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APS: Schools Prepared For Emergencies

by ARLnow.com — December 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm 4,153 149 Comments

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) In the wake of a horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Arlington Public Schools officials are assuring parents that teachers, staff and students are well-prepared for emergencies.

Individual schools have been sending emails to parents throughout the day, says Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Relations Linda Erdos. Schools drill regularly for a range of emergencies, Erdos said, adding that several Arlington schools conducted a pre-planned lockdown drill this morning.

“All of our plans and preparations are developed in coordination with Arlington public safety officials,” she said. “Our schools all throughout the county regularly schedule lockdown drills. We do those all the time, just like tornado drills and fire drills. We do a lot of drills with our students so they know what steps are to be taken in an emergency.”

“We all take it very seriously,” Erdos continued. “We will continue to be vigilant and follow normal procedures.”

In an email to parents, the principal of one Arlington elementary school called the events of this morning a “terrible tragedy.”

“Like many of you, all of us… have been shocked and saddened by the terrible tragedy that took place at an elementary school in Connecticut this morning,” wrote the principal. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Newtown community and all of the families that have been touched by this event.”

“We also want to remind you that we need your emergency contact information updated any time it changes. We need accurate phone numbers and addresses,” the principal wrote, adding: “Please make sure that you come through our front doors and sign in the office so that we know exactly who is in our building at all times.”

Congressman Jim Moran, meanwhile, released a statement about the shooting this afternoon.

As our country struggles to comprehend what occurred today in Newtown, CT, my deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those killed in this mindless tragedy.  As a nation, we are again confronted with an act of terrifying mass gun violence.  While the coming days should be reserved for grieving, as a legislative body, and as a people, we must consider what can be done to improve our laws to prevent the continuation of this horrific trend.

Bishop Paul S. Loverde, of the Diocese of Arlington, also issued a statement about the shooting Friday afternoon:

Today’s horrific news from Newtown, Connecticut, breaks our hearts. In the face of such evil and violence, there are no words adequate to describe the loss. Let us each, today and throughout the coming days, commit to praying for the souls of the departed victims and the families of all those involved.

  • mickey_

    Permitting concealed carry on campus by school administrators and teachers would help in having immediate firepower in the event of a similar situation

    • Mary-Austin

      Restricting access to high powered weapons by psychopaths would reduce the risk of similar situations entirely.

      • novasteve

        Question is, people have for a really long time had access to such weapons. In fact, they even used to have shooting clubs in schools. Yet they didn’t have the mass shootings despite the guns being available. So what is causing people in society to become more sociopathic?

        • CA

          Well, for starters, access by anyone to any sort of gun.

          • novasteve

            Why was it that people with access to guns in the past didn’t go on shooting sprees? Even the University of Texas shooter in the early 60s, believe he did it due to a brain tumor. An actual organic problem. Now you just have sociopaths going on sprees.

          • Curious George

            Prior to 1934 anyone could buy a fully automatic thompson submachine gun at their local hardware store.

          • CA

            Sure, they could buy them, but you think anyone could afford them? Your also seeing higher casualty rates primarily due the type of “standard” weapon these days. No jams, semi-automatic, high capacity, etc.

          • novasteve

            I thought the murder rates were falling? Also medical science has made gunshot wounds more survivable, probably contributing to the falling murder rate, as the people don’t die as often. My question for the anti gun types here, is why does it take a mass shooting for you to care about gun deaths while you ignore the daily inner city gun violence? 85 people get shot in chicago in a weekend and nobody seems to notice, but if a mall gets shot up, then ban guns? Or is it because guns are already banned in chicago?

          • answering Steve

            “85 people get shot on a weekend…..etc” we care it takes a scenarion like today to make us really pi$$ed off throw our hands in the air and scream – is it reallly worht putting up with these tragedies – and those everyday tragedies – just os that Ted Nugent can get his rocks off…or to satisfy delusional paranoia about the government?
            Ridiculousl tht such weapons are so widely available – and no being illegal in DC / Chicago doesn’t really hep as there are no borders. guns are everywhere. We need this sh!t to stop

          • drax

            I recall an article that proved that the number of mass shootings hasn’t actually increased in this country, just our perception of them.

          • bobbytiger

            Anyone, any gun? Hate to say you are wrong CA, but . . . . . you are wrong.

          • just our of interest

            Bobby Tiger…..are you going to back that statement up with any form of logical argument or facts?

          • Clarendon Expatriate

            @ just our of interest: There are lots of gun-laws that regulate how, who, how many, what kind, people are allowed to buy or own. That part of bobbytiger’s comment is self evident. If you are talking about “access” vs. ownership, how precisely would you regulate that short of a complete ban and confiscation?

