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?
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.
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.