Survival in the classroom?

Posted by: Dave568

Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 04:12 PM

As a college student, I am slightly concerned about all of the violence in classrooms lately. I would like to start a discussion about some preparations that could be taken to help survive an incident similar to the one in Virginia Tech.

I will start the discussion by mentioning that in the backpack I carry to class every day, I have at least 100 feet of paracord. During the shooting in Virginia Tech, there were several students that jumped from the fourth story window and injured themselves fairly severely, but probably saved their lives in the process at the cost of only a broken leg or two. If I were ever to find myself in a situation where the door to my classroom was barricaded temporarily, I would strongly consider tying the paracord to a large, sturdy object such as a large desk, and abseiling down to (hopefully) safety.

What do other people have to say about this idea, and more generally, other classroom violence preparations?
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 04:42 PM

Although the shootings at VTech are horrible. I would not jump to a conclusion that you are not safe in school or anywhwere else in general.
This was a rare incident that when in the news seems to be much more widespread than it really is. In reality the odds of getting hit by lightning are not much different.
Always be aware of what is happening around you and you will be safe 99.99% of the time. You can't really prepare for a 1 in a million event like Monday's horror.
I always say you can't live life worrying about sharks and lightning.
Posted by: terry13111

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 04:59 PM

I agree 100% with the advice to stay aware of your surroundings. Always make sure you know where all the nearest exits are, and how to get to them. A cell phone would be an asset. Leatherman is now making a knifeless "Fuse" that could be of interest to a student. I am not saying it would be the difference between life or death, just that it might be helpful.
Posted by: duckear

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:03 PM

Well, since you can't legally carry a concealed weapon, how bout this?



link

Posted by: Dave568

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: terry13111
Leatherman is now making a knifeless "Fuse" that could be of interest to a student.


I'm sure a knifeless multitool would be great in an airport, but on college campuses (at least on the three I frequent), there is nothing wrong with having knives. At my school specifically, the only knives that are outlawed are ones considered to be "dangerous weapons" in my state. That means no autos, no double-edged knives, no folding knives that can be draw into a locked position (a waved knife could fall into this catagory), and of course several other restrictions, but none that apply to any knives I would ever carry. However, there is no restriction on "normal" folding knives, multitools, or technically even fixed blades of any length.

Posted by: Blast

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:08 PM

Quote:
Well, since you can't legally carry a concealed weapon, how bout this?
link


BRILLIANT! I'm sure the proffessor that held the door shut would have loved to have one of those doorstops.

-Blast
Posted by: terry13111

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:12 PM

I don't know if its state policy, or just in my area, but the schools here forbid any "weapon" including small pocket knives. I am glad to see its not like this everywhere.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:14 PM

Agreed -- school shootings are vary rare. You should plan for more likely events; weather related, power out, etc. Carrying a flashlight and a poncho will serve you better than packing rapelling gear

TRO
Posted by: DesertFox

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:43 PM

Might want some gloves or duct tape. Rappelling with paracord might be hard on the hands.

Your options are pretty limited. Barricade, use an improvised weapon as the shooter comes through the door, or as a last resort, go "Flight 93" on the guy.

As other posters have mentioned, this scenario is extremely rare (though there will undoubtedly be copycat incidents like after Columbine) so don't get fixated. You are still more likely to encounter a power outage or weather related survival scenario.
Posted by: Rio

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 05:47 PM

As a fellow student, I would be much more worried about a fire and the panic / mob mentality that will accompany it than a shooting. As others have mentioned above, situational awareness and the ability to improvise would probably be the best things to bring with you to class. Of course a few EDC items such as a multi tool bandanna, paracoord wrist band, etc, would greatly increase your ability to improvise.
Posted by: ponder

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 06:20 PM

..."can't legally carry"... !

What does that mean? That means nothing. Did it stop the VT? killer?

DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL - That policy has a basis in federal policy.

IF IF IF IF - you are forced to defend your life, you may be suspended! Wow - what a choice!



Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 07:27 PM

It is a good plan to look at the possiblities, but I wouldn't suggest worrying about it.

I know that the members of my crew that are still in school were looking at options yesterday as a "what if" or roleplaying situation. I was at the same campus when Columbine happened, and those of us of like minds did the same thing then, to. I do the same thing when I've changed jobs, spend more than a few hours at a jobsite, stay in a hotel room, or go out to eat.

Know what you have, know how to use it in any given situation. Improvise, modify, devise, adapt, or fail. Same as any survival situation.

And now back to work, I've gooffed off too much.
Posted by: weldon

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 07:30 PM

On the paracord/rappelling idea... I'd like to nip this in the bud. Paracord has a 550lb break strength, for a static load. Rappelling on it would create loads well in excess of 550lbs, dropping you such that you probably would suffer greater injuries than broken legs. If you are wanting to rappel, please visit a climbing shop and get some light climbing rope. Or at least some 8mm accessory cord. That would *probably* be strong enough to prevent breaking, is still relatively light and compact and could be packed. Also, look at getting an ATC or Figure 8 or some other decending device and wear a belt along the lines of a wilderness belt from www.thewilderness.com. In the stress of a situation like that hanging onto the rope with your hands would not be the best idea.

Several years ago, I sat in a lecture from a Fire Chief from a local city here. It was geared towards fire safety and what to do when traveling or living in an apt. in case of a fire. He made the point that you are better off staying in the room you are in and covering yourself with mattresses and bedding than trying to climb down sheets that are tied together. Most people underestimate how tough it is to hang onto those things, or being in a hurry they don't tie the knots well enough not to slip. I would think the same kind of stress would be found in this kind of situation.

