View Full Version : Utility of a knife in a Columbine or German school scenario
April 27, 2002, 11:52 AM
Just a little speculation here. In the scenario where you have a gunman trying to kill multiple people in a school, store, or similar public place, I would be willing to bet that one motivated individual with a fighting folder could end the fight. A gun would be better. But, many of us can't or don't carry a gun. I carry a folder everywhere. In a Columbine or similar target rich environment, the killer will need to focus on so many different targets that the key would be to lay in wait and ambush him as he turned a corner. Or, to rush him from behind. I would attempt to control his gun with one hand and cut him to ribbons with my folder. It wouldn't be the perfect scenario. However, I think you would have a chance due to the fact that there are so many targets. He can't focus on all of them at once.
Take advantage of the confusion. Ambush at close range or rush when he is distracted on another target. Good reason to take my Cuda Maxx everywhere.
April 27, 2002, 02:41 PM
Edgy but beats the whey out of doing nothing.
Skill, dedication and lots of luck would make it work.
April 27, 2002, 03:28 PM
What Sam said. If you're at the point where there's not a lot of downside, I'd rather go down whacking the POS in the head with a blackboard eraser than go out like a sheep. So yeah, if I've got a knife I'd most likely use that ahead of an eraser, a book or even a Ticondaroga #2 pencil.
April 27, 2002, 04:23 PM
Why don't people who find themselves in these situations fight back? Can anyone explain the psychology involved?
April 27, 2002, 04:53 PM
Triad, that is such a great question. I would so much rather die fighting than go down doing nothing. I really mean that in a non-boasting way. I am going to die someday. Why not make it grand? My life is not that important that I would cower and beg for it.
April 27, 2002, 05:31 PM
Dave, those are my thoughts exactly. I do not understand why someone would not at least try to do something. I wonder if it is because people think they are more likely to be harmed if they attack the BG than if they do nothing. Or perhaps they think they can do nothing without purpose built weapons. Maybe they just want someone else to make the situation go away? Hopefully someone will shed some light on this. (If there is any light to be had)
April 27, 2002, 05:42 PM
Well not everyone out there are lions like us TFLers ;) Have you ever seen someone in a fistfight? I've seen people stand DEAD still when a punch is coming right at their head, they just have the proverbial "deer in the headlights" look about them. Most people will DO ANYTHING do avoid a fight. Even if that means getting cold cocked in the face or getting shot. You'd be surprised at people's reactions to aggression. For example, when I was growing up, there was a guy who kept making fun of me, I decided I had enough and I went up to him in the hall and drew my hand back for a haymaker. I had absolutely NO intention of actually throwing it...but he covered his head and cowered in complete fear. Everybody around him laughed and I never heard a peep from him again. People, in general, simply do not want physical confrontation.
April 27, 2002, 08:44 PM
Most people lead their entire lives in Condition White, oblivious to what's going on around them. When bad things happen, they are not prepared to go into a combat mindset.
You can't go from Condition White (unaware) to Condition Red (fighting for your life) instantly. You have to know what the threat it is, where it is in relation to you, decide on a plan of action (engage attacker or run away, either is fine), then act on it. Most people in this kind of situation reach the second stage, and that's when the bad guy pulls the trigger.
Always be alert.
April 27, 2002, 10:34 PM
I don't know about Germany, but if the SHTF like this like back when I was in LA, my ass is running the other way. They shoot at targets of opportunity, not discriminately hunt down individuals (well, there was a hit list for some of these kids). I am getting TFO. Unless of course I am armed, then the mofo dies.
Of course, in LA, if you fight back even if you didn't start it, you get suspended, too. That's why I never fought back. I guess when I was a kid, my attendance record was better than character or pride.
April 28, 2002, 07:28 AM
Carrying a combat folder to school will get you the same as a gun if caught, thrown out. Personally, I don't give a rats ass what their rules are, they don't have my well being at heart, just their pitiful fear. As mentioned, mindset is everything, the weapon is always secondary, although quite comforting. To bad these days its not politically correct to "think for yourself", to bad for them I guess. I know this is a gun oriented forum, and we are predisposed to that as a primary weapon, a knife would be a good second choice if no gun were available, if you took the time to learn how best to use one, or at least learn the key points of attack. I don't think most realize how much effort is involved in this type of fighting. It may be a good time to look into what's really needed for practical hand to hand type fighting, not the karate type "schooling". Learning to use what's at hand would probably be a better idea, mindset is a big part of the equation, but so is practice and knowledge of where to hit and what force is necessary to incapacitate. Its very embarrassing to strike a blow, only to have the strike'e, to just look back at you with an annoyed look and that "your gonna get it now" smile on their face. If your not going to carry your gun or another weapon and know how and be willing to use it, you better learn to fight, and fight harder that you ever thought you could, or learn how to run. If not either of these, then you will certainly learn how to die.
