Tuesday morning’s school shooting incident in Maryland that left the teen gunman dead after being confronted by an armed school resources officer (SRO) dramatically undermines the argument from anti-gunners that armed security in schools is a bad idea.
The shooter, identified as 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, was reportedly chased down by St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy Blaine Gaskill. Each reportedly fired one shot in their confrontation at Great Mills High School. The community is about 60 miles southeast from Washington, D.C.
A 16-year-old female and 14-year-old male student were both wounded in the initial shooting after Rollins allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire.
Maryland has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. It is extremely difficult, and often impossible, for most adults to get a carry license. The teen gunman violated several existing laws by bringing a gun onto a school campus, carrying it illegally and opening fire.
The incident unfolded just four days before a nationwide “March for Your Lives” event is scheduled this coming Saturday in the aftermath of last month’s mass fatal shooting at a Florida High School. But in this case, the SRO quickly confronted the shooter and stopped the rampage. Broward County, Florida lawmen have taken lots of criticism since the Valentine’s Day shooting because they waited outside the school building.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron told reporters, “This is what we prepare for; this is what we pray we will never have to do.”
The investigation, still in its early stages, has not revealed where the teen got the handgun.
In the weeks since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there have been mass demonstrations of high school students across the country, calling for an end to so-called “gun violence” and for more restrictive gun control laws. To many in the firearms community, it appears that this student movement has been expropriated by the gun prohibition lobby to push its anti-gun political agenda.
There have been reports that some students who support the Second Amendment have been harassed or otherwise intimidated. To that end, the Second Amendment Foundation on Tuesday announced a new project to support those students.
In a strongly-worded statement, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb noted, “While we encourage young Americans to speak their minds and engage in productive debate and dialogue about this issue, we cannot condone any behavior designed to silence or intimidate others with different viewpoints. That is why we are announcing this project to help students who support their constitutional rights.
“We recognize that in times of high emotion and short tempers, there is inevitably the potential for disagreement to get out of hand,” he continued. “It is often too easy to go beyond the bounds of rational discourse and enter the realm of vindictiveness.
“If we are to find the common ground everyone seems to seek,” he said, “we’ve got to find it together. If students are penalized for exercising their First Amendment rights to defend the Second Amendment, we want to know about it.”
This Saturday’s march activities are scheduled in several cities, further suggesting that these students are getting considerable help in organizing the event.
Tuesday’s shooting brought sheriff’s deputies from St. Mary’s County and a neighboring county, plus Maryland State Police and agents with the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to USA Today, the teen gunman was armed with a Glock semi-auto. The origin of the pistol was not immediately known.
About 1,500 students attend the high school, located inland from Chesapeake Bay.