As mentioned before test out your solution somewhere safe, and then find a building to try exiting from... even if it's the second floor of your home.

Finally, if you are contemplating doing this... it might be worthwile to find a climbing club in your area and at least learn the basics about rappelling.

Posted by: Dave568

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 07:42 PM

Originally Posted By: weldon
On the paracord/rappelling idea... I'd like to nip this in the bud. Paracord has a 550lb break strength, for a static load. Rappelling on it would create loads well in excess of 550lbs, dropping you such that you probably would suffer greater injuries than broken legs. If you are wanting to rappel, please visit a climbing shop and get some light climbing rope. Or at least some 8mm accessory cord. That would *probably* be strong enough to prevent breaking, is still relatively light and compact and could be packed. Also, look at getting an ATC or Figure 8 or some other decending device and wear a belt along the lines of a wilderness belt from www.thewilderness.com. In the stress of a situation like that hanging onto the rope with your hands would not be the best idea.

Several years ago, I sat in a lecture from a Fire Chief from a local city here. It was geared towards fire safety and what to do when traveling or living in an apt. in case of a fire. He made the point that you are better off staying in the room you are in and covering yourself with mattresses and bedding than trying to climb down sheets that are tied together. Most people underestimate how tough it is to hang onto those things, or being in a hurry they don't tie the knots well enough not to slip. I would think the same kind of stress would be found in this kind of situation.

As mentioned before test out your solution somewhere safe, and then find a building to try exiting from... even if it's the second floor of your home.

Finally, if you are contemplating doing this... it might be worthwile to find a climbing club in your area and at least learn the basics about rappelling.



I have actually been climbing for many years now, both indoors on rock walls and outdoors on real rocks. I know how to rappel, tie the proper knots, descend properly, etc. That is not an issue for me at least. I also agree that paracord would not make the best climbing rope, but I'm also not worried enough about this sort of event to want to carry around a real climbing rope. In a pinch, paracord would work. I have tried it before. They key is simply to go slow and do not put more of a load on the rope than it can handle. If you slip and start to fall, paracord will not save you, it will break. You need to know the abilities and the limitations of your equipment before you use it.
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: weldon
On the paracord/rappelling idea... I'd like to nip this in the bud. Paracord has a 550lb break strength, for a static load. Rappelling on it would create loads well in excess of 550lbs, dropping you such that you probably would suffer greater injuries than broken legs. If you are wanting to rappel, please visit a climbing shop and get some light climbing rope. Or at least some 8mm accessory cord. That would *probably* be strong enough to prevent breaking, is still relatively light and compact and could be packed. Also, look at getting an ATC or Figure 8 or some other decending device and wear a belt along the lines of a wilderness belt from www.thewilderness.com. In the stress of a situation like that hanging onto the rope with your hands would not be the best idea.

Several years ago, I sat in a lecture from a Fire Chief from
Finally, if you are contemplating doing this... it might be worthwile to find a climbing club in your area and at least learn the basics about rappelling.



Thanks for mentioning this. I doubt it is even possible to rap off 550; the thinnest I have ever heard of being used for rappelling is 5MM and it was by an elite high altitude solo aplinist.
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave568
Originally Posted By: weldon
On the paracord/rappelling idea... I'd like to nip this in the bud. Paracord has a 550lb break strength, for a static load. Rappelling on it would create loads well in excess of 550lbs, dropping you such that you probably would suffer greater injuries than broken legs. If you are wanting to rappel, please visit a climbing shop and get some light climbing rope. Or at least some 8mm accessory cord. That would *probably* be strong enough to prevent breaking, is still relatively light and compact and could be packed. Also, look at getting an ATC or Figure 8 or some other decending device and wear a belt along the lines of a wilderness belt from www.thewilderness.com. In the stress of a situation like that hanging onto the rope with your hands would not be the best idea.

Several years ago, I sat in a lecture from a Fire Chief from a local city here. It was geared towards fire safety and what to do when traveling or living in an apt. in case of a fire. He made the point that you are better off staying in the room you are in and covering yourself with mattresses and bedding than trying to climb down sheets that are tied together. Most people underestimate how tough it is to hang onto those things, or being in a hurry they don't tie the knots well enough not to slip. I would think the same kind of stress would be found in this kind of situation.

As mentioned before test out your solution somewhere safe, and then find a building to try exiting from... even if it's the second floor of your home.

Finally, if you are contemplating doing this... it might be worthwile to find a climbing club in your area and at least learn the basics about rappelling.



I have actually been climbing for many years now, both indoors on rock walls and outdoors on real rocks. I know how to rappel, tie the proper knots, descend properly, etc. That is not an issue for me at least. I also agree that paracord would not make the best climbing rope, but I'm also not worried enough about this sort of event to want to carry around a real climbing rope. In a pinch, paracord would work. I have tried it before. They key is simply to go slow and do not put more of a load on the rope than it can handle. If you slip and start to fall, paracord will not save you, it will break. You need to know the abilities and the limitations of your equipment before you use it.


If you are already a climber you may be able to simply downclimb the outside of the building. I would always rather climb (up or down) than rappell especially if I were improvising gear.

