Check Mate

Let us start with the known facts.
Fact: the American populace has become accustomed to Active School Shooting incidents.
Fact: whenever a tragic shooting occurs the media and the community are in awe that it occurred in their town.
Fact: the results of an Active School Shooting are devastating to the affected community.
Fact: law enforcement tactics, which include campus security, are always questioned by the public in the aftermath.

So lets move on to the unknown facts. What tactics are state and local officials doing to prevent/deter future attacks? For example, most colleges have Campus Security Officers. However, a closer examination reveals that many of these Campus Security Officers are not armed! In today's modern times, we the community, want to FALSLY believe that an individual in any law enforcement uniform will defend our children from an Active School Shooter. How? By their uniform alone?

By no means is this a derogatory statement to the those who accept the responsibility to protect students, but rather the burden is on the empowering body that expects these individuals to protect, serve and symbolically represent authority. My personal belief is that Campus Security Officers have truly prevented an unprecented amount of traditional crimes. But that begs the question: what are they expected to do with the non-traditional criminal element? The non-traditional criminal element being the criminal who has the demented mindset to kill young unarmed students.

Are these unarmed Campus Security Officers to face these criminals? These criminals who traditionally have physically and mentally prepared for their day. History tells us that the Active School Shooter has conducted intense preparation prior to executing his massacre. Nevertheless, we expect these unarmed Campus Security Officers to be our symbolic heroes; unarmed, mostly untrained in survival skills. Only to be later judged by the media and subject matter experts on what they should have done.

One of the paramount role of government, regardless whether federal, state or local is to protect its citizens. This burden mandates officials to constantly conduct strategic and tactical planning. This planning, much like an experienced chess player would plan, should incorporate anticipating challenges. In this case, the protection of students from Americas' increased threat of an Active School Shooter. In doing so, I believe current resource potential should be maximized. If human resources are in place on campuses with the obligation of student and educator protection, then they should be at the highest ready level, not at an expendable level.

Supporters for not arming Campus Security Officers base their argument on the lack of training and the liability of arming. Traditionally, the roles of the Campus Security Officers have been viewed as an approachable symbol of safety; a source of information; one that can take an official report and of course, mitigate disputes. Do these roles not mimic that of traditional law enforcement? However, one distinct exception is evident: law enforcement are armed and highly trained to respond to an armed encounter.

The modern criminal element mandates a change in traditional tactics. To alleviate the fear of litigious ramifications, Campus Security Officers should meet state POST, or like state standards. Furthermore, extensive training should be given for weapons retention and applicable ammunition catered to minimum penetration to facilitate their environment. Attainment of equipment should be consistent with that ordered by the responding law enforcement jurisdiction. This allows for Campus Security Officers to be familiar with responding law enforcements' equipment. The goal in defending against the Active School Shooter is to create a united front. Part of that front includes intertwining Campus Security’s reaction with responding law enforcements.

Some administrators will want to stand firm and not allow any weapons on campus, regardless if the individuals' roles are that of guardians. Could it also be that these administrators want to portray a public picture that no violence occurs in their school to maintain student enrollment? History tells us that there is only way to stop an Active School Shooter once engaged. That is a basic force on force. Yes, that does mean shooting to neutralize, using the political terminology. Politicians and not realists often dictate American law enforcement restrictions. These individuals often are worried about portraying a positive public image of harmony, rather than have an inkling of negative activity or image.

Like a good chess player, a school administrator must anticipate their opponents' next move. In this case, will the Active Shooter appear at their school? Should the question by administrator change from if it happens to when it happens? If so, have they taken a proactive stance in readying their school's defenses, or will the Active School Shooter have them at Check Mate?