John McGregor is a police Sergeant and has been a police officer since 1992, a firearms instructor since 1996, a SWAT officer since 1999, a SWAT Sniper since 2001, a SWAT Sniper Team Leader since 2006 and is currently assigned to the Support Services Division, in charge of Training and Accreditation, among other things.
In 2003, John became an instructor at the famed Sig Sauer Academy where he teaches Semi-Automatic Pistol Courses, Semi-Automatic Rifle Courses and Sig Sauer Pistol Armorer courses.
John’s background, location and professional writing style make him a great person address the situation post Sandy Hook. WTBGU! has started talking with a local school and range to develop a local program and we’ll share more on that in the coming weeks…
After the December 14th shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the public outcry seemed to be for a quick solution to the problem of how to keep our kids safe in schools. Some thought that guns in the hands of teachers was the answer. Some thought that banning guns would solve the problem. Others ignored the problem and instead focused on profiting from perceived impending gun control legislation by purchasing anything and everything firearms related in order to sell for a profit. And some focused on making purchases of whatever they felt they would need in the near future to protect themselves and their loved ones, knowing availability would soon be limited on firearms related items.
Unfortunately, the prospect of an active shooter in a school is a complex problem and as such, there is no quick fix. School safety training has historically been simple solutions for simple problems. Bomb threat or fire alarm? Everyone evacuates the school. Hurricane or natural disaster? Everyone “shelters in place”, which is a fancy way of saying “lockdown” without the risk of lowering anyone’s self-esteem.
An active shooter situation is more complex. Is the right answer to evacuate or lockdown? It depends on the situation. The right answer for those in the south end of the building could be different from those in the north end. If there is an active shooter in the Main Office on the east side of the school, does it make sense for those in the west side of the school to lockdown in a classroom when they could evacuate? Of course not. But unfortunately our schools have been used to simple solutions where everyone does the same thing. But change is taking place.
In my jurisdiction, our School Resource Officers are working with the school to perform school safety assessments, which review the physical security measures in place and suggest changes to improve upon existing facilities. While the “hardware” is being assessed, the “software” is not being ignored. My local police department recently sent one of the School Resource Officers to become a certified A.L.I.C.E. Trainer. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Information, Counter, and Evacuation. The program teaches those involved in an active shooter situation different options which are available. Although evacuation is preferred, participants are also taught to Counter the aggressor as a last resort.
There are other training resources available. I.C.E. Training offers a free School Attacker Response Course (S.A.R.C.). Information on S.A.R.C. can be found at: http://www.icetraining.us/school_training.html . Another readily available resource is a video called “Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event”. This video was produced by the City of Houston Texas in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. The video is available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4IJA5Zpzz4 . Although the video does not specifically mention firearms use, I have to imagine the practical application of the “Fight” portion of the program would be much easier if the intended victim was a responsible concealed carry holder.
Although some seem content in posing with children and using the Sandy Hook tragedy for political gain, it is important to remember that some are looking beyond politics and attempting to take measures which could actually prevent or mitigate a future tragedy. Maybe if we can initiate this type of training for our children now, the concept of fighting for ones own self-protection won’t be so foreign to the next generation as it is to some in our current generations.
If you would like to read/hear more from John McGregor, you can find him at @McGregor_Media on Twitter, on his blog at mcgregor-media.com, or as one of the hosts of the Gunfighter Cast with Daniel Shaw.
Now that we are more than a month removed from Sandy Hook, have you seen any positive changes with the schools in your area? If not, what would you like to see done to make them more prepared?