I’m a sitting duck. I work in a Weapons Free Zone – (A.K.A.) Victim Zone – with 850 potential victims.
We hate to entertain the thought – especially during the holiday season – of a crazed, heavily armed student strolling into school and spraying lead like he’s playing a video game. But it has happened – and could happen again. How likely would a massacre happen at your child’s school? Don’t know. One set on killing will simply stroll through the front door with the “No Weapons” sign posted. I’d call this fear mongering if school shootings had never occurred.
Bringing pencils and paper to a gun fight
I am not allowed to carry my normal tools of self-defense to my government school since I don’t wear a funny hat and uniform. That leaves me vulnerable. So, to minimize my sitting-duck-ness, I employ what’s legally available.
In any trade, craftsmen need the proper tools to get the job done right. My teacher tool box doesn’t contain bulletin board trim, red pens, pencils, or gold stars. My red toolbox is full of real hand tools.
I’m the resident school handyman. Teachers and administrators ask me to fix stuff from shelving to hanging white erase boards. Well, that requires tools. Think redundancy here. The small toolbox pictured above serves two purposes:
- The intended purpose – fix stuff
- Alternative purpose – tools of defense if necessary
Here’s a run down of my alternative tools of defense I’d employ only if escape and evasion is not possible with an active shooter inside the building. NOTE: This is my plan. Your mileage may vary. I’m not advocating that others (adult or student) use my plan. Until the Powers That Be issue me a permission slip (I’m not holding my breath on this one) to carry real tools of self-defense to my job, I’ll have to improvise. I mean, what makes the funny-hat-crowd more ‘qualified’ to carry guns into schools? That’s a topic for later discussion.
1.) Annihilator Ultimate Wrecking Bar
I bought this one just for my teacher toolbox. I’ve used to open a stuck locker before. It even has a bottle opener. It would make an improvised throwing axe if a target was in range. Closer, and with an element of surprise, it offers skull/bone demolition.
2.) Jawbone of an ass. Samson, of Bible fame, used a jawbone to put the smack-down on 1,000 Philistines. I’m not sure which animal donated this one. A fellow teacher brought it to me from a pasture. From an ass or not, it’s a menacing weapon in my Science class.
You’ll also notice a hoe handle and juggling pin in the photo of the toolbox at the top of this post. The hoe handle has the metal end attached. I found it in the throw away pile in the back of the school. Two more alternative tools of defense in my arsenal.
3.) Flashlight. Being a flashaholic, I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L in my pocket at school. The tail button switches from high, strobe, and low. Strobe would be useful in a dark environment to disorient attackers and give me time to escape or use another improvised tool of violence on the shooter.
- Clipboard – From my contractor days, this tool filled with paper might stop a small-caliber pistol bullet intended for vital bodily parts. I’ll have to put it through testing to find out for sure.
- The Swiss Army knife serves as pencil sharpener, nail trimmer, screw tightener, and other handy tasks. It’s not for self-defense. It’s always in my pocket at school.
Escape is the first order of action. Which leads me to ….
4.) Alternate escape/concealed route. Bringing pencils to a gun fight is a bad idea. Escaping from the threat is first priority. If running out of the building exits is not an option for me and my kids, we will barricade the locked classroom door, climb on the lockers and hide in the ceiling until the treat is neutralized. Experts say that these types of incidents last between 3 to 15 minutes on average. There’s not much room to move about between the drop ceiling and the roof. But sitting quietly on the cinder block walls in the crawl space might work. If I’m without kids, I can move to the end of the hall along the top of the wall and drop into the hall at the exit door to make an escape.
On barricading my door, I have enough solid furniture to wedge between the door and the opposite wall. Making my door “hardened” might buy enough time to escape through the ceiling or shelter in place until good guys with guns show up.
5.) Fire Extinguisher. A blast from this to the face may give me the advantage needed to escape or overcome the attacker.
I’ve tried to think of alternative weapon legally available to me in my gun-free work environment. While they are no match to a heavily armed crazy man, thinking ahead might save my life and those in my care.
Got any more ideas on tools to add to my teacher toolbox? I’d really appreciate hearing from you.
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
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In my wife’s school ANY kind of knife will get you fired. They use plastic “Sporks” in the cafeteria.
BTW, there ARE bullet resistant clipboards and briefcases out there.