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The Futility of Trying to Prevent More School Shootings in America

It’s The Atlantic, so gun control has to be part of the discussion. But she’s right that anyone who really wants to kill people will inevitably find a way . . .

Virtually everyone I spoke with, from the FBI to academic researchers, told me it’s nearly impossible to stop a determined shooter; they’re always one creative step ahead. In one way, Dimitrios Pagourtzis broke with recent shooters: He used his father’s shotgun, rather than a semiautomatic weapon—although Pagourtzis made the shotgun far more lethal by using buckshot. In other cases—at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; at Virginia Tech; at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut—the gunman used a semiautomatic weapon to wreak even more carnage. Stopping a young person from stealing his parents’ legally owned shotguns is impossible; but experts like Michael Caldwell say that restricting the sale of semiautomatic weapons would go some way to limiting the carnage.

“It may not decrease the number of incidents, but it would decrease the number of fatalities,” says Michael Caldwell, the University of Wisconsin professor, not just because he can get off fewer rounds, but because bullets fired from an AR-15 are so much more lethal. “You don’t have to hit the target straight on to kill a person. If you’re shot in the torso, it will kill you.”

Chris Cuomo Confounded by TX School Shooter’s Use of Low-Tech Weapons

To be fair, it doesn’t take much to confound Chris Cuomo . . .

Why couldn’t the Santa Fe, TX school shooter have used an AR-15? A large magazine? Or at least a bump stock? That would have made it easier to call for more gun control.

That was the subtext of Chris Cuomo’s lament on CNN this morning. Cuomo said that the shooting, “doesn’t set up great for the gun debate.”

Cuomo was presumably referring to the fact that the two weapons used by the shooter were a .38 revolver and a shotgun. Instead of being high-tech “assault weapons,” they both employ 19th-century technology, dating back almost 200 years old in the case of the revolver.


Australian army chief orders ban on so-called ‘death symbols’

And we thought the Aussies were made of sterner stuff . . .

The skull and crossbones is linked with “maritime outlaws and murderers,” the comic book characters the Phantom and the Punisher promote “vigilantes,” Spartans encouraged “extreme militarism,” and the Grim Reaper is “the bringer of death,” according to the order.

In his directive, (Lt. Gen. Angus) Campbell said “such symbology is never presented as ill-intentioned and plays to much of modern popular culture, but it is always ill-considered and implicitly encourages the inculcation of an arrogant hubris and general disregard for the most serious responsibility of our profession, the legitimate and discriminate taking of life.”

The order asked commanders to “take immediate action to explain and remove such symbology/iconography in any and all formal or informal use within our Army.”

Campbell’s policy provoked outrage in the Australian military community.


Same grief, different outcomes: Texas mulls school safety

See our earlier post on this . . .

In contrast to Florida, where the deaths of 17 teens and educators sparked a youth-led movement calling for new restrictions on gun ownership, the Texas tragedy saw elected officials and survivors alike voicing support for gun rights.

Abbott, who noted that the 17-year-old accused of the attack appeared to have used weapons legally owned by his father in the Friday attack at Santa Fe High School, on Tuesday was due to begin a series of meetings with educators and law enforcement officials on improving school safety.

“We need to do more than just pray for the victims and the families,” Abbott said on Friday at the school outside Houston following the attack. He said any legal changes considered would “protect Second Amendment rights.”


Concealed carry holder charged with felony after brandishing gun on I-90: ISP

Permit holders are about the most law-abiding people in the nation. That doesn’t mean some won’t screw up. And that the media won’t be all too happy to trumpet it when they do . . .

A concealed carry permit holder is facing a felony charge after he allegedly brandished a handgun Saturday while riding in a vehicle on the Kennedy Expressway.

Officers stopped a gray Honda sedan about 6:20 p.m. on Interstate 90 at Nagle Avenue and took 28-year-old Charles R. Peterson into custody after finding a loaded handgun in the vehicle’s center console, Illinois State Police said.