        • Paco

          Yes sir, Novasteve. Nobody ever went on a killing spree before, say, the Walkman was invented.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Unruh

        • BoredHouseWife

          good question. good question. the uptick of gun shootings has nothing to do with guns it has everything to do with conditioning.

        • Buckingham Beauty

          Anger out of control.

        • huh

          constant media barrages of violence

        • Josh S

          You’d have to consider environmental factors – what is getting inside our bodies that changes brain chemistry?
          You’d also have to consider the larger societal changes / forces – are people more hopeless and disconnected that they were in the past?

        • Harry

          Possibly psychotropic drugs/SSRIs which have been shown to increase suicide. There may be a correlation between psychiatric meds which can lead to amoral thought processes and these killings. Anecdotally, there seems to be a pattern with Columbine, Coloroado and now possibly this. Don’t wait for the mainstream media to pick up on it though. If the killer had a joint in his back pocket it would be headline news. These types of killers are usually “drug-free” when it comes to culturally disapproved substances but actively seeing a psychiatrist who loads them up on powerful psychotropics. Worth study…

      • johnny b

        The guns were legally owned by the shooter’s mother, the 1st victim. So you’re saying it’s her fault for not keeping them away from her psychopath son.

        • johnny b

          this was a reply to mary austin….

        • drax

          The mother may have owned them to protect herself from murderers. So that didn’t work out.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Protecting yourself doesn’t require high-capacity magazines. Pretty much nothing does, outside of war and, of course, mass killings.

          • drax

            True.

          • drax

            On the other hand, you can still kill kids without high-capacity magazines, can’t you?

        • Clarendon Expatriate

          Speaking as a gun enthusiast and 2nd Amendment supporter, I would say yes. If she had a person living in her house, or access to her house, that was of questionable mental stability, she should absolutely have secured her weapons. Just as she should have if she had a child in the house.

    • CA

      Sounds like you could lobby for the gun manufactures.

    • Paco

      Hey Mickey,

      Here’s just one example in which highly trained officers of the law responded to a shooter and wounded nine bystanders.

      I’m sure “school administrators and teachers,” surrounded scores of frightened children, would get a clean kill every time.

    • WillVA

      Have at least 1 police officer on school grounds at all times might be the answer…not having inexperieced in instense situation teachers/administrators carrying weapons. A teacher can make the situation even worse with a misfire, confusing police officers of who the bad guy is, etc. That could also lead to a teacher mistakenly not having the safety on, leaving the gun in a locker room while changing/showering, etc….

      • MissKittenCat

        i know the middle and high schools have at least 1 police officer on campus. I even think one coaches the girls soccer team. not sure about elementary schools, but most likely.

      • drax

        Armed guard at every public school = tax increase.

        • Josh S

          Armed guard at every public school also = another daily reinforcement that society is going to s–t. Which would just reinforce the psychopath’s thinking patterns, it seems to me.

          • drax

            Maybe, maybe not, but it it could put a hole in the psycho’s head before he can kill anyone.

        • Clarendon Expatriate

          I’m sure there is some “fat” somewhere that could be cut from the county’s budget to help ensure the safety of the children. Of course municipalities always threaten that there won’t be enough funding to provide for police, firefighters and teachers every budget season. They never mention the things that won’t work as well as scare tactics.

          • drax

            There’s always “fat” somewhere, isn’t there? The idea that you might actually have to pay a little more for something is just too hard to face?

    • ArlNowCommentator

      Who is paying for all this preparation? How much does it cost?

    • WakeUpAmerica

      Um…at least one teacher there was armed…her son took her guns, killed her with them and then went to her school and slaughtered 25 more people. Got any more bright ideas?

      With out-of-control gun violence, it’s Orwellian of you to suggest the answer is to put even more guns into even more hands, some of whom are unstable,most of whom will not be trained and most of which will not be secured. Stop praying to the almighty guns, they are not our salvation they only bring demise…

  • ArlingtonParent

    In the opening sentence, don’t you mean that APS is “assuring” parents that they are prepared?

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Yes, thank you

  • Genius

    Yes, I think having school administrators actively carrying loaded weapons while being surrounded by hundreds of children ages 5-11 is exactly the solution. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    • UptonHiller

      It’s always funny to see people project their own instability in these types of debates.

      • Josh S

        Are you saying that Genius is unstable?

  • WillVA

    +100000000000. My thoughts exactly.

    • Hyde

      Whatever happened to holding the individual responsible? Don’t take away my rights because someone else screwed up. Using that approach, cars, alcohol, drugs, knives, and power tools should be made illegal. Gun control will not prevent this from happening again, and failed to even be relevant in China:
      http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html

      • Paco

        OK Hyde. Next time you can take the guy with the gun. Can I take my chances with the knife-wielder?

        • Hyde

          Paco, so you’re saying you’d run and hide behind scared children, using them as a shield? Besides, all I said was removing guns from the equation won’t eliminate crazy people doing stupid things.

