Editor's Note: The following op-ed was originally published by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Republished with permission of the author.
by Kevin O'Brien
Karl Pierson didn't fit the profile.
He wasn't a certified loser. He wasn't a wallflower. He didn't spend 18 hours a day locked in his room battering his brain with death metal.
He was a Boy Scout. He was a member of the Arapahoe High School debate team. He was an athlete.
But friends say he took a sudden turn away from normal. And on Friday, he showed up at the high school, in Centennial, Colo., with a shotgun, plenty of shells, a machete and a backpack full of firebombs, apparently intending to settle his differences with the debate team coach while doing as much collateral damage as possible.
His terror spree lasted a little more than a minute before his plans changed and he hastily retreated into the afterlife, turning the shotgun on himself in an unimpeachable closing statement.
Karl Pierson's effort to become the latest school shooting celebrity failed utterly.
To achieve celebrity status, a shooter needs five minutes or so, left to his own nefarious devices while his victims cower, plead and die.
Only then can the campaigners for "gun safety" ramp up the emotional argument for more regulations that will feel good, but that will lead only to more cowering, pleading and dying at the hands of people who are quite sure that because they feel angry or misunderstood or disrespected, the regulations don't apply to them.
Karl Pierson didn't get the five minutes of murder and mayhem that lead to a fortnight of headlines, permanent enshrinement on the school shootings wiki page and special remembrances at legislative hearings for years to come.
Karl Pierson, as it turned out, had less than a minute and a half to do evil. And quite frankly, the kid just wasn't up to the challenge.
The challenge came in the person of a Arapahoe County Deputy Sheriff James Englert, who ran toward the smoke from one of Pierson's incendiaries and the noise of the several shotgun blasts he'd fired — one of which critically wounded 17-year-old Claire Davis, who was not his primary target. As Englert neared the library, where Pierson had set fire to shelves of books, he was bellowing that he was a deputy sheriff and ordering the innocents in the area to get down.
The mere voice of undaunted authority was enough to persuade Pierson that he'd done as much damage as he was going to be permitted to do. The last round he fired had his own name on it, which is not atypical in mass-shooter situations. Trials are tedious; prison even more so.
by Jim Irvine
Saturday, December 14, 2013 marks the one year anniversary since a coward murdered his mother, stole her gun and her car, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where he brutally murdered his mother, six school employees and 20 innocent children before committing suicide.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation recently surveyed school employees to find out what has changed in the year since the Newtown killings. As we have already reported, our survey found that nearly two dozen Ohio schools have authorized individuals such as teachers, administrators and parents to carry firearms in schools. There has been enormous progress toward protecting our kids from mass killings at schools, but not all districts are taking your kids safety and security seriously.
The following information is taken from a survey with over 300 responses. This is not scientific, as the pool questioned is not random. They are all people who applied to be trained to carry firearms in schools. Still, their answers give reason to not only to rejoice at the progress in the past year, but also frustration at how reckless some districts are with your kids lives.
by Jim Irvine
Saturday marks the one year anniversary since a coward murdered his mother, stole her gun and her car, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There he broke a window through which he entered the school, murdered several administrators then walked down the hallway and shot teachers before killing a classroom full of children. All told he brutally murdered his mother, six school employees and 20 innocent children before committing suicide.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation recently surveyed school employees to find out what has changed in the year since the Newtown killings. The information below is from just over 300 responses taken from school teachers, administrators and other employees who signed up to be trained to carry firearms in schools.
There are at least 20 different school districts in Ohio that have authorized individuals such as teachers, administrators and parents to carry firearms in schools. The list includes rural, urban and suburban schools. It includes public, private and parochial schools. It covers small, medium and large schools and all grade levels. Those authorized include teachers, administrators and others. In short, it is a cross section of Ohio, and the United States of America.
Some of these districts took quick action and had authorized people carrying soon after the Sandy Hook killings. Others waited until the start of the current school year. Many are considering expanding their program to include more people as they realize there is great upside potential and almost no downside issues with authorizing good people to carry the tools necessary to stop an active killer.
Editor's Note: Tactical Defense Institute's John Benner rarely weighs in on issues, leaving that function to others. When John addresses an issue it is noteworthy and well worth the read. This article was originally posted on the TDI Facebook page. Republished with permission.
by John Benner
The official report from the Connecticut States Attorney's office on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has been released.
by Jim Irvine
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even as a teenager, I recognized it might even be more enjoyable than Christmas. I would see family I had not seen in 11 months and there was no pressure about gifts. People were not all stressed out and the time was spent catching up on the year's stories over lots of good food.
As I pondered all I have to be thankful for, I thought it might be worth sharing some of them with others who may be similar things.