Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

First responders to school shootings

As school is about to resume again, it's worth thinking about school shootings and responses to them. For some reason, the "conversation" turned to that on my blog even though it was only mentioned as one smaller part of a post. But that's the way things go here. People get onto a topic and suddenly we are "off and running". So, recently, one of my readers said this about school shootings and allowing "law abiding" gun owners to be "first responders" for the same:


"We recognize we can't be everywhere at once, but neither can the police that you seem to believe will save everyone every time.


What we want you to recognize is that there are more of us law-abiding citizens than there are police, so allowing us to carry helps ensure that SOMEONE is there to help if needed. We'll help the police if they are present, but in their absence we'd be the only responders available. At the very least, the thought that a school might not be as easy a target, that someone there could shoot back, just might prevent some of these shootings.


Google-search "CPR Corollary" sometime to understand the concept of the citizen's role as first responder in the absence of police/EMS. Let us know what you think. Or don't, and we'll know anyway."

The idea that we should or could rely on a citizen gun owner to stop a school shooter is just a ludicrous notion for many many reasons: 
  1. Will there be someone available at every school in the country to help out at the exact moment of a shooting?
  2. Will that person leave a phone number and be at home or where he/she can be reached at all times? Who will call this person? Will that person be called instead of 911? Will the school secretary have time to make more than one call? Who should she/he call first?
  3. Will that person be prepared to leave his/her job or family in the middle of the day to run off to a school to help with a dangerous and deadly situation? And how far away will that be?
  4. Will that person be recognized as someone who is there to help rather than someone who is an accomplice to the shooter?
  5. Will that person be familiar with each school building and where all exits/entrances are located and where the classrooms are and where children might be found? Will that person know the safety plans of the buildings which are developed by each school with approval of administration and practiced several times a year?
  6. Will that person know who the teachers are in the building so as not to shoot at them and/or be able to communicate with them?
  7. Will that person be trained in police procedures for dealing with situations such as this and get and renew training several times per year?
  8. Who are these people that we would entrust to "protect" our children? How will they be vetted? At least we know that police officers are trained for this stuff and are vetted and hired to do the job of protecting us. That is their primary job when they are on duty. It is not a part-time, as needed, and when they are available.
  9. This idea is so far fetched that it's not going to happen. Most educators do not want extra people with guns in their school buildings. School Boards and school administrations work with local law enforcement, as they should, about safety plans for their communities. They should not be working with volunteer gun owners to do the work of law enforcement. 
  10. In looking up the "CPR Corollary",(mentioned in the comment above) I found this, written obviously by a gun rights activist who is trying to convince us why it would be a great idea to have citizens with guns responding to emergencies in our schools and communities. I would suggest that being in a restaurant when someone chokes on food and knowing CPR so you can save that person is more than a bit different than being called to an emergency somewhere else than the place where you happen to be. Rural communities have volunteer fire departments who are trained to do this job. I suppose these folks envision themselves as volunteer defense departments who would take the place of local Sheriff's deputies and police in rural areas where some schools are located. Isn't that a posse? Is that what we want? The answer is no.
  11. Does anyone really believe that if a shooter is intent on carrying out a plan to kill a lot of people, they will think ahead about the possibility ( not the probability) that an armed person will be in the building or the vicinity? It didn't stop this shooter who killed 4 armed police officers in a surprise attack at a Tacoma, Washington area coffee shop. The logic just doesn't work. Crazed or depressed people or those under the influence of drugs and alcohol or someone in a fit of rage just doesn't think things through that logically. That has been shown over and over again. Often people shoot at another person who is clearly armed without thinking through the consequences. 
So, back to school shootings and guns in schools- here is a premise from one of my readers:
    Well when I was 14 we were able to bring guns to school in order to hunt on the way home, if the presence of guns were the issue, why didn't something happen then? Might be the reason instead be the meds kids are being fed as well as the lack of value education. 
    If you look at all these spree shooters, they are all on Prozac or a similar type of anti depressant. Listen to the Ads on tv everyday regarding these depression meds " if you have feelings of suicide, or thoughts of violence please contact your physician". Nobody questions the cost of these meds in terms of the lives they have cost."

