28 January 2013

Sandy Hook, part three, possible outcomes

Prior to the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut,  the Sandy Hook Elementary School installed some new security measures:  an electric lock, intercom and video camera at the front door.  After students arrive the door locks at 9:30 AM and thereafter, a person seeking admittance will have to talk to the officemarm and be buzzed in. 
Such equipment might keep out the mild-mannered Fred Rogers but what if the person huffing and puffing at the door is more like the Big Bad Wolf?  What then little pig?  Is your house made of bricks, or straw?

You see, the glass in that door, like all glass doors, is tempered.  It is a safety feature to prevent bad cuts.  Should it break it doesn't turn into transparent jagged knife blades, but into a thousand small pieces of clear gravel.  A stout rap with a rock, or a belt buckle, or a couple of pistol shots and the former barrier crumbles like feta cheese.  The shooter only has to stoop to go under the crash bar and he is now inside the school.

I'm guessing the school spent $10,000 dollars on an access control system that slowed Mr. Lanza down all of three seconds.   
This security access control system perfectly illustrates the blindness of the rigidly gun shy.  They'll consider all kinds of feel-good defense measures except one that is proven to work for this kind of threat: armed resistence. 

How do we know it is proven to work?  Well, the adults in the school that fatefull day tried unarmed resistence and hiding and misdirection and six adults and twenty children died.  And Adam Lanza wasn't finished.  He still had his guns and he had more cartridges and more targets and he would have gone on killing until someone stopped him.  

What finally stopped him was the arrival of the police: Men with guns.  The police didn't even have to fire one bullet at him. You see, Mr. Lanza obviously decided, before he left his dead mother's bedside, that his journey to the school was going to be a one-way trip.  He wasn't going to risk being wounded and captured and spending one more minute than necessary in his miserable skin, 

When he saw an officer inside the school he sprayed one last classroom with bullets and then killed himself.

Wouldn't it have been better if the defensive firepower were already onsite? 

We stock buildings with fire extinguishers, even though the fire department is just down the road.  We even put defibrillators in buildings, now, in case someone's heart stops, even though the ambulance and EMT's are minutes away.  Why?  Because time is vital and sometimes non-professionals on site can snuff a little flame before it becomes a holocaust.

What if Principal Dawn had a concealed pistol on her hip and had popped a couple of rounds down the hall in Mr. Lanza's direction when he first intruded?  Would he have continued or backed off?  We'll never know.  But now the possible outcomes are multiplied, and some of them are very good for the innocent.  And some of them are bad for the ungodly.  All of them are better than no armed response because they slow him down.

Possible Outcome 1:  Mr. L returns fire and eventually kills Hochsprung and Sherlach and continues his killing.

Possible Outcome 2:  Mr. L is struck and killed, and nobody else dies.

Possible Outcome 3:  Mr. L backs out the door and drives away to find an unarmed school or mall or cinema.

Possible Outcome 4:  Mr. L backs out the door and fires through the outside windows into a classroom and kills four children and the teacher before he is killed by Hochsprung.

Possible Outcome 5:  Mr. L is wounded and leaves and is found later in his car dead by his own hand.

Possible Outcome 6:  Mr. L is wounded and returns fire and kills Hochsprung but bleeds to death in the hall.

Possible Outcome 7:  Mr. L is wounded and kills Hochsprung and continues killing until he bleeds out, but only kills 3 adults and 10 children.

Possible Outcome 8:  Mr. L kills unarmed Hochsprung and Sherlach, but Lauren Rosseau in the first classroom shoots him dead with her concealed pistol when he comes in her door.  She is eventually fired for bringing a gun onto school property contrary to the terms of her employment.

Possible Outcome 9:  Mr.L kills Hochsprung and Sherlach, but is killed by Lauren, as in #8 above.  She is considered a hero and savior and is not fired, but told she cannot bring her gun into any of the schools where she teaches.  Lauren quits rather than go back to work unarmed.

And there are myriad other outcomes.

There may even be some outcomes with friendly fire casualities, meaning some of the bullets meant for the bad guy might hit some kids or good guys.  This happens even with trained police officers.  Anytime you have a firefight unpredictable things happen.  Can we put up with some inevitable accidents in order to stop the next big massacre? 
If our children are little fluffy defenseless lambs, then what are the adults that we trust to educate and watch over them?  Are they just bigger fluffier versions of the defenseless lambs?  Is that what we want when a wolf invades the flock, small chew toys and bigger chew toys?  Or do we want something with teeth and attitude.  Something like a sheepdog.  Or sheepdogs.  Or sheepdogs in sheeps clothing.

That is the decision each community and school district will have to make for itself.  You know my mind on the subject.  Where do you stand?


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