School's New Instant Alert System Gives Illusion Of School Safety

For almost a year now, school safety has been a major topic of discussion. Throughout the country, people have looked at how they can prevent another tragedy like what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and I can’t say that I blame them.

The discussion has ranged far and wide, but far too many of the suggestions have turned out to be security theater. They’re little more than something to allow students and faculty feel like something has been done to make them safer, without actually doing much of anything to make them safer.

Take this example.

Monday morning, staff at Pratt schools learned how to use a new system to help protect students in the event of an active shooter.

The system, called Safe Defend is an instant alert system aimed at armed intruders.

“Getting law enforcement there quicker is the number one thing that we can do to protect our students, faculty and staff,” says Douglas Paris who provided Monday’s training in Pratt.

No, it’s not. The number one thing you can do to protect your students, faculty, and staff is to have someone with a gun present to engage the shooter. In the worst case scenario, one where the shooter ends up taking out the armed citizen, it still buys valuable time for others to get the hell out of the school and to safety. It also buys the police time to arrive and take down the shooter.

The worst-case scenario is the armed citizen is a speed bump.

Look, it works out badly for the speed bump here, but if I can save dozens of lives in exchange for my own, that’s a price I’m personally willing to pay. My wife and kids understand this, too.

Frankly, a lot of other people are willing to say the same, and that’s what matters. Those people can at least occupy the killer’s time long enough so that some might escape.

Now the alarm system isn’t an awful idea. It’ll let the police know what they’re dealing with and it’s something that the kids can’t screw with — assuming, of course, that the biometrics work when it’s supposed to.

But the first and best option isn’t an alarm, but a good guy with a gun.

There’s more to the system, though.

Once the alert goes out, faculty in the main office have another option. A lockbox, also fingerprint activated, contains self-defense items including batons and pepper spray.

Now, I seem to remember that one of the criticisms of an armed teacher was that an individual armed with a handgun was no match for a determined killer with an AR-15. If that’s true, then just what the hell are they going to do with batons and pepper spray? Frankly, those are horrible weapons to use against an armed attacker. I mean, they’re better than harsh language, but still.

Folks, this is the problem. This is what people are suggesting here. This is what passes for “good” ideas among the anti-gun crowd.

There’s nothing in these measures that will prevent or stop an attack in the first few minutes. At best, a police response will be minutes away. How many people will die because they were too far away?