Letters to the Editor

Heroic school shootouts with armed bystanders are mostly myth

Alex Rubalcava’s idea to arm teachers with guns lacks rigorous or informed analysis (letter Oct. 17).

It’s largely a myth that bystanders with guns can stop an active shooting event. In a 2014 report, the FBI noted that over half of all active shootings end when the shooter flees or turns the gun on himself. Twenty-five percent end in a shootout with police. Only 3 percent ended when an armed bystander got involved.

Mr. Rubalcava doesn’t consider the implications of an armed teacher. What if the gun goes off accidentally and shoots a student? What if a student, knowing a teacher is armed, takes the gun to use on other students?

If an armed intruder enters a school to commit mayhem, panic and adrenaline make hitting the intended target less than certain. For example, in September a “good guy with a gun” drove up to a gas station in Texas and noticed a carjacking next to him. He drew his gun, fired and shot the victim in the head without striking the perpetrators.

I could even forget the gun in the restroom, like what happened in a school in Michigan, or shoot myself (like what happened to a teacher in Utah). Let common sense rule over fear or fantasy heroic shootouts.

Derek Boucher, Clovis

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