We’re listening on CNN this morning to interviews with students who are preparing to return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tomorrow. I was struck by the interview, which you can see below, of Lorenzo Prado. In the chaos of that afternoon he was briefly mistaken for the gunman and reported as such – somewhat similar physical appearance and clothing and nervous pacing (unsurprising) that made him look suspicious at a distance to some others at the school. As he describes it, the SWAT Team stormed in, put him on the ground with guns drown, searched and cuffed him. He was in custody for some short period.
That must have been terrifying for him. But it sounds like it was handled professionally by the members of the SWAT Team. Happily, Lorenzo didn’t do something in panic that looked threatening and that the law enforcement officers were cool enough in a stressful situation not to overreact. But what do you think the odds are if you had twenty or thirty terrified and poorly trained or lightly trained teachers and coaches running around the school with guns with no real training managing a situation like this?
It’s true of course that you could get lucky, have the gunman enter the school right near a teacher with a great aim and the teacher takes the gunman down before it even starts. That heroic scenario is possible. But mistakes, panic and crossfire are probably far more likely. Consider again, other students (who only saw Lorenzo at a distance and apparently didn’t see his face) identified him as the shooter. The members of the SWAT Team had good reason to think he was or might be murderously dangerous. After all, they thought he might already have killed a bunch of students. It takes training and professionalism to get through that situation without something tragic happening. That’s their job. They train. There’s really no way armed teachers are going to have that training.
Here’s the video.
This brief story is a really good example of how much more badly things might go if you have a bunch of poorly or lightly trained teachers and coaches with guns during one of these incidents. pic.twitter.com/3NbLMoEPKG
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 27, 2018