We spend a lot of time driving. Odds are you will experience 3 to 4 accidents in your life.
You will definitely have breakdowns and other issues.
Do you know how to escape a car that goes into the water? A video clip that is very much worth watching is embedded.
Here is some free information on what you need:
Since the president has proposed, out of all possible courses of action, arming teachers, I’m updating this post from a few days ago. His suggestion was 20% of teachers be armed. Which must thrill the NRA no end.
Let’s discuss the practical aspects of the idea being floated of arming teachers.
I’m basing this on my limited experience having some training in close quarters battle, utilizing it, and training both domestic (including SWAT teams) and foreign forces in the various techniques. There are others who are much more experienced and who have explored the matter in more detail and they can chime in. I’m just spitballing off the top of my head here:
There are 3.2 million public school teachers in the United States. Probably a few more in the private sector. At 20% So that’s 640,000 more guns into circulation. I’m trying to remember but I think it took the Army a while to roll out the Beretta when it replaced the M1911 and the initial order was for 315,930 pistols at a cost of $75 million in 1985 dollars. That’s not including ammunition, holsters, training, etc.
How will the guns be accounted for? I assume teachers would not be allowed to take them home as they would be school property. So every school will need an arms room. Someone to man the arms room. And the arms room would have to be highly secure after hours (BTW, what would the hours be given before school and after school activities?). So we need to build arms rooms in every school.
Every teacher would have to sign out their weapon each morning along with ammunition. What kind of weapon? What kind of ammunition (this is important in room clearing in potential hostage situations)? How many magazines? How should the weapon be carried? Last time I was on Fort Campbell, I noticed the MPs had a dummy cord on their pistols. I guess so they wouldn’t misplace them? I think MPs have some training on guns?
This also means they’d have to load their weapons every morning. Will they keep a round in the chamber? While highly trained shooters say their finger is their safety, for most who don’t have that training, it’s an iffy thing. From my experience having witnessed two accidental shootings just in drawing and clearing weapons, we’re going to see a lot of accidental firings. Hopefully every single one of them will miss the other teachers standing in line in a hurry to get to their homeroom or to get home at the end of the day to do all the little pesky things like grade papers and prepare classes and target practice.
So. We arm our teachers and disarm them every single day. We’ve passed that hurdle with definitely some friendly fire casualties, but, hey, our kids are worth it. Hopefully no students are near the arms room while this is going on.
I know someone will raise an alternative that not every teacher needs to be armed. Maybe one in four? Whatever. We can work on the details.
I know, you’re shaking your head going: Bob, we don’t need to do any of that. Just let teachers bring their own guns. Except, hard as it is to believe, most don’t own guns. In some places, like New York City (which has very strict gun laws and unlike the Chicago carnage people like trotting out, had its lowest homicide rate since the 1950s) a gun owning teacher would be very, very rare. Also if teachers bring their own guns we will have a wide array of weapons along with a wide array of ammunition. A little detail is that different weapons and different types of bullets will make a large difference in this scenario. Because one or two shots fired back at a mass shooter will miss. Will they go through sheet-rock walls or glass and hit students hiding in their locked classrooms? There are several distinct classes of pistol ammunition designed for different types of situations.
Here’s something combat vets can chime in with, because they, unlike our bone spur president, actually have some experience with: how many would charge a shooter carrying a semi-automatic AR-15 with a pistol? Actually, I think a lot of teachers would– and die. Because after every school shooting there are teachers found dead trying to shield their students or getting that last one away.
We have a heavily armed citizenry, yet we have high crime rates with firearms. Connect the two dots. It’s easy. Draw a line from one to the other.