    Is this true? The commenter thinks that there are more school shootings now because kids are on medication and, in particular, antidepressants. While it is true that the Red Lake, Columbine, and Virginia Tech shooters all had mental illness and behavior problems, there is certainly not enough cause and effect evidence to prove his point. My brother remembers kids bringing hunting guns to school. Handguns? I doubt it. What has happened to the sale of guns since, say, 1965? My theory is that the hunting guns that the commenter brought to school were mostly seen as just that- guns for hunting on the way home from school, depending on where you live, of course. Fewer kids are hunting now than in past times so kids who might think to bring hunting guns to school are few and far between. So when kids became less interested in hunting, fewer hunting guns were sold. Sales of handguns went up and with new laws passed in almost every state to allow people to carry guns in public, sales were helped. And generally, sales of guns have increased for other reasons. “After being sold a lot of rhetoric and fear from the gun lobby about government taking their guns away and the need for carrying guns in public places, current gun owners must be making the purchases because overall gun purchases are declining,” said Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence." ( more on this topic in a later post). Assault type guns became more popular as well even though there was a ban on certain types of these guns from 1994-2004. And can anyone prove that school shootings are happening more in recent times because there is a ban on guns in schools as my commenters are suggesting?

    As I was writing this post, several more threats of guns and/or explosives in schools have occurred . One was a student from Rochester, Minnesota, whose plan to shoot up his school was thwarted. The other, a student from Tampa, Florida, whose plan to blow up the school from which he was expelled, was discovered in time to prevent it. This 17 year old boy has a criminal record already having been caught with a concealed gun and also removing the serial number from a gun. Last week I wrote about several thwarted attempts at school shootings as well as false alarms of potential people with guns on school grounds. Common sense tells us that easy access to guns is a major problem in our country. Yes, there are kids on antidepressants who shoot up schools or make plans to shoot up schools. But where do these kids get guns? Not every kid on antidepressants decides to get a gun and shoot fellow students and teachers. The mixture of mental illness, kids and guns is a potent and dangerous one.

    One of the best things schools all over the country have done is to make their physical facilities more safe. In Duluth, where I live, every school building will be made safer after a building plan to remodel or build new schools is completed in about a year. Each school will have only one main entry and all doors except the main door which funnels into the office will be locked after the start of the day. Anyone entering will either have to use an ID magnetized card, buzz the office or enter directly to the office with no access to the building except through the office. When we visited our daughter in Pennsylvania in June, we went to my grandson's end-of-year play. All visitors had to wait to enter the building until 15 minutes before the play. We all entered at one door "manned" by school staff who checked us off a list. These are changes schools have made for obvious reasons. These changes plus emergency lock-down plans in case of a shooter, will make our schools safer. They will not prevent all shootings since some students will bring guns and explosives into the building on their persons or in backpacks. But judging from the two incidents linked above, friends of students seem more willing to report incidents before they happen to authorities. Preventing school shootings before they happen is preferable to waiting until the shooter is in the building and calling on volunteer first responders. It's just common sense.


    46 comments:

    1. Yeesh.

      Are you seriously contending that a licensed, legal CC holder is a threat to a school? Really? Knowing what we know about CC holders, that they are statistically far LESS likely to commit crimes, especially crimes of violence, than nearly any other group of people you can imagine (including, amazingly, police officers), such a position is unsupportable by any reasonable set of facts.

      This is not rocket science. No, a CC holder will not be everywhere. That does not discount their ability to respond where they are. And no one pretends that CC holders are a substitute for police; your attempt to portray them as claiming to be is disingenuous.

      It's simple, really: Can you imagine, at Columbine, at Virginia Tech, in any way how the presence of an armed person resisting the shooter could have made the situation worse?

      No.

      And it's possible, though certainly not certain, that the presence of an armed and prepared citizen could have saved many lives.

      The potential upside is huge. The downside is extremely small. Why is this even controversial, aside from your own political goals and fears?



      japete wrote: I would suggest that being in a restaurant when someone chokes on food and knowing CPR so you can save that person is more than a bit different than being called to an emergency somewhere else than the place where you happen to be.

      You, and only you, japete, are suggesting that CC holders are to be "called to an emergency somwhere else than the place where you happen to be." No CC holder has suggested we replace police, or that we are to be called as substitute police. We are not police, and don't imagine we are. Such a fallacy is entirely the invention of you and others such as yourself.

      However, the analogy the writer ACTUALLY suggested, that one can act if one is there, works just fine.



      Finally, despite your statement otherwise, no one suggested that school shootings happen because of a ban on guns in schools. School shootings happen because individuals, whether crazed or with irrational grievances, commit them. It cannot be rationally argued, however, that creating "gun-free zones" in our schools and other places have not made our schools more vulnerable, and more likely targets. Again and again, mass shootings happen in "gun-free zones;" are we to imagine same is simply coincidence?

      Once again: Could VT have possibly been made worse by the presence of someone armed and prepared to defend themselves?

      No.

      And the outcome might (might - there are no guarantees in life) have been much less tragic.

      Case closed.

      Now - do we act rationally, or do we give in to fear of inanimate objects? Do we exercise what experience has taught us is "common sense," or do we let our political goal and personal demons get the better of us?

