Could ‘Unknown Factors’ in Schools Stop Active Shooters in Their Tracks?

Washington, D.C., August 5, 2022 —

While politicians wring their hands and debate complex gun control legislation, military expert and historian Dr. William R. Forstchen offer a strategy that could be implemented in time for the upcoming school year.

“We arm some teachers,” Forstchen said in a recent interview. “We should select people who are ex-military, ex-law enforcement. Train them, train them, train them. Compensate them. Put them in the schools, armed. They become the ‘unknown factor.’ I think this could make a major difference.”

Besides exhaustively vetting and evaluating these chosen members of the school faculty, anonymity is paramount. In fact, Forstchen added, “If they ever tell anyone or boast, ‘oh gee I’m armed now,’ fire them. You want these people to be anonymous.”

Forstchen’s perspective is informed by his 45 years of teaching and by the Beslan school siege in 2004 — an Islamic terror attack against a Russian school that left 333 people dead, including 186 children.

He believes that arming teachers could serve as a deterrent, or at the very least, a way to stop school shooters in their tracks. 

“They would be the ‘unknown factor in every single school,” Forstchen wrote in a recent opinion editorial in The Washington Times. “They would be the men and women who, in those first precious seconds, would react rather than hide, be it against a lone killer or even a trained team of killers. They could buy time for other responders to rush in, rather than wait outside while mayhem runs rampant within.

“They would be the ones who would willingly put their lives on the line … but would be the surprise factor in a school that would fight back when seconds counted. They might not stop, but they would at least slow down an aggressor and buy time for a swift response … In so doing, they just might prevent a Beslan massacre from happening here.” 

The Beslan incident also prompted Forstchen to write the book, Day of Wrath, which presents the unsettling scenario of ISIS-inspired teams launching a coordinated attack on schools — a threat he views as all-too-realistic.

William R. Forstchen is a New York Times bestselling author and holds a doctoral degree from Purdue University with a specialization in military history and technology. He is a noted expert historian and public speaker and has been interviewed on FOX News, C-SPAN, and Coast to Coast on topics ranging from history to technology and cultural issues, to space technology development, to security threats.

To read the entire op-ed, visit https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jun/7/train-and-arm-teachers-they-would-be-the-unknown-f/. More information about Day of Wrath can be found here: http://dayofwrathbook.com/.

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