December 20th, 2012

Chaos in the classroom

It may not be such a bad idea, actually, when it’s the ALICE protocol.

9 Responses to “Chaos in the classroom”

  1. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    I’ve always thought that any resistance with bite breaks the obsessive thought processes of any kind of shooter. While some of the staff tried to stop the shooter at Newtown, none were men or had any kind of non-lethal protection.

    I’ve got several cans of bear spray in my house (for their intended purpose of deterring bears!) but my wife also relies on them for some type of personal protection when I’m travelling. A hit from bear spray at 20 feet will stop/deter a grizzly and will do the same and more to a human. Perhaps a TASER would also work. So if the schools here in the North east are reluctant to arm teachers/staff with firearms, why not non-lethal deterents. The Newtown cops took 20 minutes to respond to a there is a shooting call!

  2. expat Says:

    Given the single-minded fixation these nuts have on their evil plan, perhaps a surprise distraction could give people some room to move on them.

  3. thomass Says:

    Funny; the ALICE thing is the same as what I was going to tell my daughter… don’t just hide, get the heck out and run a few blocks away. With some random zig zags your almost impossible to hit… A lot of people can’t hit a nonmoving target at 50 feet (with one or two shots)… and as you put more distance on while also moving randomly; it becomes even less likely…

    The converse; if 5 or 6 adults attack the gunman from all sides it is a swarm attack. He’ll only kill one or two people before being taken down. I’d add there is a possibility they might not kill any of the attackers (whoever finds themselves facing the shooter could not advance but try to get out of his sight). People that won’t stand still are often hard to shoot even at close range….

    paint ball basics. If you sit and wait you get hit when the other side runs in circles around you shooting at you from all sides. While you hit no one…

  4. Bernard Says:

    DirtyJobsGuy: Where can I purchase “Bear Spray”? That sounds like a great item for schools to have around.

  5. gcotharn Says:

    The ALICE protocal, and its “swarm!” strategy, reminds of something which you likely blogged about in 2008: the Iranian speedboats which would feint attacks at American warships, and he 2002 wargame in which swarming speedboats, backed by missiles, defeated the defenses of America’s best warships.
    …a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.
    in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

    “The sheer numbers involved overloaded [the American/Blue team] ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”
    In the simulation, General Van Riper sent wave after wave of relatively inexpensive speedboats to charge at the costlier, more advanced fleet approaching the Persian Gulf. His force of small boats attacked with machine guns and rockets, reinforced with missiles launched from land and air. Some of the small boats were loaded with explosives to detonate alongside American warships in suicide attacks.
    The victory of the force modeled after a Persian Gulf state — a composite of Iran and Iraq — astounded sponsors of what was then the largest joint war-fighting exercise ever held, involving 13,500 military members and civilians battling in nine live exercise ranges in the United States, and double that many computer simulations to replicate a number of different battles.
    In a telephone interview, General Van Riper recalled that his idea of a swarming attack grew from Marine Corps studies of the natural world, where insects and animals — from tiny ant colonies to wolf packs — move in groups to overwhelm larger prey.

    It is not a matter of size or of individual capability, but whether you have the numbers and come from multiple directions in a short period of time,” he said.

    The same “swarm” strategy was used by American Indians on the attack – although, some American Indian considerations were not as much strategic as cultural, and had to do with spiritual belief, and with belief about dignity and autonomy of the individual warrior.

  6. gcotharn Says:

    something else about the ALICE protocal’s “swarm” strategy:

    remember the military’s Boyd Loop, aka the OODA Loop, which posits that the odds of winning a battle are on the side of the combatant who makes the fastest series of decisions, i.e. who has the tightest OODA decision loop. It is not critically important to make perfect decisions. Rather, it is important to make continuously quicker decisions which, taken as a group, add up to a larger accumulation of generally superior decisions (when compared against the fewer decisions which were made by an opponent).

    Therefore, if 22 or so 6 year olds are on the constant attack with books, pencils, teeth and fingers: the 22 children will make a series of decisions which are collectively superior to the decisions of one single adult attacker.

    I think the kids would have a good chance. Maybe better than good.

  7. gcotharn Says:


    sheesh. bad habit re that word.

  8. parker Says:

    I can’t see kindergarteners going on a rampage against a psycho once the shooting starts. I seriously doubt most adults would respond in this manner. This type of response would require training, lots of consistent and frequent training. Fleeing the scene, if possible, is the best course for students and staff. But fleeing is not always an option. The best defense is an offense, namely trained staff with concealed handguns who are willing to use them.

    For the sake of the children there must be no gun free zones.

  9. gcotharn Says:


    that had also occurred to me: an attack would require an inspired class of 1st graders, b/c you would never train a class in advance. But, if an entire class was waiting to attack, and did attack … they would have a decent chance, imo.

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