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‘Duck and Cover’ Wasn’t Viable Then, and It Isn’t Now

‘Duck and Cover’ Wasn’t Viable Then, and It Isn’t Now

Lisa Beringer

One day after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, my son, who is an eighth grader at a local Lutheran grade school, told me they had an “active shooter drill” at school.

He practiced hiding under a desk and learned about finding an inner closet, or moving to a wall out of view from the doorway. He knows to be quiet. He knows his teacher will lock the door and turn out the lights. He also harbors dreams of heroism.


$3M-Rubio and $30M-Trump will do nothing based upon conscience in our quid pro quo political fiasco we mistakenly think of as democracy. Oligarchy is a disease and sunlight is the best disinfectant. Emma Gonzales is a ray of sunshine, indeed.


At this point, I honestly believe that the majority of Americans simply accept mass murder with assault weapons as a feature of life in this country.

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When a mass murderer steps through the door going into a school at least if he has a non automatic weapon the sound of a gun shot will cause a reaction. Students and teachers have reaction time to duck and cover or leave the buildings. I cannot over estimate the need for America to follow the lead of other developed countries in banning automatic weapons. or even semi automatic weapons. You don’t need those weapons for hunting. This would at least limit the carnage of an attack on a group, classroom or crowd by giving people reaction time to duck and cover or leave quickly.

I am horrified that all we have for a president right now is the Trumpenstein monster who does not support control of automatic and semi automatic weapons. America needs to wake up and elect a Democratic Party majority to congress in 2018. Despite their faults, they offer the only alternative to the carnage at schools and other crowded buildings and a Republican controlled congress that favors gun rights over gun control. Then Trump himself needs to be impeached out of office or voted out of office in 2020.

2016 had the worse voter turn out of any election since 70 years ago. We can’t keep going in the same direction, and a change of direction requires everyone or almost everyone showing up at the ballot boxes to vote. That apathy toward voting gave us Trump as president, and apathy again in 2020 will give us a second term for Trump unless we wake up and show up to vote at the ballot boxes in huge numbers.


The goal of cold war era duck and cover and the goal of today’s “school preparedness” are identical…maximize the sale of guns and ammo.

The cold war era military industrial complex (MIC) spent bundles of money on propaganda to convince us that the Soviet Union was a far greater threat than it ever was…duck and cover was one component of the strategy to make us fearful enough to vote in favor of those writing blank checks to the MIC for decades. When the cold war ended in 1990 the MIC’s revenue was greatly diminished.

Starting with the 1991 Gulf War the MIC morphed into the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) that not only overblows existing threats but continues to contrive new threats that keep most of us fearful, and keep NRA members paranoid. NRA is a major player in MIMIC. “School preparedness” is one component of MIMIC’s strategy to make eternal occupations and wars of aggression and domestic mass killing a new normal, providing faux justification for an ever expanding military and increasingly armed citizenry guaranteed to continue to expand MIMIC’s revenue.


Yes, I imagine by now this is probably true. But ya gotta wonder how it ever came to this. Back up a decade or three in American history and these incidents would be considered extremely shocking and effing insane. I can’t imagine anyone investigating such a crime scene being able to get a normal night’s sleep for weeks afterwards


It came to this because the NRA’s freedom of speech rights include the freedom to sell assault rifles.


Putting together the halves of your post, mountainmike: student- and parent-driven, school-based campaigns - supported by exposure to the issue by teachers, though they can’t politically advocate - may not only educate but mobilize young U.S. citizens as they turn 18 before 2020. About 4 million a year, btw.

As to what such young voter engagement might accomplish: on the one hand, it would be about overall attitudes towards gun violence and its right wing enablers; on the other, a question of a demographic ‘bump’ of young citizens making demands and voting in higher numbers, propelled by the issue.

As to voting Democrat to make it happen: elected politicians are politicians, left, liberal or right, and I’d expect to see the right give ground on gun control before a strong, perceived threat to their incumbency rather than simply let themselves get voted out.

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Sounds like you are Republican and support Trump who is anti gun control. Why? He gets millions of dollars in campaign donations from weapons industry.


The Texas gun shooting is a mental health problem not a gun rights problem. DUH!!! The Trumpenstein monster speaketh. And he is president of the United States of America???