I do not think 550 would work. Try tying a length of 550 to a rafter or chin-up bar; see if you can hang from it for any length of time. The line is too thin to hold on to; even if you used some sort of friction device like an ATC you would not be able to hold you weight with that thin a rope.
Posted by: Tjin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 08:54 PM

I'm also a student, In mine opinion is first to look at the risk. A risk = Chance X effect. Looking at the effect, well it's pretty big. But the chance is very very low. So the risk is in mine opinion very acceptable.

I tottaly disagrea with ponder, carring a firearm for such a low risk, while risking a massive penalty just isn't worth it. It's not just suspension you get, these days. It will ruin you, when they do discover your carring one. The chance on that is a lot higher!
Posted by: thseng

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: billym
I doubt it is even possible to rap off 550; the thinnest I have ever heard of being used for rappelling is 5MM and it was by an elite high altitude solo aplinist.


No reason why you can't just take a few extra turns around your friction device, beit a figure 8, carabiner or whatever. Just be aware that you'll need extra friction, its strength is marginal, and you're using it for something its not intended for.

On the other hand, a rappel is not something to be set up in a hurry. Ask me about the time I rappelled right off the end of my rope.
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 09:21 PM

Sure you could wrap it a few more times but you will still have problems holding onto the 550 once it is weighted.
The thinnest line I have rappelled was 7mm and it was scetchy.
Why not go try it right now? I bet you will find it virtually impossible.


"On the other hand, a rappel is not something to be set up in a hurry. Ask me about the time I rappelled right off the end of my rope."

Not good. Ever heard of a backup?
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 10:23 PM

Chance of getting caught carrying a gun to school, well, it depends I suppose on how it is carried. It also depends on how stringent the school is in routine checks. If rapid deployment of the firearm is not the highest priority, then it can be fairly well transported in secret on your person, or in your school bags. I don't remember ever being searched on any campus, whether I was armed or not, so unless you are foolish and make it's presence known to others, or the school institutes regular and vigorous searches of personal effects, then I'd say the chances of being caught carrying a firearm to school are pretty low, and reasonable enough to warrant the risk.

What other choice do you have? To not carry is to remain a defenseless victim, no matter how minimal you think the threat may be. As was proven here, you can't rely on security to keep you safe, nor the police; even the justice system failed in this case. Unless you are willing to put a cop in every classroom and hallway, which is even less practical, there are no other options left.
Posted by: wildman800

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 10:48 PM

I carry 60 ft of 3/8" nylon rope and gloves on my BOB. If I were a student, I would throw it into the bottom of my book bag, and get both instruction and practice at rappeling.

Rappeling down cliffs have expedited my movement more than once. That, and to haul equipment up (mostly the sides of locks) is why I carry the line and the leather gloves.
Posted by: Themalemutekid

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 11:23 PM

Originally Posted By: ponder
..."can't legally carry"... !

What does that mean? That means nothing. Did it stop the VT? killer?

DON'T ASK - DON'T TELL - That policy has a basis in federal policy.

IF IF IF IF - you are forced to defend your life, you may be suspended! Wow - what a choice!

My thoughts exactly...some rules, are meant to be broken.
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/18/07 11:56 PM

If mister nutso blasts into your room and starts shooting, you will more than likely have time to do one of two things: Duck and cover, hoping that you will not be one of the targets, and CHARGE! Preferably a whole bunch of you charge at the same time, throwing books, etc, at him as you do. Sure, some will be hit, but not all, and I feel that is the best way to save the most lives. Lots of people get shot every day without dieing. You will not have time to dig out ropes or guns at the bottom of book bags, call 911, or plan amongst yourselves. Things will be happening NOW, and FAST.

Chances of having half of a room full of 19 year olds charge the badguy is probably slim, but I for one would rather be shot in the face fighting than in the back hiding...
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 12:35 AM

But if you can hear it coming, and your walls are fairly tough, tip the desk over to use a weight leaning against the door, and the big guy (there is one in every room, and most of us are cranky) sits/leans against it to keep it from sliding. Makes it very hard to open the door.

And now two of my friends have community service hours with house keeping at my ala matter. They tested it last night it seems- a 60 pound desk + 150 pound skinny guy = a door that isn't going to open unless you torch it open or make an explosive breach. I'm not going to point out that while they might have blocked the door, it won't stop a bullet, but they both read about Horatius or the 300 when they were kids.

Of course, I might have wedged the desk in the corner so that if you apply leverage it jams against the wall, and pennied the door, but....

Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 12:38 AM

Double it and you might have a chance, but you're right, a hasty repel is a scary idea. I've broken paracord with a lot less than 550 pounds, at the knot.

For the bulk, 1" tubular webbing might be easier to handle and is certainly a LOT stronger.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 12:44 AM

Yep. And when you are half way down, some drauma queen or whiney emo who knows less than nothing grabs on and tries to follow you, not only do you get to deal with 9.8m/s/s, you also get to deal my friend, F=m*9.8m/s/s. smile
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 01:40 AM

Yeah, if you are unfortunate enough to be in the first place the nutso psycho starts blasting people, it really won't matter if you have a holstered gun or if it is in the bottom of your gym bag. Once they have the drop on you, it is usually over before you can respond. I think one of Henry Fonda's characters was quoated as saying "don't ever draw on a man with his finger on the trigger". I would probably still try anyways, even if he is already blasting away, but the chances are not much better than if I had to go fishing for it at the bottom of a bag. Same goes for an orgainzed rush of the assailant. Unless you are in a group that is actually anticipating such an event and has planned for it ahead of time, there's really no hope of executing such an organized counter attack if the shooter has the element of surprise.

