Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sorry, NRA Guntards, the MD School Shooting Outcome Doesn't Prove More Guns Are Needed in Schools

Blaine Gaskill - the guntards' current "hero" for his role in stopping the shooter at a  MD high school. But we still don't know if either of the wounded students was hit by a round from his weapon.

Well, I predicted it wouldn't be three days before the Right wing gunnies and guntards - who favor stocking guns with teachers - would be shooting off their yaps at the successful killing of an active shooter at a Maryland high school -- and by a school resource officer (Blaine Gaskill). In this way they figured they'd be able to show -  Hey, see. it works!  I.e. that an official deputy with a gun can take down an active shooter, and hence put Scott Peterson  (the deputy at Stoneman Douglas) to shame. This is given Peterson did not go inside Bldg. 12 where Nikolas Cruz was firing dozens of rounds with his AR- 15.

Just a few things off about this cozy, expedient little picture:

First, let's try to get our gunny friends to calm down long enough to concede there's a huge difference in the training of  Gaskill vs. Parkland's Peterson. That is, Gaskill was a SWAT-trained officer in the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, which makes a world of difference in terms of skill and  shooting ability. That was an advantage Peterson didn't have. Oh, and Gaskill had also been in armed confrontations before, a little fact the breathless gun zealots omit.

Second, there's a little bitty difference in weapons: the perp in the MD  incident had a Glock 9 mm which is not the same as an AR -15 military style rifle.  The rounds from a Glock, 9 mm, travel at much less the speed of the AR-15 (which is 2800 ft/sec) and the firing rate is roughly half that of the AR. Also, the Glock 9 mm  is far more limited in magazine capacity (compared to the AR) - giving a school officer at least half a chance to succeed in a "shoot out". That and the fact Rollins was evidently firing at one student - instead of dozens- gave Gaskill an opening. One he'd not have had facing an AR-15 spraying rounds all over and taking off limbs, ears, heads..

Third,  the perp  (Austin Rollins) Gaskill faced was not decked out in body armor as was the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz.

I submit these differences totally destroy the right wing gun nuts' case that Gaskill would have done better at stopping the  Parkland FL killer, though there is a small possibility one round might have nicked Cruz somewhere. Big deal. My bet, Gaskill would still have ended up dead man walking and likely with lots more student collateral deaths too.  This highlights the core problem of gunnies and guntards: the prefrontal cortices of their brains simply aren't large enough to realistically project an AR- 15  active shooter scenario. In other words, they inhabit gun la-la land thanks to deficient mental capacity - or they're totally dishonest.

As we've since learned,  Gaskill confronted the perp (Austin Wyatt Rollins),  as students and teachers scrambled for cover. Both Gaskill and Rollins fired their weapons, with Rollins fatally wounded. (Gaskill was not injured)

As of this writing, investigators were still reviewing video and taking testimony to determine exactly what happened in the chaotic exchange that sent two students — a girl, 16, and a boy, 14 — to the hospital with injuries. Officials could not say who shot the boy or whether the attacker was killed by Gaskill or shot himself with the Glock semiautomatic.

IN other words, we have a bunch of loose ends and it's way too early for guntard cheerleaders to be proclaiming victory in the ongoing PR battle over rational gun control or the meme that Gaskill singlehandedly brought down the bad guy - without hurting anyone else..

But one thing I will guarantee:  there would have been a lot more blood, guts and chaos had he attempted this bravado with Nikolas Cruz - decked in body armor and firing an AR- 15 at Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14th.. For one thing, he'd have faced up to 30 rounds fired per minute at ear-piercing decibels with heads shattered along with limbs.   I seriously doubt Gaskill would have got one shot off far less two, without killing students in his firing line or being killed himself. But see, I am realistic unlike the NRA groupies who buy into Elmer Fudd cartoons.

I repeat again - hoping this time the guntards process it (but doubt they will)-   there is no form of training  that replicates the experience of going up against a real, military style assault weapon that has already blown off the faces, arms, and legs of kids who were alive just minutes ago. There is no freaking training that duplicates the emotional, psychological experience that a teacher (or ordinary school resource officer)  would encounter in an actual bloodbath scenario that is rapidly unfolding and in which the shooter has every advantage with his assault rifle.

And any guntard who claims differently is either on hallucinogenic drugs, or suffering from a schizophrenic disorder in which fantasies are deemed realities, or is a fucking liar.

 Even a Glock 9mm would be no match against an AR-15, and if we are on the sane side, we should not look forward to any  "grudge match"  between a body armor clad, AR 15 wielding active shooter and a single armed deputy. My bet would be that it is no contest.

