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Old 08-23-2019, 11:13 AM
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"A new high school will have ... places to hide from a mass shooter"


"A new high school will have sleek classrooms ó and places to hide from a mass shooter"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/educa...-mass-shooter/
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A $48 million major construction project at Fruitport [Michigan] High School will add curved hallways to reduce a gunmanís range, jutting barriers to provide cover and egress, and meticulously spaced classrooms that can lock on demand and hide students in the corner, out of a killerís sight.
...
This is where we are now.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:46 AM
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God bless America!
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:48 AM
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The curved hallway idea is genius. Only problem is, I imagine it would also hamper CCTV surveillance or police trying to respond, as well.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:50 AM
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Not to mention plain everyday supervision and discipline. All those hiding places will quickly be filled by high school students doing things the Administration would disapprove of like smoking and drinking and sexing.

Last edited by silenus; 08-23-2019 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:51 AM
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I do worry, though, that by publicizing how "shooting-resistant" such schools are, they are drawing undesirable attention - maybe even inviting a shooter to make this school his preferred target, as a way of showing spite. This isn't necessarily good to publish all over the news. Kind of like how the Aurora theater gunman may have targeted that theater because it advertised itself as a gun-free zone.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:58 AM
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I wonder if it would be more cost effective to just invest in bullet-proof school uniforms?
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post

This is where we are now.
It makes me a little sad as well but I attended a school for a while that had an attached fallout shelter and we did the usual duck-and-cover drills. And I taught in one where one of our 5th graders was busted for selling dope and all of us teachers were given "special training" in spotting such commercial events. What we fear as threats at our schools have changed over the years but I think we may have always had one of some kind.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:12 PM
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I do worry, though, that by publicizing how "shooting-resistant" such schools are, they are drawing undesirable attention - maybe even inviting a shooter to make this school his preferred target, as a way of showing spite.
That was my first thought too.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:19 PM
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It makes me a little sad as well but I attended a school for a while that had an attached fallout shelter and we did the usual duck-and-cover drills. And I taught in one where one of our 5th graders was busted for selling dope and all of us teachers were given "special training" in spotting such commercial events. What we fear as threats at our schools have changed over the years but I think we may have always had one of some kind.
I thought about the duck and cover thing, too. But the real and immediate threat of today's school shootings trumps (excuse the expression) the bygone potential threat of a Soviet bomb.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:34 PM
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Indeed we may be coming full circle. From "Design Secrets of Medieval Castles:"

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Medieval Castles were more than just large fortresses with massive stone walls. They were ingeniously designed fortifications that used many brilliant and creative ways to protect their inhabitants from attacking enemies.

A lot of thought, ingenuity, and planning went into the design of Medieval Castles. Everything from the outer walls to the shapes and location of stairwells were very carefully planned to provide maximum protection to the inhabitants. Here are some of the unique and lesser-known secrets of medieval castle designs.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:48 PM
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The curved hallway idea is genius. Only problem is, I imagine it would also hamper CCTV surveillance or police trying to respond, as well.
How is it genius? It's pretty rare for WW-I aircraft to strafe hallways. The students shooters are in no way restricted from moving through a hallway. It's not like they can't work out the best way to achieve their goal and are suddenly flummoxed by a curved wall.

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I wonder if it would be more cost effective to just invest in bullet-proof school uniforms?
probably a lot more than it would cost to teach kids not to kill their classmates.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:28 PM
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How is it genius? It's pretty rare for WW-I aircraft to strafe hallways. The students shooters are in no way restricted from moving through a hallway. It's not like they can't work out the best way to achieve their goal and are suddenly flummoxed by a curved wall.
Curved hallways mean a shorter range of vision for shooters and more time moving to find targets. More time moving is less time shooting and more time for responders to arrive.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:06 PM
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Curved hallways mean a shorter range of vision for shooters and more time moving to find targets. More time moving is less time shooting and more time for responders to arrive.
That doesn't make any sense at all. Distance isn't a factor in close-order random shootings. Curved walls aren't going to stop even the slowest person from firing as many rounds as can be fired as they walk. Not one person saved.

