Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No you didn't.

Granted, it's early enough that I could still be proven wrong about this, but it's nonsensical for Austin and UT campus police to claim they had anything to do with mitigating yesterday's campus shooting:

Dahlstrom and Austin police Chief Art Acevedo said the two departments and other law enforcement agencies had trained for such a scenario. It paid off, Dahlstrom said, and "probably prevented a much more tragic situation."

Let's review what happened:

1) Guy in a ski mask with a gun walks onto campus at UT Austin.
2) Guy fires into the air several times.
3) Guy commits suicide.

Police had what to do with that, again?  Oh yeah, they may or may not have chased him into a crowded building.  Good move there, guys!

Let's be real.  Based on the facts as we now know them, this was either an elaborate suicide or Texas's most inept mass murderer ever.  There is no evidence that Tooley ever actually shot at anyone.  Except himself.  If he had, there would have been injuries.  You throw a cup of ice cubes at a crowd of people, and a few of 'em will get hit.  You fire a gun into a crowd of people, and someone will get hit.  Thus the whole "be aware of your target and what lies beyond it."  If he'd wanted to shoot someone, he would have. 

This meme that "the system worked" is a nice myth, but one that needs to be challenged.  "Stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye" works for suicide.  It won't work in an actual active shooter situation.


Mattexian said...

Something about this bugs me... when one wants to off oneself, one generally does so at home or in the car, or even in the case of Vince Foster, at the park, but not in front of an audience ('cept for those sad cases of "suicide by semi or train or cop").

Sabra said...

Matt, that is typically true. But there are occasional exceptions to the rule. Usually when the suicide has a grudge, KWIM? Every once in a while you do find cases of someone who offs himself (or herself) in front of the people he thinks done him wrong. I know someone whose ex-husband killed himself while they were on the phone, because punishing her was part of the whole thing.

Bob S. said...

I'm confused as to what the police actually did during the rampage that prevented anything.

Did they shoot the shooter, nope.

Did they stop him from entering the campus, nope.

Did they keep people from encountering him, nope.

Point of fact,enough people saw the shooter to make me wonder if any of them were Concealed Handgun License holders that were prevented by law from carrying.

Did they keep him from choosing when and where to shoot at people, nope.

The police response prevented nearly nothing.

BobG said...

Good thing the guy wasn't shooting people; judging by past occurrences, all the police seem to do is stand around outside while the gunman walks around shooting people, until he gets tired of it and offs himself.