The bottom line is if you have the time there's lots you can do to improve your chances, and the best would be to retrieve your own firearm in time to bring it to bear against the unsuspecting nutso psycho. Those who successfully barricaded themselves into their classroom preventing the nutso from entering only mitigated the threat to themselves, and didn't do much to stop him from victimizing others less fortunate down the hall.

Even without a firearm, you could try and Macgyver something up that would have a chance of neutralizing or inhibiting the nutso from further aggression.
Posted by: ki4buc

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 02:01 AM

The only tools you're ever need:

1) Body: Get into excellent physical shape
2) Mind: Learn everything about the world around. How _everything_ works. Be like MacGyver.

For the rest. Improvise.

As a former marine and former coworker always said: "Improvise, Adapt and Overcome"

Of course, certain items you may carry could up your effectiveness in improvising:

- Multi-tool. MacGyver had the Swiss Army Knife. Les Stroud has the multi-tool. May not be as effective as a specialized knife, but a good tool in an urban environment. Most states don't have a problem with knives under 6 inches. I think it's to avoid people running around with large swords and daggers that are less personal as a pocket knife. Might have something to do with larger swords being able to remove limbs.
- Flashlight. Can see into areas that are obscured by other objects even in daylight. Ask any cop if they've ever used their flashlight during the day. Also, bright ones, like Surefires, could temporarily incapacitate someone. Conceal Carry Legal in all 50 states. smile Can possibly be used like a Kubaton. Maybe. Never used one, but, my Surefire is a little bit bigger.

I think if you search the forums you'll find these two items are the most carried. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head that would be extremely useful. Others will have ideas I'm sure.

Posted by: thseng

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 03:14 AM

Originally Posted By: billym
Sure you could wrap it a few more times but you will still have problems holding onto the 550 once it is weighted.
The thinnest line I have rappelled was 7mm and it was scetchy.
Why not go try it right now? I bet you will find it virtually impossible.

I just took your advice and tried it. Muntner hitch over a medium/large pear biner plus about 6 wraps around the verticle part of the biner. Works ok.

But I wouldn't bet my life on it unless on fire or under fire.

Originally Posted By: billym

Not good. Ever heard of a backup?


Since you didn't ask I'll tell you anyway. I always thought if there was one thing I'd never do it would be to go off the end of the rope. I always kept track of where the rope was and tied a knot in the end. I was very safe.

One time I was rappelling from the same place with the same rope and the same huge tree as an anchor that I'd done several times before. People were climbing below, so instead of tossing the rope down, I left it flaked in a bag clipped to my harness and let it feed out of that as I went down. About 10 feet from the ground - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZip - THUD! Hmmm... I'm still alive. What happened?

Turns out that before I had used a sling around the tree and tied the rope to that, but this time I took several wraps around the tree with the rope itself. That was enough to use up those critical few feet of rope. Dumb.
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 04:51 AM

Once you wrapped the line around the spine of the biner you no longer had a Munter hitch; it may have still worked on rappell to some degree but it was not a Munter hitch once you added the wraps.

http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/MunterHitch.htm

Glad you didn't get hurt when you fell. Some sort of friction backup either in front or behind of your belay device could prevent that.
Posted by: urbansurvivalist

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: terry13111
I don't know if its state policy, or just in my area, but the schools here forbid any "weapon" including small pocket knives. I am glad to see its not like this everywhere.


Same at my college. I've gotten in trouble for having "weapons", i.e. my leatherman wave and a liner lock folder. My idiotic dorm staff could not comprehend why anyone would need a knife if they have a pair scissors(yes, some people are that stupid).
Nevertheless most students can carry a knife without problems if they live off campus, or if they are discrete around the PHRASECENSOREDPOSTERSHOULDKNOWBETTER.. However I don't think I would try using a folding knife against a gunman, I wouldn't trust the lock. I think you'd be better off trying to wrestle the gun out of his hands, or squeeze the trigger at a wall until the clip is empty, and then trying to incapacitate him before he can reload.

I'd rather risk a possible gunshot than an almost certain fall with a single layer of paracord. If it was the second or third story, and there was either something I could climb down or something soft below, then I'd probably go that route.
Posted by: thseng

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 12:56 PM

True, once you add the wraps it won't invert anymore.

A prussik above the figure-8 might catch before the rope whips through it, or might not.

The accident happened because I broke two of my own rules: #1 Knot the end of the rope and #2 Be aware of where the end of the rope is.
Posted by: coyote

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 02:11 PM

But you do not need to carry a door stop. A hard backed book would do the same just ajust the pages to fit the opening and wedge away. Or the same one to could be used to bash the attacker when he enters. I do no that in my state it is illelagel to carry in a school zone. So if you do shoot the attacker and save hundreds of innocent childeren you could still be charged with a crime.
Posted by: AROTC

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 02:29 PM

I looked at the buildings here after hearing people jumped out the windows at Virginia Tech. I hope they looked before they leaped. Here a lot of the buildings have a sort of moat around them, so the basements can have windows and natural light/ventilation. Could turn a reasonably safe two or three story jump into a fatal three or four story jump. Talk about a nasty surprise.
Posted by: JohnN

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 02:58 PM

If you are looking for a light escape cord, you might consider one of the high tech Technora core cords like New England Tech Cord. The one in the link is 5mm. I have some 3mm, but I haven't been able to find a source in a while.

