If someone was coming at you with a sword would it be better for you to have a sword or a shield?
The answer is the sword. Why? Because the sword can be used for both offense and defense to a greater degree than a shield can be.
The same goes with the choice between a sword and hiding behind something. While hiding may avoid the man with the sword it will ultimately be useless if you are found.
Of course, in this modern era the need to defend yourself from sword wielding ninjas and brigands is dramatically less than in times gone by, yet the rationale behind the need for an offensive weapon for defensive actions is still as true today as it was in the way back when.
Though in some places, like the University of Maryland, the thought is that giving the faculty bulletproof white boards is all that would be necessary to stop an on campus shooting.
These whiteboards are 18 by 20 inches. At best it will cover 1/3 of a small adult woman. And crouching down behind it doesn’t seem all that practical if you aren’t a contortionist. Plus, unlike in the movies, that apparently is the sole basis that people unfamiliar with guns draw from, a person cannot go blocking bullets like it was some game at a family picnic.
Getting shot while wearing a bullet proof vest holds similar force to being hit with a sledgehammer. Blunt force trauma and broken ribs is often a result of being shot while wearing a vest. How exactly is someone suppose to hold onto a whiteboard?
So here’s a scenario; an active shooting comes into the classroom, the faculty holds up the whiteboard to protect his or her vital organs (apparently the students are on their own) and what can the shooter see? The teachers legs of course, probably even the lower stomach. So even if the shooter doesn’t just shoot the whiteboard out of her hand, after a round or two in the gut or leg that whiteboard is dropping to the ground.
The inventor of the whiteboard has the notion that the whiteboards buy faculty “time”. To me it seems it might buy the amount of time from the first trigger pull to the second.
The University of Maryland would have been better served if they allowed their faculty to carry a firearm so that an active shooter on campus can be stopped rather than peddling this false safety blanket of bulletproof whiteboards.
And seriously, one 18 by 20 inch whiteboard for the professor and the students are left high and dry? Even if the thing worked you basically have offered up your students to the slaughter.
If anything, give the students the whiteboards and the teacher a firearm. If an active shooter comes into the classroom the students can hide behind their shields while the professor tries to neutralize the threat and the kids will be offered some protection in case of wild shots.
If the professor fails in stopping the threat the students at least can go all 300 phalanx on the shooter and bumrush him. Might have a chance then.
Enough about silly squares that peddle the false feeling of safety.
There’s another product that I read about that actually holds some purpose. The bulletproof couch. A combination of sword and shield if you will.
Now HERE is something that, while not necessarily practical is at least effective. The couch costs a hefty $8000 with each bulletproof cushion running $500 a piece.
But on top of being bulletproof, beneath the cushions the couch also doubles as a gun vault.
Scenario; armed intruders enter your house looking to murder/rape/plunder. If you are like many gun owners who don’t carry while around your house you might find yourself away from your means of defense.
If you are near your couch you AND your family (again U of M, shame) can hide behind it while the bad guys are shooting up the place.
<break> see…at this point if it was only a bulletproof couch the bad guys would simply walk around it and then do the evil that is in their hearts, i mean it’s a couch not a tank <end break>
While the bad guys are making their way toward you, you’ve opened up your safe and now have the firepower to repel the intruders and protect your spouse and children.
Like I said, the couch might not be the most practical thing given the cost but at least it will work because it couples both defense and offense into the equation.
Besides, how cool is it that a couch cushion fort can actually be effective.
The lesson to the University of Maryland and other gun averse institutions and people…half measures are a good way to feel safe until they are put to the test and you die losing that feeling.