          • tosspot

            stupid things….no can’t stop that….killling 20 kids…yes yoy can

      • Mary-Austin

        “someone else screwed up”?

        almost 30 people are dead…mostly children. think about that for a second.

        • Hyde

          Yes Mary-Austin…the guy with the gun screwed up…not me, not you, not anyone else on the forum. The nut job in CT screwed up. I figured most people around here were educated enough to be able to read without my explanation.

          • Mary-Austin

            Oh well…his bad…guess there’s nothing we can do about it. OOPS

          • self possessed wankstain hyde

            yes because heaven foorbid we infringe your rights to get your rocks og wiht fancy weapons…are the lives of 20 kids worth it

          • Jackfan

            Nice condescending response there – especially when it’s obvious you weren’t “educated” enough to get her point. Her statement was in reference to your cavalier description of a lunatic murdering 20 small children as a “screw up”. It was your choice of words. Maybe you should practice what you preach there Hank before spouting off and looking the huge fool…

          • Hyde

            Firstly, my prayers are with the victims and their families. Ok, since you want to argue semantics, replace “screwed up” with “intentionally and wrongfully, with full intent and cognizance of mind, slaughtered innocent children.” I’m not arguing the severity of what occurred; it’s absolutely revolting, and no fathomable explanation can excuse his actions. Rather, I was stating that blaming firearms fails to get to the root cause of the problem.

          • BoredHouseWife

            you can’t help those that fear monger. they are going to do it to try to gain power over others. the thing is they don’t realize that is what they are doing. their answer is to make a law and turn their backs because it is the easiest thing to do. the real answer comes from within each of us. that requires a lot of work.

        • novasteve

          Mary, if gun control works, why is most gun violence in places with the strictest gun control? Why does chicago have any gun violence let alone the most gun violence in the entire country? And why do you guys only call for banning guns when this happens but not the daily shootings? It’s like you guys only care about life when a school gets shut up, and not the daily killings, especially where guns are already heavily restricted.

          • Mary-Austin

            Because urban areas are where most violent crime takes place anyway…gun related or not.
            You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to what I feel. I think shootings that happen on a day to day basis are just as important and I have always thought guns should be more heavily restricted.
            I think we need to get rid of as many of the 300 million guns as possible in this country but that is not likely thanks to many yokles and knuckle-draggers in this country (not you of course.
            But I at least think we need to have some common sense restrictions. Even that is difficult with the powerful lobby of the mass murder enabling NRA.

          • drax

            Correlation is not causation, steve. Perhaps the places with the highest murder rates are the ones that NEED more gun control.

          • obvious answer

            yes steve because nobody in Chicago has guns?,,,you have to go through a metal detector to get into the city? You know that is a stupid argument…..you shoukd look at the stats for a country such as the UK that has gun control and viirtually no gun crime as a result.

          • Ozzie

            In 1996, Australia banned semi-automatics- Including a mandatory buy back program. In the 18 years before, there were 13 mass shootings. Since then, none.

      • Anne

        That attack in China was horrific, but NO ONE DIED because he didn’t have a gun. Not comparable.

        • Alex

          Unfortunately in the 2010 China knife attack 20 died and 50 were injured. Guns or not, violent psychopaths will injure and kill the innocent. Mental health problems seem to be at the root of a lot of these tragedies. Perhaps better mental health care would be a good start?

  • Hyde

    So are you suggesting we make Patrick Moran’s fists illegal as well?

    • Max

      Who?

      I suggest you move to Somalia where you can own plenty of automatic weapons and kill as many children as you want.

  • UptonHiller

    And now that I’m done talking about my family and their problems, please respect our privacy. Until I need to talk about us again.

  • WakeUpAmerica

    The second Amendment to the United States Constitution leads off with, “A well regulated…” so those who say we can’t regulate guns are wrong (and our frontiersmen forefathers from 230 years ago could never have imagined the regularity and severity of out-of-control gun violence fueled by uber efficient, mass-killing weapons and bullets that can even pierce police officer vests that are so easily accessible today).

    31 school shootings in the U.S. since Columbine. 34 gun murders a day in the U.S. On and on and we just accept this as the new normal…

    Nobody needs assault rifles and megaclips that greatly extend the time needed before reloading. If we can’t make progress on the issue of massacre prevention in light of 20 little kids killed today, we never will.

    And before someone says, “this is not the time to talk about these issues…” spare us. This is the EXACT time time to talk about it and it’s frankly past time. I’m not anti-gun by any stretch, but at some point commonsense must win the day over the NRA crowd – they don’t speak for the majority of Americans (or even the majority of gun owners) yet their $$ carries the day with our feckless Congress.

