Give Consideration to Defensive Non-lethal Weapons in Schools

Give Consideration to Defensive Non-lethal Weapons in Schools

Since there is considerable opposition to a vast number of lethal weapons in schools, without extreme and continual vetting of those carrying them, people should give consideration to non-lethal weapons. Besides being non-lethal, the weapons can only be applied to one person at a time, and cannot be applied in a rapid fire way to many people. If stolen by a student, they still remain non-lethal. The fear of teachers firing into a crowd of panicking and running students is also eliminated.

Bobbies in England, Israeli soldiers, women, police in domestic situations, or dealing with unarmed individuals have often used non-lethal weapons, and have accomplished subduing adversaries without taking lives. Such special weapons can also be devised to handle shooter situations.

First, we look at long range weapons. Schools have high pressure fire hoses that can assault shooters entering a hallway. The water also makes smooth floors slippery. While the newest secure schools have ceiling gas canisters that can be remotely triggered, cheaper and instantly dispensable tear gas canisters, smoke bombs, and stun grenades can be supplied to all schools immediately. People who throw these are not extensively exposed to gunfire. There are also ear-splitting explosions or sirens. Stun guns are non-lethal and only useable on one victim at a time. Israeli soldiers often use rubber bullets at long distances.

Often in shooting incidents, the shooter has entered the same small room with the victims. Short range combat weapons can be very useful. These include pepper spray, police batons, cattle prods, tacks, spear-like poles, and even long scissors. Even rocks work if thrown by many. A key measure to limit close attacks by shooters is a restriction on the sale or import of magazines of more than six or ten bullets, as several states have. This would be most effective if applied nationwide.

With these options, many more teachers or school personnel would participate. The “Trump effect” of discouraging shooters from even entering a school could also work as well if the shooter knows that every classroom is armed with a variety of non-lethal but very painful and effective weapons.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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