Double Naught Spy
April 28, 2002, 08:27 AM
What is that cliche? Something about not wanting to show up at a gun fight with a knife?
One realy weapon the folks at Columbine would have had access to and would have been perfectly legal and have greater range than a knife is a wonderful utility item called a fire extinguisher, especially the powder variety. Well, our schools always had them. For many, you have a range out to about 10 feet. The powder is an eye irritant and if enough ends up on the face will temporarily cake in the eyes. The fire extinguisher cloud also provides a short-lived fog/smoke screen that can be very effective. After being blinded, assuming it works, you then have a really nice blunt force trauma object to use on the gunman.
Use of fire extinguishers in this manner has been mentioned for several previous situations where gunmen killed people who were otherwise defenseless. For example, the hi jacked 11 Sept planes. More than likely there were at least three or four fire extinguishers on each plane that could have been used against blade weilding terrorists. At the Luby's shooting in Killeen, Texas, fire extinguishers were available. Then again, a lot of the customer did have fixed blade silverware they could have used but apparently did not attempt to use.
While many of the victims of these events such as Columbine may have gone down without fighting, that does not mean they were not working to save their own lives by trying to get away. Running away offers the potential of not getting killed. Attacking a gunman by hand or with a knife will explicitly put you in danger, something most people will want to avoid.
At what school was it that the kid came in early and shot up a prayer group (as I recall) and was physically attacked by 2 or 3 other students who managed to take him down with at least one of those students also getting shot?
April 28, 2002, 08:37 AM
In at least the German school shooting, from what I have gathered in the news, the shooter wasn't at hand-to-hand range with more than one of his intended victims. Rushing twenty feet or more to tackle an armed person - however young he is - probably feels paramount to suicide to most people in that situation.
Besides, the kid _was_ a trained shooter; perhaps not the world's finest marksman but he had been shooting in several clubs for a couple of years. A gangbanger holding his gun 'gangsta style' is - at least to me - far less intimídating than someone who actually seems to know what they're doing.
Just my €.02
April 28, 2002, 11:08 AM
I heard this yesterday:
One of the teachers in that German school, who met that POS in school corridor(I think he was the kids favourite teacher or something) said to the kid: "Look me into my eyes when you shoot me." The kid said something like: I've shot enough, went to empty classroom and shot himself when the cops came.
April 28, 2002, 01:42 PM
A good folding knife and a broom stick can be made into a spear with a little tape. Most bullet-proof vests wont stand up knives or spears, but you gotta get close to the attacker.
April 28, 2002, 02:21 PM
The people at Columbine had all sorts of weapons at hand. They were attacked in the cafeteria. 8" chef's knife/fighting folder driven in to someones liver/kidney from behind while pulling back on their hair will stop an attacker in their tracks. BTW You know that you are using the correct technique when you hear the handle snap off. Pencil or pen to the throat. A shirtsleeve thrown over the attacker's head from behind and used as a garrote, will almost always cause the attacker to lose their weapon. Step in with the weak foot, and "flip" the attacker over your hips and back, and by the time they hit the floor, they will have ceased to breathe without assistance.
As mentioned above fire-extinguisher first to blind, second as blunt trauma weapon to the head. Use a fire hose or fire axe if available. Chair across the head/neck/back. The custodians workshop/closet area is filled with things to improvise weaponry from.
The greatest weapon that any human posseses is the will to live. Most just never use it. It comes from watching too much television and way too many movies. People honestly believe that they only need to stampede away from the perps long enough for the heroes to come to the rescue. Sheeple can't stampede faster than bullets, and the heroes are outside looking for a fire truck to hide behind.
Double Naught Spy
April 28, 2002, 10:18 PM
jmbg29, thank you for adding significantly to my very short-sighted fire extinguisher idea. It is a favorite of mine, in regard to causing vision impairment, as I have seen what it can do to people.
