Examining a year of fallout from Sandy Hook
With the release of the preliminary report on the Newtown massacre, we can assess what could and couldn’t have saved lives
It has been one year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Just a few weeks ago, the Connecticut State Police released their preliminary report. From it, we can glean some information about that deadly day in Newtown.
We now know the killer was active for about 10 minutes — from the forced entry via gunfire until the suicide shot. The first officer arrived 3:21 minutes after the dispatch broadcast and the next two arrived about 13 seconds later, and shots were still being heard from inside the school.
The first police entry into the school happened 5:47 minutes after the arrival of the first officer and 4:44 minutes after the last shot was heard.
Version 2.0 Rapid Deployment/Active Shooter Response
The analysis suggests little we can do to improve the lifesaving potential of Version 2.0 Rapid Deployment/Active Shooter Response tactics. However, reducing the time before notification to the 911 center could have made a significant difference at Sandy Hook Elementary (and several previous active shooter events).
Three political hot buttons were eventually pushed by the media in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre: gun control, mental health reporting, and violent video gaming. Let’s examine each.
1.) Gun Control
Whether you love or hate the National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, his statement rings with more truth than his opponents’: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
After Sandy Hook, more school districts are open to placing armed “sheepdogs” in their schools.
2.) Mental Health Reporting
Lanza’s story is just another sad chapter in our desperate need to identify, constrain, and treat disturbed individuals.
3.) Violent Video Games
I’ll risk the feedback attacks again: We have — with certainty — long known about the correlation between violent video games and active shooters.
Playing violent video games does not make active shooters. However, virtually every active shooter in recent history — all around the world — has been an avid gamer. For that tiny fraction of ‘one-percenters’ in society who might someday snap and turn active shooter, the games may help them overcome their inherent timidity and mentally desensitize themselves for the slaughter of their fellow man.
We must explore these games’ effects on active shooters and perhaps learn something important from the analysis.
Each killer has studied previous attacks and wants to log the highest score in this deadly “game.”
It can get worse than 20 dead grade-school children plus six adults. I sadly predict even worse to come.
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