After the horrific Parkland massacre, a number of anti-gun activists attempted to point to the disgraceful inaction of the school's armed officer as meaningful evidence that the pro-gun rights side's "good guy with a gun" argument was invalid. This feeble counterpoint flies in the face not only of common sense -- of course an active shooter is more likely to be stopped by someone else with a firearm than by defenseless, unarmed targets -- but also of real-life examples and data. In recent months, we've told you about the good guys with guns that put a stop to the Texas church killer's rampage, a Maryland school shooting, and a Waffle House stick-up in Louisiana. Now, an untold number of high school students in Illinois owe another armed security officer a deep debt of gratitude. The man quickly identified a threat, raced to confront it, put down the assailant with his own weapon, and is rightly being credited with saving "countless" lives:
An Illinois school resource officer stopped an armed teenager at a high school Wednesday morning, according to the local police chief, who applauded the officer for saving "countless" lives. When the 19-year-old suspect fired several shots near a gym at Dixon High School, the school resource officer reported the incident to authorities and then confronted the gunman, Dixon police chief Steven Howell said at a news conference. When confronted, the suspect -- a former student at Dixon High School -- started running away, and the officer pursued him, Howell said. The suspect shot several rounds at the officer, and the officer then returned fire, hitting the gunman, the chief added...The suspect was taken into custody with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said...No students or staff were injured...
CBS News covered the story last night:
Today, we should all be very thankful to school resource officer Mark Dallas for his bravery and quick action to immediately diffuse a dangerous situation at Dixon High School.— Governor Rauner (@GovRauner) May 16, 2018
This incident was undoubtedly terrifying for the at-risk students, and once against raises the sickening prospect of a young person using a gun to inflict maximum damage on innocent victims. We don't yet have details on what sort of weapon was used by the shooter, or how it was obtained. But regardless of one's views of the Second Amendment or "gun culture," it is absolutely clear that somebody with a gun nipped a potential tragedy in the bud by engaging the criminal and returning fire; this episode is among the many defensive gun uses in America each year. In short, a 'good guy with a gun' was able to prevent something awful from happening because he was in the right place at the right time with the right training and the right tool. Ed Morrissey weighs in on lessons learned:
Everything went right in this case, when a whole lot of things could have gone wrong. That’s clearly true, but first one thing has to happen before anything can go right — the shooter has to be confronted with deadly force. Mass shooters don’t pick schools as targets because they want to engage in an equal fight; they choose schools because they believe them to be soft targets without the ability to engage in return. They want easy targets, not a gun battle, because they are cowards. With this as the key of any defense of any perceived soft targets, it’s clear why having armed and trained personnel on hand makes more sense than declaring areas “gun-free zones” and forbidding it.
I'll leave you with an outrageous development regarding the aforementioned disgraced Parkland officer:
Scott Peterson, the 55-year-old Broward County sheriff's deputy who failed to engage the Parkland High School shooter, is set to receive a taxpayer-funded pension of $104,000 every year for the rest of his life.https://t.co/1m0Zj2kNo0— reason (@reason) May 16, 2018
The Sun Sentinel obtained records from the Florida Department of Management Services showing that Peterson, who retired in the weeks after the March shooting, is due to collect $8,700 per month. That works out to slightly more than $104,000 a year. Peterson, who is 55 years old, will be able to receive that pension for the rest of his life, and Broward County taxpayers will cover 50 percent of his health insurance premiums...The [generous benefits package] is premised on the idea that Peterson put his life on the line in a high-risk profession. Except, of course, that Peterson did not put his life on the line when the moment arose. But the payouts are virtually guaranteed, regardless of performance in the line of duty. Under Florida law, public pensions can be revoked for felony offenses that "breach the public trust." While Peterson's actions in March may fit the spirit of that law, the letter of the law identifies only a few specific crimes—embezzlement, theft, bribery, and child sexual assault—for which pensions can be revoked.
If this story makes your blood boil, imagine being a parent of one of the murdered kids:
This infuriates me in ways people cannot comprehend. My daughter would still be alive if this person did his job.https://t.co/MVYtMKjtGh— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 16, 2018