Stopped in 80 Seconds: Armed Response, Not Gun Control, Halted School Rampage

Posted on December 20, 2013

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Back in March, we reported on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) signing into law the most sweeping anti-gun legislation in the history of the Centennial State, despite overwhelming opposition to the legislation.  The new law, among other things, bans magazines with a capacity of greater than 15 rounds, imposes a "gun tax" for a background check when purchasing a firearm, and criminalizes the private transfer of a firearm.  The anti-gunners claimed these measures would keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.

On December 13th, a tragic shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, resulted in the death of an innocent victim and the suicide of the perpetrator. 

Media reports indicate that the perpetrator was planning a much larger attack and was armed with a shotgun, about 125 rounds of ammunition, three Molotov cocktails, and a machete.

According to a CNN story, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said of the shooter, "His intent was evil, and his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals."

On his arm, the perpetrator had written in indelible ink five classroom numbers and a phrase in Latin that translates to "the die has been cast," according to the sheriff's office.

But as reported in the Washington Times, the attacker's rampage was stopped short by the quick response of an armed deputy sheriff who was working as a resource officer at the school.  Upon learning of the threat, the deputy ran from the cafeteria to the library, yelling for people to get down and identifying himself as a deputy sheriff.  The horrific incident lasted only a total of 80 seconds and ended with the shooter turning his gun on himself in the library as the deputy was closing in on him. 

"We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and, while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life," Sheriff Robinson said.  Robinson said the deputy's response was "a critical element to the shooter's decision" to kill himself. 

During a December 15 appearance on Face the Nation, Gov. Hickenlooper, was forced to admit that the very gun control bills he signed into law--and which resulted in the historic recalls of two state senators and the resignation of a third to avoid the same fate--did not make "a difference at all" in the school shooting.

"So things like universal background checks, I think they 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," Hickenlooper said.

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.

A Cleveland.com story concludes that school shooters aren't interested in a fight; they're interested in soft targets that will leave them in control of the situation long enough to accomplish their evil deed. 

In this case, the perpetrators was met instead with a hard target--an armed, qualified security presence that was ready and willing to stop him--and did so in just 80 seconds. 

Gun-control laws didn't stop a possible massacre at Arapahoe High School. A good guy with a gun stopped the rampage and in doing so almost certainly prevented much greater harm. For that, at least, we all can be thankful.

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