# Would the Connecticut elementary school toll have been smaller if...

...a couple staffers had been armed?

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So, suppose the officer (or trained teacher) gets there after the gunman has killed 10. In shooting the gunman, he accidentally hits a chld and kills him/her, but then dispatches the killer the score is 11 dead, 9 saved.

The math works for me.

By the time anyone would have got there it would have been over but you would still have an amped up armed person with an itchy trigger finger.

If someone couldn't have got there in less than 10 minutes (the period over which the shooting apparently took place) in a tiny school like this one (300 students), something would have to be wrong if SOME of the kids couldn't have been saved.

The problem with your "9 saved" mathematics is that nobody can ever count how many did not get killed, so although hindsight allows the mathematics you are citing, in reality, the headlines would simply read "11 killed in disaster.....etc" rather than "9 saved in disaster...".  I do truly understand your maths, I just feel that nobody will ever count the number of people not killed.

I wonder if the US media has a central committee that can agree on things, like we have in the UK.  A media consensus not to print or report the name of such a perpetrator as we are currently discussing, might take the "fame" element out of the picture.  I realise that this would only be enforceable if the media chose to support the idea, and of course there will be someone who can disclose it publicly, but even if the newspapers and TV agreed to such a block initially, the concept of "going out with a splash" might be less certain for the potential perpetrator.

By your ridiculous reasoning, there's no point to controlling guns if we can't know for sure we are saving anyone.

That was such a quantum jump, I really have no idea how you have drawn this conclusion from my post.

You argue (correct me if I'm wrong) that there's no sense in talking about how many might be saved if there were an armed "friendly" on the scene to attack the shooter.

By parity of logic, there's no sense in talking about controlling guns since we'll never know if we are actually saving anyone. That statistic will always be unavailable.

All we can do, in both cases, is make a reasonable assumption.

It is reasonable to assume, even if we can't prove it, that an armed "friendly" would save SOME lives in SOME cases, even if he can't save all lives in all cases.

Clear enough for you to reply now?

I'll give it a go. (I have no idea how to do the 'quote' lines so I will have to c&p, so I will italicise the bits I'm quoting)

You argue (correct me if I'm wrong) that there's no sense in talking about how many might be saved if there were an armed "friendly" on the scene to attack the shooter.

I have not commented on the lack of sense of talking about how many might be saved.  My comment was that you can never tell how many might be saved. Any media news will only comment on how many were killed.  Even if you are completely correct that 9/20 people might have been saved, there would never be any way to tell who the shooter might have killed had he not been shot first.  So in the end, we would not know that the shooter had intended to kill more people.  We could guess, but we could not know.

By parity of logic, there's no sense in talking about controlling guns since we'll never know if we are actually saving anyone. That statistic will always be unavailable.

I see no parity of logic, because I don't agree with your interpretation of my first point.  Do you believe that with an armed expert that may have been on site and come in and shot the boy before his killing spree was over, we would somehow have known he was going to shoot the rest?  I mean we could assume that, but we couldn't really know.

It is reasonable to assume, even if we can't prove it, that an armed "friendly" would save SOME lives in SOME cases, even if he can't save all lives in all cases.

I haven't contradicted this assumption you have been making.  I have not even addressed it, but I will now.  It's a little like saying that having one leg blown off by a landmine is better than having both legs blown off by a landmine.  It is creating an either/or situation that takes the attention away from fixing the landmine problem and having no legs blown off.

Do I have a solution to the shooting issue?  No, I'd be really happy if anyone finds one.  But in my mind it is the landmine problem itself that needs a solution, whereas it seems you are more focused on reducing the number of legs that get blown away.

Unseen, I come from a country (UK) that does not have guns available, so that will always be my default preference. I now live in Vermont, which has lots of guns, and I have to make a shift in thinking.  It is a complicated shift, believe me.  But I still believe that there has to be a way to address the kind of disaster that happened without banning or proliferating the weaponry that was used.

If we don't even try to see it from that perspective, we are simply looking at mitigation rather than prevention.  And no, as I said, I don't have the answer.  But from what I have read of your posts, neither do you.

Thanks for the technical info, Kris.  I'll use it when I next feel like quoting.  As for the rest, I think I should be replying in shrugs. Or maybe I should just stay off a thread that seems to carry more anger than anything else.

Do you believe that with an armed expert that may have been on site and come in and shot the boy before his killing spree was over, we would somehow have known he was going to shoot the rest?

It would be fair to think he'd probably shoot MORE.

Guns are not per se bad. For example, neither your country nor mine could win a war (WW2, for example) without them. The difference in gun deaths between the UK and the US has less to do with the presence of guns than with the will to use them, I think. It is the difference between Brits and Yanks, not the difference between how many guns are around. I'm not proud of that fact but I do believe it's true.

My understanding is that fifty years ago gun ownership in the UK was *much* less restricted than it is now (you could for example buy a shotgun in London with no hassle).  And the difference in crime rates existed back then too; in fact New York City (quite gun restricted even back then) had more crime and more gun related crime than the UK (then unrestricted) did.

That's evidence in favor of your view that it's cultural differences, not differences in gun laws, that are the major factor.

As an aside:  apparently armed robbery in the UK went up in the years after the near total ban on firearms went into effect.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1440764.stm

It is the difference between Brits and Yanks, not the difference between how many guns are around. I'm not proud of that fact but I do believe it's true.

I do agree with you, Unseen.  I don't hate guns.... well they scare the crap out of me to be honest, but that's probably just because I am not accustomed to them.

In the UK, we have had over the past few years, some horrific knife crimes.  Far more stabbings than should be acceptable, also amongst young men.  The UK has now made it an offense to carry a knife in public places.  (Switchblades have been illegal for some time).  The law is a bit odd, as it technically doesn't permit me to go to a shop and buy a carving knife and carry it home.

So we don't have guns, and our young men are busy stabbing each other instead.  As far as I know, however, our perpetrators tend to stab people that they actually want to stab for some personal reason, rather than random people.  I'm not sure if that makes a difference or whether its just the technological restraints of the weaponry.

I had this idea at one stage, of having martial arts taught in schools from an early age.  I thought that might help reduce the attacks, particularly if everyone had those skills.  Of course I can see that we could be creating a generation of 'trained' thugs rather than untrained ones, but as far as I understand martial arts training, it has a code of honour involved, without which you don't progress.

But then again, I expect there are good reasons why that would not be a wise idea.  The jury in my head is still out on that one. What do you think?

Would it be too much an 'article of faith', to think that less guns would equate to less death by guns? I would think that there are too many other variables that could feed into the question.

Since we still have crazy people, people that have limited cognitive capacity to control/certail their use of guns, and people that could accidently miss use a weapon, without some culture wide program to deal with these, we could still face a statistical tendency for weapons as  a source/cause of death.

I still consider background checks, possible psychological evaluations(where possible), and mandatory weapons training, as a first stage attempt to reduce the 'by gun' death rate.

A second stage, could be a reduction of weapons in the population, an attempt at a culture wide program of 'demystification', or 'de-romance-ification' for the 'gun culture', as a deep challenge to the NRA subculture.

As an added demand, the citizenry should expect a metric to determine the effect of such programs, with modifications to these programs made public and subject to a public evaluation. The 'pro-gun' lobby, need to face up to their, at times, negative effect.

And as I just pointed out, those differences existed before there was such strict gun control in those areas. So the gun control has nothing to do with it.

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