Those obstacles clear, we now deal with nitty-gritty. How much training should every one of the 640,000 teachers get? Hard to believe, but there are one or two teachers who’ve never touched a gun, never want to touch a gun, and certainly don’t want to carry them. But as noted, maybe not every teacher needs to carry, although now we’re into tactical territory. It really depends on the school and its layout. There are schools with outlying buildings. Others that are centralized. Big schools, little schools, all sorts. So every school will have to spend time and money coming up with their gun plan, much like they work on their active shooter plan now. Of course, we’d have to completely revamp the active shooter plan because—let’s discuss the realities of an active shooter situation with armed teachers:
The shooter is armed, as most have been, with at least one high-capacity magazine rifle. I dare not call them assault rifles (although that’s what they are) because then people will start discussing whether it has an auto switch (although bump stocks negated that argument). Those weapons take a high velocity round, usually 5.56. Beats 9mm every day. As an aside, I will throw out an idea: let’s publish crime scene photos of the aftermath of these shootings because most people discussing this topic have never seen what 5.56 can do to, let’s say, 20 kindergartners. I think those photos would bring a very much needed dose of reality to the discussion because while we focus on the front end of such an event, we need to see the result. Talk to first responders and trauma units that deal with them about this.
The shooter might also have a back up pistol. A backpack with who knows what in it. There are a lot of variables that the teachers won’t know even while they are shooting back. Also, we’re seeing an uptrend in shooters buying readily available body armor, so as professionals who are experts in room clearing at taught, we’re talking about head shots, which, well aint easy, especially in live fire.
Regardless, in most shootings, the teacher would be outgunned by the bad guy. Most likely out armored.
Which brings me to that. Does the armed teacher lead their kids in run, hide, fight as trained now? But if they’re armed, shouldn’t the teacher immediately go to fight? So the teacher does fight—and either wins or loses. Then who is in charge of the kids? I guess they’re on their own with run, hide, fight, except the teacher controls the key to the classroom. Does the teacher lock the kids in the classroom and run into the hallway, toward the sound of the guns in a Napleonic way with the key and if they lose pistol vs. assault rifle, we’ve just given the shooter access to the classroom? Hard as it is to believe, even well-trained, well-armed, body-armored soldiers hesitate before charging at a shooter. As a young Infantry second lieutenant my first platoon sergeant taught me a valuable lesson from his own combat experience. He said there are two firing positions: the prone, and the flying prone (the latter is when you’re standing and get fired at).
I will note that arming teachers will make schools harder targets. There are many who say criminals seek out gun-free zones. I don’t think that is the case with school shootings. These are usually carried out by students or former students whose focus is the school. And most schools now have an armed presence in the form of a trained LEO. So they aren’t gun free; in fact, unlike many places they have a known armed police presence. But now we’d be making schools gun-heavy. I believe armed teachers might deter somebody who is sane, but given so many people agree that these shooters aren’t sane, I’m not sure we can count on that. I mean, it can’t be both—that they sanely choose only gun free zones but are crazy enough to kill people. Anyway.
Back to our teacher running to the sound of the shooting. Depending on how many teachers are armed, that means all of them should be doing the same. I suppose most proposing this idea envision the bad guy getting riddled by multiple rounds from multiple guns. Sorry to disabuse you of this notion, but those with experience in house to house fighting will beg to differ.
The other big issue is that there will also be a lot of innocent students around. Our crack shot teachers, undeterred by the possibility of getting shot themselves, are going to accurately hit the bad guy in the midst of all of this panic and possible targets? Again, experience says, not likely. Also since teachers are running in from all sorts of directions there is a possibility they will end up shooting each other. Not deliberately, although I’ve heard there are some bitter disputes in faculty lounges, but start thinking about hallways and stairwells and intersections and a bad guy in the midst of that. Some teacher fires off their entire mag from their pistol at the bad guy but there are teachers coming from the other direction doing the same. Even if they hit, bullets have been known to actually go through the body (they are surprisingly soft and gooey) and hit someone on the other side. And one or two bullets might possibly miss.
But here’s a big problem. Arming teachers actually gives students ready access to guns. Say some football player gets pissed off and decides he wants to take Mrs. Smith’s gun and he outweighs her by 100 pounds and jumps her? Now we’ve made our own school shooter who didn’t have to go through the trouble of buying his own gun legally– not much trouble with an AR– and researching Columbine (watch Active Shooter, an excellent series on mass killings–interestingly not a single person interviewed who’d been involved in an active shooting or the aftermath recommended more guns as a solution). But you say– let’s put the gun in a lockbox. That kind of slows down the response to events that don’t last very long. By the time the armed citizen reacted in Texas, 26 people were dead.
