In the latest two horrific school shootings, one at a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) high school in Highlands Ranch, CO, and the other at a college in Charlotte, NC, two courageous students lost their lives as they tackled the shooters to stop the slaughter.
Never again should another precious young person with his whole life ahead of him need to die as a first responder.
Now we know they don’t have to because armed and willing school staff can keep them safe. This is the take-away from a new study from the Crime Prevention Research Center after analyzing nearly 20 years of comprehensive data from reliable, respected sources including the National School Safety Centers (NSSC) report, “School Associated Violent Deaths” and the Washington Post’s database of school shootings.
The report’s conclusion: “There hasn’t been a single mass public shooting in any school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns legally. Since at least as far back as January 2000, not a single shooting-related death or injury has occurred during or anywhere near class hours on the property of a school that allows teachers to carry.”
What a shocker for leftist billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and their herculean effort to terrify parents into pressuring politicians to pass more anti-gun laws. It’s time the thousands of gullible moms in his sister organization, “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense” change their name to “Moms With Common Sense Demand Schools Allow Concealed Carry by Staff to Protect Their Kids.” Yeah, like that’ll happen.
Here’s more unwelcome news from the Crime Research study for Bloomberg and his gun-grab cronies: “Ironically, there is not one mass public shooting this century that would have been stopped by universal background checks, even with a perfectly enforced law.” And that’s not all. None of the tragic school shooting events over nearly two decades could have been prevented by any of the gun control laws proposed or currently on the books, including magazine capacities or age restrictions.
There is not a single case of what the gun-phobic fear-peddlers constantly warn us about: no teacher shot a kid for mouthing off, no student wrestled a gun from a teacher, no janitor’s gun accidentally going off and hurting a student. None, zero.
More gun laws won’t work because psychotic, hate-propelled child-killers won’t obey laws designed to stop them from murderous rampage. The two teen shooters at the Colorado STEM school defied a slew of state anti-gun laws by breaking into a parent’s locked gun cabinet for weapons. Mentally disturbed high schoolers also can’t seem to read those “GUN FREE ZONE” signs no matter how large they are.
I live in Douglas County, where courageous 18-year old engineering student Kendrick Castillo was shot and killed on May 7th as he rushed one of the shooters, a classmate. Two other brave young men, Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones, also charged the shooter and luckily escaped. Eight students were wounded, some injuries were serious.
On Tuesday, May 14th, a week after the tragedy, the Douglas County Board of Education held a meeting where students, parents and citizens offered their ideas. They included the usual: metal detectors, only one door where every student would enter into the school, more armed School Resource Officers (SROs) onsite, and more mental health personnel to counsel troubled students. And, of course, more millions in tax dollars to fund it all.
I challenged the board to schedule a public town hall where Independent Women’s Forum Fellow Laura Carno could explain to parents, school administrators, and students the FASTER Colorado program she leads that trains and arms school staff. FASTER is an acronym for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. In Colorado, 150 willing school staff in 30 Colorado school districts have been trained by the program’s active duty law enforcement officers with SWAT experience. All armed staff are volunteers, and most already have their concealed carry permits.
The FASTER Colorado training and emergency first aid program is offered free or at minimal cost to school districts, paid for by donations. Over 20 states now allow school staff concealed carry in hundreds of schools.
Following every one of these terrible tragedies, the shocked and grieving community tries to figure out a way to end the violence. The universal cry is “how could this happen here?” Desperate parents, grandparents, and officials try to come up with some hope to comfort their sorrowing hearts and their children’s fears.
But the awful truth is that every one of these proposed solutions will fail. The attacks almost always take place at high schools with thousands of kids. The STEM school has over 1800 students. It would be a shooter’s dream to have them gathered en masse outside the school, waiting to file through a metal detector. They would be a huge target, ducks in a shooting gallery easily mowed down by any drive-by psycho. How convenient for a murderer looking for a big score.
The one-door theory falls apart because a school must have many exit doors to satisfy fire codes and other emergencies. The shooter only needs an inside collaborator or two to open an exit door for him. Once inside, he hands his buddy another gun and the two (or three or four) killers are off and running.
School Resource Officers (SROs) are cited as another panacea; after all, they’re well-trained actual police officers. But at Parkland, Florida, a single deranged teenager shot to death 14 students and three teachers while the SRO cowered outside the school in fear, soon joined by a number of newly-arrived deputies who also failed to run to the gunfire, shirking their sworn duty.
The other problem with SRO’s is the typical high school. With anywhere from 1,000 to over 3,000 students, these schools are just too big and their layouts too maze-like for one or even two or three SRO’s to cover. Just locating and reaching the shooters takes too much precious time. The 1,800 STEM students were lucky to have a police substation just a half mile away, enabling a wave of deputies to reach the scene in only moments. Most schools don’t have police so close, and even with this proximity the shooters had enough time to murder one student and wound eight.
But what about giving the students more mental health resources? Douglas County School District recently hired 75 new school counselors but there’s no evidence that either of the shooters came to them or anyone else for counseling.
And is it really likely that any severely troubled kids would confide their violent urges and seething hatreds to a school counselor, knowing they would certainly be reported to police? These teen shooters don’t have “normal” teen problems.
The 16-year-old STEM suspect is a biological girl “transitioning” to boyhood, likely with the aid of puberty-blocking drugs that can induce mental health problems like depression and suicidal thoughts.Her illegal immigrant father had been sentenced to two years for felony menacing of her mother and had been deported three times but kept returning to the U.S. He’s currently in Mexico.
It’s reported that both the shooters took drugs. The 18-year-old had ranted about his hatred of Christians, spray- painted F*** Society on his car and put the satanic symbols 666 and a pentagram on the roof. Not typical teen angst.
Both shooters are described as bullies, but it’s not been revealed whether or not these disturbed young people had been disciplined at the school, or if their bad behavior was simply ignored. According to the older shooter’s social media posts, he was anti-Trump but a big fan of Barack Obama.
The study also points out “from January 1998 through May 2018, 42 percent of mass public shooters were seeing mental health care professionals before their attacks. In only one of those cases had the killer previously been identified as a danger to others. We can't foresee every attack, so what's our backup plan when violence does occur?”
This definitive study from the Crime Research Prevention Center proves there is no rational justification for the gun-phobic opposed to well-trained volunteer staff carrying concealed guns to protect students and themselves. Those who continue to oppose armed staff and insist on more useless gun-control laws are not only irrational; they’re endangering our children’s lives.
Citizens in Douglas County and across the nation need to show up in large numbers and demand their school districts approve arming school staff. None of them will probably ever need to use their guns because these attacks are relatively rare, compared to the millions of children attending schools. But they’ll be ready.
Even more than the guns themselves, the deterrent is uncertainty – the would-be shooter doesn’t know who is armed and where they are. And these killers want to kill as many children as they can before they can be killed. Think about it. Parents, rather than that “Gun Free Zone” sign outside the school as you drop your child off, wouldn’t you like to see a sign like this: “ATTENTION : Please be aware that the staff at this school is armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students” ?
Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist, author and Townhall columnist who has also contributed to The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, BarbWire and elsewhere. More columns: https://www.facebook.com/JoyOverbeckColumnist Follow her on Twitter @JoyOverbeck1