    • Hyde

      “regulated” in this case is referring to the militia (ie disciplined and under control, not running amuck in some backwoods location), not the weapons. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Broken down into the two main points, this means: 1) The government shall keep a trained and competent FEDERAL militia (military/reserves) and 2) The government shall not infringe on the right of the people to bear arms. Do I need to make it any clearer? Every citizens right to defend themselves with weaponry is protected by the second amendment. Stop trying to take away my rights.

      • novasteve

        Actually it’s probably the states who were keep the militias for use against the federal government. However, I notice that dems only selectively take away rights when people get hurt. One idiot drinks too much 4loko, they ban 4loko. But if you get a whole bunch of people getting deadly STDs, they don’t do anything other than “education” or more research. But they wouldn’t dare ban the acts. But if something is explicit in the constitution like guns, then they want it banned.

      • Jackfan

        “take away your rights”?!? Wow…you and your ilk just DO NOT GET it. Frankly you make me literally nauseous.

        • BoredHouseWife

          you don’t understand. entities use your emotions against you to promote their agendas. everybody plays the fool.

          What will it solve if people give up their guns? what new problems will arise?

          • awake

            1) less murders
            2) none that I can see

          • drax

            You know how the NRA says “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns?”

            I hate the NRA and their attitude. But they’re right about that.

          • and your point is…..

            …..did you have one other than a catchy slogan? clearly in this instance the murdererr would not have had ready access to these weapons..did you have anything to contribute to the dialog?

          • drax

            No, it’s not clear that he wouldn’t have been able to get weapons, not at all. Millions of people own or have access to guns illegally now. He could have easily gotten them illegally if he had been banned from getting them.

            I know it’s a stupid slogan. I acknowledged that. But it’s still true. Trying to ban guns as the primary solution won’t work, because it can’t be done. It just makes criminals with guns feel more confident that they won’t be confronted with a gun by a would-be victim.

      • WakeUpAmerica

        Hyde: 1) Your interpretation is wrong; 2) I’ll bet the Continental Congress would not support cop killer bullets and unlimited magazines that let’s crazies outgun law enforcement; 3) where do you draw the line – can citizens own tanks? cruise missiles? backpack nukes?; 4) your earlier post compares cars/alcohol – we need to take a test to drive a car, have it insured and carry ID that says we are certified. As for alcohol, lots of regulations on that, too, even two amendments specific to it; 5) if there is any doubt about what the 2nd Amendment meant back then…we can just Amend it to bring some needed sanity here given today’s reality; 6) I pray your kid never gets executed in a classroom by a gun so easily accessible and with the ability to slaughter 30 people in seconds; 7) I’d hate to be you at the Pearly Gates with the cold, black heart that clearly shapes your world view – might not work out the way you expect.

        • CW

          This is exactly the argument – the argument to the absurd. It drives the gun people CRAZY. They stretch the line of what is reasonable for the “people to keep and bear” until it generally gets somewhere between AR-15s with full auto conversions and cruise missiles, then they start stammering and talking all over themselves.

          An ultimate example of this contradiction of beliefs is the war in Iraq. A lot of the gun folks supported that war because they believed that Saddam was a very bad man and should not have WMD. Which means that somewhere, they believed that there was a line to be drawn with respect to what in individual can have in terms of weapons. Yet they don’t see an analog to that ever being applicable within the general population.

          • Alex

            Clearly without guns sprees of violence would be a thing of the past:

            http://www.deccanherald.com/content/298545/chinese-man-goes-stabbing-spree.html

          • BoredHouseWife

            remember the last time we acted out of fear? stop fear mongering to force your ideals on others and stop letting fear dictate your thoughts. Each individual is responsible for their mind. No one else can control it unless we let them.

          • BoredHouseWife

            that was meant for the forum in general not specifically at you CW.

            this comment is for you:

            remember that Bush jr sent out national guard away to fight foreign wars and left us naked. our law enforcement institutions were unorganized and lacked communication. one of the few things that prevented an invasion by a foreign entity was the fact that going up against a well armed populace is a logistical nightmare. I know you will have a hard time digesting that. i am sure many will come up with other things like how a color coded announcement and duct tape prevented it. we give up our ability to defend ourselves, we are boned.

          • CW

            Yes, I will have a hard time digesting your claim that the “only thing” that prevented a “foreign entity” (Canada?) from just handily taking over the United States of America was their fear of the fact that we have a large number of uncoordinated, uneducated (in military tactics) individuals with firearms generally less sophisticated than those used by the average third world rebel force. Any “foreign entity” with any level of coordinated training and low-end Soviet-produced weaponry would absolutely dismantle our “well-armed populace”.

            As a side note, I would like point out the irony of someone making a comment accusing people of “fear mongering” and then 5 minutes later posting a comment saying that we are going to be invaded by a foreign entity (when there has been no evidence suggesting that could ever happen).