      Your kids lives may depend on your answer.

      ReplyDelete
    2. No, the case is not closed. The commenter did suggest that there be a citizen first responder group and the link to the CPR Corallary, sent by the commenter made the same assertion. And I believe the commenter was suggesting that back in the days when guns were allowed in schools ( not many I would say) there were not school shootings. But now that guns are banned from schools, we have school shootings. What else can that imply?

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    3. I thought the Red lake School had security measures including a metal detector and a guard at the door the shooter entered.

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    4. It can imply that gun bans are somewhere between useless and counterproductive.

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    5. "Will there be someone available at every school in the country to help out at the exact moment of a shooting?"

      "Will that person be familiar with each school building and where all exits/entrances are located and where the classrooms are and where children might be found? Will that person know the safety plans of the buildings which are developed by each school with approval of administration and practiced several times a year?"

      "Will that person know who the teachers are in the building so as not to shoot at them and/or be able to communicate with them?"

      "Who are these people that we would entrust to protect" our children? How will they be vetted? "

      I suggest that there are already people who meet all of these requirements present in every school in the United States: teachers and staff. And there is also one instance on a school shooting stopped by an armed staff member in Pearl, Mississippi:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_High_School_shooting

      There is also a school district, the Harrold Independent School District in Texas, that has approved a policy allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons while at school, with no problems of which I am aware.

      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5945430.html

      Now, I am not saying that the other security measures that you describe should be eliminated. Quite the opposite! But in the gravest extreme, if all of those other measures fail, then the best response is to resist the active shooter as quickly as possible. History shows that citizens can be as effective as police in resisting active shooters.

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    6. Japete;

      Guns are a part of the fabric of American Society, it would take tremendous effort just to role things back to 1997 (13 years) when CCW was relatively rare and the AWB was in place. I doubt you could even get there, even Paul Helmke has started saying he doesn't want to ban handguns anymore.

      Making it harder to own or get them in a way that will be palatable to the American people would say, cut the number owned by 40% will have no appreciable effect on crime. The benefits you would like to see are not possible in America, the % of ownership you would need to reduce is too much to accomplish. There are simply too many guns and too many Americans that own them. Those Americans are also far more likely to vote the issue than those that dont like guns or dont care one way or the other.

      Being that this country was and is a gun culture and the guns are not going to go away we do need to find a way for them to exist as constructively in society as possible. Gun owners may even be willing to work with you on this constructiveness but there are some limits we have.
      1. We will not hide them- People need to quit being slaves to anxiety and deal with the fact that legal ownership (to include lawful carry) exists. I carry concealed as a defensive tactic and because I am polite to those ruled by fear. I dont want to deal with them and their anxieties in public, not because I think they are right to feel that way.
      2. We will not be pushed into acting like we are wrong for owning them. They are not dirty, evil or a symptom of mental instability. I will not be treated as such and will not sit down and talk with those who treat me that way.
      3. Guns are too dangerous for gun owners to let you reduce guns to a useless state. You can either have them be just a bauble with no purpose, just a liability (the kind of gun ownership you advocate (for sport, no carry or defensive role)) or you can grant them a place in society befitting their capability. I know you dont like them but they are here and not going away. They will be owned by non law enforcement. So lets come up with a qualification system you would be comfortable with to allow them to be carried or positioned to be used to defend life. If you reject this while saying you dont support banning all guns you are essentially saying that we should be able to own something incredibly dangerous but may not derive any benefit from them.

      To review: Don't make me hide or be ashamed of my law abiding, legal hobby and acknowledge that they are going to have to have a functional role in society and we can all get together and start hammering out common sense gun laws.

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    7. japete wrote: One of the best things schools all over the country have done is to make their physical facilities more safe. . . . .

      Excellent. I write to you as a lawyer and former teacher (12 years).

      I have no problem with the items noted in that paragraph, though some are frankly excessive. These are schools, not prisons.

      The fact of the matter is, however, that sooner or later those measures, despite our best efforts, will fail. A spree shooter will be in a school, perhaps your child's school. And the police will race to the school, risk their lives, and do everything they can to stop the shooter.

      And in the 3-5 minutes it takes police to respond, doing the very best they can, children will die.

      And they will die needlessly.

      They will die for the same reason Suzanna Hupp's parents died - because no one was there who had the tools to stop a lunatic bent on murder.

      Why?

      Because the local school board, bowing to political correctness, declared the school to be a "gun free zone," ensuring that no one could respond in those moments that mean the difference between life and death.

      And after the shooting, the Brady Center will use the tragedy to "prove" that we need more gun-free zones . . . so more children can die.

