Letter: Threat of death won’t deter shooters

Thursday, March 08, 2018
Threat of death won’t deter shooters

I’m wondering about how effective having armed teachers and staff will be at reducing the number of school shootings. The main argument seems to be that not knowing which adults may be armed will deter potential shooters as they may die in the process. It seems to me that shooters have already reconciled this at some level before they begin the carnage.

Two examples of this reconciliation come to mind. First is the local murder of Sabrina Galusha in a pot deal gone bad. It’s pretty well known that one or both parties in a drug deal are likely to be armed, and yet they continue to happen at an alarming rate. Second is suicide by cop. The purpose in that one is to give police officers no choice but to kill you. School shooters already know that there will be a massive law enforcement response and know they may die in the process, and yet school shootings continue to happen. Deterrence requires the consequences to be worse in their mind than the behavior. The shooters don’t seem to care about their own death, meaning it won’t be an effective deterrent.