          • Quoth the Raven

            Seriously, wife? An invasion? And the ONLY THING that stopped it was the invaders’ fears of an armed citizenry? Whatever you’re smoking, please share!

            The 2nd Amendment argument is ridiculous, and cw hit it on the mark when saying that for pro-gun people, there is a line (WMD). So if there is a line, why not draw it in a more sensible place (such as banning high capacity magazines and armor piercing bullets)? Or, just amend the darned thing – let’s recall that while a wonderful document in many ways, the Constitution is not perfect (slavery, anyone?).

        • Joe Hoya

          Sadly, Hyde’s interpretation is shared by a majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

          • WakeUpAmerica

            True…but we could be looking at two retirements upcoming under President Obama. Keep the faith. Sanity will win out eventually.

        • drax

          Explain why his interpretation is wrong. Just saying so doesn’t help, especially since his interpretation is based on a pretty plain reading.

          • Hyde

            Thanks drax and boredhousewife. If we really want to eliminate these kinds of events, let’s stop talking about guns and start talking about the root cause, which is psychological health. When people can’t cope with whatever stresses they experience in their lives, be it real or imaginary, they snap and do ridiculous stuff like this.

          • drax

            Sure, we can talk about the pathetically inadequate mental health system we have, especially in Virginia.

            But what signs were there that this guy was about to go on a rampage? So far, no reports that he had any problems or signs. And he didn’t own the guns – his mom did.

          • yes Hyde

            Clearly the reason is that people get stressed out and “screw Up” so we should keep anyone who looks like they might at some point “screw up” locked away. It’s a fair price to pay…just as long as you can play with your favorite deadly weapons….that’s what freedom is all about after all.

          • CW

            @prolific 4-letter poster whose name goes unmentioned – I realize that 20 or so hours have passed since your post but there were ALL SORTS of signs with this kid…he bounced in and out of school; they’ve got an interview from his babysitter from when he was 9 years old saying that he was a recluse who had episodes and that his mom told the babysitter that he had to be watched 100% of the time, eyes on him at all times…

          • drax

            CW – so what do we do with such a person who shows “signs”? Other than obviously keep your guns locked up if you are his mother, of course.

      • Hyde

        Why, because I’ve taken the time to actually read the constitution?

        • self posessed wankstain hyde

          get over yourself hider. we have all read the constitution.
          from todays news: “My sister is gone and I have noone to play with now” – to arrogant tw@ts like you thist doesn’t matter as long as you can play soldiers with your deadly toys and pretend you are upholdong freedom -. enough already this sh!t has to stop

        • CW

          You read the version passed by Congress, which is ambigious. The one ratified by the states had only one comma, clearly linking the right to bear arms to the need for a well-regulated militia.

          • novasteve

            And the militia was to be used to fight against the government, like what our founding fathers did against the british.

          • Brian

            ACtually Steve, the militia was also to keep public order (put down populist revolts, for example, like Colonial soldiers wanting to get paid for their years of fighting or to get a say in government) and to attack uncomplying native americans also.

            Most of the militia in the revolutionary war didn’t fight any British, they were an aux force that rooted out loyalists (often requisitioning their land and forcing them out) and helped with local intelligence and with supplies. None of the generals of the Colonial forces wanted any militia in their ranks unless it was absolutely necessary, and when that was the case they were given very specific roles to avoid them starting mass panic. Guildford Courthouse is a good example. (“Get two shots off before you flee”)

            Just wanted to point that out.

            Anyway, I don’t think most of the gunowners in this country are in good enough shape to members of any militia worth a salt, anyhow.

          • sure steve

            Do you believe in Santa Claus and the easter bunny too?

        • Captain_Obvious

          No you haven’t, liar. All you’ve read is “right to bear arms”

        • drax

          Forget the focus on what the Constitution says for a minute and focus on whether it makes sense in today’s world. Maybe we should amend it if it doesn’t.

          (Not saying I would, just trying to make you think harder about it).

      • Max

        where’s the and to separate those two clauses in that amendment hyde? Probably hidden among the deaths that you help perpetrate.

        • Hyde

          Can you not read? There are clearly two clauses, separated by a comma. Either way, how does saying that current firearms regulation is sufficient make me a mass murderer? You, cowering in your home, are the one that neglects to stand up for what is right and enables criminals to take advantage of people.

          • Max

            Hey Hyde,

            I can read just fine thank you.

            I save lives just about every day and not once have I used a gun to do that. But you’ll have to excuse me because I guess I’m ignorant. In what way do school shooters who kill five year old children protect you?

          • drax

            Your entire argument hinges on a comma?