      Yes, I'm bitter about it. As you should be. Sacrificing our children for the sake of political correctness is unacceptable.

      I don't care how much you don't like guns.
      I don't care that it gets in the way of your political goals.
      I don't care how much it upsets you personally.
      I don't care how much you wish schools could be absolutely safe; they're not, and they cannot be.

      The only way to stop a spree shooter is by stopping him, and we need not deprive ourselves of the appropriate tools to effectively do so. To not do so is to accept that needless casualties are the price of "feeling" better about our schools.

      That's not good enough.

      We know that legal CC holders are not a threat to the public; that's been proven again and again. The Brady Center opposes every gun liberalization move for a simple reason: it upsets their political agenda to demonize and ban guns. Every time a new CC law passes and blood does not run in the streets, every time an open carry event happens and no one is shot, every time a new shooter goes to the range, the fear of firearms the Brady Center relies upon, the constant drumbeat of fear and paranoia they thrive on, is lessened.

      Can a gun owner stop every spee shooter? Of course not. He may be shot himself, or he may find himself in the wrong place, unable to assist. But it only takes one in the right place, at the right time. Spree shooters depend on their victims being disarmed, cowering in fear.

      The shooter at VT had to come through a door, a "fatal funnel," to enter a classroom. A classroom that knew what was coming; they had heard the shots, and knew he was coming for them. One pistol, in the right hands, and that spree shooting is ended, and lives are saved.

      But no. We'd apparantly rather condemn our teachers, our children, our students, to hiding under desks and begging for their lives as they are executed.

      How in the hell can you defend that as a better outcome?

      How many children have to die for political correctness?

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    8. How about real "first responders" arrive to a call of "a man with gun" to see well meaning individual?

      Well, just work it out for yourself.

      But, I don't think the police will be pinning a medal on this individual.

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    9. BTW, Anon, at approximately 11:24 a.m., a Jefferson County deputy sheriff arrived at the scene and began shooting at Harris and Klebold during the Columbine Incident.

      Harris and Klebold walked out of the library at 11:42 a.m., ending the massacre.

      Again, work it out for yourself.

      But I'll give you a hint that the Sheriff didn't really stop much of anything.

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    10. I have to wonder how all of those people in other countries without conceal and carry laws and much stricter gun laws get along in their daily lives without them. It must be just miserable for them.

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    11. " Sacrificing our children for the sake of political correctness is unacceptable." Really? Come on. Don't you read my posts about all of the kids who die from gunshot injuries every day in this country? Easy accessibilty to guns has made that possible. In no other country does this happen. Your arguments make no sense.

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    12. Regarding Red Lake, " As he entered the school through the main entrance, he encountered two unarmed security guards who were manning a metal detector. Weise shot and killed security guard Derrick Brun, while the other security guard managed to escape without injury." I guess when you are well armed and surprise security guards, you can get past the metal detectors. They are moot at that point.

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    13. "I guess when you are well armed and surprise security guards, you can get past the metal detectors. They are moot at that point."

      Exactly. Metal detectors and unarmed guards are no more effective than no-guns signs and unarmed guards.

      Even armed guards aren't much help, if they can be identified and are at a known location. As guards at a metal detector must be.

      Deterrence is a product of uncertainty. Armed guards at the door are a known and predictable threat that can be planned for and dealt with. Random armed civilians are not. Which is why they are by far the most effective thing you can do to prevent this sort of thing.

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    14. Having gone through the lock down drill at several schools, I understood that my role as a teacher was to attend to the children- to get them to a safe place and stay with them to keep them safe and deal with their fear. My role was not to go looking for the shooter or confront the shooter. That was always clear in the safety plans. A signal was given on the school's loud speakers and we all were instructed to lock our doors, turn out lights and get away from windows. We had numbered windows and doors so law enforcement would know, if a 911 call was made, where the shooter might be located. We had a plan for where we would go if we had to evacuate the building and where parents would go in case of a lock down to wait for children. All of this came as a result of the Columbine school shooting. In almost all cases, the attacks are complete surprises and sometimes people at one end of the building don't know what's happening at the other end. In one of the schools where I worked, it was large enough that I wouldn't even hear any noise at the other end. We had a gun threat in the form of a note from a student at that building and installed temporary metal detectors which were used for over a week. It was very scary and unneverved students and staff alike.In most of the shootings, students and teachers report hearing noises but usually they don't think of them as gunshots because they don't expect shooting to be happening. It takes some time for people to react when they are taken by surprise and sometimes that means it's not possible to stop the shooter. That is the way almost every school shooting is described if you read the accounts of the incidents. In the case of Columbine, one officer who was armed ran out of ammunition. He was outgunned. He called for help and even then they had to call for more ammunition because Harris and Klebold had several guns and lots of ammunition. These situations are not as black and white as you guys seem to think they are or should be. There is chaos, surprise, fear, adrenaline taking over and the instinct to run for safety. Unpredictability is on the side of the shooters in most cases.

