We now live in a nation with nearly wide-open borders, and our President is threatening to bypass the Constitution and open them even wider. Simultaneously, terrorist movements are increasing their recruiting, size and murderous intent and capabilities and are threatening attacks against America. If that wasn’t bad enough, hundreds of American raised terrorists with American passports are fighting with ISIS and similar social welfare organizations overseas, gaining the experience and knowledge they need to return home and wreak havoc–but that’s an article for another day. Mostly.
Terrorists know that flying airliners into major buildings is now more difficult, but they can achieve similar results with multiple attacks against soft targets, and few are softer than American schools. School attacks are an old page in the terrorist playbook. I suspect it’s only a matter of time.
Of course, we always have domestic killers ready and able to attack schools. Fortunately, active shooters are relatively rare, at least statistically speaking. Unfortunately, there is nothing keeping disaffected lunatics, juvenile and adult, or terrorists, from attacking any school. Someone is always on the wrong side of the odds.
This has birthed an industry selling school safety, not actual safety, but the illusion of safety, perhaps only the feeling of safety, the same kind of safety provided by a gun free school zone sign or merely good intentions. In January of this year, Bearing Arms editor Bob Owens was kind enough to publish my article titled “Bullet Proof Whiteboards: An Education Parody.” That article examined the folly of bullet resistant whiteboards sold as a school safety solution. That device is not, of course, the only attempt to make money in the aftermath of the murders of children.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh. One can’t blame people for trying to make an honest dollar. But when the goal is protecting the lives of school children and teachers, caveat emptor–let the buyer beware–applies.
When an active shooter (or shooters) is about to attack, or is attacking a school, only one thing matters: what is that school prepared to do, then and there, to save lives? Unless the answer is arming willing and capable teachers with concealed handguns, they are unconsciously–perhaps consciously–accepting some number of wounded and dead children, a number to be determined by an armed madman.
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With this in mind, let’s consider a new product on the market, the G8 Pro V2. At first glance, it might appear to be some sort of high-tech sonic/microwave type weapon. It is far less. It is being marketed as appropriate for schools. Its website bills it as:
“Enhanced Non-Lethal, Low-Impact, De-Escalation for Crisis Situations.”
Reading carefully, the text doesn’t specifically say that it is a replacement for firearms, but it surely implies that it is an effective alternative, just as those selling bullet resistant whiteboards, bullet resistant blankets, and a variety of similar devices.
“SAFE, LEGAL AND NON-LETHAL IN EVERY SITUATION AND LOCATION The Pro V2 is ideal for deployment in campus security, workplace environments, sport and public venues, hospitals and other implementationswhere a low-impact de-escalation response is preferred. Because it is a non-lethal device, the Pro V2 can be used in locations where stun devices and firearms are prohibited by law. ”
The device appears to be an attempt to be all things to all people, but as with any device that tries to do too much, it doesn’t do anything well. Note the dramatic deployment description:
Level 1 Response – Arming The Unit
Placing the arming switch in the ARM position, simultaneously deploys the Laser Spotter, Digital Camera, and Incident Auto Record features. An audible notification occurs when the unit is armed.
Level 2 Response – Partial Trigger Pull
A partial trigger pull activates the Alerting Siren, Strobe Light and Command Center Communication Link functions. The device automatically delivers your Pre-Recorded Alert Message to your pre-programmed number during a Level 2 Response. All Level 1 Response features remain activated during a Level 2 Response.
Level 3 Response – Full Trigger Pull
A full trigger pull deploys the unit’s pepper spray. The pepper spray will continue as long as the trigger remains fully depressed, or until the canister is depleted (whichever comes first). All Level 1 and Level 2 features remain active during a Level 3 Response.
Practically speaking, the G8 Pro V2 appears to be aimed at least in part at the police and security markets, though they are also going after the school market. The camera feature is obviously intended to sell police chiefs, but a moment’s thought should dissuade them.
How much does it cost? One has to call the company to get price quotes. No suggested retail price is listed. Surely it’s not cheap.
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For police officers, there is potential value in recording whatever they’re doing, but with this device, all that would be recorded was the second or two before, and perhaps after, they sprayed someone with pepper spray. This would be of minimal value, unless an officer were willing to point the device at a suspect for quite a while prior to spraying to record an entire confrontation. Why would they want to do that while the device was flashing a strobe and sounding a siren, while sending a pre-recorded message of some sort to a predetermined number? Would it be possible for anyone to hear anything over the siren? Considering the microphone is rated for up to only 15 feet, likely not, even if the siren weren’t sounding. The same problems would confront security personnel.
For anyone, the unwieldy size and configuration would require a holster of sorts. This is unlikely to be a selling point for police and security personnel with limited space on their duty belts. What would such a device do that a far less bulky and are more compact can of pepper spray couldn‘t handle with far less size, weight and space?
Ah, but the G8 Pro V2 has a laser with a 50 foot range! Great. The pepper spray is probably only accurate to about eight feet, and laser sights are useless for projectiles that can be deflected by wind, rain, or even a suspect’s hand.
Another problem is the recorder is spec’d at 1 megapixel, which is far less resolution than the cameras of most common cell phones.
For teachers, the device produces many problems. Teachers aren’t going to be carrying weapons to use against anyone, unless they are concealed handguns. In that case, they’ll be used only when deadly force is legally required. This would render something like the G8 Pro V2 superfluous.
But just for the sake of argument, the device is of a size and configuration that would require teachers to conceal it just like a handgun. This would be a problem in that at 6.9”, it is approximately 1.5” taller than a full-sized Glock 17.
Imagine being a teacher stuck in the unenviable position of facing an armed attacker approaching down the hallway while armed with only the G8 Pro V2. The laser might even be visible past 15 yards indoors, but the pepper spray is only accurate to around eight feet or so. The element of surprise is gone when the G8 Pro V2 starts flashing its strobe and its siren begins to blare, making the poor teacher a very inviting and very annoying target. Would the attacker simply shoot the teacher long before they were in range of the pepper spray–which might well do nothing more than cause a bit of eye watering and sneezing–or wait until they were within range?
And what pre-recorded message could one wish to send? “Help! I’m using my G8 Pro V2 for unknown reasons at an unknown place against an unknown threat? Please come to that unknown place and do something about whatever is wrong as soon as possible?”
The problem with such devices is they tempt the uninformed, politically correct or merely timid to abandon truly effective means of protecting lives. Once a school administrator purchases a large number of such expensive devices, they can scarcely admit they made a major mistake, and end up inflicting ineffective, even ridiculous and dangerous methods and policies on those not in a position to effectively argue against them.
Firearms are like fire extinguishers. When you need one, you need it immediately, badly, and nothing else will do. Unneeded, they are out of sight and out of mind, a danger to no one.
School safety is an extraordinarily serious subject with more than enough resistance to actual safety as compared with feeling safe. Adding ridiculous devices like the G8 Pro V2 into an already contentious mix is not helpful.
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.