FWIW, I hear knots (or any sharp bends) are a significant weak point with these cords and they are much weaker at a knot than their rated working load. It also sounds like they wouldn't take well to repeated use.

Make sure you research any solution you plan to use.

-john
Posted by: billym

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 03:25 PM

I don't knot the ends because when doing multiple rappels down a route the knots get stuck too often. This is why I use the back-up; I use a prusik in front of my ATC.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 03:53 PM

How about a different strategy using paracord, lab coats, or whatever you have for improvising "snares" or booby traps. He can still continue too shoot but if you get him "trapped" or distracted for a few seconds, maybe that is enough to escape or attack. Is that practical ?

Maybe I have seen "Home Alone" too many times.
Posted by: Jezcruzen

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 06:02 PM

Dave - My answer to your question would be for you (or anyone) to first sit down and complete an analysis of exactly what the most likely hazards to you are. I don't think an event such as that which occured in Blacksburg Monday will fit into the "most likely" category, do you? That was an aboration, tragic though it was/is.

Once your analysis is complete, decide what risks these hazards present to you and others while in the classroom. Most hazards will present no risk in the classroom environment, but may present risks going to and from class, i.e., lightening, temp. extremes, etc.

Next, decide what mitigation efforts that are reasonable for you to take in order to eliminate or lessen the risk(s), such as keeping certain gear available and conveniant for your use when conditions warrant.

Finally, for those abhorant situations, practise using good "situational awareness". Learn where trouble is most likely to occur and avoid those areas. Watch for tell tail clues that conditions may be deteriorating and take appropriate action to distance yourself from possible harm. Be observant and aware of what's going on around you, and try to recognize escape routes in case they be needed.

These are simple things, but of high value, that anyone can do. They can employ it everyday in all environments, not only a classroom without going to the next level of personal protection that might require physical interventions up to and including deadly force.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 06:06 PM

Originally Posted By: weldon
It was geared towards fire safety and what to do when traveling or living in an apt. in case of a fire. He made the point that you are better off staying in the room you are in and covering yourself with mattresses and bedding than trying to climb down sheets that are tied together.


Aren't the firefighters the ones always saying how dangerous it is to smoke in bed? crazy
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 06:18 PM

Several random thoughts as I read the good points here:

- If I'm walking around with a holstered pistol, can I be busted for a CCW violation?

- A knifeless multitool.... So that when "he" busts in I can run up, whip out the pliers, and give him one HECK of a tittie-twister?

- tie the paracord to a desk. If the desk is light enough to move to the window, it's probably too light to anchor. Good luck with your classmates waiting patiently for the person to hit the ground.

- Did you know that if you hold the drum of a revolver tight enough, you can't fire off more than that 1 chamber? Usually the drum rotates as you pull the trigger, as the hammer is coming back.

OK, so those are my random thoughts for the day.
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 06:48 PM

Just remember not to run with them smile smile smile
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 10:30 PM

If the holstered pistol is in plain view, then you are guilty of the crime of Affray unless you are at a shooting event or out hunting in a rural environment, or in your place of business or private abode.

If it is holstered and not in plain view, and you do not have a ccw, then you are guilty of unlawful carry of a concealed weapon.

A knifeless multitool seems kinda pointless. You've taken away the most important function of the thing.

Better still, don't go to classrooms or dormitories above the second floor.

I tell you what, if you take hold of my Super Redhawk when the hammer is back and I touch off a round, unless you are wearing welders gloves the bypass at the gap between the cylinder face and the forcing cone will vent enough high pressure gas to cut the palm of your hand like a meat cleaver. I bet you will let go then! It'd be far better to grab that revolver back at the hammer and either keep it from retracting or block it from hitting the firing pin or the primer. Don't even think of grabbing around the barrel end behind the muzzle of a semi-auto or the slide will slice and dice your fingers when the gun gets discharged.

Far better advice would be to find something to wallup the pistol and hand of the shooter with good and hard and fast, deflecting the barrel away, and maybe dislodging it or temporarily disabling the shooter or at least giving yourself enough time to administer another good wallup across his chops. I prefer to grab that shooting hand and raise it above the shooter's head while stepping in with a couple good knee shots to the groin if I am reduced to grappling with him.

Still, the best recommendation I can make is to shoot the MF right between the eyes the moment he steps into view. There's not much question of the outcome then!!! >: )

Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 10:48 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't trust the lock


Check out the Auto-Lawks from CRKT. Its a liner lock with an automatic block. Releasing the lock requires two separate motions that can be done one handed only if you change your grip on the knife to deliberately release it.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/19/07 11:13 PM

Remember that the pack of books you're carrying can weigh 20+ lbs. & swing for the fences. Individual books can be thrown or swung. Pencils & pens leave rather nasty holes when applied correctly. I've given this some thought over the years as an argument in case someone wanted to make an issue about carrying a knife.
Posted by: urbansurvivalist

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 12:29 AM

Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
Quote:
I wouldn't trust the lock


Check out the Auto-Lawks from CRKT. Its a liner lock with an automatic block. Releasing the lock requires two separate motions that can be done one handed only if you change your grip on the knife to deliberately release it.


The only folding knife I would trust for a stabbing is a butterfly(balisong) knife. Any knife would probably be fine for slashing, but I don't think that would be effective enough against a gunman. I figure your best chance with a knife is to wait next to the door if you hear him coming, and go for the neck as soon as he walks in. As someone pointed out, a regular pen would probably work, though I imagine it might be hard to get a secure grip for the amount of thrust needed.

