims do you predict having if an active shooter attacks your school.”

Details matter. Are the office and classroom doors locked as a matter of policy? How did the campus score on its last security audit? Does the attacker have to fight his way through the front office to get into the school, or could he walk on campus and walk through an unlocked classroom door? Are defenders close enough to hear the gunshots, or are the defenders depending on a phone call from the victims to the office and then a second call from the office to the armed defenders?

Doing the math is simple. The decisions are hard because they require absolute honesty. The school official is lying if he says that no one will be shot. Realistic answers are two to four victims.

“How do you intend to stop an active shooter that starts an attack on your school?”

School officials give all kinds of answers. Some simply lock the doors and wait for the police. One school district put buckets of rocks in the classrooms and the students were supposed to throw rocks at the murderer. In contrast, other school districts trained volunteer staff for an armed defense and for emergency trauma care.

Press the school official for a sufficiently detailed answer so you can tell if he is depending on students with rocks.

“How do you plan to protect your students in your cafeteria?“

..on the playgrounds?” the hallways?”

..In their classrooms?”

The answers sort themselves into two broad categories. There is an armed defender there to end the threat.. or there isn’t and we expect a lot of children to die. Press the official for detailed answers to see if the school official is again depending on a “bucket of rocks” or a call to 911.

“Are your interior doors, locks, and walls bulletproof?”

A locked door means that the attacker can not enter the room and accurately target his victims. A locked door cannot resist an assault for long, but it can buy time for the defenders to arrive. If the attacker is busy shooting the lock then he is not yet shooting students and staff. An armored lock buys us seconds, not hours.

“Are your exterior doors, locks, and walls bulletproof?”

Sturdy walls are not permanent, but they do buy us time. I was at a training class where someone worried that the defenders could not get into the school. One of the firefighters said, “I have a 20-ton firetruck and I can make a hole through any wall any time I want.” It is better still to have the attacker shot by the defenders long before the firetrucks arrive.

“Whose responsibility is it to quickly fight and stop an active shooter that attacks your school?”

An armed defender needs to be close to students and staff whenever students and staff are on campus. That starts when the first students arrive and ends when the last staff drive away from the parking lot at the end of the day. That includes parent teacher-nights and early morning activities.

Are school resource officers and other armed defenders present at those times? If the armed defender is not on every floor of every wing of every building then more children will die. Who decided that those children were expendable rather than worth defending?

Some of our school staff will run toward the sound of gunfire. They will protect our children or die trying. These defenders deserve our help.. and our thanks. We can train them to save lives if we first ask the right questions.


The original questions were taked from a detailed briefing provided by Ed Monk. You can contact him here =>

Ed’s presentation is here. I beg you to watch it. =>

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2022 2:41 pm

    There is only one question you need to ask; Do you allow those people who lawfully carry in your state to carry on campus?

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 18, 2022 9:47 am

      CP, I disagree. That is a good question, but it is not the only question. I like your question because it indicates the sort of answers we will get to the rest of the questions.


      • November 20, 2022 2:21 pm

        If the answer to that question is “No” then the rest IS all irrelevant. A person planning a school shooting will be the only armed person present when they attack.

        They will observe and learn the security measures and incorporate those into their plans. If there are school police or armed security or armed teachers then the shooter will incorporate that into their plans. Even if the armed teachers are supposed to be anonymous, if they have to submit to any type of special training or qualification or apply for permission to be armed the other staff will figure it out and the students will find it out.

        The only truly effective deterrent/stop for school shootings is for an unknown number of unknow individuals present to be armed at all times.

        Once that requirement is met the other questions can be asked. If that requirement is not met the other questions are related only to security theater like the ineffective pantomime we now go through at airports.


  2. Curtis Bunnell permalink
    June 4, 2022 4:49 pm

    How about hiring some homeless veterans to protect our children? Yes, they need to be vetted, but for room and board plus a small allowance most would be delighted for the chance.


    • June 4, 2022 7:49 pm

      I would think to PSTD they are suffering from would make it impossible for them to do this . I understand you thinking though.


    • June 5, 2022 1:49 pm

      I wonder if being around kids would help them with their PTSD. I know someone who had PTSD from sexual abuse. Part of the therapy was to tell the story over and over. “Tell me what happened to you.”


