School Children Which Are Safer

In late 2002, I suggested adding tanks of Dentist's 'laughing gas' into the air ducts of a large auditorium in Moscow where terrorists held many hostages. I then asked my good friend Peter Jennings of ABC News to suggest this idea to the Russian government. The idea was for EVERYONE to simply doze off and sleep, so Authorities might then enter the building, and then sort out the good people from the bad.

There are actually a variety of other anesthetic gases which might be used. Isoflurane, Enflurane and Halothane are among many others, which each act faster and more effectively than Nitrous Oxide does.

I feel the same idea might be valuable for schools (and Churches and movie theaters).

On December 15, 2014, Australian Police were helpless for 16 hours while a terrorist held the 17 people in a Cafe, which ended with the deaths of two innocent victims. I wonder if that Cafe had had a connection available in their furnace/air conditioning ducts for Police to connect some tanks of Nitrous Oxide or other anesthetic gas, might everyone in that Cafe would just have fallen asleep during those 16 hours, specifically including the terrorist? If that might have worked, would the Police have been able to just walk in to sort out the bad guy from all the other sleeping people?

Since the Sandy Hook disaster, early in December two years ago, the United States has had 94 more school shootings, virtually one every week. But Reporters all realize that with both Houses of Congress about to be controlled by Republicans, no restriction of guns or gun owners will happen. In fact, many States and cities have now authorized millions of people to have 'Concealed Carry' where gun owners now get to HIDE the weapons they decide they have a right to carry. Don't all the other people in businesses have any rights, like the right to live? It seems crazy to me that Politicians would have total lack of intelligence and logic to enable so many more people to threaten the rest of us. SAY, why don't we all stick our weapons in our pockets and get drunk and cause some trouble tonight? Does no one realize that as soon as ONE weapon is fired in such a bar, everyone with a concealed weapon will pull it out and start to fire. A bunch of drunken people with weapons who all want to show how macho they are? Do 'I' want to be in such a bar?

I will always believe that IF Sandy Hook had had tanks of nitrous oxide connected to their air ducts, that some or all of those 20 sweet children might still be alive today.

A Principal might have a 'red button' to be able to press as soon as there was any evidence of any intruder or riot or other violence in a school. A school might have its central heating system slightly modified where the air supplies for hallways and entry areas might be separate from the air supplies for individual classrooms, but that may not actually be necessary.

If a Principal felt there was extreme danger and pressed the button, the worse-case scenario is that all the children might get sleepy and doze off. Hopefully, very few would fall out of their desks.

This idea is intended to be undetectable by an intruder, of SILENTLY adding a SAFE anesthetic gas to the air in the school, one that did not have any obvious odor to alert the intruder. Nitrous oxide is a very safe gas, very similar to the air in our atmosphere, which is commonly used by Dentists and Surgeons as an anesthetic, mostly because it is so safe to use.

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A school might choose to use a faster-acting anesthetic than Nitrous Oxide, especially for some Entry Foyer areas. There are quite a number of such anesthetic gases which might be installed into a public building. Standard industrial tanks of Nitrous Oxide might be fitted with an electrical solenoid valve, where the Principal's Red Button might open that valve to release the gas into the building's air ducts, or into only the ducts in an Entry Foyer or Hallway. A school might require twenty or more such tanks, but they are amazingly inexpensive, and just $1000 might install all the needed Nitrous Oxide tanks and solenoid valves and electrical wiring to install this for an entire school, and it probably could all be installed in just a day or two.

NO 'men with guns' would then be necessary in an environment where they would not seem appropriate. More than that, WHO would Vette all those million men who would be hired to stand (and do nothing) inside the many thousands of Elementary, Middle and High Schools in the US? We already are faced with hundreds of thousands of soldiers from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) where they SEEM calm but can 'snap' and become irrational in an instant. Should our school children be forced to spend their school days near such 'guards' who are already constantly armed and who might 'snap' at any moment? I hope not. If I was still a kid today, I would be terrified if my mother ordered me to go to a school filled with men with guns (who allegedly would be there to 'protect' me.)

The idea of a rather harmless 'sleeping gas' or 'Laughing gas' seems a LOT more sane to me!

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 2012.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago