We Ask Self Defense Experts - Would a Baseball Bat Work Against a School Shooter?
Would the small baseball bats given to Millcreek school teachers be effective against a school shooter? We took that question to Park's Martial Arts Academy on Peach Street in Erie.
The Millcreek School District is still making headlines for arming teachers with small baseball bats, to protect their classrooms.
Some see it as a sign that schools are ready to fight back, against any threat to students, while others wonder if a little bat, would be effective against a gun.
We took that question to Park's Martial Arts Academy on Peach Street in Erie.
Self-defense student Joe Topel, who has school aged children, doesn't think the bat would be effective. He served in special ops in the U.S. Airforce, and thinks the armed teachers would be the first target for a shooter. "If you have a bat, you’re going to be a threat to that individual, they’re going to see you as a threat and they’re going to probably shoot you first, so I wouldn’t be a proponent of arming teachers with bats," Topel said.
Grand Master Park has been teaching self-defense and Taekwondo in Erie for nearly 20 years, he taught before that in New Jersey. He told us it's hard to defend yourself against a person with a gun, but your mental preparedness is very important.
He demonstrated several ways to take on an armed person, without using a bat. As a grand master, who has spent his life practicing and teaching self-defense, he is fast and full of approaches to disarm a bad guy with a handgun.
Then he showed us a couple of ways that a bat could be used as a tool to fight back against an armed assailant. Park says you need to move fast to get out of the way, and then hit the gunman on the wrist of the arm holding the gun, to knock out that weapon.
Park's main message is that taking training in self defense is the key to having the confidence and speed you might need to take on any threatening situation. Students in the class agree.
Karen Vesk said, I think that everybody should take some sort of self defense courses. It does actually clear your mind and prepare you for all kinds of things...your reflexes are faster, you think about ways of getting out of a situation, and whether that’s in a classroom or out in a parking lot, or somebody doing a home invasion, it prepares you a lot more mentally."
And Topel, who has been taking classes for three and a half years, says it offers many benefits. "I love it, I come three days a week and it’s not only excellent exercise and keeps you healthy and in shape, it also teaches you to be ready for the moment if you need it."