This type of massacre is so rare that I wouldn't carry a butterfly just for that purpose if I was still in college, but I've thought about getting one if I move to a big city, for muggers and such.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 12:52 AM

A good high quality locking folder is plenty reliable these days as a stabbing weapon. However, if I got hold of the guy's shooting arm I'd slash his wrists hard and deep and he will be unable to pull on a trigger immediately. If he still struggles or the arms do not present a viable target, then a throat or face slash would be next. A stab wound to the thorax is not typically quickly incapacitating unless delivered in very specific areas and/or with great force.

BTW, don't stop with just one swipe or stab either. Once you've interrupted his attack, keep the pressure on full bore until he completely submits or is rendered visibly incapacitated.

Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 01:43 AM

That's why I like the CRKT M16 family.
1. Opens & locks quicker than a butterfly. One flick of the wrist with a push on the Carson Flipper will open & lock the knife or thumb stud will open.
2. The lock is much, much better than the butterflies I'm familiar with.
3. IIRC some places consider the butterfly to be a switchblade.

I finally found a description & pictures on their website.
CRKT Auto-LAWKS

On the one I've got the blade locks almost as solid as a fixed blade. The only movement is the space needed for tolerances. The liner lock is blocked from being moved out of the path of the blade by the spring loaded yellow piece in the drawing.
Posted by: AROTC

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 05:00 AM

Quote:
I prefer to grab that shooting hand and raise it above the shooter's head while stepping in with a couple good knee shots to the groin if I am reduced to grappling with him.


That kind of reminded me of this comic and the next one:
http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20040607.html

http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20040611.html

It's written by a Brit called Alan Foreman.

Hopefully thats good enough documentation.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 05:14 AM

Yes, definitely the second one!
Posted by: TK_Miller

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/20/07 04:33 PM

People, if you're close enough for hand-hand fighting with a knife, why not acquire one of these units http://www.taser.com/ctwo/index.htm ?

I've seen the full sized X26 used and they work flawlessly. Then you wouldn't have to feel so bad because you had to dispatch a 'bad guy'.

Just a thought.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 01:52 AM

Originally Posted By: benjammin
However, if I got hold of the guy's shooting arm I'd slash his wrists hard and deep and he will be unable to pull on a trigger immediately.


May I suggest, if it comes to that, to stab the wrists, not slash them. The tendons are fairly tough, kind of deep, and there's actually a bit of redundancy to the index and middle finger. You may "slash" the first layer, but there are deeper tendons that might still allow finger movement.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 03:36 AM

Becuase they are extremely expensive, not just to purchase but to maintain proficency with, and they are one shot, so if you miss or it can't make it through the clothing, you are out of luck. It just is not a feasible option for most of us.

And AFAIK, every jurisdiction treats it like a firearm for CC purposes.

Posted by: Rio

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
That's why I like the CRKT M16 family...
...On the one I've got the blade locks almost as solid as a fixed blade. The only movement is the space needed for tolerances. The liner lock is blocked from being moved out of the path of the blade by the spring loaded yellow piece in the drawing.


This afternoon, I bought a CRKT M16-13Z, based on your post. I have to say, so far I am very impressed by this knife. I like it for all the reasons you mentioned, additionally, the Carson Flipper is just plain fun to use smile
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 09:53 AM

Does anyone know if anyone markets a School/Work backpack which has a laminated kevlar back construction and allows for an insert of a ceramic plate. I'm sure that there is probably going to be some manufacturer who can successfully integrate the technology which has saved so many American lives in Iraq into a school backpack. The backpack could then be designed to allow the backpack to be held over the chest. It might be a bit heavy especially with the ceramic plate but I'm sure there would be a market for it especially when considering the recent news. It could be called the FlakPak or if Apple Inc was marketing it could be called the iflak. Having teenage students carrying a concealed firearms is not a good idea and this may be the solution. As for the escape repelling down paracord, this could be the basis for a good idea especially if a more heavily loaded rope or cord with a higher breaking strain was used - it could even be integrated into the FlakPak
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 11:44 AM

Lol FlakPak?

No offense but this kind of paranoia and downright siege mentality is not a good thing. School shootings happen and it's always a tragedy. But when you look at it realistically, the danger of getting shot at your school or workplace is rather minuscule compared to everything else that might go wrong. A fire or gas explosion could easily kill many more people in a crowded building than an armed maniac. It's something that could happen any time but there is no reason to freak out about it. No more than it is shivering in fear every time you cross the street for the fear of getting run over by a car. If you let your fears control your life you will end up a very miserable person. And it sure ain't what survival (in the good sense of the word) is about in the first place.

There also seems to be a tendency among some people here to believe that just carrying a gun will automatically protect you from attack. That doesn't make any sense. If you find yourself a victim of an assault (and as much as in any other kind of survival situation) having the right tool at hand definitely makes it a lot easier but it's always the mindset that wins the day. Without the correct mindset no gun or survival kit will help. I seriously doubt someone who is advocating the idea of a FlakPak or paracord to escape from a building or even academically daydreaming about the best way to cut a gunman's wrist really knows what kind of mindset it takes to survive in a serious situation.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 02:18 PM

Isn't survival about not being prematurely deceased? If we were to analyse on a statistical basis the reasons for premature deaths then major cause of premature death would be (in no certain order) Tobacco, Obesity, Auto accident, Drug and Alcohol abuse, criminal and accidental use of firearms. In the US the rate of premature death by firearms is actually quite high (varies between 20,000 and 30,000 US excess deaths per year by gunshot wounds) When we compared this rate to animal attack such as bear attack, would you criticise someone who carries bear repellent as someone who is paranoid in the same way. Tobacco, Obesity, Drug and Alcohol are personal choices, they are within the individuals control. Generally they do not represent a specific instantaneous life threatening event such as a crazed gunman.

