Preventing School Shootings


Several years ago I corresponded with Dr. J. Eric Dietz, who, with the help of three co-author/students, was working on a study on how to mitigate active shooter attacks. What security measures, the study sought to answer, were effective in stopping attacks, or at least, in minimizing casualties? Dr. Dietz let me know when the study was done. A download is available here. 

Those wishing to be informed about the methodology of the study should download it. It is only 25 pages long and very readable, even for the scientific layman. Basically, the study used computer modeling based on data from actual school attacks to determine which of four scenarios would be most effective:

Scenario 1: A normal school. No access control or security present, no one carrying handguns, concealed or otherwise.

Scenario 2: A school where 5%-10% of the staff are carrying concealed handguns.

Scenario 3: A school with an assigned school resource officer–an armed police officer.

Scenario 4: A school with a school resource officer and 5-10% of the school staff carrying concealed handguns.

The study correctly controls for common variables and influencing factors, and there has been very little media coverage or scientific criticism of the study. Dr. Dietz was interviewed for a brief, local news article:

For the past year, Dietz and his students have used data from real-life events including the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary tragedies to analyze further. Research shows it takes, on average, 12 minutes, for police to respond to a school shooting in the United States.

Dietz said it’s the reason why every second counts.

They found adding one armed school resource office in school could reduce response times by 80-percent. Casualties dropped by nearly 70-percent.

Researchers also determined arming up to 10-percent of a school’s teachers and faculty could decrease casualties by 10-percent.

‘We have to put everything on the table and try to get emotion out,’ said Dietz. ‘We’re not looking to arm schools and we’re not trying to create gunfire fights in schools. We’re just looking at it with a police and science point-of-view and how we can benefit children in schools.

Imagine that. I suspect the very absence of criticism is a sign anti-liberty/gun proponents—which is much of the Media–-do not want to give the study any publicity. When the Clinton Administration did a study on the defensive use of guns in the hope of finding justification for gun bans, they were horrified to find Americans use guns to stop crimes up to 1.5 million times a year, commonly without firing a shot. They did everything they could to disown and bury the study.  Fortunately, they failed.

Source: School Attacks: #6 of a series