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“Sounds like you are Re-”

Unfathomable…and here I thought I was running with your thoughts to develop a cautiously hopeful vision of how a nascent student movement might shift the greater electorate in support of gun control - even if the movement’s impact fell short of Democratic control.

(Ah, wait - was that last phrase too politically ambiguous? Should I have signposted my progressive views by saying, “even if the desired anti-gun movement’s beneficial impact failed to achieve the left wing outcome that I want, of which Democratic control is only a shitty starting point”?)

Have a good night.


No, we do not “simply accept mass murder.” We are outraged, and we love the way the students from Parkland are leading the expression of our outrage. We cheer their refusal to stop even at outrage.

OTOH, horrible as the mass shootings have been, or even just the school shootings, think of how many school days (in the sense of “man hours”) have not been disrupted by shootings. It’s still a very rare experience for anyone to have. We all just feel we’ve had it because we hear about them (and, yes, because of AR-15s).

What should be just as rare an experience is drilling for mass murder in every school. Lisa Beringer’s 14yo should not have the opportunity to dream of heroism. That too is part of our cowboy gun culture and the myth of redemptive violence. To make one’s name by being bad guy or good guy is all the same. Even less do I want my granddaughters to be terrorized by their school staffs in Maine, rehearsing how to stay “safe” from terror. This is no safety.

This evening I was aghast to see on the NBC Evening News an account and demonstration of “the safest school in America,” in Shelbyville IN. It starts, as in Beringer’s son’s school, with a red line on the floor, where the kids on a word from their teacher (or the separate loudspeaker system) (and the teacher is presumably, when it’s not a drill or demo, pressing an alarm button that they wear around their neck) run and crouch behind that red line, overturning their desks in a row along the sight line from the door, and, I kid you not, hold up their textbooks in front of their faces. It goes on to the staffer seated before a bank of monitors, tracking and identifying the “intruder,” locking doors, and, if necessary, setting off smoke bombs from the ceiling of hallway after hallway until the intruder succumbs. This is no safety.

With Beringer, I assert “Mass school shootings will not be ended by increasing school preparedness, arming teachers, or asking our children to hide.” Yes, mass school shootings have happened too often, but they have not happened often enough to terrorize a whole generation with rehearsing them, wondering which ones will be the victims, dreaming of heroically “saving” their peers. Mass school shootings will be ended by making assault weapons less available, at least outside of firing ranges, and by taking better care of the Adam Lanzas and Nikolas Cruzes struggling to find how they can live among their neighbors. Who’s to say Cruz didn’t get the idea for his crime from participating in one of Parkland’s drills? Who’s to say someone didn’t wonder aloud, maybe in JROTC with the boy granted a posthumous appointment to West Point, how it would work if the fire alarm were to draw students outside just at the moment that a shooter arrived and opened fire in the crowded halls? Who’s to say some poor lonely barrel of testosterone in Shelbyville IN isn’t putting together the puzzle to get past that red line and shoot up the safest school in America?

Yes, I’m outraged, but more at what we’re doing to the kids in the schools that have been sites of mass murder only in the fearful minds of their adult advisors.

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While I appreciate the metaphor, it seems even more appropriate to the issue of climate catastrophe. Republicans, even those in the Potemkin House Climate Caucus, are practicing duck and cover to protect themselves from heat, floods, fires, crop failures, ecological disruptions, dust bowls, ice melt and sea level rise. Sooner or later they’ll have that moment of awakening, as we did who ducked and covered for nuclear attacks–Hey, wait a minute! This is nuts! When that happens, duck and cover won’t protect the Denialati from those suffering from the endless catastrophe, either.

Lisa, you should know that semi automatics are not the problem. These aren’t “machine guns”. Where I live in Ohio the Remington 1100 and 1187 are among the most popular shotguns for deer hunting. By law these guns are restricted to a three slug capacity.

The problem with the AR15 is they can be equipped with high capacity magazines. This is where we need a change in the law.

There should be an assault weapons and a high capacity magazine ban. But leave valid hunting guns alone.

Plenty of us are outraged. President Obama expressed outrage after Sandy Hook.