In most survival circumstances the one thing that allows an individual to survive a life threatening situation is the ability to make decisions and use or form tools to their greatest effect (using the brain) so as to improve their personal chances of survival against the threat which exists such as exposure to the elements, lack of water etc. Most on the forum would carry a wide range of tools such as a PSK or a BOB. At the end of the day, in the urban environment you need to look at the threat probability level to get an understanding of what appropriate tools you need to carry and why.

Would you advocate that US soldiers in Iraq give up their body armour because they are paranoid about being shot to death simply because the probability of premature death from gunshot wounding is simply higher than in the United States. Does your car have airbags or ABS breaking? These are technological solutions to improve your chances of survival in a motor car accident. If you think these are viable innovations or you think that a PSK or BOB is justifiable then I think that you should come up with a more scientific reason for not carrying a product like the imaginary FlakPak when considering the deadly statistics of the US gun culture.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 03:03 PM

The tendons are in a bone trough at the point where they go through the wrist. Back of this they are near the bones. Slashing about halfway back on the palm side of the arm will be cutting the muscles that bend the fingers.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 03:10 PM

Quote:
use or form tools to their greatest effect
Quote:
These are technological solutions to improve your chances of survival in a motor car accident.


That's exactly what we want. Anything you can form from on-site materials limits you to muscle power & a 5'-6' range. As long as I'm not in the first room attacked, I would have a much better chance of survival with a concealed carry weapon than something I can put together on the spot.

Most of us aren't talking about everyone being armed but those who have gone the extra step to get a CCW permit. I wouldn't have a problem with a two tier system. Getting the second tier would give the right to carry anywhere except a court room. Maybe two or three day class and actually score the range results.
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 03:55 PM

I seriously don't want to step on anyone's toes but I do think a few people here could use a little reality check.

I'm all for being a responsible person and preparing yourself for possible contingencies but that's no reason I would ever advise anyone to wear a kevlar-lined backpack. No more than I would wear a helmet every day because a roof shingle or a meteor fragment might fall on my head. If I wanted to plan for every contingency I would eventually need to encase myself in armor from head to toe, wear a life jacket because the polar ice caps might melt, reinforce my car with bulletproof glass and armor plates, avoid all processed foods because they cause cancer, bath in bottled water because terrorists might secretly poison the local water supply etc. etc. All of which would quickly ruin my finances and mental health.

Second, there's simply no way you could compare an American classroom to soldiering in Iraq. If you are so out of touch with reality to draw such a comparison you have no idea what it's actually like to be in a fight, let alone be in a war zone. We should consider ourselves lucky that we still live in a comparatively very safe society. If you think otherwise you should perhaps go visit some third-world country one day.

Third, what possible use would a gimmick like a FlakPak be (I'm only using this as an example, there have been lots of similar ideas proposed in other posts, too)? If I'm sitting in class and a madman comes in guns ablaze the last thing I'd want would be a backpack on my body. I'd much rather take my chances and either dive for the window or take on the bad guy up close and personal. Which takes a lot more guts than most of us could possibly imagine though, regardless of whether you have a gun, knife or just your bare hands. Again, it's all about the mindset, not tools.

Please don't get me wrong. This is not meant to be a personal attack aimed at anyone in particular. I just think the general public would be a lot better off using some common sense instead of falling for the hype. If you are concerned about your safety it would probably be a better idea to get in shape, do some boxing or judo, maybe a good self-defense class, learn how to shoot and run fast if necessary... wink But above all avoid unnecessary paranoia. I was under the impression that this is not a survivalist forum but a place where one can discuss realistic survival techniques. I hope it stays that way.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 06:11 PM

Quote:
learn how to shoot


Already know how to. What I'd like is the opportunity to be able to without having to commit a crime just by exercising a right that I have almost anywhere else in the state.
Posted by: silent_weapon

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 07:23 PM

After Columbine....a co-worker of mine came up with an online business plan for making such backpacks and briefcases that were bullet resistant. It never worked out...lack of funds (we are cops, what do you expect) but it was a good idea.

Don't forget that a couple of hardback text books and the backpack moved from your back to your chest would do a lot for stopping a 9mm round and will most certainly stop a .22 caliber round. Next time I go to the range I'll try to shoot some old college textbooks I have and see what kind of stopping power they have.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/21/07 08:06 PM

I've heard of using old phone books to make an indoor range for .22 before. IIRC it takes three. Hard back books will do a little better. Means I'm well set between books, notebooks, etc. long as he's carrying a .22
Posted by: TK_Miller

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/22/07 02:30 AM

The one shown is around $300. You have to pass a background check before they will sell one to you. The replaceable heads are in the $25 range. There is a lazer that you just point and shoot. The darts do not have to penetrate the clothing. The charge can be administered even through thick garments.

I've taken the 'lightning ride' myself without getting stuck with the probes. We used a training head with aligator clips and let me tell you, 5 seconds is a long ride.

I wouldn't no about CC purposes, but they are classified as non-lethal.
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/22/07 05:19 AM

This might give you some idea of the stopping power of books...
Posted by: Susan

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/22/07 05:56 AM

It isn't LIKELY that you or your child would be in a school shooting, but... Regina Rohde was in the Columbine shooting and on Monday, she was at VA Tech when the shooting started. What are the odds???

