Yesterday, Matthew Milby, a former student at Dixon High School in Illinois, entered the school and fired several shots near the gymnasium where students had assembled for graduation rehearsal. He was then confronted by Mark Dallas, who has been with the Dixon Police Department for more than a decade and has spent the past few years as school resource officer. (Dixon, by the way, is the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan).
Milby ran away, leaving the school. Dallas chased him. When Milby shot at Dallas, he returned the fire, striking the former student who was then taken into custody.
A few more cases like the one in Dixon should largely end the tragic fad of shooting up schools. The losers who do the shooting want to go succeed and, in some cases, to go out in a blaze of “glory.” They don’t want to chalk up yet another inglorious loss. Thus, if they don’t think they’ll produce carnage, they are unlikely to undertake the mission.
Not all of these losers will be deterred by the likelihood of failure. Those who aren’t will likely be gunned down very early on, assuming schools have people like Dallas on hand. However, at least two armed staff members who possess demonstrated competence with fire arms are probably necessary to ensure the proper balance of power. One officer, even a Mark Dixon, can’t always be expected to prevail.
This is the solution to the school shooting epidemic. Gun control isn’t. We don’t rely on gun control to protect banks, armored cars, and airports. We rely on security measures specific to each of these targets, and these security measures include fire arms.
Now that schools have become a target of shooters, the same approach should be used. Thankfully, it was yesterday in Dixon, to excellent effect.