This is an article I originally wrote in 2018 after the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, but following the debacle in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022, it was apparent little had changed as far as the training and response by law enforcement or school districts. Parents, children, teachers, and school staff must demand that action is taken by their school districts and local law enforcement to prepare to deal with the next crazed person or persons who decides they want to be immortalized by killing children and teachers in classrooms.
As everyone jumped to assign blame for the bloody carnage following in the wake of the latest school shooting, I watched and listened as the story unfolded because it takes days or weeks for a clear story to take shape, as it seems it certainly has now. The rush to place blame begins in the minutes that follow, with most people and pundits choosing their personal or political line, instead of looking at the reality of the situation and, further, the reality of our times.
In my former line of work, before I became the sedate rancher, part-time firearms instructor, and now currently a traveler and writer of action-adventure novels, my job was to go into the worst places on earth, crowded, rat-infested favelas, the back alleys, fetid jungles and dank ports of third world countries, in search of kidnap victims, individuals or whole families, torn from their beds, or snatched off the streets, kidnaped for ransom in what was, and still is, one of the oldest and most lucrative enterprises, to extort money from those that have it. An easy payday most of the time, because families will reach deep to bring home their loved ones, and a good sideline for other criminal activity, because if the families decide not to pay, women and young children can always be sold into slavery for a nice profit, so either way it’s a profitable venture…as long as you can get away with it.
And that’s where people like myself, ghost hunters that stay out of the limelight and operate in the shadows, come in because our job is the make sure the kidnappers fail and that the hostages are returned to families and friends with as many of their original body parts as possible, though there is little we can do for their minds because, in the interim of their abduction, they have been scared beyond any conception, raped and abused, threatened and violated in ways you would rather not know about.
So I come to you a person of reality, not favoring a political viewpoint, a person that knows firsthand that there are evil people, both men and women, young and old in the world, who will rob you, molest you, snatch you off the street, or parking lot where you never suspect them, kidnap and rape your children, enter the assumed security of your dwelling in the dark of night, or go into your church or school, sacred places we presume them to be and change your life forever.
I say change your life forever, assuming you survive your encounter with evil because you may not. Still, if you do, your idea of personal security, of having safety behind a locked door or within a crowded school, church, or shopping mall, will never be the same.
I’m here to tell you the reality, that you are never safe from evil, EVER. Evil can and will roam at will wherever it wants, and there is little you can do. Unless you are mentally ready to protect yourself and those around you from the threat, and that is your ONLY CHANCE.
You can call law enforcement, but you’re behind the curve at that point already, trust me, anyone with about fifteen minutes of training can learn how the enter a locked door in 3 seconds. Or just wait for law enforcement to arrive and see how that works for you, in which case you’re assuming those that arrive have the level of training to enter the building and come to your aid, and that worked out well for the faculty and children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School didn’t it? Serious questions need to be asked of the Broward County Sheriff and the officer who was on duty, as well as those that arrived and waited outside because that is not how active shooter scenarios have been addressed since Columbine. If you’ve been trained properly, you don’t wait for any backup; you advance and engage the shooter and save as many lives as you can. Law enforcement failed in their job to protect and serve that day, without a doubt.
Anyone in law enforcement should know this, so what happened with the LE response needs answers; those I’ll leave for others to address. For now, I want to talk about what if’s, as in what if a teacher or coach, or faculty member had a weapon, had been trained to use it to engage active shooters, and had personally developed the conditioned mindset to advance into a fire zone… and let’s go a little farther here, and what if, there were signs posted and it was commonly known that some of the teachers and staff were armed, trained and ready to fight for their wards, what would have been the outcome of the Broward County shooting?
Think about this now. This shooter did not want to commit suicide by cop; he went in knowing the building, targeted former classmates, possibly those he didn’t like or had had problems with in the past, in a finite number of classrooms, then dropped his weapon and exited the building, and snuck away.
Would he have even gone there if he thought someone might fight back? Maybe, maybe not, assuming doesn’t bring those lives back, but it does give you cause to say the current security situation at the school, as he knew it, was not enough to deter his actions, so something needs to change.
Cold hard facts, people, you either have to have a security screen around the school and limit ingress and egress from the campus to guarantee NO ONE gets a weapon inside, or have armed, trained, and mentally confident personnel ready to address the threat once inside, because evil abounds. It’s not going away, and all the wishing and hoping that we lived in a perfect world, or that a panacea existed that would make all the evil people into really nice guys, is a fantasy; it’s not happening, not now, not ever, and trying to remove guns from the majority of the population, who are law-abiding citizens will not change this. Anything can be used as a weapon, and if you’ve read my books, you’ll know that a sharp pen, pencil, or icepick can kill quite effectively.
Learning from past examples might be a start, and you only need to look back to May of 1974 and the Ma’alot massacre in Israel to see how school security changed forever in that country. I won’t go into detail; look it up yourself if you want to be informed, but know this, the State of Israel decided on that day that there would be no more children killed in their schools, and they did something about it and it worked.
The first step they took was to acknowledge that evil exists and that it isn’t going away. That’s a big step, because I haven’t heard any politician say anything like that? Facing the facts of reality is the first move to action.
Okay, evil is walking the streets; we know it’s there, and now we stop the threat and eliminate it.
In Israel, you can’t enter a school campus unless you go through a security check, so ingress is limited right there, with armed guards, and if anyone fought past that guard, they would be met with a few select teachers, faculty and parents…. yes, parents that volunteer part of their time to protect their own children.
This is not a matter of handing a firearm out to just anyone; these are people that have volunteered to perform this duty, who have been through extensive training to react to different situations, people who when they heard the big bad Broward County Sheriff’s Department cowered in fear from engaging one young, untrained boy with a rifle, most likely wonder what kind of individual if any, is responsible for training LE officers in tactical response. A sad day for law enforcement and a stain on that department forever.
So, there you go, the first step, and it’s a biggy, is to acknowledge the presents of evil and then address how to stop it. Not all teachers, not all faculty, and possibly not all parents wish to volunteer to assist law enforcement and school districts in securing our schools; that’s okay. It only takes a few, and once it is known there is armed, trained staff, a lot of the threats will go find other soft targets to hit, and there are plenty of them! Soft targets abound in America.
One last thought before you close your eyes tonight. Just to let you know, you aren’t safe in your home…. Locked doors and windows won’t stop evil, and law enforcement will show up only to view the bloody aftermath.
Evil can enter and do whatever it wishes unless you’re aware and prepared to defend your life and those you love.