(From the February 2009 American Rifleman)
As law enforcement trainers refine tactics for confronting “active killers” who attack the innocent in places like schools or shopping malls, some police veterans are criticizing the supposedly “gun free” zones where many of these attacks have occurred.
Reporter Brendan Keefe of Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV interviewed Ohio trainers Ron Borsch of the South East Area Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy and John Benner of Tactical Defense Institute. These reports confirmed what Keefe had discovered through his own research: that many mass murders have happened in places where guns are prohibited, either by law or institutional policies.
On camera, longtime SWAT team member Benner labeled these killers as cowards. “These are people that are looking to kill innocent people that can’t fight back,” he added. And Blue Ash, Ohio police chief Chris Wallace said, “Someone who’s intent on committing mass murder isn’t really going to be deterred by a sign that tells them they can’t have a gun at that location.”
In an update to his report on WCPO’s website, reporter Keefe concluded, “As journalists, we are not interested in entering into the heated debate over gun control. We are, however, interested in reporting the facts. In this story, the facts point to the active shooters ignoring gun prohibitions and perhaps selecting those locations because they are ‘soft targets’ where no resistance would be found.”
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There have been so many school shootings over the last 40 years that researchers have been able to develop a profile of the typical mass murderer. They’re called “active shooters” or “active killers” and their crimes play out in a matter of minutes. (snip)
Based on the Virginia Tech data, top tactics training facilities determined the first officer on scene should make entry immediately with an aggressive attack on the shooter. Every minute the officer waits for back-up, another three or more people could die. In other words, while it was once considered suicide for a lone officer to take on an active killer, it is now considered statistical homicide for him not to do so. (snip)
The other statistic that emerged from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out “gun free” zones for their attacks. In most states, concealed handguns are prohibited at schools and on college campuses even for those with permits. Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises.
Now some tacticians believe the signs themselves may be an invitation to the active killers.
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