Breaking Down The Great Mills High School Shooting

Another school shooting took place early Tuesday morning at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland. The shooter, a 17-year-old high school student who will not be named, injured a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. The gunman has died, and the female student remains in critical condition while the other is said to be in stable condition.


Due to the courage of the school’s resource officer (SRO), Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, the gunman was not able to harm more students. According to statements from law enforcement officials, the school resource officer pursued the shooter and fired one round. The gunman fired simultaneously, but the shot did not strike the SRO. It is unclear if the SRO fatally shot the gunman or if the gunman took his own life.

While all of the details of the shooting are not yet known, politicians are saying action needs to be taken to prevent further school shootings.


Some members of Congress found the time to attack Republican leadership over the shooting.

But it’s not clear what action or gun control legislation would have prevented this attack from happening.

In the state of Maryland, “assault weapons,” which includes “assault long guns,” “assault pistols,” or “copycat weapons,” are all banned, though this fact is irrelevant considering a semi-automatic rifle was not used in this attack. Maryland law and federal law also state that “it is unlawful for any person to sell or transfer a handgun to a person whom he knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under 21…” As the shooter was a student of the school and under the age of 21, it is evident the weapon should not have been in his possession. It would be impossible for him to pass a background check and purchase the firearm legally merely because of his age. It would also be a felony for any individual to give the handgun to the shooter.


At this time, it is unclear how the student was able to obtain the firearm and how the student was able to bring it inside the school.

One fact is certain though: a good guy with a gun stopped the bad guy with the gun. Whether the SRO’s shot is responsible for fatally wounding the shooter, or whether the gunman took his own life, the SRO’s pursuit and pressure prevented more harm from being done.

During a press conference earlier this afternoon, law enforcement officials stated that it appears that a prior relationship existed between the shooter and the female victim. They are currently working to determine if that relationship was part of the shooter’s motive.

Law enforcement officials are also looking at the shooter’s electronic devices and social media pages to determine if any red flags went unnoticed.

In this shooting, gun control laws would not have been effective in preventing the attack. However, some steps could be taken to secure Great Mills High School and other schools across the nation. Bipartisan legislation is working its way through Congress and has garnered support from several members of Congress, the NRA, and conservative Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv. The STOP School Violence Act would allow the Bureau of Justice Assistance to award grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes to improve security on school grounds by installing metal detectors, coordinating with local law enforcement, training personnel and students, among other options.


On March 14, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation and now waits for the Senate to do the same.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is taking the lead on the legislation and has the full support of Parkland student Kyle Kashuv.


The country now waits to see if the bipartisan legislation will pass in the Senate in the coming days.

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