Monday, October 16, 2006

Statistical advantage

There's some bad ideas I've seen out there. And then there's the downright idiotic ones.

This would definately fall into the latter.

The article informs us that a school district in Texas is preparing kids to fight off armed classroom invaders by swarming him. After all, they have the advantage of numbers. There's no way they could lose. And who cares if a few lives are lost, just as long as those Texans teach the intruder not to fuck with Texans.

Perhaps this is the prevailing wisdom of Texans. As long as we show the bastards who's boss, it doesn't matter how many people die. Who cares if 2,000 American soldiers die just as long as we show Iraq not to fuck with US.

5 comments:

James said...

From the "Doing something, anything, is better than doing nothing" school of thought. Sure, it may result in twice as many dead students, but at least they did something!

Roy said...

Oh my God, that is the single most dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life.

TheBrummell said...

I find the whole "don't mess with Texas" mentality particularly amusing. Consider the history:

1688: French colony of Fort Saint Louis annihilated by local "Indians". No reprisals against the Indians - they got away with "messing with Texas".

1821: Spanish "Kingdom of Texas" rebels, becomes part of the independent state of Mexico. Thus the legend of the fiercely independent Texan is born.

1836: Mexican-controlled Texas revolts against Mexico, becomes independent state (Republic of Texas) in its own right. Legend grows.

1836: Mexican General Santa Anna crushes rebels in the Alamo, all 200 Texan defenders killed. Sam Houston's army destroys Santa Anna's a few weeks later.

1842: Mexican armed forces invade twice, briefly hold San Antonio, withdraw.

1845: Texas annexed by USA.

1861: Texas secceeds from USA, joins Confederacy

1865: Union troops land in Galveston, enact Emancipation Proclamation

1870: Texas "readmitted" into USA

So, the local "Indians" mess-with-Texas, get away with it.
Then, Mexico stomps all over Texas for a while, messes with Texas for a decade or two
Texas rebels, the Alamo gets destroyed, then they're free and independent (so Santa Anna messed with Texas and got beat)
Within two decades, Texas subsumed into USA
Then Texas decides not to be part of the USA, joins Confederacy, gets thoroughly beaten. So the USA, in the form of the Union, messed with Texas and got away with it.

That's 1 for 3 against messin' with Texas. Not very impressive, to me.

TheBrummell said...

Getting back on topic, I think this idea of kids-fight-back is hopelessly romantic in its conception.

After the 1989 college shooting in Montreal (14 killed, including the gunman), Montreal police were trained to immediately enter a building where such was happening. In 1989, the police assembled the tactical team first, then entered carefully, clearing rooms one-by-one. In 2006, when a lone gunman entered a college, nearby regular patrol officers entered and engaged the gunman almost immediately. Two people died in 2006, including the gunman.

It's difficult to compare across such disparate events, but the evidence seems to suggest that having police get in there as quick as possible (and remember, these cops are armed), seems to help. But any gunner with an automatic weapon will be able to deal with the proposed handful of 7th graders and their art teacher rather handily - particularly if he knows everyone's been told to "swarm" him.

Bullets penetrate most doors, don't they?

TheBrummell said...

I find the whole "don't mess with Texas" mentality particularly amusing. Consider the history:

1688: French colony of Fort Saint Louis annihilated by local "Indians". No reprisals against the Indians - they got away with "messing with Texas".

1821: Spanish "Kingdom of Texas" rebels, becomes part of the independent state of Mexico. Thus the legend of the fiercely independent Texan is born.

1836: Mexican-controlled Texas revolts against Mexico, becomes independent state (Republic of Texas) in its own right. Legend grows.

1836: Mexican General Santa Anna crushes rebels in the Alamo, all 200 Texan defenders killed. Sam Houston's army destroys Santa Anna's a few weeks later.

1842: Mexican armed forces invade twice, briefly hold San Antonio, withdraw.

1845: Texas annexed by USA.

1861: Texas secceeds from USA, joins Confederacy

1865: Union troops land in Galveston, enact Emancipation Proclamation

1870: Texas "readmitted" into USA

So, the local "Indians" mess-with-Texas, get away with it.
Then, Mexico stomps all over Texas for a while, messes with Texas for a decade or two
Texas rebels, the Alamo gets destroyed, then they're free and independent (so Santa Anna messed with Texas and got beat)
Within two decades, Texas subsumed into USA
Then Texas decides not to be part of the USA, joins Confederacy, gets thoroughly beaten. So the USA, in the form of the Union, messed with Texas and got away with it.

That's 1 for 3 against messin' with Texas. Not very impressive, to me.