Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It turned out well, but it doesn't mean it was handled well: an unarmed woman stops an active shooter

When the almost-school shooting happened near Atlanta about a week ago, I asked a very simple question: How did a guy with an AK get into a secure school?  In light of the Newtown, CT shooting, I thought my question was a valid concern.  Unfortunately, it has yet to be answered. 
Instead, the mainstream media has been praising Antoinette Tuff for her bravery in face of danger - as they should - and have blasted the pro-gun movement for promoting that one must be armed to stop an armed attacker. Chris Hernandez, a former soldier turned author, also wonders, "Why, eight months after Newtown, was a mentally ill man able to walk unopposed into an elementary school with an AK?"
I'm not saying Ms. Tuff did wasn't brave, or that she shouldn't be honored as a hero.  She was in a great deal of danger, and she showed remarkable bravery to confront and talk to Michael Hill, convincing him to surrender peacefully.  That's not the point.  The point is that the situation should not have happened in the first place, and even though it had a good outcome, it was not handled well.  Mr. Hernandez explains: 
"In this case, Hill made the decision even easier by announcing his intention to kill and loading his weapon in front of the staff. If even one of the staff members had been armed, they could have drawn on Hill and engaged him before he loaded the rifle. But what happened instead? Hill was allowed to load the weapon and fire at will. Had he decided to do so, he could have killed a lot of people. The entire outcome was left in his hands, he had total control of the situation. The fact that he decided not to kill any students or staff, and failed to kill the police officers he shot at, doesn’t mean this incident is proof that teachers or staff shouldn’t be armed. It means he failed to carry out what he intended to do. It was the school shooting equivalent of the man who tried to blow up an airplane with an underwear bomb but only managed to set his genitals on fire. It’s objectively NOT a lesson on how to prevent school shootings in the future. As far as handling future active shooters, maybe we shouldn’t make plans that require the cooperation of the guy who’s trying to murder people." 
He goes on to say, "I don’t have a clue why someone would choose to make a statement rather than actually handle a problem. But I do know this: no law stopped Michael Hill from murdering people last week. A sympathetic woman, police officers with guns and Hill’s own failure of will did. Our children’s defense shouldn’t consist of the faint hope that a murderer will respond to kindness." 
I don't have all the answers, I do know, however, that making more laws isn't an effective solution. 

reference: Chris Hernandez

1 comment:

  1. Definitely a lot of luck in that solution, and we should never rely on luck.