You are absolutely correct about resourcefulness. People have many options at their disposal and will fail to recognize those options in a time of crises as options. Pencils and pens are not seen as potential stabbing objects, just pencils and pens. Nobody in Luby's made any attempts to use dining utensils to stop the gunman, throw items at the guy, or anything like that even though he reloaded multiple times.
One real problem of such events is that most people will have the concept of self preservation in mind and at most will work towards evasion. Moving in on an armed attacker is not immediately seen as a prudent idea, especially not for the individual doing it. In such cases, the immediate panic decisions are that the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.
A given individual may not have the weaponry to match what the bad guy(s) has, but there are a lot of things that can be done to either slow down or stop the bad guy. Thrown objects as common as shoes, plates (cafeteria), books, cell phones, or whatever can at least cause the bad guy to curtail shooting for a brief time as he attempts to avoid shots that could hurt him. How many jocks at Columbine had the abilty to through footballs, baseballs, or softballs well but didn't think to use those skills to launch other objects at Harris and Klebold? I am not picking on the jocks. Anybody could have thrown objects. Ever see a kid hit with a 3 lb physics textbook thrown down a hallway? Talk about a demonstration of some really basic physics concepts!
Adapt, mutate, migrate, or die.
April 29, 2002, 02:39 PM
Another good reason to do some Tuller drill training as a part of your firearms work. It can be informative from both ends.
April 29, 2002, 04:52 PM
The first instinct of man or animal when confronted with a life or death situation is to run and/or hide. Fighting, i.e. striking back, is a secondary response usually triggered when cornered.
Many of those killed in these instances are either running or trying to hide.
Everyone thinks they know what they'd do, but no one can 100-percent certain until they are faced with such a situation.
Remember, there is a very fine line between heroism and stupidity!
Let's hope we never have to "put-up or shut-up".
April 29, 2002, 07:58 PM
knife good for slitting ones own throat, so as to not get shot!
that's about it...
April 30, 2002, 10:37 AM
Maybe schools should start giving their students CQC training, as well as H2H if things get nasty. Teaching them to avoid catatonia and dodging when shot at instead of starting to run around mad, could save lives."How to avoid School Combat Stress Reaction" -lessons a few times a week -- or included in the physics or PE class ;).
How would most of them (replace with 'us') ever come up with the idea of using a fire extinguisher to counter-attack when they're cornered and afraid for their lives. Teaching to avoid the famous tunnel vision, as well as to learn to manage the stress, utilize common objects for SD,and use the fear for your own advantage isn't so hard -- with proper training by qualified instructors, of course. (BTW, you guys came up with great ideas. Double Naught Spy,or anyone familiar with extinguishers: Do they blow up if hit/punctured by a bullet? Thanks! ) The fact that too many people don't care **** about their physical condition also might cost several lives. Stress tolerance, be it education or combat-related, increases with phys.cond.; as well as the ability to run away!
Even if you had a M16 +M203* loaded and with full ammo on your back, you could easily forget its existence if not properly trained in handling CSR (Combat Stress Reaction; *assuming that the individual knows how to use one..duh) I think you get my point, and probably realize why it simply isn't possible in "a learning environment" (restrictions to free speech, students ending up killing others with pencils etc.). Now that 'the war' is moving from theatres somewhere in the world to our back yards, everybody should be a trained killer :D :D :D
Feel free to comment my views and opinions --I don't have a loaded gun on my lap, yet.
May 3, 2002, 02:04 PM
The kid in Germany didn't even use his shotgun and was going class to class killing just the teachers. There are no emergency plans for school shootings, so teachers will default to "leave the classroom in an orderly fashion and assemble outside". For a shooter intent on killing his teachers, this is making things very easy.
Walls in Europe (especially old buildings like the school in question) tend to be made of more than sheetrock and most should qualify as hard cover. I would think that barricading the door with upturned desks and putting the students behind more desks turned to face the bullets at an angle would persuade to shooter to go looking for easier targets.
BTW, the 60 year old teacher first ran away as the shooter was reloading (!), later met him on the corridor, and eventually locked him into a storeroom.
The first LEO to respond came just in time to be the second last victim. German LEO on patrol duty do not wear body armor.
Unused fire extinguishers blow up in fires because of excessive gas pressure due to heat. The gas cartridge should resist handgun fire, especially if inside the powder/water container.
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