The chaotic nature of gun use

Donald Trump has suggested that teachers should be armed with guns to deter killers. Of course, the fact that an actual police offer (and maybe even four) was on site at the Parkland school and did not act shows that having an armed person present is not a solution when there is the ability for any person to buy a rapid-firing weapon that can kill many people in just a few seconds. Teachers are also pushing back saying that they joined the profession to teach people, not to be law enforcement officers.

John Oliver calls out the idea of arming teachers for the stupid idea that it is.

The NRA and Trump give the idea that a teacher could kill a gunman with ease. The video below shows that unlike on TV and in films, in actual life the situation can quickly become chaotic. In this security video footage, an armed gunman robbed a liquor store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As he was leaving, the mother and daughter who work in the store took out hidden guns and fired at the robber. Look at what happens then. And then imagine this with a room full of schoolchildren instead of bottles.

Martin Cizmar says that the gunman got away but was apprehended later when he went to an emergency room for treatment.

Incidentally, Trump continues his lying boasts by telling a meeting of governors that he would have run into the Parkland school to confront the gunman even if unarmed. That is an obvious lie because I doubt that Trump can run. Also, a person who managed to dodge the Vietnam war draft by claiming that he had a bone spur hardly seems like a profile in courage.


  1. StonedRanger says

    The man is nothing but a liar and a coward. Ive been shot at and missed and shot at and hit. Except in the case of combat, very, very, few people have rushed into an active shooter situation unarmed. Those that have are either very brave, or very foolish. 45 is not brave and him saying he would have gone in that building unarmed show him for the lying fool he is. If it was possible to respect him less than I already do, I would. But I don’t know how to respect him less than I would a pile of shit, because that’s how low I feel he is now. (Apologies for the language, but I felt it was the only way to describe how I feel about him.)

  2. John Morales says

    I suspect Trump doesn’t quite grok what training means.

    Florida school shooting: Officer Scot Peterson defends actions

    Scot Peterson was outside the school when a gunman killed 17 people, but did not go inside as shots rang out.

    His attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, said his client believed the gunfire was coming from outside the school.

    He followed his training by taking cover and prompting a lockdown, the lawyer said.

    Mr DiRuzzo said it was “patently untrue” that Mr Peterson was a coward on the day.

    Mr Peterson, a veteran officer who had been assigned to guard the high school, resigned last week after his boss, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, suspended him without pay.

  3. Holms says

    The level of vitriol aimed at that police officer -- mostly from the police-worhipping right, no less -- has been saddening. In excoriating this man for not rushing in as if it were a shooter computer game, they reveal how little they understand the role of a police officer. When trouble strikes, Americans all think police officers are John Rambo / Harry Calahan / John McClane etc., steely eyed and rushing to wherever the gunfire is thickest; when any responsible officer would assess before rushing anywhere.

  4. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Teachers or school guards do not need guns. Even Trump would have gone inside the school without a gun.

  5. lanir says

    @John Morales #3:

    I have had some very surreal talks with people who are anti-gun control. Some of them seem to have this armchair action hero thing going on where they believe they will always have perfect situational awareness. I think this has something to do with the bizarre reactions toward this officer. I guess they think cops just need to look at the minimap in the corner or call up their quest objectives to find out where to go to get the bad guy.

    I don’t blame video games for that misconception, I think it takes willful ignorance to not understand that real combat of just about any sort is fast, ugly, and disorienting.

    After the Pulse massacre there was a gun owner who talked about being there at the club. They thought they had the bad guy in their sights but held off a little longer to be sure. Which is a good thing as they later found out they would have shot another innocent victim of the attack.

  6. John Morales says

    WMDKitty, he should have run towards where he thought the action was, weapon brandished.

    lanir was a tad snarky, but:

    I guess they think cops just need to look at the minimap in the corner or call up their quest objectives to find out where to go to get the bad guy.

    (Is there any information that gives good reason to doubt his claim that he believed the gunfire was coming from outside the school, and what his training indicated should be the proper course of action given his situational awareness?)

  7. says

    Violent force is messy, imprecise, traumatic for everyone involved, and requires decisions before the act to amass the mental capacity to carry out the act.

    I studied martial arts for years. MA is more personal, and requires some mental preparation for the above realities. Imagine punching someone in the face, and having to be prepared for the feeling of your fist breaking someone’s nose, or bone around the eye. Yeah, it is messed up. When someone studies violent activity as myself or any fighter does, this is what you realize about it. Trump, probably never found himself in a fight, or study for it. It isn’t pretty. He has no idea.

    Side note -- in the 20 years since, I never had to use that fighting ability. Not even close.

  8. smrnda says

    Wasn’t there a simulation of the Charlie Hebdo shooting which didn’t seem to indicate that had the staff been armed, the outcome would have been any different?

    People have limited capacity for vigilance. Security personnel are ‘on duty’ but it isn’t like trained and armed police (or even soldiers) don’t get ambushed or shot, and a shooter at far enough range (like Vegas) is going to take out quite a few people before anyone can even start to figure out ‘where are the shots coming from?’ In some higher crime areas, people are shot when gang members, shooting at each other, just happen to miss. Being armed wouldn’t help those people, which is why people in such neighborhoods tend to have more realistic ideas on the benefits of being armed.

    With the security footage, this seems very strange given what people I know who work in retail have told me about how they are taught to handle robberies. The instructions are, basically, DO NOT try to be a hero or ‘save the day’ and just hope the armed robber leaves as quickly as possible. Given the fact that cameras are ubiquitous, many if not most of them are easily caught. It also appears that they are firing at the robber after he’s in the process of leaving with what I think is a locked box of money. I’m not even sure if that counts as legal self defense, but it’s not like the law would really decide if it’s believable there given police and court biases.

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