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Defending Southeast Michigan Schools from an ISIS-Inspired Terrorist Attack

On November 29, 2017, Newsweek magazine reported that ISIS is now urging their “lone wolf” terrorists to attack American children. There is nothing new about Islamic terrorists targeting children and schools; they’ve been doing it for decades globally, and the death toll is in the thousands. They haven’t done it yet in America, but it will be a miracle if that day does not come. Signs of their intent and preparations have been discovered for years – reconnaissance of school buses, training videos captured from Al Qaeda, school floor plans in the files of the San Bernardino jihadist couple, and more.

The threat is certainly very real. We haven’t seen anything, in a America, like the 2004 attack by Chechen Islamic extremists on Beslan School #1 in the Russian republic of North Ossetia, where 330 people – students, parents, staff, and ten responding soldiers – were killed and 728 injured, by a band of 50-70 terrorists, many of whom escaped in the chaos of the final, emergency assault by authorities. This is a worst case scenario, an improbable event in America, because of the enormous difficulties involved in planning, organizing, equipping, and staging actions by armed groups of this size here without being detected and compromised.

The trend of jihadist terror attacks in every Western country for the last several years has been quite different: decentralized actions, committed by individuals or small groups with minimal outside direction or support. That is exactly what ISIS is now encouraging, targeted specifically on our children.

Beslan school child.

Beslan school child.

If community engagement, proactive policing, and the constant background efforts of the intelligence community allow even a handful of radicalized individuals to avoid detection before they execute the sort of action now openly urged by ISIS, we must be prepared to disrupt and defeat their attack in its earliest moments, whether it is targeted on schools, other institutions, public gatherings or any other venue.

Are Southeast Michigan schools at risk?

Michigan has a thriving Muslim population, more than two and half times their proportion in the U.S. population overall. Our purpose here is not to impugn the members of this community, who are overwhelmingly peaceable, law-abiding people. However, as Dearborn’s Chief of Police Ron Haddad has acknowledged, individual Muslims in this community, as elsewhere, may be susceptible to the propagandizing, indoctrination, and incitement to violence of groups like ISIS. Chief Haddad’s relationship with the local Muslim community is the first line of defense against this threat. However, the huge potential consequences of any failure to detect radicalization within the Muslim community suggest that more may be needed to ensure our safety.

Dearborn to Ann Arbor 30 miles as the crow flies.

Dearborn to Ann Arbor 30 miles as the crow flies.

Southeastern Michigan has many schools that represent soft targets attractive to a lone wolf terrorist. Of these targets, Ann Arbor, only 30 miles as the crow flies from Dearborn stands out as an especially vulnerable community due to its “progressive” view on gun control and its vocal school board adamantly refusing to allow trained individuals to carry weapons inside schools. This vulnerability is further compounded by many Ann Arbor residents who feel that One Human Family yard signs combined with Gun Free Zone stickers on school windows will act as magical talismans in thwarting a potential attack.

Are Southeast Michigan schools vulnerable to a lone wolf attack? Yes.

How do we defend against a lone wolf attack on our school children?

There are those whose fear and antipathy toward firearms lead them to believe that palliative measures like the ALICE program will provide real security against armed attack. ALICE encourages the belief that upgrades to physical security, and to procedures and protocols for  lockdown or evacuation, or last-ditch resistance via flying tackles and thrown staplers will defeat a determined active shooter. While physical security measures are important and useful, they are unlikely in themselves to delay an active shooter for the 5-10 minutes or more before police arrive and intervene. Students of military science understand the axiom that obstacles not covered by observation and fire provide nothing but delay. All obstacles can be defeated. Sandy Hook Elementary School had a locked front entrance – but the attacker shot out the adjacent glass, reached through and opened the door. Locks on internal doors can be defeated; doors and walls themselves can often be penetrated by gunfire. Unarmed resistance to a determined shooter is a desperation measure, unlikely to succeed – the one heroic individual who tried it at Virginia Tech was simply shot to the floor at the attacker’s feet. Programs like ALICE, and the measures they promote, are better than simply denying the possibility of armed violence in the school, but not by much.

