Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob DePino, vice president of Gun Owners of Vermont. He is a resident of Westminster.
In the latest Vermont Digger article (“Case against former student accused in shooting plot may hinge on ‘attempt’“) we get a rare glimpse into the mind of a potential school shooter:
“His first target, though, Sawyer told the detective, would have been the school resource officer, Scott Alkinburgh, a corporal in the Fair Haven Police Department. Sawyer said he would have taken out Alkinburgh first because he was the only person at the school who could possibly have stopped him.”
Here you see how the mind of someone with evil intent understands the fact that an armed presence will be the only way his attack will be thwarted, and the uniformed police officer must be a primary target.
In addition, the mind of a future mass murderer understands that locations with only one armed person are still desirable targets, and until that single armed responder arrives, the targeting of defenseless victims will be easy, quick and unhindered.
Whether the weapon is a firearm, a knife, a bomb or a combination of these, those who target school children often contemplate their actions for years — they are not “crazy” and unpredictable. They are, in fact, methodical, calculating, cold-blooded and very predictable, and therefore their actions are very preventable.
What is incomprehensible is the absolute refusal of the anti-gun mentality to even consider providing more security to our children.
You read the words of the person planning to commit mass murder that having only one armed guard would not prevent him from attempting the murder of children. Gun-free zones are a guarantee to the killer that there will be either absolutely no armed resistance, or extremely limited armed resistance. This only serves to embolden them.
So, knowing the mindset of the type of person planning to kill others, we can address that by arming our schools with more than one armed person. The fact that uniformed responders may be targeted first should be key in understanding that the element of surprise works to foul an otherwise meticulously planned attack. The addition of multiple armed faculty will add an additional layer of uncertainty and allow a multiplication of force in defense against such an attack. This will be a great deterrent against a future murderer’s evil plan. Murderers prefer easy targets. Killers confronted by armed resistance often take their own life instead of going to jail.
There are already highly qualified people working in many schools — ex-law enforcement, former military and even highly competent civilians — who will step up and volunteer to actively protect our most precious citizens. But still politicians refuse to do something that will actually stop an attack, and more probably, prevent an attack.
They refuse with the rhetoric that “more guns aren’t the answer.” They refuse with the rhetoric that “guns don’t make us safe.” They refuse with the rhetoric that “teachers shouldn’t have to carry a gun.” They refuse with the rhetoric that “teachers could shoot a child by mistake.” They refuse with the rhetoric that “guns in the classroom create tension and stress.” They refuse with the rhetoric that “even police trained in the use of firearms only have a 13 percent hit ratio.” The anti-gun mentality uses every excuse, including statistics from New York City, to deny our children actual security.
Universal background checks won’t stop a killer. Raising the legal age to buy a firearm won’t stop a killer. Getting a restraining order won’t stop a killer. Locking up your guns won’t stop a killer. Mandatory training courses won’t stop a killer. Raising penalties and fines won’t stop a killer. Active Shooter drills won’t stop a killer. Putting up a sign that says “No Firearms Permitted” won’t stop a killer. Passing 100 new laws will not stop a killer. The anti-gun politicians know this.
If we could save just one child’s life by arming a staff member, it would be worth it. Unless you need more bodies to stand on at your next gun control speech.