Television personality Montel Williams attacked a women’s gun rights group today on Twitter for an op-ed that calls on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to discuss methods for protecting children in schools against so-called “active shooter” scenarios.
Williams’s attack apparently came without even him having read the op-ed he before commenting, and certainly not before he did any research on the matter.
Heather Marchese of One Million Moms Against Gun Control posted the following comment on Twitter yesterday.
— Heather Marchese (@Heather1mmagc) January 4, 2015
This morning, television personality Williams attacked the rather innocuous post.
Williams called Marchese’s linked Daily Caller op-ed, “ideological bs [sic].”
But did the former talk show host even read it the op-ed first?
The op-ed was fairly straightforward, and from our perspective, seemed quite reasonable in asking Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to merely consider arming teachers in Colorado’s public schools, where an armed school resource officer (SRO) helped stop a school shooting that might have been on par with Sandy Hook last year in roughly 90 seconds.
Safety of our children in their schools is paramount to every mother. Every school day, I drop my son off at a “gun-free zone” preschool. With a kiss on the cheek, and a prayer in my heart that he will be safe, I leave him in what law enforcement professionals call a target of opportunity.
We have all seen what happens when teachers and students are left to cower in a corner, praying that the police get to them before an active shooter does. Teachers who shield students from a shooter often pay the ultimate price. Heroes such as Victoria Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, and Anne Marie Murphy gave their lives that horrific day at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Imagine for a moment please Mr. Governor, if they had been armed. Just as the resource officer who intercepted the shooter at Arapahoe High School did, those fallen teachers could have stopped the threat and lived to spend another day with their loved ones. It is time to evaluate and deploy methods that will stop those shooters before one more child is victimized. Arming teachers and school administrators is a proven and effective first step.
Governor, you were recently quoted as saying: “The ability of people to defend themselves in a world that increasingly looks chaotic [is important]. There is not a parent in this state that doesn’t want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to make their kid safe.” We at 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control couldn’t agree more, and we accept your invitation to discuss arming teachers in The Centennial State. I respectfully request a meeting or telephone call, at your convenience, to discuss this critically important issue.
There is nothing radical in the op-ed—it’s certainly less controversial in terms of proposals and tone than many gun control op-eds we’ve encountered—and so we’re puzzled as to where Williams felt he was encountering “ideological bs [sic].”
Let’s simply look at real-world events, logic, reason, and data to formula policy, without emotion.
The director of Purdue University’s Homeland Security Institute, Eric Dietz spoke with Cam Edwards of Cam & Company in April of 2014 about this very subject.
According to the Homeland Security Institute’s research, the best casualty reduction results came from using a combination of armed SROs and armed faculty/staff, and reflects the thinking of other counter-terrorism and law enforcement experts as well.
Their roles in an active shooting situation are clearly delineated.
SROs—whom in most jurisdictions are normally-equipped uniformed law enforcement officers from local agencies—actively pursue the threat, as they did at Arapahoe High School in Centential, Colorado, and Reynolds High School, in Troutdale, Oregon. Both of those attempted mass killings at schools ended with the killers being corralled by SROs inside of two minutes, limiting these tragedies to one student fatality each, in addition to the suicide of the murderers.
While SROs close with and attempt to actively stop school attackers, concealed-carrying faculty/staff shelter in place with their students in barricaded positions in their classrooms, with the armed staffer covering the “fatal funnel” of the classroom door, forming a daunting threat to any possible active shooter.
In these scenarios, active shooters not only have to worry about uniformed on-site SROs and responding law enforcement converging upon their positions, they also have to deal with the very real possibility that every door they open may have a concealed carrying faculty or staff member in an ambush position waiting to drop them if they enter the “wrong” classroom.
This combination of known armed SROs and unknown concealed carriers lurking among the faculty/staff has a tremendous deterrent potential. It also offers the best opportunity for student survival when attacks do occur.
This isn’t “ideological bs,” but is a professionally recommended option that provides our students the best opportunity for survival.
I guess that’s something that Montel couldn’t learn from Sylvia Browne.