Don't bring a knife to a gunfight

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 31, 2018

I'm sure you've heard the axiom that you don't bring a knife to a gunfight. It really doesn't require much explanation, but for the dimwitted among us, it is basically a warning at attempting a fight with obviously inferior weapons to those of your opponent.

In an editorial published last weekend (sorry for the delay, but I've been traveling), the San Luis Obispo Tribune attempted to invoke this axiom, but only succeeded in making fools of themselves.

After calling for more gun control, which has never proven to stop a determined attacker anywhere at anytime, the Tribune chided some of the half-way measures that some school districts are using to try to attempt to halt further attacks while at the same time hampered by foolish politicians.

  • A rural Pennsylvania School District is keeping buckets of river rocks in its classrooms so students can throw them at shooters.

"They (shooters) will face a classroom full of rocks, and they will be stoned," said the superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District. (The district has since announced that it also has hired additional security.)

Reality check: We never thought we would have to point this out, but you don’t bring a rock to a gunfight.

No $#!+ Sherlock.

What do you bring to a gunfight? You bring a gun. But the Tribune has already pooh-poohed that potential solution. If you're bound by the foolishness of anti-gun politicians in prohibiting trained teachers and staff from defending students, then a bucket of rocks is actually a reasonably good idea. After all, it worked for David.

So, what is the genius solution from the Tribune, on the proper weapon to be brought to a gunfight?

Granted, there is a theory that if you throw a rock, it could distract the shooter long enough for someone to tackle the armed assailant. But wouldn’t a heavy backpack work just as well?

What do you bring to a gunfight? A heavy backpack.

Was there no one with half a brain who looked at this portion of the editorial and said, "Maybe it's better if we don't look like a bunch of morons and just leave this whole section out."

And then there's the summary:

And more to the point, is this really something we expect our kids to do? A trained deputy didn’t enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the shooting began … and we expect kids armed with rocks to confront shooters?

Let's leave aside the cowardice of the Broward County Sheriff's school resource officer. The Tribune may have missed it in their own reporting, but the answer to the question is, "Yes, we expect kids to confront shooters."

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District recently began incorporating a new training protocol to help staff know how to respond to active shooter-type situations, according to Kristen Shouse, the district’s director of student services.

About 200 front line employees have learned A.L.I.C.E procedures, which instruct staff to alert, lock down, inform, counter and evacuate, and the district plans to train all employees.

“As the ‘A’ suggests, being alert is an incredibly important measure,” Shouse said in an email. “We conduct regular safety and security walks at our sites, which provide an even further evaluation and safeguard for our campuses.”

What is the "counter" in the A.L.I.C.E. procedures? It is that students and teachers should throw whatever they can at a shooter who manages to breach the door into the room that they're hiding in. The preferred projectile is staplers, but books, metal water bottles and even heavy backpacks are acceptable items to throw at the shooter.

Rocks don't sound like such a foolish suggestion anymore. Do they?


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March 2018



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