It’s breaking news that the Stoneman Douglas high school had a School Resource Officer who stayed outside and failed to act. It’s easy to armchair quarterback this kind of thing in retrospect, but here’s the deal: no one has any idea how they are going to react when bullets start flying. Trained soldiers and cops are not immune to freezing up under fire. If people are going to argue that this shows armed intervention is a fool’s errand than we should disarm the police and military too. The only way you will find out for sure how you will act when people start shooting bullets at you is to have bullets shot at you. Training helps. That’s why I believe armed individuals make the choice to carry in schools with an intent to protect children should receive active shooter training, and whatever else is useful above and beyond what an average owner with a carry permit typically receives. I’d also note this country has a pool of veterans, many of them retired and with free time, who already know how they react when people are shooting bullets at them. They might be a useful part of the solution too.
So I’m not going to blame this school officer. I don’t like the odds of facing a rifle wielding maniac armed with a pistol and soft body armor either. I’d like to think I wouldn’t freeze up, regardless, and I’d give myself good odds on landing hits. But I don’t know. I’ve never been shot at, and neither have most police officers, even those with long careers. So I’m inclined to cut this guy a break. He decided to resign. That is the right thing. You know now that you’re not cut out for this line of work. I’d hate to have to live with what he’s going to have to live with, but he won’t be the first nor last.
UPDATE: I know this post is a bit controversial. Bitter is discovering some more information about the SRO that would indicate, yeah, sorry dude, I’m willing to judge. What I don’t like to do is beat my chest and declare “I could do better!” I’d like to think I could, but I’ve never had to face down an active shooter.
UPDATE: One deputy freezing up is something that can happen. Four of them freezing up is a systemic problem with the department.