We're not talking about stopping any old madman. We're talking about a bulletproof-vest wearing dual-wielding madman with enough rounds to kill every child in the building. No matter how many in-services our nation's teachers attend, we simply can't expect them to be able to flip over a desk, drop to one knee, and nail the headshot as the gunman walks into the classroom.
No, if we're going to get serious about defending our schools, we need to REALLY get serious about defending our schools.
Let's start with securing the grounds. It's true - doing away with the "gun-free zone" signs will probably hinder some future madmen from locating schools. However, in the event that any of the remaining madmen have learned to use maps we still need to worry about how to keep them from the school doors.
How about remotely-activated landmines?
A perimeter of landmines is a time-tested strategy for keeping bad guys out (ask South Korea). Once the kiddies are done being dropped off, the principal flips a switch and turns on the mines. No more intruders! (Implementing this technology could also significantly reduce mid-day truancy.)
Of course, landmines are expensive, and probably not practical in certain urban environments. However, there are other solutions. Wayne LaPierre famously stated that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." With all due respect to Mr. LaPierre, he should not have implied that the good guy be in the same room as the bad guy. We can already sit in a cockpit in New Mexico and drop bombs on bad guys with unmanned airplanes in Afghanistan - why couldn't our principals adopt a similar approach?
Here's how to do it. First, outfit schools with multiple security cameras. Then mount retractable guns to the bottom of each camera, and put the whole apparatus on a movable base. Gunman in your school? No problem - just go into lockdown, aim your camera, and neutralize the target while he's in your hallways. For a more humane approach, consider replacing the retractable rifles with blowguns.
What if this had a gun attached to it? Bye-bye Bad Guys!
Vigilance shouldn't be limited to planning for external threats. It's a sad fact that most shootings at schools are undertaken by students of that school. These kids will be able to penetrate the landmine perimeter. And while you could take them out with the camera/gun turrets, limiting stray fire should also be a priority. Plus, redundancy is the best feature of any response plan.
As usual when it comes to these things, Japan is way ahead of us. I recently saw this documentary in which they simply place collars around each student's neck. The teacher merely as to hit a button in order to taser the child into submission until the authorities arrive.
In Japan, school violence is decreased by the administration of electronic collars modified to deliver neutralizing shocks.
Bottom line: no bad guy is going to fuck with a school surrounded by landmines with hallways policed by remote-controlled guns. Think about it.