When good intentions are not enough.

When good intentions are not enough.

We suspect that most parents and staff at Sandy Hook, Columbine, Jonesboro, Virginia Tech and the rest believed “it could never happen here” until the day it did. The threat, which in any one location may have a very low probability of occurrence, has the highest imaginable consequence, and deserves more serious and realistic attention, before that day.

Michigan’s current gun laws, like those of many other states, aren’t helping as they present an irrational mix of restrictions and permissions for both concealed and open carry by citizens. Under current law, open carry on school property is broadly permitted, while concealed carry by permit holders is prohibited, exactly the inverse of any reasonable approach.

Open carry alarms many people, especially when it’s open carry by anyone, on school grounds. Concerns about the psychological effect of visibly armed people – especially strangers unknown to students and staff – are not overstated. Rightly or wrongly, it distresses the innocent. Even from a purely tactical perspective, we don’t promote open carry; to the bad guy, it just hangs a “Shoot me first” sign around the citizen’s neck. As professional firearms trainers, we do not support open carry on school property.

A magic talisman?

A magic talisman?

There’s a huge difference between open and concealed carry, and it does no service to anyone to conflate the two. Most of us pass fellow citizens legally carrying concealed weapons on a daily basis, without identifying them or being affected one way or the other, because the weapons are hidden, and are not presented or used except in the defense of the innocent; this occurs rarely, but when it does it is far preferable to the alternative. Responsible concealed carry in the schools would be no more obvious than it is on the street.

The Michigan House is now considering Senate Bill 0584, which would extend legal concealed carry by holders of Concealed Pistol Licenses who meet additional training requirements, to several venues where such carry is now forbidden, including schools. Several other states have had similar laws on the books for years, and there is no evidence of a decrease in real or perceived safety and security in their schools.

The battle lines over expanding concealed carry are drawn largely on ideological grounds – people generally hostile to private gun ownership and carry oppose the legislation on principle, while those who believe that more guns mean less crime think this legislation would make everyone safer. The historical record supports the latter group.

There are those whose fear and antipathy toward firearms lead them to believe that palliative measures like the ALICE program will provide real security against armed attack.

Holders of concealed carry permits nationwide are demonstrably more law-abiding than the general population and even than law enforcement officers. They almost never commit any form of violent offense, and almost never have their permits revoked for cause. Predictions of Wild West shootouts and blood running in the streets, which accompanied the liberalization of permitting laws over the last three decades, have proven false. In states with “shall-issue” permitting systems – where law enforcement authorities cannot restrict permits to people who show direct and immediate cause – violent crime has been trending downward for years, a trend masked by its continued uptick in a relative handful of major urban areas, many of which, paradoxically, severely restrict firearms possession and carry by the law-abiding.

Another proven solution

There is yet another option that the legislature might consider, that has been proven successful elsewhere. At least 12 states allow concealed carry in schools only by school district employees, and only if they both have a valid state concealed carry permit, and are individually approved for carry by their local school board. This neatly answers the oft-stated concerns about “strangers” of unknown intent carrying weapons on school property, and is a great example of the principle of government at the lowest possible level. School boards can choose not to implement these laws, authorizing no concealed carry by their staff; but when neighboring districts do so, without negative consequences, attitudes tend to change.

The threat is real

Shifting our focus from the political to the practical and tactical, professionals in law enforcement and counterterrorism recognize a critical fact: that most mass shootings (variously defined as 3-5 or more victims in one incident) are over within 5-10 minutes of their start, ending when the shooter decides he’s done, well before police are able to respond and intervene. At an average rate of 6-8 more casualties every minute, the casualty count climbs very swiftly during the critical gap when seconds count, but police are minutes away.