  3. Laura Carno permalink
    June 5, 2022 7:15 am

    Thanks for this. I’ve posted to the FASTER socials. Senior Fellow at Author of Government Ruins Nearly Everything Gardening From Scratch IG and FB

    Liked by 1 person

  4. KUETSA permalink
    June 5, 2022 2:00 pm

    Politics now transcends Nations.
    There is a global political force connected to the UN & WEF that has an agenda that is worldwide.
    The WEF has infiltrated National governments with political operatives that work against Nations’ political structure to achieve global political goals.
    They work to OVERCOME all National Constitutions, laws, traditions, freedoms, and political institutions that stand in their way.
    The US democrat party, and RINO politicians work to transform the USA into a global political state to be part of this global structure.
    There is no room for the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
    And so the democrat party OUTRIGHT STATES:
    If the filibuster stands in their way, they will abolish it.
    If the Supreme Court disagrees, they will expand it.
    “GUN FREE ZONES” are a failed strategy, that disarms all who would protect, as mass murderers walk by with the confidence of knowing they will kill unopposed. “GUN FREE ZONES” are not designed to protect. They are designed to generate HIGH BODY COUNTS and PUBLIC OUTRAGE, to open a WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY to force through CITIZEN DISARMAMENT LAWS, and make all expansion and recovery of lost Second Amendment freedoms UNTENABLE.
    There is no room for logic, statistics, Constitutional Rights, common sense, or even discussion. There is no compromise, every “compromise” is a another push down a step in the one way staircase of CITIZEN DISARMAMENT. This is not about “public safety” or saving children.
    Lawmakers, the rich, the powerful, the famous, are all safer protected by guns. “GUN FREE ZONES” insure only one outcome, our children are VULNERABLE AT ALL TIMES TO MASS MURDER.
    Schools are WELL ADVERTISED free kill slaughter zones.
    It is a failed strategy they INSIST on keeping, no compromise. WHY?
    Their laws do nothing to disarm criminals, and everything to mandate us all to live every aspect of our lives in a “GUN FREE ZONE”.
    They do not want to negotiate.
    They intend to “do it to us”.
    And they are succeeding, everywhere they have the power.
    There are states where the Second Amendment has been effectively repealed for almost a decade now.
    There is no court willing and able to uphold the US Constitution.
    And lastly:
    Is it really just a coincidence, that at times when we are waiting for a Supreme Court Ruling to drop, or legislation that that is expected to succeed due to current political majority balance, that will restore or expand gun freedoms, coast to coast, MASS SHOOTINGS ERUPT EVERYWHERE, or . . . . . .WORST MASS SHOOTING IN HISTORY, IT NEVER FAILS.
    A political war is being waged against Second Amendment freedoms.
    An EFFECTIVELY ARMED CITIZENRY is their greatest obstacle.
    Their TOP PRIORITY is to disarm us.
    A Presidential campaign and sitting president has been spied on, false information has been used to impeach that president, an election is “suspect” at best – and OUTRIGHT STOLEN at worst, censorship has been used to take free speech, the IRS & DOJ has been weaponized to target political opponents. Left wing riots have been called “mostly peaceful” while a “mostly peaceful” demonstration at at the Capital is called an insurrection.
    They have stated their intent to abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
    These are very committed political radicals fighting a war to take our nation.
    how far do you think they will go to disarm us?
    Could it really be a coincidence?


  5. alrob permalink
    June 5, 2022 10:07 pm

    Hi Rob.. As always, great work..

    Coupla questions about Uvalde.. 1) Where did the kid get the money for the guns? This has been mentioned but I have seen no hard confirmation or any serious investigation of any kind on this and I think it’s critical. Also.. The kid was obviously a nut job.. None of his teachers took his threats seriously? I find this hard to believe.. Also.. did the local Sheriff take it upon himself to order the stand down.. or was he “just following orders” from up the food chain and if so.. from whom? Cops like most minor bureaucrats are reluctant to make any decisions that might jeopardize their place at the food trough so I find it very unlikely that this clown took this upon himself.. Why hasn’t anybody followed up on this? 2) Why hasn’t anybody pushed the obvious solution.. no more gun free zones. This has been an unmitigated disaster from day one and shoulda been dropped faster than Hillary Clinton’s prom dress.. FWIW? I also think that *Sen. Kuhl (D. WI) who was the genius that engineered and introduced it (and Geedubya who signed off on it) should be held accountable.. This isn’t just a bad policy.. it’s unenforceable and was a stupid idea from day 1 and a lot of children and parents have paid a huge price because of it. The lame-stream media’s constant diarrheal verbal discharge about banning certain guns, “hardening schools” and appointing more SRO’s is a waste of time and money. Do what the Israeli’s did and arm the teachers.. If the NEA union doesn’t want to play ball? Do what Regan did to the PATCO Air Traffic Controllers. Force a strike and fire ’em. This thing is getting way beyond concerning Rob.. If our elected officials won’t do it, then who’s standing for the safety of the children?

    Just my .02.. What do I know.. I’m only 70.. Blessings, stay safe..

    Al Robinson 106b Oak Grove Dr. Byhalia, MS 38611

    Sent from my crystal radio




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