As many of you may have heard, on December 13, just 10 days ago, there was a school shooting at ArapahoeHigh School, just a few miles from Columbine. The 18 year old gunman (who we will leave a nameless monster), was reportedly carrying a legally purchased shotgun, 125 rounds of ammunition, three Molotov cocktails, and a machete. Sources claim that he purchased the shotgun about a week before the shooting.
As much as I hate to admit it, it is obvious that once in a while a person who probably has no business owning a gun will legally purchase one. Why? Because we live in an imperfect world, run by imperfect people. However, it is clear to me that if someone wants to commit an atrocious crime such as this one, they will find a way to do it, with or without a gun. In this case, for example, he was not only armed with a firearm, but with Molotov cocktails and a machete. Were those just for looks? What if guns were completely illegal? Would that have stopped him from making or obtaining the Molotov cocktails (which are already illegal)? If he had no qualms about using the illegal make-shift bombs, what makes us think that illegally purchasing a gun would be any different?
Fortunately there was only one victim of this horrible incident; Claire Davis, a 17 year old student who sadly passed away a few days later. If you are wondering what kept the gunman from harming or killing more people, the reason is simple; there was a good guy with a gun. There was an armed deputy sheriff working as a resource officer at the school, who ran toward the threat, and when the deputy started closing in on the gunman, the shooter turned his gun on himself. Thanks to the deputy, the entire thing lasted only about 80 seconds.
On December 15, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper stated that the gun control laws passed in Colorado in March “are going to make us safer, but in this specific case aren’t going to make a difference at all. And that’s the challenge.” So what happened to “passing stricter gun laws to stop school shootings”? Wasn’t that the reason everyone was using for passing these laws? Maybe the NRA had a valid point when they wrote “What does make a difference is an armed response. But it only works in a situation where properly secured firearms are available onsite to be used by responsible, proficient, courageous people- in other words, the good guys…the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.
Now, I understand that we can’t necessarily afford to put an armed guard at every school, but maybe it’s time to learn from some schools who are training and arming their teachers. Maybe it’s time to learn from our mistakes, and from history, and take down the “Gun Free Zone” signs.