Monday, December 17, 2012

Saving Our Own

"How best could the Sandy Hook Massacre been prevented?"

by: Lou Angeli

Many will take issue with me regarding the following comments -- however I pose the following question: How best could the Sandy Hook Massacre been prevented? 

Consider the following: The weapons were legally purchased by Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter. Police report that she owned stash of handguns with extended clips and at least one assault rifle and other long guns. Perhaps a strange cache for a mom, but legal nonetheless. The son, Ryan Lanza -- who most believe was mentally disturbed -- turned the woman's own weapons against her, shooting her down in their shared home.

It's at this point where I lose my gun control friends because they don't get it at all. From the moment he shot his mother, Ryan Lanza's mental condition was no longer a consideration, because he had transitioned into a terrorist. Leaving home, he took his mother's car and drove to the school with one mission -- to take the lives of children and teachers. No one, other than Lanza himself, knew anything about what he planned to do.

It wasn't until Lanza opened fire in the Sandy Hook Elementary School that the first 9-1-1 calls were made to Newtown Police. Radio tapes reveal a very calm, professional dispatcher, who notified immediately notified mutual aid departments and the Connecticut State Police. As the tape continues, the caller at the school reports more shots fired, information which the dispatcher passes on to responding units. Depending on whose timeline you follow the first police officer arrived between 5 to 7 minutes after the first 9-1-1 call. But sadly, by then the children and teachers were shot dead, and the gunman lay on the floor, dead from a self inflicted wound. Reports are that the children had been shot anywhere from 3 to 11 times.

Since Columbine there have been some 30 mass shootings that have taken place here in the states. On a few occasions psychological testing has detected distressed individuals, but many of them showed symptoms and sought help. But neither gun control or testing could have prevented the Newton shootings. In this case, and others like it, the only concrete way to intervene and STOP the massacre was with an equal show of force.

Until some entity comes up with a better idea, we must establish an armed presence at every school, whether it be duty assigned law enforcement, National Guard or a volunteer group made up of teachers, administrators and service employees, who have been trained and licensed to serve in such a role. Before the rhetoric in DC, before the shrinks begin to expound on Freud and Adler, the only viable interim measure is to form immediate response teams who operate within the school, ready to take arms at a moment's notice.

I know I'll be getting my ass ripped on this one. But please consider this. Ask the parents of school children whether they want to wait several generations for gun control to take effect? Or do they prefer to provide their schools with the only clear cut way to deal with a terrorist.


Lou Angeli