Hero Off-Duty Cops In Santa Clarita Would Have Been Felons In Connecticut

Santa Clarita was a tragedy, but I think we can all agree that it could have been much worse. With “only” two dead, it wasn’t another Parkland by any stretch of the imagination, much less a Virginia Tech which is still the most deadly school shooting in American history. As it was, though, it was bad enough. Two children are dead. That’s a tragedy by any measure.

Part of the reason it wasn’t worse was because there was an armed response. Off-duty police officers carrying firearms were at the school when things started and they jumped into action.

Had this happened in Connecticut, however, those cops would likely have been felons for doing what they did.

A school shooting in Santa Clarita, California took the lives of two students and injured several others Thursday November 14th.  But it could have been much worse.

Three off duty police officers that were on the scene dropping off their own children, didn’t think twice before running into the chaos. Response time was within 16 seconds. These officers are credited with saving lives for immediately rendering first aid to students that had been shot. They are heroes.

But in Connecticut, those off duty officers would be considered criminals. In accordance with Connecticut general statute Sec. 53a-217b, Possession of a weapon on school ground is considered a Class D felony.

And yes, this law applies to Connecticut’s Law Enforcement officers.

If the off-duty officers had a firearm on their person, and entered school grounds to assist in this type of incident, they could potentially be charged with a class D felony.

Now, I know that many of our readers take the position that law enforcement shouldn’t be granted special privileges for their off-duty hours than the ordinary citizen, and I agree.

However, I also think it’s telling that they don’t in a place like Connecticut.

You see, the argument against people being allowed to carry guns on school campuses often stems from a lack of training. We peons aren’t skilled enough to use a firearm appropriately in such an environment.

Yet police supposedly are. After all, they don’t forget their training when they leave work for the day. It’s not contingent upon wearing a uniform. No, it’s something they simply have. They have the relevant training, yet even they aren’t trusted with firearms on school campuses in Connecticut.

First, let me say that I’m surprised to find a rule where California is more tolerant of firearms than someone else. They’re not tolerant of guns, mind you, just more tolerant of police officers being armed than Connecticut. This is an oversight I expect California’s legislature to address sometime in 2020, to be sure.

The thing is, these cops saved lives. We can’t know how many lives they saved, but it’s a safe bet they saved at least some. They were there and responded quickly.

What would have happened, though, if there hadn’t been any off-duty police there?

Rules that allow off-duty cops to carry guns are fine and well, but they still represent a small percentage of the population. They’re not everywhere. They can’t be.

It’s time to open up campuses for anyone who can lawfully carry a firearm. Allow anyone who can legally carry to do so and you’ll have a lot more people ready, willing, and able to respond to such a crisis. Start with teachers and then move to parents if you need to. Either way, guns in the hands of good guys will never be a threat.

And the bad guys have already proven your rules won’t stop them.