There’s another factor that needs to be addressed. A lot of teachers won’t want to be armed. Do we force them as a requirement of the job? I’d think we’d lose some very good teachers in the process.
My conclusion, leaving aside costs, etc., is that arming teachers will end up killing more teachers and students than mass shooters (even if there is never another mass shooting), just from accidental discharges, stolen guns, suicides, etc.
And frankly, it saddens me greatly to even have to address this topic on a day when children and teachers are being buried in Florida. My thoughts, empathy and actions to them. Those of us who are in the horrible community of parents who have lost a child can tell you it is the worst thing in the world and never ends– for it to happen this way I can only imagine is so much worse. It is not only the immediate victims, but the horror and pain extends to the survivors.
Please note, this article is about one suggestion being discussed. There are effective ways to battle this problem, but I’m only addressing this specific one based on my training and experiences. So if you want to comment, please stay on topic: arming teachers. Good idea, bad idea, why?
We do not have more mental health problems in this country than any other first world country. There is only one variable in every shooting that makes us different than other first world countries: the ready accessibility to high powered weaponry. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. I do not know of a single school shooting where the gun was illegal.
One reviewer called it “Mad Max in the countryside” which, while enticing, is misleading. There isn’t much action; it’s about survival which consists of a lot of hard work, boredom and tedium. The same as a combat deployment.
It is currently on Netflix. Watched this yesterday and it’s a disturbing and well done movie.
This isn’t The Walking Dead. No zombies. No walking around with no gear, not even a canteen, but somehow always having food and water and, oh yeah, bullets whenever needed. Heck cars even work, even though gas goes bad. The Walking Dead is a cartoon. This movie is the real deal.
The movie gives a brief reason why SHTF, ie things have gone bad, but that doesn’t matter. It does the old peak oil thing; I lean toward wide spread power grid loss or a dozen other disasters as being more likely. Irrelevant.
The movie starts 7 years after the Big Bad occurred. In a way it reminded me a lot of The Road. But while The Road was silly concerning actual survival (pushing a shopping cart is not the smartest idea), real day to day survival and the need to be on guard is at the core of this one. However, both share the same emotional core, particularly the key questions of:
-What will someone do to survive?
-What is the point of surviving?
All the techniques used seemed valid, although I’d have done a couple of things differently. One mistake I quickly noted actually became a key plot point: he wasn’t setting snares and traps for animals. A key ingredient that I have in my GnG bags, my Jeep, my ERP are wire snares. It is an efficient way of ‘hunting’ and leaving no sound signature and is infinitely renewable. Which reminded me I need to set a snare out and remind myself how to do it.
Beyond the techniques, the movie is really about those two questions I posed. I know many people who say: If civilization has broken down, what’s the point of survival? That’s an important question. I would submit though, that we can’t really answer it until we’re in the situation. It’s the same way you never know how a soldier will react in combat, no matter how well trained, until they are actually in it. The Walking Dead did touch on that a bit with my favorite character, Carol.
This is a tight small movie about one man. Then two women enter the picture. And that’s pretty much the story. Who can you trust in a survival situation? It’s a very key question that not many of us have considered.
The ending of this bleak movie was, for me, actually uplifting and positive. There was redemption which is the most powerful character arc you can have.
Cool Gus give it four paws up and he’d like a belly rub now, please.
We don’t really know (as the gun lobby has successfully kept any agency of the Federal government from first hand studying the topic) but estimates are the percentage of gun owners is dropping, although the number of guns isn’t.
But this is the first lesson. You cannot quote any statistics that are negative about guns without a gun “enthusiast” coming back with some number they plucked from the silly space full of “facts” called the internet. Note when I say “enthusiasts” it’s my nice way of saying the NRA and the fringe of gun owners who are rabid. The majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens, yet we are also part of the problem simply by the phrase “gun-owner”. We are complicit.
