With the news still being shared about another violent spree murder targeting innocents who would be very likely unarmed, unprotected and unprepared to defend themselves from a predator, the firearms community should take a deep breath before responding.
First and foremost, there are many families, friends and community members who need to be thought of. Neither today’s attack on school in Connecticut, this weeks previous murders in Oregon, the still recent movie theatre violence in Colorado or any other event in history where firearms were used to harm people assumed to be unable to protect themselves is an attack on our way of life. These attacks were against real people. In today’s case, mostly children. Those people and those close to them should be at the front of our thoughts. With deepest sympathy and sorrow.
We all know that the “anti-gun crowd” is going to capitalize on this moment to drive their own agenda forward, but we should not stoop to their level. We should not be rushing out ranting about how wrong they are out of one side of their mouths while are at the same time taking the opportunity to stand on a soap box and proselytize the obvious fact that children could’ve been saved if the teachers had been armed and prepared to deal with such a threat.
This is a time to take a breath and consider the tragedy and loss. I think we must consider those involved directly and respond respectfully in whichever way we chose. Yes, this is exactly the type of event that can be twisted to advance a political agenda. Let’s not be the side that is getting wound up about the wrong things.
As always, my emphasis will be on training. I don’t think that we are likely to see a shift to armed teachers in the near future, but I do believe that we should be educating all people, especially those who work in high risk areas that are known “gun free zones”, in how to deal with the reality of firearms violence. One aspect of that education might include how access to a dropped or found firearm (from one of the murderers themselves, a fallen police officer of an armed citizen) could become a pivotal moment and the opportunity to end a spree killing with a very low level of training. A few years ago, in conjunction with an episode of The Best Defense TV Show, I prepared an essay that could be shared with anyone interested in having some knowledge about the defensive use of firearm. Please share with teachers, those you know in the medical profession and/or anyone else that might be resistant or unable to carry a defensive firearm, but could benefit from knowing how to use one in a worst case scenario like the attack that took place today in Connecticut.