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Ex-SEAL one-ups NRA with tougher, safer plan

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,The Pentagon,Gun Control,National Rifle Association,Newtown

Whether you agree that guns like those used in the Sandy Hook Elementary killings should be banned, or the NRA's suggestion that more police are needed at schools, there is an growing acceptance that neither will stop the next madman.

But there is hope. Enter Dale McClellan, a former Navy SEAL and president of Special Tactical Services in Virginia Beach, which trains elite police and military units on how to stop attacks, including those like the Sandy Hook school.

Arming teachers with pistols, or eliminating assault weapons isn't the answer, he told Secrets. And putting police in every school room is unrealistic, he adds. But there is an easy, though initially pricey, answer that schools can adopt fast.

"You have to create a first line of defense," he said. That, he said, should include training teachers and school officials how to react to an attack. Then schools should install ballistic doors with magnetic locks, put Kevlar blankets in every school room and even put Kevlar sheeting on desks for kids and teachers to hide behind.

"You want to have a way to let teachers and principals buy time for the cops to arrive and deal with the active shooter," he said.

Also, teachers should receive a TASER, with training, to shock an attacker. "It's easy to use and very effective," said McClellan.

His is an idea that is catching fire, though he said the heated debate over gun control is stealing time and attention away from effective prevention measures for schools. Jed Babbin, a columnist for the American Spectator and a friend of McClellan, wrote that the SEAL school defense plan would have been effective at Sandy Hook.

"Newtown school principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach confronted shooter Adam Lanza, and were killed trying to stop him. Had they a TASER, perhaps the killing would have ended, and without their lives being taken," he wrote.

McClellan told Secrets that he plans to make a mock school shooting scene to prove his idea works and hopes school officials from around the nation come see it. "You have to do something yourselves," he said.