          • CW

            The comma thing is actually a big deal that has been argued about by very smart people for a long time. There were two versions – one passed by the Congress and the other ratified by the states. The latter does not contain a superfluous comma, which makes it read as showing a direct link between the need for a “well-regulated militia” and citizens bearing arms. The one with the extra comma, while not making much grammatical sense, seems to, in the eyes of some, imply a separation (that there are two different things – 1) needing a militia, and 2) people bearing arms – which are independent).

          • dk (not DK)

            If you read the rest of the constitution you will note that our founding fathers used commas differently than we use them today. So the placement of commas does not necessarily indicate what you think it does.

            But honestly, I don’t really care where the commas are or what the 2nd amendment means. I think the time has come to revoke the 2nd amendment. Yes, that is me wanting to take away your guns.

          • drax

            If you read the history of the amendment, commas or not, it’s VERY clear that they were concerned with protecting state militias as a defense against federal power. The context has changed a great deal since then.

    • Jackfan

      Excellent post Wakeup. But please don’t expect the gun nuts like Hyde on this board to respond to reasoned, rational and sound arguments for a discussion on gun laws and access. Logic is not in their DNA.

      • Hyde

        I’m hardly a ‘gun nut’, and am willing to bet I’ve studied more rational, scientifically grounded topics than you ever did in your liberal arts program.

      • Alex

        Curious. It’s as if people have forgotten there’s a *MASSIVE* black market for guns that can’t be legislated out of existence. One does not stop violence by making certain weapons illegal. If someone has the intent to kill and cannot get a gun, what’s stopping them from using other lethal methods, such as burning a building down? Shall we also ban gasoline? Maybe we should be banning nail guns at hardware stores, too?

        • Mary-Austin

          Yea good thing he only had a little old glock and assault rifle.
          I can’t imagine how many more deaths there would have been if he had gone in there and started choking people.
          And I see your point about the easy access these loners have to the black market weapons trade. Let’s just keep military style weapons available to anyone.

          • Alex

            Military style weapons are actually not available to anyone. Assault rifles sold in stores are not automatic. They require modification to enable that functionality — which is illegal. Do you think that banning assault rifles would be a panacea that would mitigate gun violence? Seems rather unlikely to me. A lot of states/cities with restrictive gun laws have high gun murder rates, too.

  • gymmyray

    As an APS employee, I can tell you that the truth is students are sitting ducks in our schools. Any idiot can gain access to any school in Arlington by pressing a buzzer, or if it’s before or after school hours, they can walk right in.

    • Narlington

      Thats if the doors to the school are locked, most of the High Schools in this county have an “OPEN Concept” that means no exterior doors are locked. The High school administrator want the children to have an open feeling.

      I think APs is well behind the curve on school safety. No school in this county has cameras that record or can be viewed in real time by the police officer in the building.

      Very few teachers and administrators take the lockdown drills seriously, the children see this and they don’t take it seriously. They let students walk out of the buildng while at lunch and then don’t check them when they come back into the building.

      I think its about time that APS takes a look at its Security Policy for all its buildings

      • Ironic Fire Chief

        yes lock all the doors what a great idea!

  • Betcha Didn’t Know

    get aps to answer this directly with out the typical mumbo jumbo- how may schools have cameras? maybe link to the police dispatch so they can look in and direct resources? they will give you the typical big brother bs when it’s a practical and basic thing other jurisdictions have…

    • Narlington

      No schools in Arlington have a camera system that gives the Police officer in the buidings real time viewing. Some have exterior cameras near the doors but it is unknow if they a recorded or just for show.

  • JimPB

    Let’s “work through” ARLCo school staff having guns at school (and presumably the same or better training and assessment of performance as ARLCoPD officers).

    Consider Westover Elementary School. It would be easier for a person with a gun (presumably concealed) to gain entrance to the school and then to a classroom where (s)he would surprise the teacher (who might or might not be armed), to have moved furniture to block the opening of the classroom door and the view into the classroom thru the glass in the door, and then to do his/her will with such speed that most of those in the classroom would be shot before an armed staff person could be at the door to that classroom, where (s)he would find the door did not open readily.

    So, wouldn’t it be just as well to rely on the response of the ARLCoPD?

  • Constitutional Skeptic

    It’s funny how the same people liberally take away the most important right anyone has–the right to vote–freely and wantonly in the name of protecting against voter fraud, and yet feel they have an absolute unregulatable right for anyone, no matter how criminal or mentally unstable, to possess to guns so they can pretend they will someday join a militia.

    • novasteve

      Photo ID is taking votes away? You do realize tha tyou have to show photo ID to buy a gun, right? Is that racist?

  • Huh?

    They built a new school already? Westover?

  • Parenting

    There are parents who kill or abuse their children. How many of you who want to ban guns would be for the government controlling who can have children in the first place?

    Can someone please find a reliable source where the NRA or “pro gun” people take the
    position that any person can own a gun, “no matter how criminal or mentally instable?”

