America is in the midst of a heated debate about guns in school, arming teachers, and gun control. The debate was triggered last month when a 19-year old lunatic entered a school in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people.
Since then, we’ve seen students from Stoneman Douglas High school go on tour to call for increased gun control measures– including an appearance on 60 minutes. Major corporations have dropped their sponsorships of the NRA. Democrats introduced legislation to ban some semi-automatics. President Trump expressed his desire to arm teachers, while threatening to “write out” bump stocks on his own. Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling guns to those under the age of 21. And the list goes on.
Even in North Dakota, leaders in education met in Bismarck to discuss the topic of school safety– though they’re missing a key point in the discussion. Some students in the state even participated in the National School Walkout Day last week.
Amidst all the debate taking place across the nation, a 17-year old young man entered Great Mills High School in Maryland this morning and shot two students, before being confronted by an armed school resource officer. According to the Washington Post:
“[St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron] said [the shooter] pulled out a semiautomatic Glock handgun in Hallway F as classes were getting underway at 7:55 a.m. Tuesday at the school of 1,600. [The shooter] shot the female victim, sending students and staff scrambling for cover.
“Cameron said they quickly notified Gaskill, who is the only school resource officer stationed at Great Mills and was assigned there in August. Gaskill is also a member of the local SWAT team and joined the sheriff’s office six years ago.
“Gaskill followed [the shooter] down the hallway before each fired at nearly the same moment, Cameron said.
“[The shooter] may have shot himself, or Gaskill’s bullet may have hit him, but the whole incident lasted less than a minute, Cameron said.”
The shooter later died at the hospital. If you’re interested in the news conference held with Sheriff Cameron this morning, you can see it here.
While we await more details to come out, after surveillance video is analyzed and the information made public, there are many things that we can learn from this event. But perhaps the most important one is that once someone enters a school to inflict harm on others with a gun, it will likely take someone else with a gun to stop him. Yes, it’s the old saying, “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Unfortunately, the Parkland shooting was an example of the carnage that can take place when a shooter isn’t confronted by someone with a gun. The school resource officer there didn’t even enter the school. As a side note, another officer at the school was suspended for sleeping in his car today, when he was supposed to be patrolling the school. They’ve got problems in Broward County.
Now, I suppose someone will argue that we don’t know yet whether the Maryland shooter’s life was ended by his own bullet or the resource officer’s. And that’s true. It hasn’t been confirmed one way or the other yet. But is there any question in your mind that it made a difference to have someone armed to confront him? There’s not in mine. After all, what’s the alternative?
There’s little doubt that we’re dealing with copy-cat school shootings– as was pointed out in this article last month. These are nothing new. We actually discussed this back in November after the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in Texas.
When it comes to school safety, squabbling accomplishes nothing. What should be evident – to anyone with a brain – is that people in gun-free zones, otherwise known as schools, have a higher likelihood of becoming casualties when there’s nobody armed to protect them. Aside from all the other safety measures that can – and should be – taken, we need guns in school. Period.