Because most Americans don’t own or know guns they usually ignore the gun lobby or even the issue until we get an event like yesterday. The problem is gun “enthusiasts” think about guns every day. It is the full time mission of the NRA every single day from this humble headquarters.
I read gun enthusiasts posts and their comments. So I am familiar with all the arguments against gun control. Before the bodies were cold in Florida, I saw the same tropes brought forth. I heard officials, such as the Florida governor, offer these tropes.
Not a single one says it’s the guns. It’s everything but the guns.
The first is “we need to do some about mental health” but just offering vague suggestions. The president* tweeted this morning essentially putting the blame on “neighbors and classmates”. Yes, blame the dead for their own demise!
When our gun lobby fought to allow people on the no fly list to be able to get guns on the off chance one legitimate citizen might be denied their gun— what mental illness do we think they will allow to be used to deny a person that same right? I’ve asked this over and over and not gotten a response. What will the NRA/gun owners find acceptable to be denied owning a gun? What DSMV diagnosis will be acceptable? I can tell you the answer: Not a single one.
And, of course, such a course of action requires every single gun owner to get a psychiatric evaluation. Will all gun owners be willing to do that? Will they support a law for that? Never.
Then so many John Wayne wanna-be’s are offering advice for what to do in case of shooting. Which is already too late. Having some training and experience in the matter of close quarters battle with firearms, I am incredulous at these fantasies.
I was very impressed with how the faculty and students reacted to the lockdown even though they hadn’t had a chance to conduct an actual drill this year. I was also deeply saddened that we require this training in every school.
I see some saying we need to change some of those rules about run-hide-fight and people should charge the shooter right away and overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Seriously? Against an assault rifle? (Don’t get me started on what is and isn’t an assault rifle).
Then there are the “we need MORE guns”. More concealed carry. Because mass shooters seek out gun free zones, etc etc etc. The inherent logic failure there is stunning. It is the fantasy John Wayne scenario that pervades so many. Yes, the shooter in Sutherland was “chased off” by a gun owner. After 26 were dead. Then the response is— we don’t enforce what laws we have, because he shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun. True, except does that really matter in a society awash with firearms? Where do we think the guns bad people have come from? The illegal gun factory? Almost every single gun used in a shooting started life legal. Almost every single gun used in a mass shooting was legal. I know all the other rebuttals and am too weary to go through them. I’ve addressed some in two previous blog posts after 58 people were killed in Las Vegas.
If MORE guns were the answer we would be the safest country in the world. But we’re the least safe first world country in the world from firearms. If that fundamental fact can’t be accepted? Thus we’ve all failed the psychiatric evaluation to have guns as a nation.
It should be held on Memorial Day. Every year.
It should start at the Capitol Building. All Gold Star families and veterans who wish to participate should gather. Special provisions must be made for veterans who can no longer “march” due to disability and/or wounds. Their wheelchairs will be pushed by members of Congress. ALL members of both Houses must march. Tammy Duckworth will have the Speaker push her wheelchair if see desires.
The route will lead to the White House where the President joins it. At the tail end. Everyone walks.
It proceeds across the Potomac to Arlington where the Joint Chiefs will be waiting. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs must then succinctly state the strategic goal in every conflict we are currently engaged in and what will be the indicator that we have achieved that goal; the way all military officers are taught.
The President must then give a speech explaining why the current Gold Star family members have died since we have not officially been at war since World War II. Every member of Congress must also give a two minute speech on why they have abdicated their Constitutional authority concerning War Powers.
The President and each member of Congress must accompany a Gold Star family to a grave for an hour of silence. Trump must go to the grave at right.
I think that would be a very worthwhile march.
This story picks up from the end of Area 51: The Truth, with Mike Turcotte returning to Earth after apparently defeating the Airlia.
Do we deserve a Second Chance?
