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Another gun-free school zone failure on eve of Sandy Hook

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One student was seriously wounded today and the alleged gunman – another student – is dead at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on the same day that the National Review Online called the current argument that so-called “universal background checks” could make a difference “deeply dishonest.”

Writer Charles C.W. Cooke contends that “massacres and private sales have pretty much nothing to do with one another.”

Yet the gun control crowd will likely waste no time in capitalizing on today’s incident, same as they have been exploiting Saturday's Sandy Hook anniversary. It has already surfaced among Seattle Times readers. They should be a little circumspect, however, since Colorado pushed through several so-called "gun reforms" earlier in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy; reforms that were supposed to prevent this sort of thing, making schools safer by slamming law-abiding gun owners with new restrictions.

Nobody is talking about the failure of of these new laws, or of gun-free zones, especially at schools, or the fact that, as Cooke notes with extraordinary coincidence, all of the mass shootings over the past few years had one other common denominator:

“…in not a single one of the cases…did a perpetrator buy his weapon through an ‘unregulated private sale,’ through ‘the Internet,’ or in ‘the parking lot at a gun show.’ Not one. Instead, in each and every case, one of two things happened: Either (a) the killer followed the law to the letter, or (b) he broke it spectacularly.”

Arapahoe High is about eight miles from Columbine and is in the same Littleton school district. According to comments from Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson earlier this afternoon, the suspected gunman was a student at the school. He reportedly showed up armed with a shotgun – one of the most commonly owned firearms in the country, even among high school-aged teens in the West – looking for a specific teacher. That teacher apparently left the school immediately, and a female student was seriously wounded before the gunman took his own life.

Gun prohibitionists will undoubtedly exploit that this happened on Friday the 13th — on the eve of the Sandy Hook anniversary. They had already used the Newtown tragedy to unleash venom against gun rights organizations, including the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. A couple of e-mails received earlier today by SAF suggested the following:

“F--- you guys,” wrote one individual. “Gun rights at all costs are wrong you f-ing idiots. I wish someone would take out some of your family members and then see how you like it you (double expletive).”

“The second amendment (sic) should not be a front for gun manufacturers’ profits,” wrote another, “and are in part responsible for the US having the most gun related deaths of any industrialized country. I can only hope you experience gun violence personally and then work to stop this insanity.”

A Seattle Times reader reacting to that newspaper’s examination of the Sandy Hook anniversary suggested that we should:

  1. Outlaw handguns and assault rifles. 

  2. Background check for all purchases. 

  3. License, requiring training and recertification, for all purchases. 

  4. Extensive jail time for violence involving firearms.

Meanwhile, a man identifying himself as “Vinny” seems genuinely proud to have become a SAF Life Member recently, and has posted a YouTube video declaring his excitement.

Sheriff Robinson said none of the responding officers fired a shot. He confirmed that there was a school resource officer who reacted immediately to the shooting, and other officers were on the scene quickly, armed with patrol rifles and sidearms.

He told reporters that the investigation will be done “right” rather than quickly, and that there is no indication this incident had anything to do with the Sandy Hook anniversary.

The only thing truly clear about the Arapahoe High School incident today is that the investigation is just getting started, and the gunman ended things like so many other killers have done before by cheating the justice system, saving taxpayers the cost of a trial and leaving more questions than answers in his wake.

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