The horrific shooting in San Bernardino has prompted local governments across the nation to evaluate how to deal with such crises. Of course, some approaches are better than others.
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer announced last week that county employees would be trained to use everyday office supplies on hand in the event of an active-shooter scenario. “It might be a paper-clip holder,” said Mr. Spitzer, who obtained a concealed weapons permit for self-defense. “But it’s gonna be something.”
In a similar vein, elementary and middle-school children in some school districts around the country are being taught to throw books – or even canned food – at shooters.
While this approach is better than nothing, and fighting back is a much better strategy than remaining a sitting duck if one is unable to safely hide or get away, it ignores the body of evidence suggesting that a firearm is more effective in preventing or minimizing such an attack. As such, a number of school districts reportedly have changed their policies to allow teachers with concealed carry permits to arm themselves on school grounds.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens – who briefly began issuing concealed carry permits for general self-defense in the wake of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Peruta v. County of San Diego decision last February (currently under appeal) striking down restrictions on issuing permits before abruptly reversing course again – praised Mr. Spitzer’s plan, according to the Register.
But she might also consider affirming the rights of county employees – by reconsidering her arguably narrow definition of what constitutes “good cause” for obtaining a concealed carry permit.
Though it has become somewhat cliché, a “good guy with a gun” often is needed to stop a bad guy with a gun.
Our preference is that the good guy be a sworn law enforcement officer, but when an attack happens in an instant, and the police cannot get there in time, citizens ought to be able to defend themselves with a weapon with more stopping power than a paper-clip holder or canned food.
— Orange County Register