Iowa teacher’s invention could save your child’s life

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MUSCATINE, Iowa — Daniel Nitzel, a teacher at West Middle School in Muscatine, Iowa, came up with an idea from the school’s active shooter training.

He has invented “The Sleeve,” a 12-gauge carbon steel case that fits around the door’s closer arm, securing it from the inside. It can withstand more than 550 foot-pounds of force.

“We were instructed to tie a belt or a cord around the closer arm,” Nitzel said. “It seemed like a logical way to secure a door without having to go into the hallway, (but) it took us a long time to get a cord, stand on a chair and tie a knot, which could potentially be the most important tie of your life.

“I can tell you in our training, all five rooms that the teachers were trained in, the doors were breached, the cords were ripped and the officer who was portraying the active shooter came in and killed all of us.”

Read more at WQAD.




  • Anonymous

    Sorry, you can’t guarantee that will work. Two police officers were just shot in Las Vegas. We don’t want to throw out useful tactics. Even if you are armed the ability to slow and contain your enemy is useful. You want every possible advantage.

  • dannyboy

    Get rid of guns? Gee golly, why don’t we all just hope and pray real hard that nobody ever hurts anyone again? What a rube.

    • Or, be realistic about what kills

      You know why we don’t hear anything else about that mass knife attack at a Pittsburgh high school from a month or so ago? Because no one died. In attacks like these, guns cause more deaths than other weapons. If the Vegas killers had tried to knife the police officers, do you think they would’ve made it to the WalMart?

      • Anonymous

        Ok, then what about the 6 people killed in Santa Barbara — half of which were with a knife. The bottom line is it’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem.

      • Audra Lind (@audlindal)

        The people who were killed with knives all knew the shooter and were killed in their own homes. Mass killings are almost always done with guns. You don’t hear of people with knives running around slashing people to death. Yes, knife attacks have happened, but there are few if any casualties. The difference between us and the rest of the civilized world is our population’s unabetted access to GUNS.

        I’m a teacher, and what’s worse, I’m a teacher with a classroom within easy running distance of the main entrance. Or, as I sadly think about these things these days, I’m the teacher with the first classroom potentially in the line of fire. We have armed officers in my school, and I’ve heard the deans are discussing the possibility of a locked rifle box in their offices. But if they are in the lunch room or across the building, my room is a target and we’d all be dead by the time they responded to take out the shooter and minimize the loss of life.

        We’d also all probably be dead by the time the alarm went out to drop a metal curtain around the door.

        We do practice active shooter drills, and both hard and soft lockdowns in my school. I know it is my job to run into the hallway and get as many kids into my room as possible. When we first started doing these drills I used to joke with students that we’d get in the room, lock the door, and huddle in the far corner, with them around me as protection. I’d never, ever make that joke again after the last year. Now, I worry about the fact that I couldn’t shield all of them. I worry about the fact that I live in gun country, where most of my students have access to all sorts of weapons, and where education funding keeps getting cut, so my class sizes are increasing, and I don’t know some of my own students well enough to know whether or not something could possibly be brewing in their lives that would cause them to snap. I also know some of them have serious mental problems in need of help we can’t always get to them.

        And so here we sit. In rooms with doors needing locking. Lobbying for steel curtains. With families in need of mental health services, with an incredibly well-armed community, with armed officers already in our schools, with a visible police presence in place alerting potential shooters to the fact that there are guns in the school. Knowing that most shooters anticipate encountering armed defenders and really just plan to take as many with them before receiving an officer-assisted suicide. So here we sit. Like effing sitting ducks while the country debates why it is important to bear arms like assault rifles that could take out my class in an instant.

        By the way. The teachers in my school asked for funding for doors we can lock from the inside, and were told it is not in the budget.

        Here we sit.

      • Anonymous

        Rawanda…. Need I say more? They carried out a full on genocide, guns and bullet free! People will find a way to hurt others if they truely want it to happen. Banning the weapons is not working, but they don’t care. It makes all you idiots feel “safer”. Enjoy your safety!

  • vickystkrjourney

    Get rid of guns, you say? So, let’s see…all the good people of the USA obligingly surrender all their weapons. So now nobody has guns, right? Wrong. Now only the bad guys have guns. Why do people go right to “get rid of guns” when we should be finding ways to protect ourselves and keep ourselves and our loved ones safe? I have a gun. It is legal. It is registered. I practice regularly. I carry always. Do I WANT to use the gun? No. Will I use it if I’m in a situation that warrants it? You bet. These active shooters are not completely dumb. They seek out targets that they know cannot defend themselves.