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    15. And where would those "random armed citizens" come from? You guys have an entirely different view of how things would actually turn out. Your ideas are just not in any school safety plan I have been involved with on any level. Your plans will just not work.

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    16. "And where would those "random armed citizens" come from?"

      Joan, as has been said before, THEY WOULD BE WORKING AT THE SCHOOL. They would be teachers, janitors, or principals who had concealed carry permits. They may decide not to run toward the sound of gunfire, or they may. They might stop the attack, or they might die. But they would have the ability to DO something EFFECTIVE.

      Remember the professor at VA Tech who had survived the holocaust? How he took action to try to protect his students. All he could do was selflessly try to block the door to keep the maniac away from his students. I'll bet his last thought wasn't "Boy I'm sure glad that I don't have a gun."

      You talked about lock down procedures. What if after all that locking the door, turning off the lights, the bad guy decided to kick your door in anyway? Now what? Do you sit and watch them execute your kids or do you fight with everything you can get your hands on?

      My plan when I was a student at the University of Utah was pretty simple. If the gunshots sounded far away, get out of the room and out of the building. If they sound close, hunker down in the classroom. Tell other students that I carry a weapon. If bad guy comes into my room, he will get shot a whole bunch. When the police arrive, gun goes back into the holster.

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    17. "Your ideas are just not in any school safety plan I have been involved with on any level. Your plans will just not work. "

      Our ideas are not part of any schools safety plan that you have been involved with because most educators share your hoplophobia.

      You assume these these "plans" won't work because you deny the demonstrated history of incidents where armed resistance did work.

      I know this won't convince you, but perhaps I can inspire readers of your blog to dig deeper into this issue and make up their on minds.

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    18. Japete: "I have to wonder how all of those people in other countries without conceal and carry laws and much stricter gun laws get along in their daily lives without them. It must be just miserable for them."

      Answer: Ask the Norwegians how they feel. While they have liberal gun laws for Europe they are not liberal by US standards. They also do not have CCW. Reducing this violence is only possible though a vast reduction in the number of firearms and firearms owners in the US and the political will to reduce them that much is not there. It may not even be possible due to the sheer number of firearms in the US and the fact that most states do not require any registration.

      So great Japete, I understand your position. It wont happen, what next? What are we really going to do to help the situation?

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    19. I have already responded to that one. Norway's overall gun deaths are miniscule compared to the U.S. In about 2 days in the U.S. there are 64 gun homicides. In Norway in one day, 69 were shot to death. So you could say that in 3 days we shoot more people in the U.S. than in one horrific tragedy in Norway. In total, 80 people a day die from gunshot wounds in the U.S- more than the total in Norway. That includes accidental gun deaths and suicide.

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    20. "They should not be working with volunteer gun owners to do the work of law enforcement. "

      I don't think anyone is actually looking for this.

      What I am looking for,though, is the ability to legally carry on school and daycare property - the same way that I can lawfully carry in nearly any other location in Minnesota.

      In fact, before 2003, when the Minnesota Personal Protection Act was passed, it was entirely legal to do so.

      There's no objective data in any state that indicates that this has been a problem in any state where it is legal to do so. Just like there's no objective aggregate data showing that permit holders are anything other than the law abiding citizens that we've said that they are all along.

      B

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    21. "Your ideas are just not in any school safety plan I have been involved with on any level."

      Are you properly qualified to be developing a school safety plan? What are those qualifications?
      b

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    22. "Having gone through the lock down drill at several schools, I understood that my role as a teacher was to attend to the children- to get them to a safe place and stay with them to keep them safe and deal with their fear. My role was not to go looking for the shooter or confront the shooter. "

      I've no interest in looking for the shooter or confronting the shooter. I am, however, interested in using force to protect myself and my family, as a last resort, while I'm hiding in that room.

      If I'm unarmed, then there's very little that I can do - perhaps throw something, perhaps rush the shooter, who knows.

      B

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    23. "In the case of Columbine, one officer who was armed ran out of ammunition. He was outgunned. He called for help and even then they had to call for more ammunition because Harris and Klebold had several guns and lots of ammunition. These situations are not as black and white as you guys seem to think they are or should be. There is chaos, surprise, fear, adrenaline taking over and the instinct to run for safety. Unpredictability is on the side of the shooters in most cases. "

      Columbine has led to a number of clear lessons learned for many groups - schools and law enforcement in particular.

