The Guns Never Stop

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The FBI has also compiled some of its own numbers breaking down what role "good guys" have played in active shooter incidents. In a report , the FBI examined active shooter incidents that took place between and The report found that in five of those incidents, armed individuals who were not members of law enforcement exchanged gunfire with the shooter, leading to either the shooter being killed, wounded or taking his own life. One high-profile recent example is the armed school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who did not enter the building or engage the shooter.

Fourteen students and three adult staffers were gunned down.


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Five people were killed at the January shooting in the baggage claim portion of the Fort Lauderdale airport, where there are regularly armed police officers. In November , a so-called "good guy" did respond to the shooting that unfolded at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, but not until after the suspect had left the scene and already killed 26 people inside the church. David Chipman, who served as a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for 25 years before becoming a senior policy adviser at gun violence prevention advocacy group Giffords, said there is insufficient training for many armed civilians.

An earlier version of this story misstated her title as professor of psychology. All rights reserved.

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Reports cast doubt on 'good guy with a gun' theory in mass shootings. Oregon state senator who threatened police faces complaint. Newark International Airport reopens after grounding flights for an hour. To answer this question, we need to get to the heart of how students experience school and the meaning that schools have in American life.

Breaking down the NRA-backed theory that a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun

Filling schools with metal detectors, surveillance cameras, police officers and gun-wielding teachers tells students that schools are scary, dangerous and violent places — places where violence is expected to occur. How teachers understand the children and youth they teach has important educational consequences. Are students budding citizens or future workers? Are they plants to nourish or clay to mold? This article was originally published on The Conversation. One of the most common recommendations for schools, for example, is that they should be engaged in threat assessment.

Checklists are sometimes suggested to school personnel to determine when students should be considered as having the potential for harm. While such practices have their place, as a society we should be aware that these practices change how teachers think of students: not as budding learners, but potential shooters; not with the potential to grow and flourish, but with the potential to enact lethal harm.

Of course, society can think of students in different ways at different times. But the more teachers think of students as threats to be assessed, the less educators will think of students as individuals to nourish and cultivate. As researchers, we have read the accounts of dozens of different school shootings, and we think educators, parents and others should begin to raise the following questions about schools.


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  • As one reads about such shootings, one often senses a feeling of social anxiety and betrayal on the part of perpetrator. Americans hold high expectations for schools as places of friendship and romance, yet too often students find alienation, humiliation and isolation.

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    The frustration at these thwarted expectations at least sometimes seems to turn toward the school itself. It is true that bullying is often a part of some of the stories of school shooters. Students who are bullied or who are bullies themselves will quite naturally think of schools as places appropriate for violence. There is also sometimes a rage, however, against the day-to-day imposition of school discipline and punishment. What is the probability that at least one radical Muslim terrorist will slip into this country and carry out mass killings?

    What is the probability that the proposed gun control legislation will keep all guns out of the hands of all domestic and international terrorists? The Orlando and San Bernardino shooters passed the background checks and purchased their guns legally.

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    What is the probability that those who could not pass background checks could get relatives, friends, and like-minded individuals who could pass the background checks to purchase guns for them? What would be the probability that terrorists could get their hands on any of the millions of guns that already exist in society. It is known that drug cartels are currently trafficking in arms sales. If gun purchase were banned, what would be the probability that the drug cartels, organized crime, and other criminals would expand the arms trafficking side of their enterprises. What if the Second Amendment were repealed and the government engineered a policy of gun confiscation.

    How many gun owners would voluntarily comply with the program? Gun owners vehemently and accurately believe that it is their right to own guns and will probably push back to avoid government confiscation.

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    Further it would be logistically impossible for law enforcement to forcibly confiscate all guns and prosecute their owners. What is the probability that further terrorism will increase gun ownership, purchased legally or illegally. The sales of guns skyrocketed after the San Bernardino and Orlando mass killings. Simple math and a consideration of facts indicate that stricter gun control would not prevent terrorist mass killings.

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    This is because gun ownership does not cause terrorist mass killings, ideology does. Mass terrorists killings are the result of radical Islamists prosecuting global jihad to kill as many infidels as possible. True, guns, particularly assault weapons, make mass killing more efficient. But other means are equally and even more efficient. Had Omar Mateen tossed a couple of pipe bombs into the crowded Pulse nightclub, the death toll could have been far more than



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