    That type of hyperbole doesn’t help your case, because it is simply not true.

  • bobbytiger

    That’s it, I’m moving to Washington, DC. As privately held guns are outlawed there, I’ll finally be really safe.

    • drax

      Guns aren’t quite banned in DC any more. That was overturned. Not that they are easy to get or carry legally.

  • Arlmo

    Our Arl. Elementary school buzzes anyone in without identifying them first.

    They need to identify and get an answer why somebody is there BEFORE they unlock that front door.

    Parent IDS should also be issued.

    We lived elsewhere in the US and APS is a joke with this stuff.

    • janedough

      unfortunately that wouldnt have helped in this instance. the principal recognized the shooter as the son of a school employee and buzzed him in.

      • janedough

        reports now are saying that he forced his way in…..one source saying he shot out the door glass….so we’re back once again to guns….

      • Just the Facts

        Not at all true. Mother wasn’t an employee of the school and shooter forced his way into the school.

        • janedough

          as i said. and i believe his mother was a substitute teacher there. lets give it a rest until the complete story is out–im willing to

      • drax

        Latest reports say the mom wasn’t an employee, he had no connection to the school, and he smashed a window to get in (past a new security system).

    • yup

      I have worked for more than one school system in the area. I do believe APS can do better. I don’t think we need resource officers at elem. schools. They may deter some shooters at the HS/MS level, but I don’t even think they would be able to react quickly enough to prevent multiple casualties. If they happen to be at the opposite end of the building there would be enough time for many students/staff to become victims. Do you realize that there are MANY entrances open on each of the high schools? I thought the logic was to only have the main entrance open to see who can come in. A shooter could walk in (or be let in) at so many different points. Plus in the time it takes to get everyone notified, it would be chaos. What about kids playing outside on the fields in PE class? How are they notified? Do we let them walk back into a dangerous situation? If they are not in the building how do we tell them to take off running through the neighborhood? How do we get word to them? Just like most other statements from top level administration…there are no detailed instructions to deal with some likely scenarios. They have a “general” plan so they can have plausible deniability. I realize it is a logistical nightmare and it is good to have some form a “plan” in place, but the communication, practice (drills), and consistency in explanation of the plan is pretty poor. I looked at one of the booklets for emergencies…what to do and who to contact in different situations…it was last updated in 2009…before the school was re-built. So much for being “well-prepared for emergencies” as the article states. I fear that if spit hit the fan people would be running around like crazy. What if something happens during a class change with hundreds of students in any given hallway? I would like to know the answer to that. We have been told that if we are in lockdown and even if we recognize a student, can not see any weapons, and know they are not the shooter that we can not let them into our room once we lock it. Even if they are only a tiny girl, pleading for help, and we can see clearly (through the drawn blinds) that the hallway is clear. I pray nothing like this every happens in an Arlington school. If it did, and I was close to an exit I believe I might tell students to sprint down the street and get as far away from the school as possible.

      • Narlington

        We have been told that if we are in lockdown and even if we recognize a student, can not see any weapons, and know they are not the shooter that we can not let them into our room once we lock it. Even if they are only a tiny girl, pleading for help, and we can see clearly (through the drawn blinds) that the hallway is clear.

        That is not a true statement, I am not a big fan of APS security Policy but I will stick up for them on this one. When the police give training (verty limited training) on lockdowns they advise each teacher to do and act as they think is safe at that time. If the teacher thinks its safe to pull student in from the hallway that is the teachers chioice. The schools and the police don’t want to make teachers do anything that they don’t want to do.

        Can APS do more to protect our children HELL YES, but false statements like the one above do not help to change the wrong course APS is on.

        • yup

          It is not a false statement…that is what I was told by an administrator, and we all know that our administrators are the smartest around. I don’t know what YOU were told, so I will not accuse you of making false statements. I have no doubt that system-wide there are many staff that have been given different, contradictory, or confusing instructions. Point being that everyone has their own interpretation of the rules, which sometimes are intentionally left vague in order to leave room for “judgment”…which is why I would send kids running for the hills. Regardless of what is “on the books”, I was NOT advised to do and act and I think safe at the time as you insinuate. The police don’t train the teachers…they may advise admin./principals, but in my experience have had no interaction with teachers regarding this. You say APS can do more to protect our children…then do something about it! I happen to disagree as I believe we can only do so much with the resources we have at our disposal and to an extent that won’t exceedingly interrupt instruction. As far as helping to “change the wrong course APS is on”…my statement is intended to do exactly that…by replying and refuting APS’ claim contained within this article to call attention and awareness to the issue in a public forum.

