Case Study: Whose ideas worked to stop the Santa Fe High killer - gun control extremists' or gun rights advocates'?

In the wake of the Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida, gun ban extremists claimed that we could stop this from ever happening again if only we would strip 18-20 year olds of their Constitutional rights, and if only we would ban modern sporting rifles and bump stocks, and if only we would pass so-called "red flags" rules to take away certain citizens' Second Amendment rights without due process.

Some states and cities followed suit, passing what they claimed was just simply "common sense" gun control.

Meanwhile, gun rights advocates pointed out that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, and that the way to stop the killing and reduce the carnage is to have armed good guys at the scene and ready to respond immediately.

Let us test both sides' claims against the reality of the May 18 school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.

Claim: We can stop this from happening again if we deny 18-20 year-old adults their Constitutional right to bear arms.

FACT: The Santa Fe High School killer is 17 years old.

Claim: We can stop this from happening again if we ban modern sporting rifles and bump stocks.

FACT: The Santa Fe High School killer used a pistol, a shotgun, weaponized pressure cookers and pipe bombs.

Claim: We can stop this from happening again if we pass "red flags" laws which would strip certain citizens' Second Amendment rights without due process.

FACT: The Santa Fe High School killer exhibited no "red flags" which would have alerted authorities, and he was already prohibited from owning or possessing firearms because of his age.

Claim: We can stop the killing and reduce the carnage if good guys with guns are able to respond FASTER when the killing starts (i.e. if they are already in the building.)

FACT: School resource officers in Santa Fe High School are being credited with stopping the deadly attack that could have been so much worse.


Several law-enforcement officers were praised on Friday for quickly confronting the gunman who police say killed 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.

"When you get these calls, every police officer, no matter where you are, has to immediately engage the active shooter, period," Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters. "There's no alternative. Because every second means that someone else is going to die."

McCraw credited two "brave officers" from the Santa Fe Independent School District, who he said "stepped up to the plate" and engaged the shooter.

One of the officers, identified in local media as school resource officer John Barnes, was shot in the arm and is undergoing surgery. David Marshall, the University of Texas Medical Branch's chief nursing officer, told media that Barnes is now in stable condition, and the bullet damaged a bone in his arm as well as a major blood vessel.

Barnes was the first person to engage the shooter on Friday and was quickly joined by the Santa Fe Independent School District police chief, who managed to pull him to safety, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said.

A Texas state trooper also joined the scene and engaged the shooter, McCraw said.

"We know that because they were willing to run into that building and engage them right now that other lives can be saved," he added. "It's absolutely important."

Gov. Greg Abbott called the officers "heroes" on Friday and thanked them for confronting the shooter.

"Their action probably ensured that more lives were not lost," Abbott said.

The suspected gunman was quickly arrested after the officers confronted him...[and] is being held at the Galveston County Jail on a capital murder charge

The simple fact is, had every single idea proposed by gun ban extremists after the killing in Parkland, Florida been law in Texas last week, it would have done NOTHING to stop this attack.

On the other hand, the fact is that having an armed presence INSIDE the school, able to respond FASTER, prevented this attack from being even worse.

This fact was also born out just days earlier in northern Illinois, where a school resource officer engaged an armed former student who had begun an attack at a graduation rehearsal, successfully stopping the attack.

School resource officer Mark Dallas returned fire, local officials have confirmed.

"Preliminary investigation shows the suspect shot at the police officer, the officer returned fire, and the suspect was injured. His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening," the city said in a Facebook statement. "The suspect is in custody and is receiving medical treatment. No students or staff were injured in the incident."

...City Administrator Danny Langloss said students, faculty, and staff were "lucky" Dallas was there and that "his brave actions saved a lot of lives," according to the Kane County Chronicle.

The bottom line is this: the ONLY thing that ABSOLUTELY WORKED to reduce the body count in these two incidents (Santa Fe, TX and Dixon, IL) is having an armed presence in the school, ready to respond IMMEDIATELY.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

Additional Information:

Ohio organizations weigh in on possible solutions for school shootings

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