School resource officer Blaine Gaskill protected students at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md. on Tuesday March 20, when a student brought a gun into the building and opened fire.
While school shootings have become a disappointing norm in society today, the Maryland shooting exhibits something new: a complete crisis being barred.
Gaskill’s actions prove that in a school, having an individual who has the right training credentials can help prevent a complete and total tragedy.
Seventeen-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins entered the school and shot a female and male student, according to CNN. Gaskill, who is a “SWAT-trained officer of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office,” according to The Washington Post, was able to step in and protect the rest of the students and faculty by confronting the shooter with a weapon.
Investigators are still in the midst of “reviewing video and taking testimony to determine exactly what happened in the chaotic exchange,” according to The Washington Post. It is clear, however, that Gaskill’s involvement was instrumental in saving lives.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron has rightfully praised Gaskill’s actions, stating “He responded exactly as we train our personnel to respond,” CNN reported. Gaskill’s heroic bravery deserves all the merit and honor and needs to be acknowledged.
In stark contrast, President Donald Trump wrongly believes teachers in schools need to be armed, according to The New York Times. The Great Mills High School shooting is indicative that this is absolutely not productive. If this shooting is revealing of anything it is that because of one individual who was properly trained, a large number of lives were saved.
Giving weapons to teachers and untrained civilians only creates more danger, especially in a setting largely made up of children. More guns are not the answer; however, a gun in the hands of a trained, responsible officer can be the difference between life and death.
Due to years of training and exceptional knowledge of how weapons and combat work, Gaskill was able to react dexterously to a horrific situation. It is necessary to use Gaskill’s ability to protect as a model in order to keep students safe from the danger of future school shootings.