My husband, Eric, was invited to present as part of a panel on active shooter scenarios at the International Association of Emergency Managers’ annual convention, which happened to be in Reno this year. In 1992, on Simon’s Rock College of the Bard campus in Massachusetts, Eric’s former roommate, Wayne Lo, went on a shooting spree. Eric’s had to live with the guilt of hindsight, wondering if he’d missed some warning sign that this guy he trusted was going to blow his top.
He and other students had to fight the school administration from going completely overboard about a student bringing a brightly-colored plastic squirt gun on campus and being suspended for it following the incident. He has spent many years studying school shootings, and has seen school policies go from “all guns are evil” to “maybe lockdowns alone aren’t working and we need to try something new”.
The media and “professionals” have told us that there are security guards on campuses and in schools, and this keeps the students safe. The first person Wayne (and most school shooters, actually) took out was the security guard. These same professionals also tell us that banning guns at schools makes them safer. Do they really think that the person coming to kill people cares if they’re breaking the rules by carrying a gun on campus?
They tell us that police response times and training in these situations have gotten better. Great, can I carry an officer in my pocket? Even with the phenomenal response time of three minutes by the Sparks, Nevada police department to the school shooting last week just south of where we’re staying, the incident was already done and the shooter had killed himself.
Of course, this was after a math teacher at the school, a highly-decorated Marine Corps veteran, tried to talk the 12-year-old boy down, giving other students a chance to escape, but losing his life in the process.
If we can trust a Marine with a firearm to keep the peace in a foreign country, why wouldn’t we expect them to be able to handle one in a classroom, typically a much less violent area? If we entrust our children’s minds, souls and bodies to a teacher for eight hours of the day, why wouldn’t we give them the tools to defend them?
Back to the conference. Watching the presentation on active shooter situations by the other two panelists, I was struck by the changes that were being considered by some of the most forward-thinking and highest authorities in emergency management. An emergency manager at a Texas college made a statement that…