Somewhere there has to be a happy medium in police response in these mass shooting incidents.
On the one hand, we don’t want the police to go blazing in blindly and shoot or gas everyone Russian style, but on the other hand waiting nearly 45 minutes as at Binghamton or waiting for a long time while children continued to be shot as at Columbine several years ago seems to me unacceptable.
(At Binghamton some survivors reportedly hid for several hours before they were freed from perceived danger. At Columbine it took police something like two hours to move in after the shooting started, even though there was some police presence within minutes.)
I’m 100 percent for officer safety, but it is a police duty to protect citizens in harm’s way, not wait until the coast is clear.
I have not studied these things and I don’t have the answer – except that I wish the answer was that there would be no more such incidents to worry about.
But I can’t get over the memory of Columbine and the video of police waiting as children screamed for help and hung out windows while the rampage was still going on.
And I recall that in the not-so-long ago Virginia Tech incident there is a famous video of a cop standing there with his gun drawn but not moving and the sounds of shots from the shooter’s weapon – the death toll rising.
And I know full well that policemen face as much danger as if they were in a war zone. Within a day of the Binghamton incident, in which 13 innocent people died, three officers were gunned down responding to a domestic dispute over a dog in Pittsburgh.
All I am wishing is that the experts use these incidents to reassess their standard operating procedures.
Rescuers need to be rescuing not waiting unnecessarily. And I already noted at the top that we don’t want to go in blindly with guns blazing and kill the hostages and get police killed in the process too, but this has become such a problem, this mass shooting business, we need improvement in our response tactics.
And why is it that these nut cases have such apparently easy access to high powered weapons and why is it that there always seems to have been clues – comments and personal behavior – before hand that went unheeded?
I will answer my own question, in part. We live in a free country and have a right to keep and bear arms. I don’t want to lose freedom of movement and freedom of privacy and of self defense, but when someone gives off public clues, perhaps we need to listen and take them seriously.
And I would think anyone who makes threats loses some of his or her rights at that moment.