A ray of hope for realistic school shooting defense


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SsevenN
August 5, 2009, 02:00 PM
http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=331460

By Kermit Miller
Friday, July 31, 2009 at 6:27 a.m.


COLUMBIA -- It was an issue discussed during the legislative session this past spring, and it was a hot topic for discussion Thursday during a panel discussion at conference sponsored by the Missouri School Boards Association. The subject is campus violence.

The issue is whether to allow people to be armed at school for their own protection. School administrators and resource officers face a potential for campus tragedy unheard of just a generation ago.

The Columbine shootings a decade ago changed everything.

When asked if Jefferson City could handle a Columbine? Cole County Sheriff Greg White answered, "I think we're still building a preparedness structure."

A former school resource officer, White was one of five expert panelists in a no-holds-barred discussion of school shootings.

“If a human being desires to damage other people, they're going to do it," said White.

The subject was threat assessment and response options. Brad Spicer, a former state trooper who now runs a security business, discussed the three "outs" in an active shooting situation on campus-first you lock out, then you get out, and then, "the take out, to fight back," said Spicer.

For many people, fighting back means the ability to return fire. That means allowing people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus. At the high school level, armed school resource officers bring peace of mind, but not every district has them.

"At my school, we have security guards who are trained in the same manner as law enforcement, but they are not allowed to be armed, according to our board,” said a school administrator. “Kids have actually asked them, ‘what would you do in this situation?' they said, 'we would be hiding with you.'"

Allowing just one civilian staff person to have a weapon is a problem unless that identity is unknown, like a federal air marshal.

“If the students realize that every school principle has a gun, then who's gonna be the first target?" said David Jungmeyer, a Calvary Lutheran teacher.

The more intense debate still surrounds whether to allow college students to carry weapons at school.

"We rely on the police, but, unfortunately, they are not on sight all the times and aren't there, maybe when they're needed the most," said Rep. Brian Munzlinger, (R-Williamstown.)

Skeptics in the law enforcement community say the weapons permitting process does not red flag the people it should.

"Most of those individuals, if not all, will pass a criminal background check," said Sgt. Kim Vansell, University of Central Missouri.

Other officers say arming everybody makes it harder for them to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

“And when you have multiple people potential pulling out guns, that's gonna totally go against our training and potentially create a chaos that we may not be prepared to handle," said a police officer in the audience.

Sheriff White argued that armed civilians on campus have the potential to end the threat quickly. And he stunned the room with this assertion.

"In actual shootings, citizens do far better than law enforcement on hit potential,” said White. “They hit their targets and they don't hit other people. I wish I could say the same for cops. We train more, they do better."
Most advocates for removing the prohibition for concealed weapons on college campuses expected the issue to be debated during next year's legislative session.


Well one sheriff gets it, I hope he's not the last.

Edit: Dang, I can't spell today...:( Could a mod correct "realistic" for me?

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Lew
August 5, 2009, 02:16 PM
He sure does get it. With any luck, people are listening.

doc2rn
August 5, 2009, 03:52 PM
At least someone was willing to listen without the ususal, "you'll shoot your eye out kid" coming up. Sometimes all it takes is a little common sense and we could see the end of GFZs where predators find their prey.

Madcap_Magician
August 5, 2009, 03:56 PM
My real beef is with police training.

If all these agencies are worried that their officers will have problems responding to shootings if they don't know who has a gun or if multiple people have guns, then what planet are they living on?

Do police departments honestly train their officers to rush into a scene and then shoot anyone who has a gun? I should hope not. And I would think that lots of undercover officers in vice, gang, and narcotics units would appreciate not being shot, either.

Furthermore, officers never know who has a gun or doesn't have a gun, regardless of the rules or law in a given location. They shouldn't assume that everyone who has a gun is a criminal, nor that everyone who does not obviously have gun is unarmed.

If officers think they'll have problems figuring out who the active shooter is, they should try the guy shooting at the unarmed people.

9mmepiphany
August 5, 2009, 05:05 PM
Do police departments honestly train their officers to rush into a scene and then shoot anyone who has a gun? I should hope not. And I would think that lots of undercover officers in vice, gang, and narcotics units would appreciate not being shot, either.

why do you think plainclothes officers wear "well marked" vest when on a "raid"

They shouldn't assume that everyone who has a gun is a criminal, nor that everyone who does not obviously have gun is unarmed.

in 28 years in LE, i always assumed everyone was armed untill proven otherwise

luzyfuerza
August 6, 2009, 12:45 AM
Allowing concealed weapons in schools (at all levels including universities) has worked out OK here in Utah so far. The only ones complaining are the criminals (but they never get any press coverage).

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