The unthinkable is just that ...
The recent report on the Virginia Tech shooting as reported by MSNBC has a flaw that few people realize. Those that commit such actions do not think the way normal people do -- while that is obvious, few people realize the only logical conclusions. If someone is determined to kill a large number of people, and themselves (clearly this maniacal murderer's intent) then the only way to stop that outcome is the forceful stopping of the criminal.
One of the "conclusions" by the study was that the administration could have (or even should have) communicated the details of the shooting sooner. The idea being that some of the students might have stayed away from class. That may not have reduced the carnage any, though it may have changed who was killed.
The problem is one similar to the idea of someone who is armed with a knife coming to a gun fight. They loose. Only it is worse ... the students and faculty at VT were not coming to a gun fight armed with a knife, they were coming to a gun fight unarmed, and unprepared to defend themselves. The idea that we should sit tight and wait for "professionals" to defend us seems totally ludicrous, but yet that is what the media continues to trumpet. Teachers telling students to get under the desks and be quiet resulted in murderers coming into the classroom and shooting students on the floor (Columbine). If a determined individual (or group) intends to kill as many people as they can and then eventually kill themselves, the only sensible way to act to prevent a massacre is to use sufficient force to incapacitate the perpetrators. While that might be possible in a number of ways, if the perpetrators are wielding either a gun or a long reach edged weapon, or even blunt instrument (a bat, or staff), the only effective means for quickly stopping them if they do not care if they are injured or killed is a gun.
That said, some universities are starting to understand the issue. Utah has lifted the ban on students' carrying concealed weapons. Other universities have started programs to train staff (professors and others) in defensive firearms use. The principle behind such action is to make sure there are not any defenseless zones. If only 5% of the population were well trained and armed, the probability of having even 10 people killed by rampages such as Columbine or Virginia Tech would go down considerably. Having a single "resource officer" is not necessarily useful (Red Lake, Minn -- the killer obtained the gun from his grandfather, a police officer, whom he killed and then killed the security officer for the school first).
The only way to have this kind of thing stopped early is to have enough mature, sane individuals armed so that when (not if, but when) something like this starts, those that are present and armed can act to stop the individual. Anything less is a recipe for carnage.
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