Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LTE on spree shooters

Written by a former FBI Agent in The Free Lance Star, it mostly covers the elements of stopping a active shooter from a law enforcement perspective.
"All patrol cars must be equipped with military-style rifles and sufficient ammunition to sustain a firefight. The length of many institutional hallways is beyond the marksmanship capabilities of most police officers armed with handguns. A competent and aggressive rifle program must be part of every patrol officer's skill."
That might make some people suck air, but if you were a cop responding to a shooter in a building, would you rather enter with a rifle or a handgun? I would pick the rifle every time, and agree that a good rifle program is paramount.

As for the other elements of the equasion:
"Teachers, administrators, students, and others are most likely to confront the shooter. Some adults must be armed, trained, and courageously willing to defend themselves and other innocents."
Again, I agree. To some, if a person is not wearing some sort of uniform with a shiny thing on their chest then they are totally incapable of handling a weapon. How ridiculous.

I have heard the arguement that teachers are too busy concentrating on students to be able to handle a weapon, and that multi-tasking in that way will cause them to, like, randomly fire rounds in every direction in the event of a shooting or something. They simply can't do day-to-day things with a firearm on their person. It's too complicated.

I don't think that they realise that cops don't wander around with their hand on their weapon all day, and that most of what they do does not involve using it. If they can write tickets, break up fights, chase down bad guys, and chew gum while walking with a holstered handgun, then so can any other human being. Sending school faculty through a voluntary firearms training course and having them qualify annually, if not more, would put them on a level where they would be of use in the event a spree shooting.

If none of them volunteer, then so what? I'm sure many teachers in many states wouldn't want to participate, and I'm not saying that they would have to. But they shouldn't be denied the opportunity.

The last taste of the article, which should be read in full, is this:

"For many reasons, we will experience more of these incidents in businesses, restaurants, shopping malls, and religious centers, as well as in institutions of learning. In particular, shooters seek "gun free zones," because they know they will more likely not be opposed."

"Instead, let's be ready for them."

That's sound advice.

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