But the federal government has done literally nothing. Not even bump stocks after 58 were slaughtered.

Despite the outrage, assault weapons are here to stay and they’ll remain the go-to choice of school shooters. I predict gun and ammo sales are surging right now. They always do when there’s empty talk about new gun laws.

The mass shootings happen like clockwork. It has been four and a half months since the Las Vegas massacre and the overall plot still unrevealed. Don’t expect the truth to ever emerge. Sandy Hook said to be shut down in 2008 for asbestos contamination. Event on Internet before it happened. Adam Lanza never existed. Boston Marathon bombing-shooting highly suspicious. Surviving brother Tsarnaev not allowed to speak in his own defense in court. Friend of Tsarnaev brothers shot dead in Orlando by government agents because he knew the truth. On and on the pattern develops. What happened to the accused Orlando nightclub killer? I believe the Parkland shooter is another deep state psyop. Too many other like incidents to mention.

“semi automatics are not the problem… The problem with the AR15 is they can be equipped with high capacity magazines.”

That’s not the only “problem” with a weapon designed for the battlefield.

Lisa “should know” better, blockertoo? Not only should you know better - you do.

"All-American Killer: How the AR-15 Became Mass Shooters’ Weapon of Choice

“The AR-15 assault rifle was engineered to create what one of its designers called ‘maximum wound effect.’ Its tiny bullets – needle-nosed and weighing less than four grams – travel nearly three times the speed of sound. As the bullet strikes the body, the payload of kinetic energy rips open a cavity inside the flesh – essentially inert space – which collapses back on itself, destroying inelastic tissue, including nerves, blood vessels and vital organs. ‘It’s a perfect killing machine,’ says Dr. Peter Rhee, a leading trauma surgeon and retired captain with 24 years of active-duty service in the Navy.”

Rhee is most famous at home for saving the life of Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords after she was shot point-blank in the head with a handgun fired by a mass shooter in 2011. ‘A handgun [wound] is simply a stabbing with a bullet,’ says Rhee. ‘It goes in like a nail.’ With the high-velocity rounds of the AR-15, he adds, ‘its as if you shot somebody with a Coke can.’"

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I grew up with “duck and cover”. People building bomb shelters in their backyards. Listening for the sound of the air raid siren. And being told that if I saw a “bright light” - the sign of a nuclear detonation - I should duck and cover under my desk. Really.

Our government finally did something about the threat of anuclear attack. It reached out to the - at the time - only other nuclear power, Russia, and made treaties to ease tensions and alleviate the danger.

Today’s children are learning, along with what to do in case of fire, are learning how to survive and “active shooter situation”. Same thing - duck and cover. How is that working out?

And what is our government doing to alleviate the danger? Not a damned thing. Children’s lives are being sacrificed for re-election campaign money from the National Rifle Association. St. Peter needs to construct a special place in Hell for the people responsible.

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The NRA gets money from the gun makers to promote more guns. Stop this madness! We need less police, and we need less GUNS. The "parent " in charge of this kid was clueless about him having guns. The "parents " view was what’s the big deal. An AR-15???

And when it comes to guns and gangs parents should be held responsible for what these kids do. There are many ways to go at this gun violence, IT IS NOT MORE GUNS, IT IS NOT MORE POLICE STATE.


  1. Not all gun owners are as lovely as you are. And you didn’t say what guns you own. We’re talking right now about guns designed for mass shootings.

  2. BS. Australia. UK. …

  3. BS again. You don’t say what site posted this or what meds you mean. Where does “the most recent shooters” end? The FDA would never approve a med with a common side effect of violence toward others. How many people take these meds without becoming mass shooters? Oh, yeah, all the ones who don’t get access to semi-automatic weapons.

  4. Ask the armed guard who was in the Parkland school. And take a look at the size of that campus. And ask yourself if you would have wanted to do your duck-and-cover drills under armed guard. And the guards in casinos and banks are there to protect property, not to prevent mass shootings for no apparent motive. Kids have other things to be thinking about in schools, and teachers have lots of other things to be thinking about. Let schools be schools. We do indeed have a gun problem.


Re read your post and “sound like a Republican” does seem out of synch with what I was saying and what you were saying.