The only practical solution is to have armed individuals – the NRA’s “good guys with guns,” or what we eponymously call “Distributed Security” – on scene and able to respond swiftly. Fears of over-reaction, indiscipline, or poor marksmanship resulting in more deaths and injuries have no foundation in fact. Historically, citizens legally carrying firearms tend to be judicious, restrained, and effective in their reaction to violence; and what could be worse, in any case, than to let a deranged criminal mind, or a committed jihadist, continue his massacre unimpeded?

2004 attack by Chechen Islamic extremists on Beslan School #1

2004 attack by Chechen Islamic extremists on Beslan School #1

While Senate Bill 0584 addresses many venues other than schools, in light of the latest ISIS threat against our children, we must focus on school shootings as a horrible subset of mass shootings in general. In the past, most school shootings have been the work of one or two mentally disturbed individuals, who target schools that are legally “gun free zones,” because however disturbed they may be, these people are not generally stupid. Schools are largely unprotected, and the perpetrators usually plan their attacks carefully, and study those who have preceded them, to learn from their successes and failures, and to try to eclipse them with higher body counts and more lasting fame for themselves. As bad as this is, the past may not be prologue.

Whether in planned, coordinated actions like those foretold in William R. Forstchen’s cautionary 2014 novella Dies Irae: Day of Wrath or in “lone wolf” attacks by one or a handful of self-organized jihadists, this threat to our schools is real, and may be considerably more serious than that posed by the unpredictable actions of mentally and emotionally disturbed individuals, because terrorists engage in even more careful and deliberate planning and preparation.

Deterrence, Detection – and Defense

Counterterrorism depends upon a strategic continuum of goals: we seek first and foremost to deter or detect the enemy in his planning and preparation phases; convincing him, before he ever initiates his attack, that his chances of success do not justify the risk the effort entails. We’ve been fairly successful in this, in America these last 30 years. Every success we achieve (and they are seldom publicized) serves to discourage other potential attackers from trying, making their efforts more and more expensive, risky, and complicated.

However, there will always be ‘leakers’ – those not detected or deterred. We have to be ready to defend ourselves – and there is no potential target more important to us than our children, as ISIS clearly understands.  Of course we are not concerned only about the children, as every gathering, from marathons to sports events to concerts and art fairs, of free citizens in a free society presents an array of attractive targets. Some venues and events are more easily guarded than others; some cannot rely on police presence, overwatch, or swift response. Among the many cautionary examples to consider is the jihadist rampage in Paris in November, 2015. How different the outcome might have been if even a few citizens on the streets or in the clubs had been legally, discreetly armed and able to resist rather than flee or hide under tables.

Well trained staff is part of the answer.

Well trained staff is part of the answer.

When detection and deterrence fail – as they must inevitably, eventually – those who attack our civil society could be disrupted or defeated in the first moments of their effort with the same cool heads and trained skills that are commonplace among armed citizens today. But the defenders have to be there, on site, ready to act; the law must not discourage them, as they are overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens.

The mere presence – presumed or actual – of armed defenders serves to discourage attack. Not to make light, but the cliché about criminals not holding up cop bars and gun shops has, like most clichés, a kernel of truth at its core. Deterrence is the first, and maybe the most important result of replacing “Gun Free Zone” signs with an assumption that any adult on scene might be armed and prepared to resist. Such locations are very seldom struck with criminal or terrorist violence. Sun Tzu wrote, thousands of years ago, that to win before the battle opens is best; but he also said, “In death ground, fight.” We must be prepared to fight, or who have we become as a people, a civilization?

The answer to distributed threats is distributed security. Support well-crafted legislation that closes the real “loopholes” in public safety, the prohibition on armed defense of self and others in many attractive target areas. Arm yourself, train, and where appropriate, work with others to make the most valuable targets the hardest targets.

