Here is the thing I have been thinking about regarding this incident and the gun debate.
During the Conn shooting the kid shoots his mom (with HER Gun) then shoots his way into the school kicking away the glass and crawling through the window. He shoots the 2 who approach him and try to stop him. Then shoots kids and teachers until he hears sirens then shoots himself.
In this instance someone having a hand gun in the glove box of their car is not going to have time to run out there get it and get back, chances are he would have likely been killed fleeing to his car or unable to get back into a building in lock down.
Trying to control guns is not the only answer, nut jobs will find other ways to carry out their plans as has been pointed out here.
The teachers having guns on site means they need to be trained how to use them and have the courage to kill someone else trained to use guns who is crazy and hell bent on death and mayhem, I don't see this working either. Plus if a citizen was packing and did return fire that only complicates the situation when the authorities do arrive. Who is the bad guy? What if a 3rd citizen shows up and returns fire, who does he choose to fire on? Now bullets are firing and no one knows who the bad guy is and even more people could get hurt. I don't think having more guns in this type of situation is the answer.
So I spent all weekend thinking about all these senarios and what would make me feel safer as a parent who is dropping his kids off at school, and I got my answer. Monday morning my daughter had seen the news and we talked about what happened and what she would do if the same thing should happen at her school, she was scared, she hugged me at least 3 times and gave me kisses and you could tell it was hard for her to muster the courage to go to school.
The thing is when we got to her school the principal was out there standing next to a policeman, and suddenly I didn't feel as concerned and I asked my daughter when I picked her up if she felt better have the officer there which she did.
I don't think having a dude(or more) sitting in the hall of every grade and middle school for the whole school day is the solution but having more police on the street, checking in at all public areas (schools, malls, churches, etc...) is a better option than arming the public.
I don't want to pack heat, it would hurt me physically to fire a round due to my disablity, I don't want to go through the training or target practice. I hate guns. I am tired of hearing about kids finding a gun in their house or their friends house and getting hurt or killed. I am tired about hearing of the shooting epidemic in the drug riddled areas of cities like Chicago. I am tired of hearing about multiple armed robberies in my town, which is far from the drug riddled areas of Chicago. I would rather have someone who has been trained and sworn to protect citizens, who knows what to do in shooting or hostage events, do what they were trained and prepared to do.
We will never have a way to stop crime or mass shootings, people have been going nuts and killing masses of other innocent people ever since men have walked the Earth. I think adding to our police and training them to act in events like this give us a better chance to live in a safe and free society. We haven't had armed robberies in our town in the 14 years I lived here and over the summer we had 3, the response was a larger police presence in the locations of the robberies.
The suburb I live in has 30,000 people, it is staffed with only 55 sworn officers, most of them have management roles or are in special roles like drug enforcement, etc... THere are 2 Traffic cops, 2 beat cops, and 29 other officers protecting us 24/7/365. There is one sworn officer to about every 550 citizens, it takes 15 minutes to drive from one end of my village to the other, maybe 6 if your in high persuit and don't get stuck by a train.
I am not sure how long the response time was from the 1st 911 call in Conn to the time the killer shot himself but the killer had enough time to shoot his way into the school, be confronted then kill the principal, then make his way into multiple class rooms killing 20 people along the way before turning the gun on himself. I read in this very thread that most of the people who pull killings like this usually turn the gun on and kill themselves once they hear sirens of approaching police. I really think having more police patroling and interacting with the community would reduce the carnage and possibly stop other events like this.
The shooter had a plan, he knew he would encounter no resistance for at least 3-5 minutes if not more. If you reduce the window nutjobs have to pull off their plan and make them account for the possiblity that the school might have an armed officer checking in at the time or being less than 90 seconds away I bet at the least the body count would be lower. Plus there is the ancillary benefit of other types of crime or confrontations being reduced.
Every year we hear about a police force being reduced or in financial trouble. I would pay more tax to increase our police presences so I can feel safe going to a movie or dropping off my kids at school or even driving late at night and not worrying about drunk drivers.
No one who has guns are going to give them up, if you want to pretend it is still 1776 and you want to hunt and eat what you kill or you think that the movie Red Dawn will come true or the Zombie Apocalypse will happen and you feel safer having a gun then fine. Keep it locked up and away from where kids, criminals, or mentally ill can find it. Make it harder to get a gun, document who comes into the store and inquires about buying a gun and report anyone who leaves because they can't get a gun before the waiting period. If it is true that the shooter walked into a gun store, wanted to buy a gun then left because he had to wait for it then shame on us.
In the meantime put more trained professionals on beats that take them into schools, malls, libraries, business parks, anywhere there are large amounts of people going about their lives. Let criminals and killers see our sworn protection out in places they haven't seen them before and maybe they will think twice about wrecking havoc on innocents.
I volunteer every week at my daughters school in the computer lab, making it harder for me to get in and help is not solving anything when there are nut jobs willing to shoot their way into a building. Increase the police presence and allow them to interact positively with the public and maybe our kids and their kids will have a chance to live their lives and learn in an environment that id less fortress and more fun, caring and nurturing.