Sunday, January 13, 2013

More on the Taft High School Shooting

The LA Times reports
A Taft Union High School student targeted and shot by a classmate was on life support and in intensive care Friday but is expected to recover, hospital officials said, as law enforcement authorities sought to discern a motive for the attack.

The 16-year-old boy, whom authorities have not identified, suffered injuries to the lungs and liver after shotgun pellets hit his chest and abdomen, officials at Kern County Medical Center said.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect, also age 16, would be charged with attempted murder. They did not give his name because he is a minor.

They said they were investigating what role bullying may have had in motivating him to fire a 12-gauge shotgun at students in his science class. In addition to the hospitalized victim, the suspect tried to shoot a second student and missed before the teacher was able to talk him down, authorities said.
An UNARMED teacher talked him down.  Get it?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Apparently this kid was not too far gone to be reached--that's great. Unfortunately there are plenty of people like Lanza and Holmes that are so far gone that no talking is going to get to them.

    In the 2010 story from East TN that I posted a while back, the School Resource Officer held the gunman at gunpoint while she and the principal tried to talk him down. Eventually, he decided not to stop and she had to shoot him.

    If you can talk them down, great! But in case you can't, it's helpful to have someone there who is armed, whether a teacher, administrator, school resource officer, etc.

  2. It's also worth considering that many reports indicate a specifically targeted individual which makes for a substantially different mentality on part of the shooter than that of a spree shooter like Holmes or Lanza. So the fact that teacher was able to talk the shooter down isn't that surprising but also disregards a lot of information. MikeZ

  3. If the rumors about bullying are true, this also shows the need for a working way of dealing with that problem. Schools have a lot of talk about the subject, but it has yet to be dealt with effectively.

    1. That's because academia is based on reasoning (mostly). Reasoning doesn't work with bullies just like it doesn't work with criminals. They only respond to force. Ask any victim of bullying what stopped the bullying. There are only three possible answers: (a) the bully moved to another victim, (b) the bully or the victim moved away, or (c) the victim finally fought back and inflicted enough pain on the bully that the bully decided it wasn't a good idea to continue.

      That is what happens when a criminal attacks others. The problem is that you don't have time to reason with the attacker. So force is the next best -- and only option.

    2. Correct, although as with the police, school administrators and teachers can act as law enforcement and punish the bully. One big problem that I've seen is that schools aren't willing to do that.

  4. Let's assume the the story is correct that a teacher "talked him down". (I read earlier accounts that staff members overpowered the attacker.) While that teacher was brave, his actions were incredibly dangerous and would have proven deadly for the teacher and many other students if the attacker were intent on mass murder. Further, since teachers cannot be armed in that California school, the teacher did the best he could with the extremely limited options at hand.

    The attacker already shot at two people. There was no reason to believe the attacker was going to be "nice" and surrender at someone's request. Many people are lucky in that school. If the teacher had been armed an proficient, the fate of the children and staff at that school would not have rested on luck. Being armed and having additional options is a good thing.