Bill Tallen is Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations for Distributed Security, Inc. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE’s Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

Communications in a Grid-Down Scenario-Part 1

Image result for electrical grid

Communications in a Grid-Down Scenario

Part 1: The Threat
On those days when life disappoints by its boring predictability, one can always spice things up by clicking over to ZeroHedge. Most recently, we saw a warning about the suspicious convergence of the much ballyhooed November 4 “Antifa Apocalypse” with a DoD training exercise simulating a collapse of the national electric grid due to a solar storm.

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Don’t Let “Bleeding-Out” Take Lives

stop bleed

We are now witnessing the aftermath of yet another mass killing. Although information is limited, preliminary analysis and experience suggests that many of the people who died could have been saved, had someone had Bleeding Control (B-CON) skills. As is often the case with a violent threat, law enforcement are minutes away when seconds mean the difference between life and death. The same can be said for the victims of violence.

In 2012, a deranged killer took the lives of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. One lesson learned from that tragedy is

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Comparing McCain’s Maverick To Trump’s Hero


John McCain is not a maverick.

At best he is an attention whore. At worst he is a traitor.

For a man who styles himself as the ultimate patriot he should have acknowledged the simple concepts of loyalty and honor many years ago by leaving the Republican party and becoming an Independent.

But there are no spotlights for Independents.

And the adoring liberal press will disappear if he did the honorably thing.

McCain is no maverick. He may have been a hero 50 years ago. But no more.

The grand irony is that Trump may well be the ultimate hero by taking on the forces that McCain marshaled throughout his career.

Trump is gross, ill-spoken, temperamental and self-absorbed, but he is fearlessly taking on forces that are much greater and more powerful than he is.

Trump is smart enough to understand that he is in the ultimate grudge match up against adversaries that will use any means possible to eliminate him. He is risking his life, the lives of his family and his wealth.

Yet he persists.

Who is the real maverick? Who is the real hero?

Sure as hell ain’t the Senator from Arizona.


The Resistance, Part II



We discussed The Resistance and its form in our previous installment and asked the question

“To whom does The Resistance answer?”

Doctrinally, it answers either to the Government In Exile (GIE) (Free Poles/Dutch in WWII.) or the Shadow Government (VietCong). With former President Obama’s continuing interference against President Trump and his administration, beginning with “Russian collusion” and continuing with pronouncements on, and interference in, ongoing programs, we are seeing the rise of a GIE.

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Holy Hell

by J.H.Kunstler

The abiding enigma of this tormented era remains: why has the thinking class of America abandoned thinking? The answer is: it’s the reaction to their own failure. Failure to do what? To produce the Utopia that Gnostic [mystical foresight] liberalism promised — a perfect world based on

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“We haven’t noticed a significant increase.”

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After 30-years of more guns in the hands of more citizens, we know that most of those who carry do so responsibly and can and do make a difference in lethal threat scenarios.

Furthermore, those who carry break far fewer laws than those that don’t (even fewer than the police)

COEUR D’ALENE – Exactly one year after it went into effect, an Idaho gun law that allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit has had little effect on crime rates, state law enforcement officials said.

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In Response To All The “Resist” Fists Endorsed By Hillary And Obama…

In response to all the violent threats and attacks from the so called “resistance” we’ll be DEFENDING that which is ours. And by the way, all you miscreants giving Dana Loesch and the NRA hell about this ad, the least of your worries are 5 million NRA members. If I was you, I’d be a lot more concerned about the 20 million gun owners who think the NRA is a bunch of pussies.


A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals – The Washington Post

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city.

Source: The Washington Post

Envy Kills (the root of America’s poblems)

greeneye envy

The gunman who attempted to slay Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice had a Facebook feed. Before it was deleted, everyone could read his vitriolic attacks on the rich, his denunciations of capitalism and corporate culture, his calls for high taxes and wealth redistribution, and, of course, his push for Bernie Sanders to be the ruler of us all. We all know the litany of gripes that drove him.