Could a well -trained teacher (or school resource officer) armed with only a handgun bring down the bad guy with an AR-15?  Uh, yeah, IF..... the time is available to stand there and aim his-her handgun at the shooter.....

AND.... the shooter obliges by standing there frozen like a fucking deer in the headlights,  allowing the teacher or officer to do it.   In addition, the shooter - even if standing still as a statue - would have to further  cooperate by deciding not to fire his assault weapon at the officer with the handgun.

Pause now, collect your breath, and seriously tell me how you rate the probabilities for any of these to materialize.  Let's also add for completeness, that even if all these conditions are met, the teacher-officer would have to have a clear firing line - no students in the intervening space.  Ideally, this would have to take place outside in a hallway, not inside a classroom where any number of students could become collateral damage. The incident in St. Mary's County, MD didn't conform to that, given we still don't know whether either of the injured students were struck by Gaskill.  (The guntarded will totally deny if, of course, even before the evidence is in.)

Of course, no surprise that faced with a PR blitz by the Parkland students the Twitter feed of NRA- TV, an arm of the National Rifle Association, hailed Gaskill as proof of the group’s assertion that armed guards — or teachers — are a better response to school shootings than gun control. Again, proving the NRA and its groupies either are deficient in mental capacity - e.g. to realistically project an AR-15 mass shooting scenario, or dishonest.

Take away the B.S. and fulsome hype and all the St. Mary's incident really shows is that IF there is a SWAT -trained officer on the premises, and IF he is facing a perp with NO body armor, and bearing only a Glock 9mm handgun, he may be lucky enough to get in a kill shot . Though we still are not sure if that really happened or Rollins killed himself. Nor are we sure one of the two students injured wasn't hit by a ricochet  from Gaskill's gun.  And this is all despite the fact that Gaskill had successfully defused encounters with armed suspects before.

Most teachers as well as school resource officers would have been at a monumental disadvantage, since they'd have lacked the SWAT training of Gaskill or his prior experience in confronting armed perps.

In other words luck - and yes, some measure of skill and training-  decidedly played a role. But it is stupid beyond belief to think this could be easily replicated - especially against a shooter in body armor and firing an AR 15  at twice the rate of a Glock. 

Backing me up on my take that the St. Mary's County HS approach is hardly a one-size-fits-all answer to the active shooter gun crisis, is John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prof. Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD cop.  For one thing, O’Donnell said, the shooter wasn’t toting an assault rifle like the gunman who killed 17 students and teachers in the FL rampage in February. Also,  Rollins appeared to have been targeting a single student, although another classmate was shot,. (Though that may have been by a ricochet from Gaskill's gun)

As O'Donnell added (and this needs to be processed by the guntards):

"Don’t confuse run-of-the-mill incidents for mass shootings. It’s not the same. A gun in school could cause more harm than good. People are trying to find a case that fits their perspective. That’s not good.'

Indeed, it isn't good. O’Donnell added that Gaskill’s SWAT training — and willingness to engage the shooter — played a big role in the outcome. But look, it was also true that his SWAT training - which most teachers and school resource officers wouldn't have-  was precisely the factor that gave him the confidence (hence willingness) to engage the shooter. But it might very well have cost him his life, as well as students' lives, had he tried the same against the AR-15 firing, body armor clad Nikolas Cruz.

What we need is for the guntards to stop and think rationally and realistically instead of running off their mouths by entertaining and circulating fantasy memes of how a lone officer or teacher could take down an active shooter in body armor, firing an AR.

But don't hold your breath!

See also Kali Holloway's excellent blog post  ('The Armed Teacher Debate, America's Stupidest Moment') from smirking chimp:


Numerous educators have mishandled guns and shot themselves, often while classes are in session, over the last few years. That includes the Idaho State University chemistry professor who shot himself in the foot, the Utah elementary school teacher who shot herself in the leg and the Long Island University professor (and ex-cop) who also shot himself in the leg. An Atlanta high school teacher intentionally shot himself in the face last year, and since studies show the presence of a gun increases the chances of suicide, that’s something to consider before  you start suggesting schools stockpile weapons.

'But these teachers will be trained—we’ll just take the money out of children’s health insurance or something', some partisan hack is yelling at this very moment. That will ensure they’ll avoid those kinds of sloppy mistakes! First of all, an NRA employee accidentally shot himself at the group’s headquarters last year, and once you get past the staggering irony of the story, you note that training is no guarantee against mistakes

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