  • Way of the World

    Unfortunately, there is no single answer that will solve the issue of a psychopath going on a killing spree. Somewhere, someday, in this country some other fruitcake will go out an kill a bunch of people, and we will debate what needs to be done without coming to a solid, unified conclusion. Then that process will repeat. It is sad, but it is true. Are these incidents happening more frequently? Are they receiving more coverage? Are the death tolls rising in each instance? Depends on the type of incident (workplace/school/public shooting) in my opinion but I don’t know the answers to these questions, and if I did i don’t know that it would do anything to stop a lone basket-case from committing a terrible crime.

    Would the CT shooter have killed as many children had he not had such easy access to firearms? Probably not, but I can’t say he definitely would not have. My point is that there may be another idiot some day who kills just as many people. What if some mentally insane chap hi-jacks a school bus with 40 elementary students on board and runs it off a cliff or into a ravine? What do we do/say then? Should we put armed guards on school buses? Should we arm the bus drivers? If more children died, surely it would be tragic and maybe just as preventable…so what do we do?

    Can tragedies like this be totally averted? I don’t think so…at least not as our society exists today. Forget about the “culture of violence”, “guns on tv” crap…I mean to what point do we go? When it comes down to it, are you willing to sacrifice some freedoms for the feeling of protection you may get thinking that the handful of sociopaths out there have legally restricted access to guns. Maybe so, but is your child actually safer. What if the nutball on a murderous mission was already a convicted felon and already couldn’t legally possess a firearm. He may be able to get one anyway through various illicit means. What law do we enact then?

    You can’t be safe everywhere all the time as there is no solid way to defend against an unpredictable psycopath.

  • Arlmom

    His mother wasn’t in the school at the time–so why was he let in? And dressed in assault gear.

    APS needs to up their safety pronto. It’s a fucking joke.

    You don’t buzz everyone in and then have them go to the office.

    You verify before you give them access. Why not bring the kids to the door and let them out when needed to leave early.

    Things will still happen but that doesn’t mean we don’t make it harder for nut jobs.

    Not so great argument to just remain status quo which is currently worse than most counties in the US. Wake up APS!

  • Alex

    Let’s also conveniently ignore that the biggest massacre at an elementary school was not perpetrated with guns, but with dynamite:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

    Sorry folks, but the gun debate is a moot point. It’s time to focus on mental health issues, not restricting firearm access. Psychopaths will find a way to hurt and murder — it is in their nature. We have a serious problem with treating mental illness as a real disease in this country and the longer we ignore it and find other scapegoats, the farther away we are from some sort of productive progress.

    • drax

      Okay, but dynamite is harder to get than a gun, and dynamite attacks are much more rare than gun attacks.

      • Alex

        The point is that maniacs don’t need guns to commit acts of mass murder and injury. By restricting gun access we’re not addressing the root of the problem — mental health.

        • drax

          True, but we can and should make it harder for maniacs to get weapons because it makes it harder for them to murder.

    • Mary-Austin

      1927…really?

      Yes we know there are psychopaths out there. There always have been and always will be. Why do we make firearms accessible to them.

      And if guns are not any more effective than other methods why do we have so many mass shootings?

      • Alex

        Want something more recent? One of the worst mass-murder events in US history was committed in 1990 with a gallon of gasoline; Julio Gonzalez, who was later convicted of arson and murder, spread gasoline on the entrance to the club and set it ablaze. 87 people died. Not only did the gasoline cost far less than a gun, it is much easier to obtain.

  • bobbytiger

    Possible signs to be posted on school grounds to deter foul play:
    1. “This school is a Gun Free Zone”
    2. “This school is protected by trained armed personnel”
    I know which one I would prefer.

    • honestly?

      Yes let’s turn all elementary schools into armed fortrresses, It’s a small price to pay for Ted Nugent et al to be able to unleash unrestricted firepower.

      • bobbytiger

        Given the fact that the police do not have a duty, (Warren vs. the District of Columbia), to provide protection to its citizens, I’d say that an armed Ted-like teacher(s), is a better deterrent than no defense at all.
        On the other hand, I suspect that others, like perhaps yourself, are simply happy posting the “Gun Free Zone” sign.

        • drax

          But then some court will rule that schools don’t have a duty to protect children either.

        • OMG

          yessir here we have the reasoned argument of the gun lobby……more guns is the only possible answer…..of course no teacher ever got “stressed out” or “screwed up” or perhps has a son that could get at their weapons……do you ever listen to your selves?

          • really

            Im suprised these pro gun lobby maggots even have the nerve toshow their faces this week

  • dk (not DK)

    What is interesting is how our view of gun control has changed over the last 20-30 years, with many more people opposed to gun control than in the past. Our nation has been sold a bill of goods by the NRA, and we the gullible have swallowed it, lock, stock, and barrel. No pun intended.

    • drax

      As always, saying “anyone who disagrees with my position is gullible and/or stupid” is really lame.

      • dk (not DK)

        Thanks for your insights, drax.

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