The Burlington Township School Attack Scenario
The mock terror attack involved two irate men armed with handguns who invaded the high school through the front door. They pretended to shoot several students in the hallway and then barricaded themselves in the media center with 10 student hostages.The scenario for the drill could have ended right there, but it didn’t.
Two Burlington Township police detectives portrayed the gunmen.
To make the drill more realistic, about 10 students volunteered to act as hostages or wounded victims. Several faculty members helped simulate a complete school lockdown, followed by an evacuation.
Two Burlington Township police detectives portrayed the gunmen. Investigators described them as members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the “New Crusaders” who don't believe in separation of church and state. The mock gunmen went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class.It’s this last part of the script that has people upset. It was totally unnecessary for the purpose of conducting the drill, but it does beg the question - why was it added to the scenario?
Blue Jersey’s Steve Hart believes it was a nod to the “reality-based community”:
And yet the public, working on the evidence of its eyes rather than the blinkered ideology of the Bush cultists, constantly has to be reminded to be afraid only of certain kinds of terrorists. It has the temerity to notice that while Islamist violence abroad is certainly dangerous, we have plenty of homegrown terrorists with light complexions and flag decals on their vehicles to worry about as well. This annoying tendency of the reality-based community keeps conservative pundits and bloggers in a near-continuous state of sputtering Yosemite Sam outrage.As someone who regularly refers to conservatives as knuckle-draggers and Jesus whoopers, we’ll discount Hart’s calm analysis just a tad. It is clear though why Hart thinks the additional information in the scenario was necessary - some may have been reminded of the Beslan school hostage crisis and massacre or of the recent bulletin by Homeland Security to law enforcement warning that Muslims with "ties to extremist groups" are signing up to be school bus drivers. To Hart that’s a big no-no.
This fear-crazed brand of wingnut political correctness is in full noxious flower this week as Michelle Malkin - whose eruptions of nonsensical outrage occur as regularly as blasts of steam from Old Faithful.
Burlington Township officials probably were afraid of being attacked by the “reality- based P.C. crowd” for stirring up fear about Islamic theorists. So, the right-wing praying,” New Crusaders” who don't believe in the separation of church and state, bit was added. The additions to the scenario certainly made Hart happy. But you can’t please everyone, Blue Jersey’s “huntsu” says the “the scenario is stupid” and based on “a right-wing lie”.
Burlington Township should have stuck with the basic scenario and let people fill in their own blanks as to who the gunmen were and what their motivations might have been.