If anything it will delay first responders from engaging at a distance.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:18 PM
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That doesn't make any sense at all. Distance isn't a factor in close-order random shootings. Curved walls aren't going to stop even the slowest person from firing as many rounds as can be fired as they walk. Not one person saved.
The curved walls mean that more victims will be out of sight. In a straight 100-foot long hallway, the gunman can theoretically mow down anyone in the entire hallway, especially if he has an automatic weapon. With a curving hallway, the gunman would be unable to shoot anyone who is, say, more than 20 feet ahead of him at any given time. That means a few more seconds for the would-be victims located in the 80 feet beyond his vision to scatter, flee and take cover.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:20 PM
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For another example, you might read about how Sandy Hook Elementary School was rebuilt. The classroom doors can be locked from the inside or the outside, the windows adjacent to those doors are bulletproof, and the landscaping is designed to keep people away.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:32 PM
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That doesn't make any sense at all. Distance isn't a factor in close-order random shootings. Curved walls aren't going to stop even the slowest person from firing as many rounds as can be fired as they walk. Not one person saved.
You must have missed the original point. You can't effectively shoot people you can't see. If they're around the curve, they might only be thirty feet away and still safe. In a straight hallways, that safe distance can be a hundred feet or more.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:33 PM
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How many school shooters come from the same school that they are shooting up, and thus will be able to plan around such obstacles?
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:42 PM
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How many school shooters come from the same school that they are shooting up, and thus will be able to plan around such obstacles?
Well, the point of such obstacles is that they can't really be planned around. A shooter may know them but simply be forced to accept their effect on him. A curving hallway limits the shooter's shooting no matter how familiar he is with them.

A bank robber may know that the bank vault is secured with such-and-such a security system. That knowledge doesn't necessarily make the robbery any more do-able.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:46 PM
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You must have missed the original point. You can't effectively shoot people you can't see. If they're around the curve, they might only be thirty feet away and still safe. In a straight hallways, that safe distance can be a hundred feet or more.
No, I got the idea. It just isn't practical.

If a shooter was trying to assassinate one specific person it might help that person. But if the idea is to create a stack of bodies then the fantasy begins up close. There's no point shooting someone far away when there are people nearby.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:03 PM
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No, I got the idea. It just isn't practical.

If a shooter was trying to assassinate one specific person it might help that person. But if the idea is to create a stack of bodies then the fantasy begins up close. There's no point shooting someone far away when there are people nearby.
You should call this school and/or the contractor that consulted on security, and tell them that their idea just won't work.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:28 PM
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You should call this school and/or the contractor that consulted on security, and tell them that their idea just won't work.
or maybe a book on the Maginot Line. If they're using a WW-I strategy they can skip to the end and see how it worked out.

Last edited by Magiver; 08-23-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:32 PM
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I hope they have cameras covering the entire hallway.

It would certainly help to have a video feed for police in case of a incident. Knowing what's happening inside the building makes all the difference.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:34 PM
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or maybe a book on the Maginot Line. If they're using a WW-I strategy they can skip to the end and see how it worked out.
Let's leave out the snark - just what are you suggesting instead?
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:43 PM
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I hope they have cameras covering the entire hallway.

It would certainly help to have a video feed for police in case of a incident. Knowing what's happening inside the building makes all the difference.
Unless those cameras are being monitored in real time, instead of being reviewed at the end of the day/week/month/year, then all you are doing is ensuring that the shooter gets the exposure she/he craves.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:55 PM
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Unless those cameras are being monitored in real time, instead of being reviewed at the end of the day/week/month/year, then all you are doing is ensuring that the shooter gets the exposure she/he craves.
I don't quite follow. No matter what, a school shooter rockets to fame the following day in TV and the headlines, police footage or not.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:58 PM
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I don't quite follow. No matter what, a school shooter rockets to fame the following day in TV and the headlines, police footage or not.
An unmonitored camera makes the News the next day, but a monitored camera gives someone a chance to hit the panic button before shots ring out. Cameras can be a big help, but only if you pay someone to watch in real time.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:12 PM
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Well, the point of such obstacles is that they can't really be planned around. A shooter may know them but simply be forced to accept their effect on him. A curving hallway limits the shooter's shooting no matter how familiar he is with them.
It would change the shooter's approach. Instead of the 'wander the halls' technique, wait for a school assembly or large sporting event. Or the gunman could lock himself inside a full classroom where victims can't escape. Or just set up outside and pull the fire alarm.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:49 PM
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Let's leave out the snark - just what are you suggesting instead?
It was rebound snark and as long as someone does it to me I'll return the volley.

I already made my suggestion in post 11. Teach kids not to kill people. Very little cost involved.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:51 PM
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Do you think we haven't been doing that for generations? What have we been doing wrong?

Maybe we need to keep kids from being able to kill masses of people. And not just kids, either.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:13 PM
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From the outside (I'm in the UK) this is very sad.

American children are being taught that school shootings are simply a part of their life.
All that can be done is to minimise casualties, with ideas such as:

- spend taxpayers' money on buildings with hiding places
- arm the teachers
- give children special drills v armed opponents
- have an armed guard in every school
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:17 PM
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I already made my suggestion in post 11. Teach kids not to kill people. Very little cost involved.
I know you mean well, but is there any evidence that this approach works?

In countries with fewer (or no) school shootings, the most common factor is gun control.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:24 PM
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It was rebound snark and as long as someone does it to me I'll return the volley.

I already made my suggestion in post 11. Teach kids not to kill people. Very little cost involved.
Are you serious? Do you think that had Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold only had a class in Why Killing Your Classmates is Wrong, the Columbine massacre would not have happened? I've never had such a class and somehow I managed not to do such a horrible thing, as have most people.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:05 PM
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The curved hallway idea is genius.
The jutting barriers along the walls don't get there due in the article. They are even more works of genius, IMO. I'd assume easier and cheaper to implement than curving construction and an option for retrofit on older buildings.

Bullets that hit hard surfaces, like the common cinder block walls, at an angle shallow enough to ricochet come off at even shallower angles. It's an inelastic collision. All the close quarter battle training I participated in described the effect as "hot walls." That area near the walls is going to be filled with rounds from misses. The natural reaction for is to hang out closer to walls even when it's not between them and the shooter. It feels safer being near hard durable stuff than exposed in the middle of the hallway. It's not. It takes training that the odd active shooter drill probably isn't enough to correct in order to stay away from the deadly area near the wall. This is putting bullet sponges along the walls to stop the hot wall effect. No training required. It also protects people trying to escape through a door or around a corner who have been staying away from the walls. That escape around the corner is great. It has a problem in most buildings. You have to cross the most dangerous part of the hallway before you get to safety.
  #34  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:32 PM
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From the outside (I'm in the UK) this is very sad.

American children are being taught that school shootings are simply a part of their life.
All that can be done is to minimise casualties, with ideas such as:

- spend taxpayers' money on buildings with hiding places
- arm the teachers
- give children special drills v armed opponents
- have an armed guard in every school
It is what it is glee. The occasional massacre of school children is something they've accepted.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 08-23-2019 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:52 PM
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We had a little something back in the day called "windows."
But trap doors, bookcases that rotate or slide away, hidden passageways, chambers of secrets, they all sound like fun and good places for madmen to hide. And it's all sure to make kids smarter.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:04 PM
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How many school shooters come from the same school that they are shooting up, and thus will be able to plan around such obstacles?
Truthfully, a huge percentage if not the outright majority, because most "school shootings" are suicides and/or targeted, with (a) victim(s) who may well have had it coming and this was the act of a desperate person. Most crimes of ALL types go on between people who know each other.

A building constructed to be shooter-proof sounds like it might be a potential firetrap.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:10 PM
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I wonder if it would be more cost effective to just invest in bullet-proof school uniforms?
There is no wearable soft armor capable of protecting against a bullet fired from a rifle. Hard, solid strike plates are necessary for that. Bullet-proof clothing would be useless. If anything, a SAPI plate added to a back back might make some sense, but certainly not bullet proof clothing.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:10 PM
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Do you think we haven't been doing that for generations?
I came from a generation where 1 person stayed home and raised the children. It was considered a real job and taken seriously. I went to a parochial school where teachers focused on social skills. It was a coordinated effort between teacher and parents.

We as a society have not made adjustments to the changes in family structure. the social training has taken a back seat to an amazing amount of media violence from television, movies, games, and the internet.

I can still remember as a kid watching a movie on TV where someone was brutally killed and thinking this type of entertainment was cumulatively harmful.

We are the environment we grow up in. If human life isn't valued then no amount of preemptive cocooning will correct that. We exist on the collective benevolence of others.

The shooter in Dayton had posted a list of people to kill and rape while he was in school. It wasn't properly addressed. After graduating he openly talked about his fascination for mass killings with friends and he played in a band that was flat-out morally bankrupt. the problem to solve is mental health.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:58 PM
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Kind of like how the Aurora theater gunman may have targeted that theater because it advertised itself as a gun-free zone.


A gun-free zone with hundreds of distracted people, in a darkened, noisy area with limited means of escape. If everyone in that theater had been armed, it wouldn't have stopped him.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:11 AM
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I came from a generation where 1 person stayed home and raised the children. It was considered a real job and taken seriously. I went to a parochial school where teachers focused on social skills. It was a coordinated effort between teacher and parents.

We as a society have not made adjustments to the changes in family structure. the social training has taken a back seat to an amazing amount of media violence from television, movies, games, and the internet.

I can still remember as a kid watching a movie on TV where someone was brutally killed and thinking this type of entertainment was cumulatively harmful.

We are the environment we grow up in. If human life isn't valued then no amount of preemptive cocooning will correct that. We exist on the collective benevolence of others.

