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Time for armed security at every school gathering
A friend of one of the accused Highlands Ranch shooters in Colorado said he was shocked to see how much his friend had changed since they were buddies four years earlier.
Devon Erickson, 18, was dressed in black, from head to toe, and told his former middle-school friend he owned guns.
One 18-year-old died, three others were in critical condition and four had less life-threatening wounds after Tuesday’s incident.
Authorities said the shooters “got deep inside the school” and shot at students in two separate high school classrooms.
Unlike the prototypical school shooting like Colombine 20 years ago, a private security guard engaged the shooters and stopped the carnage, according to the local sheriff.
Sheriff’s officers from their nearby station were also in the building within a couple of minutes.
A minor accomplice of Erickson was transitioning from female to male, and officials said at least one of the shooters had been involved with drugs and was in counseling.
It’s only speculation at this time, of course, but it seems likely the pair may have been seeking revenge for bullying at the charter STEM school for 1,850 students, kindergarten through 12th grade.
Bullying is as old as mankind, and will never be completely eliminated, no matter how many official policies are adopted or training sessions conducted.
It can and should be controlled as much as possible, however, and leaders, from the national level down to the classroom, have a responsibility to create an atmosphere of acceptance.
It’s flippant to call school shootings a “fad” that will fade in time, but until they do, we need to make sure schools are no longer an inviting “soft target” for twisted minds seeking glory or revenge.
In today’s environment, it’s sad to admit we need, but not unreasonable to insist we have, armed security on duty at every school session and activity.