Bit hypocritical of me to have rolled my eyes at a billion clone threads on every forum I read this week about You-Know-What, but this is a different type of thread. Before we go any further, I want to lay some ground rules I hope we can all follow:
[ul][li]This thread is hypothetical.[/li][li]This thread is not about any particular incident, regardless of what actual events end up being referenced.[/li][li]This thread is dispassionate in the hopes of not letting our sympathies and worries effect our opinions on this, again hypothetical situation. It’s not a cold or disrespectful thread or meant to gloss over anything in any way. We all know this is a grim subject, but we don’t need to mention that in every post and it’s not disrespectful to refrain from doing so.[/li][li]PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE POLITICS AND YOUR VIEWS ON GUNS OUT OF THIS![/ul][/li]
What prompted this thread is that over the course of the last week I started thinking about one of the very few silver linings of recent (let’s say last 20 years) school shootings, and that silver lining is that the perpetrator (or perpetrators) in every major or notable school shooting are always caught and/or killed. The fact that someone like Kip Kinkel is currently in jail and not dead is very much the exception to the rule. We can all find odd and random cases on Wikipedia if we want to but I think it’s fair to say that school shooters on the level of Columbine or thereabouts generally don’t get away with what they’ve done. The crime doesn’t go unsolved.
Why this is so seems simple enough - people who take guns into schools don’t ever seem to have any intention of coming out alive. Whether they intend to suicide-by-cop or whether they in their minds they just want to kill themselves and take as many people with them isn’t really relevant to this discussion, the fact of the matter is that they typically don’t get away.
The chilling part of this, and what made me create this thread, is the fear that we have simply been lucky in this respect: that the majority of these attacks are done by people intending to kill themselves too, or so out of their minds they aren’t capable of any real escape. But is that just luck? In this day and age, could it even be possible for someone to shoot up a school and for us to see on the news that night that the killer is in the breeze and no one’s completely sure who did it?
I’d be interested to get some thoughts on whether this is something that could actually happen, and what could be done to prevent it. “Get away” in the thread title does not refer to a light sentencing for a student who shot someone with a history of beating them up, I’m talking get away as in could we ever see a school shooting be an unsolved crime?
So there’s a thousand questions I’m wondering about all of this, beyond “could it happen?”. Is any teenager (or group of them) smart enough to have an escape plan? What would that plan be? Any kid smart enough to figure out how to build bombs or other weaponry would presumably be smart enough to figure out how to get out of the building once he’s done whatever horrible shit he was planning (is the school’s basement connected to the sewers or something similar? I went to an elementary school that was on the same block as a middle school, and they were connected by several underground tunnels linking bomb shelters, for example). Is any kid disturbed enough to try and do something that horrible likely to have the mental strength to live on the run, assuming he can get away at all? Is the fact that everyone has an internet connection in their pocket the best defence against this, since police are likely to arrive in time to prevent any escape?
I think this is an interesting side topic in the wake of a thousand threads on what happened in Connecticut. Please understand I’m not trying to anger or upset anyone, and I do not want anyone that posts in this thread to have read the above like what I’m asking is “So if you wanted to kill all the kids at your school and get off Scot free, how would you do it?” That’s not what this thread is about. I’m simply curious to whether or not we’ve really been quite lucky so far with these kinds of tragedies that the guilty party is almost always if not always always killed or captured. Could this ever happen? What could be done to make sure it never does? What are the variables? Is this less possible in 2012 than 1992, or more possible? What are your arguments? If it did happen, what would the response from law enforcement be? How would it differ to that of what we might call normal murder (someone shot in their own home or in an alley, say)?
Anyone who wants to chip in their thoughts is welcome to it, and I put this thread in IMHO because that’s what it’s about, opinions. Please, let’s be adults here, and try not to be too sensitive about theoretical things. If someone comes up with a way it could happen, the proper response is to come up with a solution to preventing it from happening, not to get angry. This is not Gun Nuts vs. Bleeding Hearts, there is no scoreboard. We all win when we have an intriguing discussion, we all lose when we fight and argue and get upset. Don’t be shy, let’s just get an interesting discussion going, since we’re all on the same side here.