When was the last time you heard a sermon against envy or observed a media figure casually recognizing its evils? And yet, when the folks at National Public Radio were reflecting on his motives, the hosts declined to speculate. They feigned to be completely mystified how a happy, charming, good soul such as this could have turned to violence. Had the tables been turned – say an alt-right agitator had shot up a civil-rights protest – there would have been no question about the motivation.

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Citizen, Defend Yourself

The Alexandria Attack

After the shooting incident by an unhinged socialist in Alexandria, Senator Rand Paul (who was present) thanked the two Capitol Police officers who were there only because the House leadership position of Rep. Scalise merited a security detail.

“Rand said, ‘I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have. … They deserve our gratitude for saving — it would have been a massacre without them.’” (Article)

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How To Beat Terrorism by L. Neil Smith

Away, way back in 1977, when I began writing my first novel, _The Probability Broach_ (still in print, after four decades), I was regarded as something of a nutcase because I argued that American society would be a much better, safer place if everybody who wanted to, carried a gun. I was by no means the first to do so, nor was I the only one at the time, but, except for Robert A. Heinlein, Elmer Keith, and the ghost of H. Beam Piper, I often felt very much alone in my simple, straightforward, common-sense advocacy of exercising one’s natural rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Now, of course, forty years later, armed self-defense has become a social movement. The degree to which I share responsibility for that is debatable, but I am proud of any part I may have had in it.

Last weekend (no, I am not changing the subject) was a pretty lousy one for peace and civil order in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Egged on by various evil shamans (one of them in the States), Islamic terrorists employed an automobile and big knives to wound and murder dozens of innocent individuals who were trying to enjoy a warm summer evening—in a near-Arctic climate that doesn’t offer many of them—and whose only “crime” was that they did not choose to follow the benighted religious precepts of a 7th century Arab merchant-trader.

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Georgia Fugitives Captured by Home Owners

Yes, we can.

The bravery of a homeowner put an end to the three-day long manhunt, Fitzhugh said.
The inmates had run through the woods to a home on Pruitt Road, near the rural community of Christiana.

“The homeowner was alerted somehow, he looked outside and saw the suspects trying to steal his vehicle,” Lt. Bill Miller from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said late Friday.

The homeowner called his neighbor and both men, each armed with a gun, confronted the fugitives…

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.
Source: CNN

Play Ball! – Kunstler

Clusterfuck Nation Now appearing Mondays and Fridays Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page! Historians of the future, huddled around their goose-fat lamps in muddy woolen cloaks, may cite this as the month that the Kardashian Dreamland formerly known as “The USA” finally lost its collective mind. Submitted for your approval, as the late, great more »

Source: Play Ball! – Kunstler

Rebuttal: America’s Lethal Politics

The New York Times is at it again.

Less than 24 hours after an assassination attempt on members of the United States Congress the editorial board published an article entitled America’s Lethal Politics.

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.

They pointed out how an assassination attempt on Gabby Gifford after Sarah Palin ordered the execution and how the mission failed because of an incompetent right wing killer.  Oh, wait, I may have gotten that wrong.  Actually, Sarah Palin used the “T” word, yes I mean Target, and that somehow caused Jared Lee Loughner, age 22 to murder 6 people.  She was also targeting districts, not people.

Loughner was a nut job, a fruit cake.  There is no evidence that his actions were politically motivated and even less that he was a Conservative.  CBS News noted in 2011 that a former friend of Loughner’s wrote:

he (Loughner) had once been ‘very liberal’ and added, ‘he was leftwing when I knew him in high school and college, 3 years ago. So he may have changed, who knows.”

The NYT then goes on to say: 

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James Hodgkinson dead: Virginia shooter dies after opening fire on Republicans

Really? “Showed no sighs of violence or malice toward others”?

What exactly would you call enforcing your shitty ideas on the public via the credible threat of lethal force?

Mr Orear said Mr Hodgkinson was “a passionate progressive” and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others, the newspaper said.

Source: James Hodgkinson dead: Virginia shooter dies after opening fire on Republicans

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