Unfortunately in this country, we have been trained to leave all important issues to “professionals.” We have been told not to help people in accidents, to not try to stop criminals, and to not try to find out what’s wrong with us when we are sick. So, it is no surprise that people just sit by and watch when terrible things happen. Why do they do this, because, all through school, we trained them to do this.
So, my heart was both gladdened and saddened about the response to the shooting at Seattle Pacific University. The primary and probably official and probably trained reaction of the students was disheartening:
She and the other students heard yelling nearby. She wasn’t sure if was the police or other students. Then, she heard police yelling to lock down. The 20 students in the room and an instructor tried to look for places in the room to hide. There were none. So they all huddled behind the professor’s desk. They heard the police shouting. They saw messages on their phones that the casualty toll was mounting.
“Everyone was staring at the door, scared of what would happen,” said Carson.
I can understand, to some degree, staying behind a locked door if a police person tells you to. But look at how they are reacting – they are cowering behind the professor’s desk! Instead, they should be planning their attack if the shooter should enter the room.
However, thankfully there was a person who was not so trained, who, instead, took it upon themselves to save their fellow students:
As it was, Mr. Ybarra, police allege, killed one student and injured two others – one very seriously – before a fast-thinking student, 22-year-old Jon Meis, took advantage of Ybarra reloading the weapon and pepper-sprayed him. Meis and other students then pounced on the shooter, disarming him. Ybarra had brought 50 shotgun shells.
Way to go, Mr. Meis! You are truly a hero. There are many a police officer who would tell people to run and hide rather than engage, but you did the right thing! You honored your duty to your fellow man!
This was primarily what I thought about when I heard that the Sandy Hook shooter had fired 154 rounds. That takes a long time to do, and there was no one there who was willing to step in and do something in that period.
This is why gun ownership (and carrying) is important. Having or not having a gun does not change your responsibility in such a situation. It is your responsibility to help save and defend others. Having a gun does not change your responsibility, but it makes it easier to carry out in circumstances such as these.
What we need to be doing is not training people to cower in fear, but training people to respond with boldness, and elicit courage in those around them. We need to train them to have an automatic response like Weis, not to just cower in the corner like the students in the classroom.