Mike Turcotte, the Special Forces officer who led the fight against the Airlia, which ruled our planet from the shadows for over 10 millennia, has returned to Area 51. Earth has freed itself from the shackles of alien domination, but at high cost while winning World War III. He has learned what he believes is the truth about human origins.
A truth so devastating he insists it cannot be made public.
But the thing no one on Earth knows is that in winning the war they’ve initiated the seeds of their own doom.
Something worse than World War III.
Something worse than the Airlia.
Something that means the end of all life in the Solar System.
But there is one who might have a solution; except she’s not human.
Nothing but good times ahead! The audiobook version and print will be available by publication day.
I was sucked in quickly. Luckily, I had read a summary of the world-setting or I might have been a bit confused. Okay, I was still a bit confused by the end. One of the issues with world-building is being consistent. As I finish edits on my 10th Area 51 book I find myself constantly having to go back to the word.doc that contains all nine previous books and doing keyword searches to try to maintain consistency. It aint easy.
People say Altered Carbon is more ‘steampunk’, but I call it science fiction. It’s been unfairly compared to the two Blade Runner movies. I loved both those movies and while there are comparisons, the reality is in science fiction an author has only so many options. I think its best to leave that comparison aside.
As I said, I was sucked in. Good casting, particularly Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs (sort of—he’s actually the sleeve of Kovacs). For some reason he reminded me of a younger Dolph Lundgren. I don’t know if that’s good or not. Then there was the ‘murder victim’ who wasn’t. I kept thinking: I know that guy from somewhere. Especially his voice. Then my wife told me he’d been Marc Antony in Rome, one of my favorite series ever—James Purefoy.
Martha Higareda was very good as the detective. One tiny bit of miscasting: Hiro Kanagawa as Captain Tanaka. He’s a character actor that always seems to be the police captain/lieutenant whatever. Give the guy some other roles, Hollywood. Or wherever Netflix is headquartered.
There’s a lot of violence and a shocking amount of nudity. I think the nudity was a bit exploitive, so be prepared. I started feeling uncomfortable for some of the actresses, especially the sister, actress Dichen Lachman, who had to do an extended fight scene completely nude. I thought she stood out in her role otherwise.
Sometimes, as a writer, we have a good idea and start running with it and then get overwhelmed with story. I would instinctively say the book was better, even though I haven’t read the book (on my stack—okay bad term when talking about this show). Why? Because there’s a LOT of backstory. Always is when you set something in the future. Hard to “dump info” without boring the viewer. It’s especially hard to do this in film rather than a novel because as a writer I have narrative. A screenwriter doesn’t. I think Altered Carbon did a good job until the last couple of episodes. After the last episode, perhaps because it was late, I was tired, and Cool Gus was trying to grab the remote, I was lost. Who did what to whom? Why? It was like they remembered they were doing a murder mystery with a world changing subplot. So they solved the murder, but no world changing although they hint at it with some law being passed about allowing a murder victim to testify about who killed them? But that law was barely mentioned all along; so it kind of was a let down.
Biggest issue was genre. I say it’s science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery, it’s also noir, it’s also world building, so it’s ultimately kind of confusing and didn’t land solidly. It was like a gymnast who was doing great but didn’t stick the landing.
Jennifer Crusie taught me that the ending of a story is the most important part; I used to say it was the beginning. She is right. And this show is an example where a strong beginning couldn’t save a weak ending, because that’s what you remember.
It sort of reminded my of The Expanse, which has run into the same problem but handling it better. That started out as detective scifi and then grew larger; but at least that’s been on long enough to be dealing with the larger story. In fact, it dealt with it from the start. I think there’s going to be another season, so I assume it will expand the storyline.
PS: Hey, if you want to get notified of special deals, free books and audiobooks, etc. sign up for my newsletter. Also, exclusive pictures of Cool Gus.
For some reason my blog sign up disappeared in this latest version of WordPress (the widget isn’t showing up in Jetpack) and I lot all the previous list. If anyone knows how to fix that problem, I’d appreciate the help.
Nothing but good times ahead.
