OK, have had a week to think it over. And several things come to mind, worthy of consideration.
Have we lost the will, as individuals and as a group, to defend ourselves? I'll get to the firearms issue later, but the lack of a gun does not equate to an inability to fight back when under attack. Two words: Flight 93. A classroom is filled with various items that can be used as a weapon: Books, bags, pencils, scissors, a globe, chairs, a flagpole.... the list goes on. To simply NOT fight back can not be attributed to a lack of a gun. There is something deeper, speaking more to a behavior issue than anything else. We teach children to avoid conflict, "don't fight," and if danger is present to find an adult. That's fine and good for children, but it carries over into adulthood, where we AGAIN are told to avoid conflict at all costs. That was manifested last week. When you're faced with immediate life threatening danger, you have a choice: Fight back, or duck and cower.
The administration did fine. They could have done better, but they did OK. Considering, anyway, how unprepared they were. Did the administration have a plan in place before this? Do they have a plan for a bombing? How about extreme weather? Safe money says they have a plan for the celebration of, say, Campus Diversity Week Celebration. Probably have one for Homecoming, too. But none for a mass casualty incident. Failure to plan is planning to fail. When you take into account the campus did all this on the fly, so to speak, they did OK.
One of the problems with being a paramedic is that you occasionally have to make a decision, right now, based on limited information, and if you fuck up, your patient dies. Cops have a similar burden. Situations like this require quick, decisive action to contain the threat and limit the event to as little as possible. When the dust settles, and folks start looking at things with the clarity afforded by the retrospectroscope, it's easy to second guess things.... like "They should have locked down the campus." Easy to say now, once looking back on things, but not as easy to do. Had they locked down the campus first off, we'd be hearing about how the cops violated the civil liberties of the students, denying them the right to travel about. Nasty Catch-22, eh?
Guns. Anyone that wants to own a gun should have initial training, regular practice, and recurrent training. That training should include threat detection, management techniques OTHER THAN shooting (verbal de-escalation, etc.), and shoot/no-shoot scenarios. We do it for cars, why not firearms? And not everyone should be allowed to carry a gun. But because some folks are not trustworthy enough to have a gun doesn't mean that EVERYONE should be forbidden to have one. It's an individual choice, and that choice shouldn't be taken away by a college president. One has to wonder if there's a lawsuit in there somewhere: College denies people an opportunity to defend themselves, they end up dead or injured, and folks look to place culpability. Someone ask the lawyers, but to this layman, it seems fairly obvious. And please spare me the comments about "more guns means more gun deaths." The statistics don't support such a conclusion, no matter how one looks at it.
More reading available from Mark Steyn, Law Dog, Austin Bay, Glenn Reynolds, and Steyn again. Oh, and watch this video, too..... Lawrence O'Donnell reveals his ignorace. As if you needed proof.