The shooter in Dayton had posted a list of people to kill and rape while he was in school. It wasn't properly addressed. After graduating he openly talked about his fascination for mass killings with friends and he played in a band that was flat-out morally bankrupt. the problem to solve is mental health.
So what generation was in charge where all these school shootings started again?

Preach on about moral bankruptcy all you want, but participation trophies were handed out by parents to avoid having to deal with upset children, not because those children all of a sudden decided to give themselves trophies.

That you can complain about "human life isn't valued" while supporting a party killing children in concentration camps on the southern border is, in all honesty, sad.
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:41 AM
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I came from a generation where 1 person stayed home and raised the children. It was considered a real job and taken seriously. I went to a parochial school where teachers focused on social skills.
The same is true of "Texas Tower Sniper" Charles Whitman, who in 1966 after murdering his mother and wife perpetrated what remained the deadliest school shooting on record up till the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. The mother of Columbine school shooter Eric Harris was also a full-time homemaker. ISTM that relying on this sort of "old-fashioned family values" influence to prevent mass shootings is a fairytale.

Yes, we need to do a better job of confronting social problems like toxic aggression and mental illness. But plenty of countries that aren't doing a better job than we are in those areas nonetheless have nowhere near our number of mass murders. "Family values" and social problems are obviously not the only or biggest pieces of the puzzle here.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:08 AM
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ISTM that relying on this sort of "old-fashioned family values" influence to prevent mass shootings is a fairytale.
And all it takes is one.

If, out of a million parents, 999,999 raised good kids thru old fashioned values but one produced a mass murderer nonetheless, then that's.......a Columbine right there.
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:55 AM
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If video games, modern degeneracy, etc. were causing kids to act violently, wouldn't it be the case that kids were getting more violent and schools were getting less safe? In reality, kids are less violent and schools are safer. (There's also a section about how flashy new school security measures are probably pointless, and possibly even harmful.)

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-24-2019 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:45 AM
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It is what it is glee. The occasional massacre of school children is something they've accepted.
Yep, the US is too stupid to figure this out so now we are designing schools to keep the kill numbers down.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:56 PM
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I expect some arms manufacturers to start producing and selling versions of the WW 2 German Krummlauf with periscope and bent barrel for shooting around curves and corners.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:04 PM
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I came from a generation where 1 person stayed home and raised the children. It was considered a real job and taken seriously. I went to a parochial school where teachers focused on social skills. It was a coordinated effort between teacher and parents.

We as a society have not made adjustments to the changes in family structure. the social training has taken a back seat to an amazing amount of media violence from television, movies, games, and the internet.

I can still remember as a kid watching a movie on TV where someone was brutally killed and thinking this type of entertainment was cumulatively harmful.

We are the environment we grow up in. If human life isn't valued then no amount of preemptive cocooning will correct that. We exist on the collective benevolence of others.

The shooter in Dayton had posted a list of people to kill and rape while he was in school. It wasn't properly addressed. After graduating he openly talked about his fascination for mass killings with friends and he played in a band that was flat-out morally bankrupt. the problem to solve is mental health.
So basically -

1. You want to reduce gun violence without changing anything about gun laws.

2. You want to improve mental health coverage without doing anything to our health care system.

3. You want to redesign society and it’s values but keep government out of people’s private lives.

This is how we end up with schools with curvy hallways, but you don’t want that either.

Last edited by Ravenman; 08-24-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:22 PM
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Yep, the US is too stupid to figure this out so now we are designing schools to keep the kill numbers down.
It's less to keep kill numbers down, and more to give aspiring school shooters an interesting challenge to overcome.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:05 PM
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So basically -

1. You want to reduce gun violence without changing anything about gun laws.
Guns aren't violent. They are inanimate objects. Removing them does not remove the intent to harm people.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:51 PM
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The same is true of "Texas Tower Sniper" Charles Whitman, who in 1966 after murdering his mother and wife perpetrated what remained the deadliest school shooting on record up till the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. The mother of Columbine school shooter Eric Harris was also a full-time homemaker. ISTM that relying on this sort of "old-fashioned family values" influence to prevent mass shootings is a fairytale.
why is it a fairy tale? Here are the deaths by decade:
1960 38
1970 38
1980 55
1990 98
2000 108
2010 186

There is a significant upward trend and we still have 4 months to go in this in this decade.
  #50  
Old 08-25-2019, 02:57 AM
msmith537 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 27,592
I believe the technical term for this idea is "stupid". You have an order of magnitude higher chance of being killed by the school bus that takes you to or from school than being killed by a school shooter. So investing money in making school architecture more "tactical" is better spent on actually teaching its occupants things like probability and statistics.
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