It’s December, time for another school shooting and SDMB Gun Month ™.
Last Friday, a seemingly gifted student walked into a high school in Colorado with a shotgun, a machete, and 3 molotov cocktails, reportedly with the intent to kill a couple of faculty members. He shot one student in the head (I believe she’s still alive at the moment), tossed the cocktails in the library, and then shot himself to death. As far as school shootings go, this was fortunately rather unsuccessful.
Arapahoe High School had an armed resource officer on site who reportedly was “closing in” on the shooter when he ended his own life. The Arapahoe county sheriff creditsthe fast action of this officer (and an unarmed security officer), along with post-Columbine lockdown procedures, as the reason this shooting didn’t end up like so many others.
I’ll note that the above quote was given in the context of a much larger vindication of the effectiveness of current police response and school lockdown procedures. However, that hasn’t stopped gun-rights activists from waving the “we’re right about armed resource officers being able to save lives” flag.
Absent from any articles I’ve read is actual proof that the school resource officer confronted the shooter, or that the shooter knew the armed resource officer was “closing in on him” when he chose to kill himself. The word of the Sheriff is certainly compelling, but at this point I’m not convinced that the scenario would have ended any differently if the resource officer hadn’t been there. I also remain completely unconvinced that a resource officer armed with a sidearm would have significant chance of stopping your average school shooter, who’s typically better armed and not limited by a fear of death. If magazine limitations are useless because taking 3 seconds to reload won’t make a difference in a school shooting, how can the eighty seconds that the school resource officer took to arrive at the library possibly make a difference either? Either seconds matter, or they don’t.
Am I wrong about this? Is this shooting evidence, however anecdotal, that armed personnel in schools is a good idea?