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Friday, December 14, 2012

Duck and Cower: Mass Shooting Drills Becoming a Common Practice at America's Schools

Posted by on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

State Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) just released the following statement on the tragedy in Connecticut:

“Our nation is stunned and grieving today over the horrendous, senseless shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. This kind of unthinkable gun violence is becoming all too frequent. While tragedies like this are impossible to predict, it’s time we had a public conversation about how our communities – and especially our schools – can be best prepared. And I believe we are long overdue to have the politically difficult discussion of how we prevent them.”

As for preventing such tragedies, closing the gun show loophole and repealing state preemption of local gun control laws would be a good place to start. But of course, Murray is in the minority now, so I've called and emailed Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), the new chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, for his view on possible gun control legislation. Haven't yet heard back.

But on the issue of preparation, one of the horrifying aspects of today's tragedy is that the school obviously was prepared for a mass shooting. I watched multiple interviews this morning in which students said, upon hearing the gunshots, that their teacher locked the door and huddled them in the far corner of the classroom until police or firefighters came to rescue them. This wasn't just quick thinking. It was apparently standard procedure.

In fact, mass shooting drills are becoming a common practice at American schools, in the same way we've long conducted fire drills and earthquake drills. Little children are being routinely drilled about what to do should an armed madman start gunning down their schoolmates, because, you know, like fires and earthquakes, sometimes that happens.

Only in America.


Comments (27) RSS

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Matt the Engineer 1
My son's Seattle preschool (goes up through 5th grade) holds full annual lockdown drills, and has security codes on the doors.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
coming soon: metal detectors and unscalable perimeter fences. prison nation.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
And yet the narrative I've seen over and over again today is how "unthinkable" this shooting was. Except there were drills for it?

About that...
Posted by Chris B on December 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
I'm 26 and we did drills for situations like that when I was in 6th grade. It's not new unfortunately.
Posted by no_such_number on December 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Goldy 5
Of course, I went to elementary school in a building with a fully stocked fallout shelter in the basement, so I guess who am I to talk about terrorizing children?
Posted by Goldy on December 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
Won't stop someone who knows what they're doing, though.

Sorry, but security is mostly an illusion.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
NaFun 7
Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle Civil Defense Film…
Posted by NaFun on December 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
treacle 8
"Only in America" ?
There are no school shooting drills in Europe, where there have been shootings at schools?
Or how about suicide bomber drills in Israel? Any of those?
Or fighter jet attack drills at schools in Palestine?
Or wedding-bombing attack drills in Afghanistan?
The list could easily continue.
Posted by treacle on December 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
But they are not common. Not at all. I think this was maybe the second one this year. Out of maybe 100,000 or more schools in the US.

While there maybe things we as a country need to do about gun violence, there is pretty much nothing that individual schools need to do to 'prepare' or otherwise concern themselves with this risk.

Driving your kid to school is a much bigger risk.
Posted by giffy on December 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
You want to know what truly terrorizes children?

When their parents or pastors tell them that if they don't believe in god and Jesus, they'll go to hell and burn in a lake of fire for eternity.

Why don't we ban that? Why don't we make it illegal for anyone to tell children they'll go to hell if they don't believe in god? Why aren't we talking about that?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
I remember doing 'lock down' drills in elementary school about 15 years ago, though this was in Everett...
Posted by itsbeenthisway on December 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Hernandez 12
I remember that we started doing lockdown drills in high school immediately after Columbine.

The office building I work in had a safety training for all tenants a few months ago, and I attended as a representative from my firm. They just added a new training category for "active shooter."

Welcome to the new normal, folks. Along with fire drills and earthquake drills, we get to routinely prepare for shooting sprees.

(As an aside, did you know that if you're confined in a room with an active shooter, you're actually supposed to bum rush them instead of hiding? They trained us that if we're probably going to die anyway, better to die on our feet. What a world we live in today!)
Posted by Hernandez on December 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
I teach in a local high school and we just did a lockdown drill on Tuesday - the day of the Oregon mall shooting. They have been standard practice at my high school for at least four years, but probably even longer.
Posted by marstorr on December 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Lock down drills, or "code black," have been in practice in some schools since Columbine. It was incorporated as a standard practice along with fire drills and tornado drills (woo Midwest) since I started middle school in 1999.

What's scary to realize that I am about the same age as the shooter. He probably went through similar drills when he was growing up too.
Posted by every time on December 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 15
The most useful thing we can do is drills that work during earthquakes and fires, quite frankly.

Or teach kids to watch out for cars driven by people talking on their cells or texting.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 16
Curtailing the freedom of gun nuts to express their right to bear arms? Too high a price to pay. Turn schools into prisons? Sure, why not?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 17
Yes we should never drill for possible disasters when we can flip a magic switch that will make the nations 300 Million + firearms disappear.

Drill and preparedness have saved more lives than your idiotic fantasy rants ever will.

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 14, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Lockdown drills have been commonplace since I was in elementary school (started kindergarten in 1997-98). No one really understood the dangers we were drilling for - the teacher would just turn off the lights, and we would sit by our cubbies and have story time. The fact that we have to drill for these situations is fucked up, but the kids don't realize that at the time.
Posted by MED on December 15, 2012 at 4:27 AM · Report this
Our children die for your hobby.

That's what is the disgrace in America:

Get another fucking hobby that doesn't kill thousands of American children every damn year.

(In 2008 alone, 2,947 children and teens died from guns in the United States .)
Posted by judybrowni on December 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 20
Maybe i will take up driving a sports car, that never kills anyone.

Also keep in mind that your stats are padded with suicides and teenage gang members who still count as "children."
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
So you do not like that the majority of voters in America want to keep their guns.
And you believe that the majority of voters in America should change to suit you.
Good luck with that.
It's probably not going to happen.
But you can feel Good knowing that you are a Good Person who shares their grief porn with the world.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 22

Civil rights works the same way. We don't let the majority decide to have whites only drinking fountains. Not that your faith in a gun loving majority is likely to pan out.

Your information comes from the same loons who thought Romney was going to win. They thought the Super PACs could buy the election, just like they think the NRA can buy politicians. You're in for a rude awakening.

You're the same guy who thinks we can't keep guns out of the hands of crazies unless we win 51% of the vote your imaginary national plebiscite, right? Sad. Civics is for sure your weakness. What country are you from?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
OirishOiyesAreSmilin 23
Owning a firearm is not my "hobby" you dumb fucking bint. Bearing arms whether it's a Rifle, Pistol or a Katana is as much a right of every American as you exercising your right to spew your worthless drivel here on this sad-sack blog.
Posted by OirishOiyesAreSmilin on December 15, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 24

Yeah, yeah. Hobby it is. Stop pretending.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
@23 - if you need anything semi-automatic to shoot a deer I consider you a crappy hunter sir.
Posted by gnot on December 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Anything else you do with your gun I consider a masturbatory aide. Unless you live, say, in Detroit. I forgive you if you live in Detroit.
Posted by gnot on December 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
We did lockdown drills in my middle school (pre-Columbine). We did have a school shooting in a neighboring town, so people took it moderately seriously.
Posted by blueworld on December 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this

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