Israeli expert says guns needed in American schools - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Israeli expert says guns needed in American schools

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Before bullets flew at Sandy Hook and before the deadly crisis at Columbine, there was the massacre at Ma'alot.

The year was 1974 and the school attacked was in the nation of Israel.  Before it was over, 25 hostages were killed by a trio of terrorists.

Twenty-two of the victims were children.  It was a heartbreaking lesson for a nation under constant threat of violence.

"You cannot afford to wait until Special Forces come.  Every second is critical.  In Israel, we have a saying. 'Time equals human life.'  Every second that you waste outside and wait, somebody may lose their life," said Hanan Yadin, a highly skilled security specialist who makes his living teaching police and military personnel at Houston's ISI Training.

In the wake of the Ma'alot Massacre, he and dozens of other Israeli teens were selected as "first responders" to those who would attack their schools.

Critical to the tactic: access to secretly positioned firearms on campus.

"To make sure that I present armed resistance to an armed attack until the Special Forces would come," said Yadin.

It was just one element of a highly coordinated Israeli school security strategy that's achieved unparalleled success.

"No attacks against Israeli schools since the mid-70s period," said Yadin.

Some in the US believe teachers should be equipped with firepower.  Yadin firmly disagrees.

"I doubt that a teacher who is untrained with a weapon that is most likely not designed for that kind of operation will act effectively," said Yadin.

Instead, Yadin contends only pre-selected, highly trained individuals should be positioned to respond with weapons.

"You have to have some type of firearm in the school that will do the job," he said.

A US resident for the past 18 years, Yadin hopes to spread the Israeli "protocol" throughout this country.  It's a system that focuses as much on pre-emption as reaction.

"The key is prevention.  When somebody gets to the school with a firearm, it's too late.  Something, somewhere along the way failed," said Yadin.

In Israeli schools, with their undetectable, concentric layers of security, students drill to reach "safe zones" within 15 seconds.

"Training" is the critical component: preparing the right people to react precisely in a crisis.

"There is a lot to learn from the Israeli experience," said Yadin.

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