    I think this invention is a great idea. Yes, it is sad that we need to consider having something like this, but it is also sad that we cannot get drunk drivers off the road, cure cancer, or solve the world hunger problem. What is good is that we have people that are finding ways to fix these problems. They don’t just stand around and say “get rid of guns”. They say how can we defend ourselves should there be a need. If we are to take away guns, should we also take away knives, baseball bats, croquet mallets, polo mallets, cars, motorcycles, semis, cast iron skillets?

    This issue is not black and white. Each situation is different and we need to start looking at the reasons these incidents are occurring.

      • Anonymous

        That’s not what he was saying! That the problem with people. They misread and misunderstand what someone is saying. So are we suppose to take spoons and forks away from people so they don’t get fat or fatter? What about pencils so people don’t misspell words? I am all for guns. I have multiple myself. I will use them if I have to in order to protect myself and my family. It will be a war between the people and the government the day guns are to be taken away. But no one is pushing everyone to be armed. And there are a lot of insecure, naive, uneducated people out there that think the mass shootings are caused by guns….. The mass shootings are caused by people, mentally ill or not. These people choose to use guns as their choice of weapon. But they could just as much damage with a bomb, a knife, a car, etc.; but like I said they are choosing the gun.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t give me that argument about knives, baseball bats, pencils (etc), because they don’t have the destructive power of a gun. And actually, the mass shootings are caused by mentally ill people with ACCESS to guns (the combination), but we make it so hard to make that connection.

        I don’t mind that you have a gun (really), but how do we limit them from the folks who shouldn’t have them? Perhaps a little bit of a reduction in the availability – when is it enough? What can you “give” to the equation in order to limit these events? This is not all-or-nothing (IE – black or white), and arming everyone is not the solution, particularly when half of the population thinks we have gone too far with guns already. Something must be done because the status quo isn’t working.

  • OMGeee

    Here’s an idea: why don’t we keep ideas like this on the DL so that shooters can’t one-up the teachers? Now they will start carrying more explosives to blow out doors that no door jam on earth would stop. The news needs to stop publicizing this info.

  • Maggie

    I have a friend that says some school kids came up with a similar device a couple of years ago has anyone checked that???

  • ucdzombie

    What if the gunman initiated the attack within the classroom and he locks it from inside and take takes everyone hostage?

  • annpirie

    No amount of gun control laws will prevent a criminal and/or sick mind from getting a hold of one.

  • roy

    How about a remote control device that would shut and deadbolt the door all in one push of the push a securtiy code number button…..and a bullet proof door…..

  • Bosco

    Pretty sure you all are arguing with someone that isn’t even an American Citizen. You are having a battle of wits with an unarmed individual.

  • WhiteLabRat

    Why are there so many comments in this thread defending guns? Did the article say “This will make guns obsolete?” It did not.

    Feeling a tad defensive are we?

  • Willard Gage

    having teachers that are armed would be a better option. The crazies would not go to such a school in the first place. In the second place one does not need to wait for the police to show up, which takes several minutes and gives the crazy ample time to kill as many people as possible. No it is much better that there are armed people at the school so that the shooter has only seconds, not minutes to do any damage.

  • A. C. Ratone

    We do not read reports of disgruntled/sick people taking guns to police stations and shooting random people, do we? Because there are folks inside those places with guns who will instantly shoot back. We do read reports of attacks on movie theaters and schools where guns are prohibited and controlled. Because the attackers know there are not likely any armed people there.

    Therefore the method to reduce these types of attacks is obvious. Think about it. In the 1870’s where nearly everybody out west carried firearms we never read of sick people shooting up school rooms or random shooting of strangers on the street do we? There were plenty of gunfighters and criminals and famous gunfights, but no attacks against crowds of innocent people.

    These sick people look for areas where crowds of unarmed people will be congregated. If teachers were trained and had a secure safe with a gun locked inside out of site, these attacks would stop in schools. If airline pilots had secured guns in the cockpit, hijacks will be very rare. Open carry of guns on military bases in the U.S. is now prohibited and look how incidents there have started happening. The solution to these problems is not politically correct, but it is obvious.

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