So, people send me stuff. Which I love. And sometimes what they send makes me want to both laugh, and cry.

Today I was sent a link to a video on the Bloomberg news site, about a company named Hardwire that has for years provided high-tech armoring materials to combat vehicles in the Middle East wars.

Of course, those wars are drying up (ha-ha, right), so companies serving that “market” now find themselves seeking alternative customers.

In the case of Hardwire they’ve decided to take their high-end armor material, Dyneema, and use it to make small bullet-proof whiteboards for use in schools as shields–no, I’m not kidding, as shields–against active shooters who may attack as in Sandy Hook.

Bloomberg’s video embeds early an utterly trite quote from Obama, and then starts with the company’s pitch:

So, kids as infrastructure. Ok, sure, why not.

Then they proceed to a video clip in which a teacher hunkers behind a two-square-foot shield as a “bad guy” peers in through the window in the classroom door:

There are, of course, proven techniques (thanks, Israel, again) for dealing with active shooters (whether insane or religiously motivated–but I repeat myself) who enter a school to murder students. Lock down. If you’re in a classroom, lock the door. If there are windows, block them so attackers can’t peer in. Attackers know they have only a few minutes before the school is invaded by armed law enforcement, and that they don’t have time to attack locked fire doors, especially if they can’t be sure there are targets inside.

If you are not in a classroom, get to one or flee the school entirely. DO NOT HUNKER DOWN IN PLACE.

Of course, following Obama’s statement that if something could help save children, we’re obligated to try it, we could also arm responsible teachers. Nothing interferes with the efficient slaughter of innocents like coming under fire yourself.

What will most certainly NOT work is trying to defend a classroom of students–or even a single teacher–with a two-square-foot shield. Fortunately, Hardwire is kind enough to provide video evidence of this obvious truth:

One doesn’t need to be a firearms expert to recognized that there is PLENTY of target area left outside the boundaries of that Hardwire shield. The video also accurately portrays the typical distance at which a teacher might be confronted by an armed psycho:

Now, if the teachers have Captain America style abilities, and can deflect incoming bullets as they come flaming in, I guess they’ll be OK. At least, if they can do it for the duration of a 30-round mag. And maybe another 30-round mag. And another.


School shooters are not, and never have been, stopped by defensive tactics. You either deny them targets in the first place, or you bring the fight to them.


–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.


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