What happens when you are (un)lawfully disarmed and criminally forbidden to carry a firearm on school property? This week the Panama City, Florida school board found out first hand. Clay Duke for whatever reason (class envy I suspect) felt that he was at the end of the road and resolved to take the Panama City school board members hostage. He had even predetermined that he too would eventually die.
Described as a broke, bi-polar, ex-convict with anarchist tendencies, Mr. Duke was disgruntled over many things but mostly it appears that it was his wife’s firing by the same school board he lashed out at that beat him. The edginess was further provoked by the discontinuance of Mrs. Duke's unemployment benefits. Sounds like a liberal’s hug-a-thug dream project does it not? But, instead of pushing through life’s adversities, Mr. Duke collapsed under pressure and committed to threatening, hostage taking, and shooting multiple rounds at some of the victims, for his own gratifying conclusion; a vendetta if you will.
Again I ask what happens when you are (un)lawfully disarmed and criminally forbidden to carry firearms on school properties (or anywhere)? What options do you have when a murderer is dissuaded by laws and walks through the empty air of rhetoric? The video footage of this incident tells the story remarkably.
-You can negotiate with an unreasonable person
-You can beg for your life
-You can crawl under a desk
-You can whip them with a purse
I realize this was a critical event, but I cannot stop laughing at the image of the female-board member whacking Mr. Duke with her purse. Here is someone who exhibited more valor than anyone else in the room (except the security officer) but chose a shocking display of that courage. The pink panther walk followed by the powerless clobber is entertaining to watch but it could have ended her life that moment.
Every attempt on the part of the hostages failed. Their options were limited! They were as they say, sitting ducks, a de-clawed feline, or less figurative, an unarmed group. According to Mr. Duke's surviving widow he was an expert marksman. Her use of specialized terminology indicates to me that he probably was. I think the school board members are probably alive today because Mr. Duke chose not to kill them.
During this tragedy, a woman was released only to return bringing a purse to a gun fight. A man begs for his life followed by another crawling under a table. Folks, men or women should never have to beg for their life, cower under a table, or engage an armed thug with a purse (still chuckling). Who was it that took care of business? It was the armed security officer! Although even he was behind the curve more than he should have been, nonetheless, he was armed and capable of effectively engaging the threat, unlike the others.
There are lessons we need to learn from this incident. First, we must realize that unarmed security in no security at all. The only thing standing between good people and an armed thug is the air we breathe. We need a deadly force response option available to us. Second, laws intended to serve as preventive measures only work for the moderately criminally inclined. The morally stable citizen needs no such persuasion. Understanding that, I conclude not one prohibitory gun law will save a single person, but certainly will continue to claim lives as an unintended consequence.
Additionally, the current set of anti-gun laws are of no value when suicide is the anticipated outcome. How do you persuade someone who incorporates suicide into their plans? A lengthy prison sentence, as bad as that may be, will have no influence on the person who considers suicide as an acceptable end. Law makers must start taking this into consideration.
Admittedly there is much more to personal security and gun ownership than the firearm itself. I'll also concede that the non-weaponry elements of protection are more valuable than the firearm (until you have to shoot). Those elements are, however, only preparatory and have no response value. Deadly force response is a must if we are going to be a society that values life.
Unfortunately, under liberal guidance, the use of deadly force has been stigmatized in the same way the death penalty has been. The truth is, deadly force can never be abolished; it may only be transferred from the hands of the honest people to the hands of the criminal. The same is true with the closely related capital punishment. The death penalty can never be abolished; either the criminals will rightly receive the death penalty or honest people will have the death penalty unjustly administered against them by the hands of criminals.
Deadly force and the death penalty are so closely related it is hard to speak of one without touching on the other. As a society, we need to change our thinking on these concepts. If we do not, we will face some serious consequences that will be even harder to reverse.