S/V Danneskjöld

The product in the first comment is a great idea, but it is a tiny component of a safety system which does not yet exist, and likely won’t exist because people refuse to take the threat seriously. As it is, in the place where they are showing it off, it won’t work. You can’t put that thing on a door and then – watch the video – have an 18 to 24 inch wide non-reinforced window next to it.

People don’t want to believe in threats that exist because of other people. So they say stupid things like “teach other people not to rape or robb or kill,” instead of treating the existence of bad people like the existence of fire.

In 1958 95 people lost their lives in one fire in a school in the United States. How many deaths since? Not a single child has died in a school fire in 56 years. Why? The threat was taken seriously, not bandied about as some political concept of “teach fires not to burn” or “ban matches.”

Did they add fire extinguishers? Yes. This product is like a fire extinguisher. It can help put out a small fire in a small place after it has already started. But it doesn’t do any good to install a fire extinguisher over a pile of oily rags. And that’s what today’s schools are to violence: giant piles of combustible material.

We have sprinklers, fire hoses, fire hydrants, fire retardant ceiling tile, fireproof walls, fire retardant desks and floors, fire escapes, emergency exit signs, emergency lighting, fire doors, fire stairs, fire inspections three times a year, fire drills, fire marshals, volunteer floor leaders. That is a thorough, multidisciplinary approach to thoroughly combating an existing, unpleasant threat.

Should the schools buy products like this? Yes. But fire extinguishers are a small contribution towards stopping fire death. First you have to acknowledge the truth that these things can be stopped, but that in order to do so, someone is going to have to acknowledge that they can happen, here or anywhere. Media glorification, violence desensitization, SSRI’s, crazy people and evil aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Reinforced glass or the removal of glass entirely*, infrastructure adjustments, security procedures, appropriate training and drilling for staff, and the proper use of professional and in-school volunteer active assistance in dealing with the threat are additional necessary components.

*I harp on glass because it has been a killing-field casuing weakness in most of the kill-count massacres.

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