Another classic film my wife found. I think she might have too much time on her hand. Right now she’s reading the NY Times as she does every day. It’s the Sunday edition and she reads every single word.
We watched this 1958 film, Home Before Dark, the other day. We constantly remark to each other that film used to deal with the issue of mental illness a lot more than it does these days.
The protagonist, played by Jean Simmons, has just come home from a mental institution, which is always an interesting hook. Crazy? Not crazy? Gas-lighted?
You keep asking yourself that as the movie goes on, because although it appears her husband is the bad guy, she also might be a little bonkers, to use a DMSV term.
It’s a relatively simple story, but it’s not just about mental illness. It’s also about what true friendship is; and how much “liking” someone is more important than “loving” someone. How a real friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night and all they say is “How can I help?” BTW, that’s one of our favorite lines from The Royal Tenenbaums spoken by Danny Glover’s character.
If you’ve got some time, look it up and watch it. Cool Gus gives it four paws up. Which means you have to scratch his belly.
My wife can find the weirdest shit on TV. She always has the remote and she’s always right about whatever she found. Truly must see TV. Last night we watched a couple of things in our quest for enlightenment and she brought up this documentary with the rather intriguing title above.
It’s a murder that might be a suicide but no one knows. In a small town in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. I’m not trying to insult Nebraskans– I’ve been out there, and it’s a long way from one place to another. I remember driving some road and out of nowhere there was a stop sign on a four way intersection.This after miles and miles of nothing.
The local cafe in the town I visited was the aptly named “Chat and Chew”. I went to dinner with a friend and we went a piece down the road for some steak. To Yankton which is in another fraking state. South Dakota which I believe is still at war with North Dakota.
Anyway, the town in this documentary has one stoplight. And a university. And a whole bunch of, let us be nice, intriguing people.
So Cool Gus’ recommendation (it’s currently available on Amazon) for some interesting and far out watching is
Love And Terror On The Howling Plains Of Nowhere
Zeroday for Capetown, South Africa, is projected for 12 April 2018.
That is the day the taps run dry.
When the municipal water supply is zero. In a city of 4.3 million people.
I predict we will see this happen more and more due to climate change, the inability of many of us to accept that reality, and poor planning.
Capetown is the result of several factors: a severe drought from 2015 to the present. The city gets its water from reservoirs formed by 6 major dams in the mountains (much like Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego and many other municipalities around the world).
Additionally, Capetown’s population has increased 79% since 1995, while the infrastructure to supply water was increased 15%.
The first warnings were sounded almost 30 years in 1990. They were, overall, ignored.
Negotiations for desalination plants bogged down in political wrangling; unlike San Diego which has forged ahead in this area. One thing to keep in mind is that desalination, while yielding potable water, is energy intense.
The current drought began in 2015 and is largely the result of climate change. Rainfall in 2017 was the lowest since 1933.
Public appeals for water consumption have only been partially heeded. Reading reports about this, it seems a large number of people don’t seem overly concerned. I don’t know why that is, since we can only survive three days without water. I think that popular media, especially movies, along with outside responses to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, etc have given rise this assumption among many of us that “someone” will swoop in and solve our problems.
Once the water runs dry, and IT WILL, the city plans to have 200 water collection points where people can get 6.5 gallons a day per person.
You might think this is a lot. The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day.
My wife looked at me last night and said “You were talking about climate change and water when I met you”. Which is a long time ago. I’ve been predicting wars over water like we’ve had over oil this past century, for the next century. This is a case where I wish I wasn’t right.
This is a no bullshit event. It is happening. We all need to take a look around where we live (do an Area Study as I suggest in Prepare Now-Survive Later).
In most survival and emergency situations, water is the #1 priority. Most of us don’t have sufficient water on hand if even a mild emergency interrupts our water supply. We all need at least three days worth. There are ways to make potable water. We also have sources of water we don’t think about. I go into that in detail in Survive Now-Thrive Later.
Below are some facts, techniques, things we all should do etc. in a free slideshow.