Next, Maybe Plastic Swords?

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes:

Is it morally wrong for a company to take advantage of school boards by selling them Bulletproof Whiteboards that are impractical if not outright dangerous?

Joe Doakes

Como Park

He’s talking about this little number here:

…which, I have to admit, I thought was  hoax.  Between the cop who looked like he was doing a bit on Reno 911, to the notion of confronting violence with an hand-held shield – an idea the real world gave up during the Renaissance, I thought it was maybe a Daily Show spoof mocking people who think it’s possible to stand up to shooters, when I saw the video of it being rolled out at Rokori high school, west of the Twin Cities.

It’s apparently not:

You’ll notice that an 18″x20″ whiteboard will only cover part of the head and torso of even a relatively petite teacher like the one in the photo. An active shooter would have no trouble at all shooting over, under, or around the armor, easily killing the person holding the armor with any firearm.

From the manufacturer’s website.

In the bizarre and unlikely event that an active shooter didn’t just simply shoot around the whiteboard, there is an apparent assumption that a teacher or administrator holding the armor would be capable of retaining it as it is struck by the impact of a bullet or a shotgun blast. Do we really expect that an average teacher or administrator is going to be able to handle the concussive force of a bullet and to retain the whiteboard in a defensible position?

It is far more likely the board would simply be shot out of their hands or the teacher knocked down with the first or second shot, if the shooter doesn’t simply opt to shoot around the 18″x20″ panel. If a shooter armed with a shotgun loaded with slugs or buckshot were to fire at close range against the whiteboard, there is the distinct possibility that the whiteboard would be ripped from the defending teacher’s hands and turned into an injury-producing projectile itself.

Then, there is the problem of the armor not actually being bulletproof.

As noted on the Hardwire LLC website, the armor is rated NIJ 3A, which will in carefully controlled conditions stop a majority of pistol bullets and shotgun blasts. However, this armor class will not stop intermediate-caliber rifle rounds as small as .223 Remington, much less have the desired effect on more substantial rifle rounds.

The whiteboard concept, allegedly inspired by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, would not have stopped or even slowed down the shooter in that instance. He was armed with a rifle chambered in .223 Remington that would have sliced through the armor.

It’s a risible idea – another example of “security theatre”.

As John Edwards used to say, there are two Americas when it comes to dealing with mass shooters in schools; the not-serious America, which yaps about lockdowns and “ballistic blankets” and hand-held kevlar whiteboards and everything but the only thing we currently know that stops active shooters – a person resisting with lethal force – and serious America, which is confronting the ugly reality of mass shooters with the sobering reality that once the shooting starts, armed resistance is the only answer.

8 thoughts on “Next, Maybe Plastic Swords?

  1. My first thought, when they unveiled these things, was trying to imagine a seven year old child trying to defend him/herself when terror-stricken. Won’t happen.

  2. Yeah but Mitch, if we had a whole Legion of teachers with bullet-proof whiteboards, they could interlock them together in a wall, a wall of shields, that…

    Never mind, Education Minnesota would demand huge across the board raises for teacher/Legionaries.

  3. The news story on this was like a SNL parady. Bullet proof whiteboards? At least “duck and cover” when a nuclear bomb explodes out your window didn’t cost anything.

  4. And Duck and cover will actually protect you from the shards of glass from the windows, if not in the immediate blast zone of any large explosion, not just nuclear.

  5. My first question about those whiteboards is how Calvin could possibly manage to write “I will not put worms in Mrs. Wormwood’s lunch box” one hundred times on such a board? There are important functions of the blackboard/whiteboard that simply cannot be achieved with this.

    That said, good point about its usefulness. It might prevent the first shot or two from being lethal, but unfortunately that’s not the pattern that the active shooter uses in school. Never mind the “fun” of trying to remove the board from corroded fittings in a panic…..good luck with that.

  6. They could call them ‘Dayton Shields’.
    Print the name right them, in bold black letters. When parents have questions about security at the school they are paying for with their tax dollars, they should be shown a ‘Dayton Shield’, and told that, in the event a mad gunman infiltrates the school and they go into lockdown, all of the the children will hide behind one of ‘Dayton Shields’.
    If I was a mad gunman in a school, the first thing I would do is grab one of these ‘Dayton Shields’ to protect myself from police gunfire. I bet that there is a taskforce working on that problem.

  7. By all means, be sure to publicize the heck out of them, complete with photographs and demonstrations and spokesmodels. The likelihood that one of these ill-concieved things might work has been greatly lessened by the PR blitz. No doubt the NEA and their soccer mom support group was just too eager to demonstrate their non-gun solution that they couldn’t help but blab. Hope Oprah sees it …

    The board size is about right as long as the educator can quickly line up all the taller kindergarteners in front of herself. After about the third grade, most any student will make a nice supplemental shield.

    Actually, it’s better than nothing and would be worthwhile if combined with the strategy of blocking a shot or two while charging a close-range mass murderer.

    However, that might send the message to the kids that it’s OK to put up a fight and defend yourself; violence is never OK. That would never do. Better get back to the tall kid line-up drill.

  8. Pingback: Less Useless | Shot in the Dark

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