In less than sixty seconds, an Ohio gunman killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, and injured more than thirty people, putting an entire community on lock-down. The Oregon District tragedy forever impacted the lives of victims in the community. Unfortunately, three-months after the shooting in Dayton, gun violence has continued, with a series of false reports that placed one Ohio high-school on lock-down.
On November 15, the Springboro Police Department brought a 12-year-old student into custody after he made several 911 hoax calls that Friday night, claiming someone was at the on-going school dance with a gun. As a result, the school was placed on immediate lock-down and seventh-and eighth-graders at the dance, along with staff members, were moved from the common area to classrooms.
According to Scott Marshall, the Springboro Community Schools communications coordinator, the situation was deemed “not a credible threat.”
“The Springboro Police Department arrived at Springboro Junior High School, began a sweep of the building, and requested to have all students/staff safely moved to designated classrooms while the sweep occurred.”
But the next question was who was placing the call itself? The police eventually traced the phone to a female student at Springboro Junior High School, but it was later admitted by another male student that he made the calls using her lost phone.
And what awaits the 12-year-old student? Felony and misdemeanor charges.
The Crime of ‘Swatting’
Unbeknownst to many, this behavior is a crime and known as “swatting,” where an individual will place a call to emergency authorities, informing them of an emergency situation, usually involving hostages, which then forces police and other emergency response teams to swarm in, usually resulting in violence and injury.
Swatting is almost invariably triggered by false reports of a serious law enforcement threat, including bomb threats, murder, hostage situations, or in this case, an armed gunman on campus.
The resulting legal isn’t fun.
“Good Guy With A Gun” Cannot Be An ‘Ism’
But what does this mean and how does it change the debate of stricter gun laws and regulations? One of the strongest and more frequent arguments I hear is, “the good guys with a gun will overcome the bad guy with a gun.”
Simply put, guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens will eliminate the threat of any active shooter.
Let’s go back to the Oregon District mass-shooting. What makes the Dayton shooting so intriguing is that the gunman decided to open fire in an area populated with armed police officers.
For those native to the Dayton area and familiar with the Oregon District, you may recall that police officers are always located nearly at every corner. Walk by the bars and you see them sitting in their cars and patrolling the surrounding areas. However, this time, the “good guy with the gun” did not prevent the tragedy that occurred.
In less than sixty seconds, in an area scattered with those armed individuals sworn to protect the community, the gunman prevailed (temporarily). In just under sixty seconds.
Imagine had he decided to open fire in an area say, a school, where there are no armed persons. The death toll could have easily topped over a hundred victims. In the wake of this event, it is time to consider the serious impact gun violence has on our society. It is no longer safe to say that the “good guy with a gun” is sufficient to prevent any threats.
So long as individuals like the Oregon District shooting get their hands on such weapons, scares like the one law enforcement recently encountered at Springboro Junior High and similar catastrophes will continue and are inevitable.
But what does this ultimately mean moving forward?
Banning civilian ownership of guns?
Stricter mental health regulations?
An amendment or full on repeal of the Second Amendment to the Constitution?
Thoughts and prayers?
Wherever the answer may lie, one thing has now become certain – a good guy with a gun is no longer enough. The time to accept change is now.