      Any law enforcement agency worth their salt today will have their officers better prepared and trained to deal with an active shooter situation - including better weapons and active shooter "kits" that give the officer more ammunition, medical supplies, and so on.

      What we clearly understand though - is that the best way to stop an active shooter is with aggressive lethal force. No other method has been successful to date.
      b

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    24. Adjust for population and try again. I am sure we have more per capita gun crime than Norway, but lets be fair here. Comparing absolute numbers of crimes between the 3rd most populous nation on earth and the 118th is not very useful.

      Now, considering the unlikelihood of significantly pinching the accessibility of firearms by those that want them (I didnt say make it harder to legally buy, I said significantly reducing accessibility (beg, borrow, steal). How do we truly reduce crime? Its provable that legally used firearms change the course of criminal events away from the plans of the criminal thousands of times a year.
      On the other hand thousands of people kill themselves or others every year.
      So how do we reduce the latter number without reducing the former?

      Additionally, making firearms ownership inconvenient or difficult will likely impact the former RADICALLY more than the latter. That would be the worst of both worlds.

      Japete, if you don't want to ban guns (which you have repeatedly said you are not advocating) will take any stand for them? Say "I dont believe in CCW, but I will stand up for your right to defend yourself with legally owned and registered firearms kept in your home?"

      You say you are not advocating a ban, but if the American people changed tommorrow and wanted to ban all guns...would you fight it as being wrong?

      Not much common sense in me trying to make deals with someone who would utterly ban something important to me if they could.

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    25. I don't make deals on this blog. By the way, the comparison is number per 100,000 so it is perfectly fair. That is the only good way to look at the number of gun deaths in the U.S. in comparison to other countries and it is not a pretty picture.

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    26. Bryan, as someone who worked in several schools, I was well aware of the school safety plans and attended several workshops about school safety plans. At staff meetings, we were informed of and expected to know the school safety plans.

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    27. So, Bryan, you are saying that even after the Gun Free School Zones Act passed in 1990 and then later after it was repealed in the 90s, you were free to carry your gun in the schools until Minnesota passed the CCW law in 2003? How so? And then this- from this site http://www.lcav.org/content/Guns_in_Schools.pdf
      " ... at least 50 times as many murders of young people ages 5-18 occurred away from school than at achool, and at least 140 times as many youth suicides were committed off school property than at school. Less than 1% of all homicides and suicides among school-age youth occur on school grounds, going to and from school, or on the way to or from school-sponsored events." So again, why do you need to have your gun at a nursery school or K-12 school? Do you yourself feel threatened by someone in the school? Are the kids threatening to you? How about a teacher or a prinicpal? Is there a parent at an Open House or PTA meeting who you feel you might be threatened by or maybe with whom you have a grievance? What is the reason you must have your gun at a school?

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    28. "So, Bryan, you are saying that even after the Gun Free School Zones Act passed in 1990 and then later after it was repealed in the 90s, you were free to carry your gun in the schools until Minnesota passed the CCW law in 2003? How so?"

      It wasn't repealed, it was overturned in a court decision for being unconstitutional.

      In any event, the 1990 version of the law, and the 1996 version of the law contained an exemption for permit holders (defined as licensed in the statute)

      So if you weren't prohibited by state law from carrying in a school, and had a permit under your state's permit law, then you were legally able to do so.

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    29. "So again, why do you need to have your gun at a nursery school or K-12 school? Do you yourself feel threatened by someone in the school? Are the kids threatening to you? How about a teacher or a prinicpal? Is there a parent at an Open House or PTA meeting who you feel you might be threatened by or maybe with whom you have a grievance? What is the reason you must have your gun at a school? "

      I don't feel threatened at all. If I did, I wouldn't go there - nor would my children.

      I carry because I can - and because the police aren't always going to be there to protect my family or I. Nor can the school or daycare guarantee my protection.

      B

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    30. "Bryan, as someone who worked in several schools, I was well aware of the school safety plans and attended several workshops about school safety plans. At staff meetings, we were informed of and expected to know the school safety plan"

      Just to be clear - you're not claiming to be some sort of school safety expert with a background as a security or law enforcement professional qualified to develop school safety plans?
      b

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    31. "even after the Gun Free School Zones Act passed in 1990 and then later after it was repealed in the 90s, you were free to carry your gun in the schools until Minnesota passed the CCW law in 2003? How so?"

      18 USC 922 (q) (2)

      (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

      (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm -

      (i) on private property not part of school grounds;

      (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

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    32. No, Bryan. Though I did serve on the School Board in Duluth a while ago and that was before most of the school shootings had occurred so we didn't deal with specific safefy plans as are now in School Board policy.

