Note: To illustrate that attacks happen often this article has been modified from a previous. I've put brackets were locations, dates, and numbers have changed. The attackers are studying their craft but our lackluster defensive strategies and response has stagnated. This is a recipe for disaster. Here's the solutions:
What has changed since the last attack on a [synagogue]? Little to nothing. So heed my warning: the next attack is on the horizon. We must change. Ignorance, procrastination, and hope is no defense. So what’s the solution? Below is YOUR marching orders, America.
Democrats yell and riot for gun control but in the same Month as this shooting in [Pittsburgh] there was a [restaurant in Colorado where two concealed carry permit holders defended against an active shooter attack (https://cnn.it/2s4iSD2)]. Democrats call for more gun control a dangerous distraction that will cost us more time and lives. Establishment Republicans defend the 2nd Amendment on their heels and so time passes and nothing changes. The pattern repeats. Enough!
Polite discourse must end. As an expert in ground based defense from the Air Force Security Police protecting our bases, the Secret Service Uniformed Division protecting the Executive Branch and the Air Marshals protecting our transportation, I've proposed very simple non-political solutions schools could implement tomorrow BUT the ire of political ideologues have stymied real discourse on schools finding the right strategy for themselves. Politeness is over. As an expert, I'll be 100% clear: The current plan of “Run-Hide-Fight” and call 911 has been tried so many times AND FAILS HORRIBLY by itself.
Furthermore, the plan has a strategic achilles heel and the word is out: active shooters are now studying case studies in great detail and are pulling fire alarms at the start of their attack [and in the case of Pittsburgh, walking past police officers before they begin their attack] to thwart Run-Hide-Fight. Its painful to say, but if a [synagogue] has Run-Hide-Fight [or defers to Law Enforcement perimeter] as its lynchpin, they have to completely re-adapt and fast!
Run-Hide-Fight was cooked up by the Department of Homeland Security and its precursor originated with The Secret Service, as I wrote of in Secrets of the Secret Service but while most [synagogues] have adopted it, the current plans no longer work! How many [synagogue] shootings and massacres must we see repeat until we accept the DHS plan alone is horrendous and backwards!
No loss of innocent life is acceptable and so we must call out the COWARDS responsible for making our schools "Defense-Free Zones" aka "Gun Free Zones."
If a school superintendent or administrative leader (an oxymoron in terms) cannot justify the [synagogue] taking an active "kinetic" role in a school's strategic defense, we must call them what they are: COWARDS. “Cowards” is a term that has fallen to the wayside. In my day, we called people cowards who ran from a fight or were too afraid to fight. HEROES defended others and saved others. But “Run-Hide-Fight” is not a heroic plan. Run-Hide-Fight is institutional cowardice. Today "cowardice" is deemed politically incorrect. Cowardice is an individual's own choice but HOPE IS NOT A PLAN. Furthermore, we must stop indoctrinating our kids to believe that cowardice is a moral high ground. Not only is cowardice immoral, it is without the consent of the parents and students—and its been proven to be horribly disastrous!
[My co-writer, Grant Schmidt, is Jewish and being tactically trained has turned towards being a trained concealed carry permit holder to defend synagogues from the inside-out, not outside-in. But until now, self-defense in the Jewish community has remained taboo. This needs to stop.]
Let’s be clear: [synagogues] that refuse to [empower their community] protect to the fullest must be held civilly responsible for enormous damages. Attack after attack, administrators cannot pretend, "We never thought it would happen here."
[Synagogues] tell us, "We can’t discuss security measures publicly because transparency could be used for attackers to plan their attacks." But where's the consent in that?
Like these examples (Times of Israel article: Pittsburgh shooting is latest in series of recent attacks on Jewish institutions, https://bit.ly/2EQdvjC), its only AFTER a MASSACRE that we get transparency. Only then do we see how innocent victims were set up for slaughter and how we were lied to. We were not and are not safe in non-transparent hands. Only then do we see indeed the administrators DID NOT do everything in their power to defend us and our children.
Zero loss of innocent life is the most ideal. Thwarting an attack before it ever happens is even more ideal, but we do that through projecting strenght! In the Secret Service, we often wondered how many attacks we thwarted simply by making it clear to potential assassins that success was impossible. We'll never know, but we preferred it that way.
So if you are legally able to and have the fortitude, carry a gun and be ready to use it. If you are not prepared, don’t carry a gun-- that's your choice. Recognize that armed is as much a state of mind as it is a possession of the tools for defense.
In the Secret Service and Air Marshals, our agencies realized that we were statistically more likely to be involved in a gunfight off-duty while we were in plain clothes (aka civilians are more at risk of being targeted for crime than in-uniform cops). They also realized that the federal government could be more effective if we were trained, empowered and encouraged to carry our firearms off-duty to not only defend ourselves but everyone around us. We trained for the worst scenarios, often with the odds against us: multiple hostiles, multiple innocents, and multiple off duty responders with guns drawn-- and everyone out of uniform. In these simulated sessions, I was "shot" many times by friendly units. I made peace with myself if that ever were to happen in real life, so long as the hostile is neutralized and more innocents were saved as a result.
So here are the solutions:
1) Call out gun control advocates out as hypocrites and cowards—don’t hold back. Just because the truth hurts don’t make it any less the truth.
2) Demand [synagogues] be transparent about their measures to ensure they truly do all they can to protect our kids and ensure they are not dithering, holding out on hope and cowardice.
3) Demand our [places of worship] make their plans consensual to staff, students and parents. It’s not moral unless their consent.
4) When [places of worship] willfully ignore case studies in attacks on [places of worship] and choose to do nothing, the individuals that set the students up for slaughter must be civilly held liable for deaths and injuries that result.
5) Teach your children that cowardice is not a moral high ground, but the lowest of the low. Give them your permission to do whatever is necessary to defend themselves against serious threats and have that discussion.
6) When discussing real solutions that work with your [place of worship], be it rural or urban, heavily populated or less-so, reference this article as a how-to guide, read up, and get educated.
7) Don't be defensive about your constitutional rights. Instead, ensure that schools adhere and embrace our constitution and use it to protect what matters most: our children.
No more being polite about strategies that have proven to be horribly and willfully ineffective over and over again. Not one more attack on a [place of worship] where loss of innocent life occurs will be tolerated. Democrats have been in control of this discussion for far too long and they have failed! They need to admit their failure and step aside so a new solution that has proven to work can be implemented across the country. We can work out the details and specific strategies but "gun free zones" must be recognized for what they are: ambushes waiting to happen.