MSNBC analyst and former Naval intelligence officer Malcolm Nance vividly explained why President Donald Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers was so dangerous.
Nance appeared Monday on “MSNBC Live,” where he told host Stephanie Ruhle that specialized military training was required to override survival instincts — and even that didn’t always work.
“You have to be trained to want to get up and go into fire, that’s what the armed forces does for you,” Nance said. “I went through SWAT officer training when I got out of the military, and the first thing they do is they teach you is to really lock up and then move in on a target. That’s what active shooter training is for in law enforcement. But if you’re not really trained, you’re not proficient, it’s not like in the movies. The movies have nothing to do with reality. You’re putting yourself where you can be killed.”
Ruhle pointed out that mass shooters frequently used military-style firearms to carry out massacres, which would put teachers armed with concealed weapons at a distinct disadvantage.
“We have a lot of people going on, you know, what they think they see in the movies,” Nance said. “If you’ve got a handgun and that’s all the tool you have, you have to be extremely well trained to go out and engage someone who has a fully automatic or semiautomatic weapon.”
He said movies did not adequately depict what a real firefight would be like.
“Depending on the distance that you’re away, civilians don’t understand, in close quarters, the first thing you have to experience is the explosive sound of the weapon going off — not yours, the shooter’s,” Nance said. “It practically deafens you in an urban environment, inside a school building or something like that. It’s not like in the movies, where can you hear. It’s like somebody stabbing your ear a knife. If you can get past that and still move you’ll be conducting a gun battle, a firefight with people running back and forth in front of you. It’s just — unless you’re very skilled soldier or a police officer who has already been through that, through simulation or an actual incident, you cannot even start to predict the effect. “
Even if the teacher managed to survive a firefight with a shooter armed with a high-powered rifle, they’d face danger once law enforcement arrived.
“If you are a teacher who thinks you’re doing a defensive, you know, pose and protect a student, law enforcement will just assume you’re the shooter,” Nance said. “If we start introducing five, 10 guns into that school, the complexity of target identification and clearance and knowing whether that individual is safe or whether they’re actually complicit and waiting for you to turn your back, it’s absolutely mind-boggling. Law enforcement will go the default — which is to shoot the person with the gun.”