Sue
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/22/07 08:27 PM

Prices have dropped then, on the launcher. But at $25/shot, you can't train with it unless you have a much bigger bank roll than most private citizens do.

And they M26 is used around here. This winter they had a drunk who didn't get tazed because we was dressed for 30 below- the darts aren't long enough to make it through heavy clothing.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/22/07 11:10 PM

Tom,

I think your perspective is probably balanced for the threat level we currently perceive in the US. If I thought that things were ever getting so bad at home as they were in Baghdad, you can bet that I'd be toting the same body armor with me today that I had in most of 2005. I never really thought that body armor was that much of a protector anyways. It seems to still get penetrated fairly easily and does almost nothing more for you in an explosion like the mortars and roadside bombs we faced.

I guess it is playing the odds, but in the war zone, we took precautions I don't ever want to have to use back home. The risks were simply much greater there, and you took the threats a lot more seriously. We are forced to measure our response to the perceived threat around us, and for now that threat is minimal, albeit fragile.

While I wouldn't compare an American classroom to soldiering anywhere, I did compare it to classrooms in Iraq, where I saw some of the bravest families I've known walking their kids to school each day. For them, school is a most valued privilege that is really worth risking your life for. How much could we use a dose of perspective like this, but for the reduced quality of life that goes with such a condition. We may be in a seemingly safe society, but I would caution folks not to believe that it is terribly secure. That veil can be pierced very easily and deeply, and will be some day if things don't change. If someone like me can recognize the impact attacking our children en masse would have, then doubtless it has crossed the minds of those who would seek to do us the most harm. However unlikely, the threat remains and the severity is horrendous. I've been to third world countries, and I've seen the weeping of parents over murdered children, and it is the worst suffering imaginable.

As far as flakpaks and other such implements go, I am forced to quote an old cliche: "The best defense is a good offense". The assailants big advantage is that his victims are captive and have relatively no offensive capabilities whatsoever. As we discovered in Iraq repeatedly, when BGs start shooting, the best way to get them to stop is to shoot back. Nothing disrupts an attack quicker than a surprise counter attack using like or greater measures. I would much rather my daughters shoot to kill than to risk jumping out a 5 story window, barricading themselves into a room with only one entrance or exit, or boldly charging blazing guns. The best, most effective way to deal with a nutso psycho in such a situation is from a good distance with the drop on him; a sure eye, a steady hand, and a gutful of determination to stop this lunatic in his tracks. I happen to believe that the law of survival will always trump criminal law. So I will disagree with you and say instead that it is a combination of the right tools and the right mindset that allows you to best determine the outcome of a confrontation. Remove either, and your chances diminish considerably.

As for the deep slash on the wrists, I should have specified as well that it is at the base of the palm I would aim for, not higher up where the bones can displace the blade some.

By the way, you may not have seen it in the news, for some reason it is being supressed, but on friday two bombs went off at my daughter's high school south of Denver. One was apparently equipped with a charge of C-4 that failed to detonate. They caught the idiot that set them off, and likely he will give up his buddies who helped him, but no firearms were involved. Just goes to show that taking away the guns won't do much to stop diminish the threat I guess.
Posted by: kharrell

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/23/07 09:37 PM

WHAT IF:

A student was able to "dispatch" the shooter after victim #10 with a pistol he always carried in his backpack.

Would he be a hero?
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/23/07 10:07 PM

Yep.
Posted by: silent_weapon

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/23/07 11:18 PM

Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
This might give you some idea of the stopping power of books...


Thanks for the link oldbaldguy...guess I won't need to go to the range. Sounds like a backpack full of heavy textbooks is nearly as good as my bullet "resistant" vest at work smile

Posted by: okracer

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 02:21 AM

Originally Posted By: bentirran
Does anyone know if anyone markets a School/Work backpack which has a laminated kevlar back construction and allows for an insert of a ceramic plate. I'm sure that there is probably going to be some manufacturer who can successfully integrate the technology .....


...I'm not for or against this, but there is a backpack & briefcase product available already:

--BULLTPROOF BRIEFCASES & BACKPACKS--


....looks interesting....YMMV.....
Posted by: ki4buc

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 02:34 AM

Originally Posted By: kharrell
WHAT IF:

A student was able to "dispatch" the shooter after victim #10 with a pistol he always carried in his backpack.

Would he be a hero?


In most peoples eyes, only if the words "off-duty law enforcement officer" were tied to his name. What would be more ironic would be if he was 19. Hey, want me to buy you a beer? Oh, wait, nevermind.
Posted by: AROTC

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 03:09 AM

If he's 19 and carrying a pistol he's probably in a world of legal hurt regardless of being a hero.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 04:35 AM

In that scenario, I would use thier tool of choice, the whiney, slimey lawyer. Defamation of character, and I own them.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 04:42 AM

Oh, I'm GOLDEN for pistols. I wonder how a folder affects this? Time to head to the range!
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 05:13 AM

And a text (or two) in the face of the BG might give one the chance to stomp him...
Posted by: FRERAD1776

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 05:19 AM

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1958
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 05:59 AM

Yep, his argument holds water.

Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/24/07 05:28 PM

Can you afford to take that chance if you have the ability to stop him?
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: Survival in the classroom? - 04/25/07 12:31 AM

Makes two of us.