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    33. "..Do you yourself feel threatened by someone in the school? Are the kids threatening to you? How about a teacher or a prinicpal? Is there a parent at an Open House or PTA meeting who you feel you might be threatened by or maybe with whom you have a grievance? What is the reason you must have your gun at a school?"

      Since 1990 there have been at least 225 incidents of STUDENT initiated, non gang related violence http://www.learn-usa.com/relevant_to_et/Youth_Violence.pdf thousands if you count beatings..

      Since 1990 I can't find a single incidence of a fire breaking out in a school and hurting children yet we insist on the best possible sprinklers and fire safety systems for schools.

      Can you defend the logic of insisting on the best fire protection money can buy for schools when there have been zero incidents of school fire and yet insist that schools remain a disarmed place when violence is almost always initiated with a weapon?

      That is, If this is about the safety of the children and not actually a political battle.

      Imagine if there had been 225 school fires since 1990 where kids died. What do you think people would be demanding of the school board?

      You talk about common sense. Common sense would seem to dictate that whatever it is you are doing is NOT working. You are stuck with gun ownership and an armed population, so pretending that guns will go away isn't a solution. Signs don't work. Laws don't work. An active shooter in a school has never been stopped early, but IF we ever hope to do that, it has to be down with some sort of force.

      We have a proposal that may or may not work, but it IS doing something DIFFERENT than what we do now. I'd like to hear a proposal from the anti-gun side that offers something that will stop or thwart violent person once they are in the school.

      Anything less is making people *feel* safer without actually making them safer. Simply saying "more guns would make it worse" denies that it is already as bad as it gets once the shooting starts and takes NO responsibility for the consequences of making a school a place that evil doers can go where they KNOW there is not likely to be anyone with the ability to stop them.

      I'm not insisting that guns in schools would make a difference. What I'm saying is that something must change and those changes must deal with the current reality of gun accessibility in america and if law abiding teachers, parents, etc were allowed to be armed, then PERHAPS we would have a gun around at the moment a gun is needed rather than 10 minutes after the fact.

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    34. 18 Echo. I totally defend the plans put in place by school districts all over the country and I totally disagree with your "logic"

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    35. "I totally defend the plans put in place by school districts all over the country and I totally disagree with your "logic" "

      What data exists from the states where it is legal to carry a firearm into a school that shows this is more dangerous than the status quo?

      Again, there is no aggregate data indicating that permit holders are at the root of any sort of crime problem - in fact, such data indicates that permit holders commit crime at a late far FAR below that of the general populace.

      Also, since you've already acknowledged that you don't possess any expertise in security or law enforcement that makes you qualified to speak on school safety matters, I'm not sure what you have to offer on this subject against those that do?r

      b

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    36. Just like you, Bryan, I am basing my opinion on the facts as I know them and see them. I linked to an article about shootings in schools where most shootings actually do not take place. There is no need for you to be there with your gun. When you speak of something being taken from you gun permit holders when the 2003 Mn. Permit law passed, you are disengenuous. Before 2003, it was rare for people to receive permits to carry guns from law enforcement. It was a "May Issue" so there were not many of you walking around in public with loaded guns. That changed after 2003 when suddenly the number of people with loaded guns rose a lot. So unless you had shown a need to carry a gun with your local law enforcement , you were likely not carrying anyway before 2003. I wonder how all those people lived before they were allowed to carry guns around with them? And how did they manage in schools and churches and grocery stores before the law changed? It must have just been miserable and really scary.

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    37. "Just like you, Bryan, I am basing my opinion on the facts as I know them and see them."

      Not quite. I actually have expertise in law enforcement and security applicable to this situation.

      "When you speak of something being taken from you gun permit holders when the 2003 Mn. Permit law passed, you are disengenuous."

      I didn't say that. What I said was, prior to the 2003 passage of the MPPA, one could carry a firearm into a school. I never said it was taken away - or taken away from me. In any event, in 2003, I was a resident of Massachusetts.

      "Before 2003, it was rare for people to receive permits to carry guns from law enforcement. It was a "May Issue" so there were not many of you walking around in public with loaded guns."

      There were several thousand actually.

      "So unless you had shown a need to carry a gun with your local law enforcement , you were likely not carrying anyway before 2003. "

      This need was measured more in how well connected you were to the local law enforcement leader, rather than being based on any actual demonstrated "need". Thus the change in the law.

      "It must have just been miserable and really scary. "

      I'm neither miserable or scared. I do, however, care about my personal safety, and my rights under our constitution. Thus, I choose to carry.

      And all of the data out there supports the same point of view - permit holders carrying firearms aren't the problem.

      B

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    38. I can see by you not publishing my follow up comment, and the fact that you didn't address my point about what to do if the bad guy got into your locked down room, that you have no plan for that. What you seem to be talking about is how to prevent all violence, trying to control behavior on a large scale. What we are talking about, is what can I do to effectively preserve my own life, in a very rare life threatening situation.

      We recognize that we can't read the minds of or control the behavior of every human in America, so we focus on what we can control, namely how we can individually respond to a threat to our life.

      So to address the problem of what happens if a murderer gets into a classroom, do you have a faster or cheaper or more feasible solution than allowing the teacher or adult student carrying a gun; if they choose to do so?

      (And of course, I'm not advocating doing away with existing security measures or procedures, just saying that in addition, people are allowed to be armed every where else in public will be able to be armed at school, as well. So you don't get to trot out the all or nothing argument)

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    39. I believe, Dave, that my thoughts on the subject are expressed pretty well in the post. You know how I feel about it by what i wrote.I don't believe that armed people everywhere is the answer because there is no guarantee that it will work out as you all think it will and, indeed, it has not.

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    40. "...I don't believe that armed people everywhere is the answer because there is no guarantee that it will work out as you all think it will"

      But we do have a record of how it works out with unarmed people, active shooters and a police response.

      What we are asking and what you seem to be carefully avoiding is answering the direct question.

      What are people supposed to do if "hiding/fleeing" doesn't work?

      Hiding didn't work out all that well at Columbine, VA Tech and pretty much anywhere else there have been shootings. So why do you think it would work in the future?

      Seriously. What is your "Plan B" if kids start getting shot? We offer a Plan B. Perhaps there is a better idea that does not involve using force to stop the shooter. I'd love to hear it. Tasers? Bullet proof doors and vault locks? Whatever. All I know is that we are doing now does not work, and pretending otherwise is going to get more kids killed.

      To me it seems that your argument boils down to "A civilian cannot GUARANTEE a perfect outcome therefore they have no business being armed." My answer is that the highly trained police do not GUARANTEE a good outcome either and their record is not one of good outcomes. (ever) and yet you still think of them as the only option. I don't get it.

      I guess we are at an impass again.

      A good quote I read recently..

      There can be no useful debate between two people with different first principles, except on those principles themselves.

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    41. "There can be no useful debate between two people with different first principles, except on those principles themselves."

      The reason with gun-grabbers is so frustrating is that most of them don't have principles, they just have feelings...

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    42. And the problem with gun rights extremists is that they think they can call the "gun grabbers" names and get away with it. They think they can intimidate and get us to back down from our "principles" But thanks, anyway, jdege. Now I'm going to go and have a good cry and then a temper tantrum about what you wrote.

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    43. Denying an adult the means to self-defense is as immoral as denying the Good Samaritan the freedom of movement to deliver CPR to a stranger.

      It is not the idea of assigned persons, but a likelihood of values of morality and integrity within the immediate area in time of emergency, and most people have these. Why would anyone block this?

      Gun control frustrates this goodness because it is a slave and servant of the criminal who owns you. Crime is a social engineering tool, and anti-gun people play into this, which is why second amendment people castigate them so. Gun control is a threat to sovereignty. Gun control is bad for every single country it has touched. Now, ours.

      Some people loathe their own independence as frightening and loathe it in others. Fine, if it stayed there. Meanwhile, others cherish independence as maturity and personal dignity. This is what makes an American: freedom for all, not whether freedom bothers you.

      Isn't this what you are really trying to sort out?

      I can read the fear of freedom in the posts against concealed carry. It is quite clear that the anti-gun do not trust themselves with independence, since they might use a gun in anger. I can read the fear of independence in those posts.

      But does your loved one know you will not protect them? We know.

      Blocking the armed citizen is as cold-blooded as blocking Citizen CPR in the absence of EMS.

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    44. Immoral? I don't think we want to go there and I won't.

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    45. Japete, I respect the Blogger's hosting this forum and having an open mind on the subject. Not all folks are that fair or willing.

      In responding, immorality has a lot to do with whether one will stand up when it is not as safe as other times. Arguing with gun owners is safe because they will adhere to rules, due process and fairness (though sometimes becoming heated).

      But integrity and morality play a large part in how one has expectations of others and of self in reasonableness and action. Morality plays a big part in being a gun owner.

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    46. I must say that I have no idea where you are going with this thread. But what I get from it is that you think that I and others like me who advocate for prevening gun injuries and deaths ( a truly moral and righteous cause) are somehow immoral compared to you gun rights folks. If that is what you are saying, it's a conversation stopper.

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