An off-duty Chicago Police officer reported Peterson was following him and had shown the gun after cutting him off in traffic, state police said. The handgun was found with a live round in the chamber and a loaded magazine was found near the gun.

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  1. Anybody that has followed my comments for any time know that I espouse the pump action shotgun and .38 revolver as the near perfect combo for 99.9% of the non military incidents where a firearm is needed to protect oneself. And the shotgun still has legit uses in the military.

    I never have felt undergunned with that combo.

      • Glocks should be the only legal handgun in America.

    • I’d go with .357 magnum and a .30-30 lever action just in case you need to engage an enemy beyond 25 yards, but your point is valid.

      • Or you could go with my preferred combo: .25 ACP for evening-wear, swimwear, and nightwear, and .30 Mauser for everything else 😉

        I’ve been finding myself “shotgun curious” of late however. Wasn’t the direction I’d thought I’d be taking with my collection, but as with so many things, it’s the journey…

        • I hear ya on the shotguns. I’ve got my eyes on a FN SLP Mk I Tactical as well as a Benelli M4. I already have three Mossberg 590A1s.

        • Mark,
          Find a used M4 super 90. Fantastic shooter.
          It holds 9 rounds of 2-3/4 number whatever. Smooth, solid shooter.

      • A lever gun in .357, .44-40 or .45 Colt holds many more rounds and is good to at least 150 yards. My 24″ Winchester holds 14 in .45 Colt. Even the carbines hold 10.

        • My 10/22 fitted with a 110-round drum loaded with hyper velocity 40 gr. hollow points will do a pretty damn good job of ventilating the fool who comes in uninvited.

          BTW, I fired a Mossy 12-gauge Cruiser inside an abandoned house w/o ear protection just to see if I could stand it. It took about six days before my ears completely stopped ringing.

      • The shotgun and revolver are specific to my needs, Gov. I live in the built up urban environs of the liberal bay area. If I engage past 25 yards and it’s not the apocalypse I’m going to prison.

        I do have rifles and your point about the .30-30 is valid. If the apocalypse starts tomorrow I will drag out my rifles.

        • If I step out my front door I don’t think I could line up a shot in any direction over 100 yards without hitting one of my neighbors houses. So I keep 125gr hollow points in the .30-30. At 2500+fps that got to be devastating inside 100.

          If someone is shooting at you, you have a right to shoot back even if they are over 25 yards away. Maybe not in CA though.

  2. Brandish yer gat at a state bull…duh. Told ya’ the leftard’s couldn’t get much traction with the Texas school shooting…but those 10 are just as dead😩

  3. On the weapon used by the Texas school shooter –

    Initial reports claimed it was a “sawed-off shotgun”.

    Has anyone heard if it was a legal shorter-barrel like the ‘Shockwave’, was it an NFA-registerd weapon, or was it an actual unregistered saw-off?

  4. Wow. Offended by the skull and crossbones now. Well. They’ll really be offended by my “Kill Em All, Let God Sort Em Out” flag.

    • You can always tell the officers that ain’t worth a shit before the first shot is fired.

      • Most of the top brass in the Australian military are bureaucrats in uniform who have designs on senior public service or political careers.

        This where they take their we know better than you attitude.

        • Oz long ago went the way of the Acarecrow and their overlords at the Once Great Britain. Full on eurowussies.

        • There are strange Leftist things happening in Australia.

          Check this out :

          “It’s Ridiculous” – Parents Furious As Australia Seeks To Ban Use Of “Boy” Or “Girl” In Books

          “That is an example of the furious reaction from parents in Victoria, Australia where the local city council has announced plans to audit children’s books and toys with a plan to ban them from kindergartens, schools and libraries if they don’t meet strict gender guidelines.

          The Herald Sun reports that the local government’s justice warriors were inspired by research from the Australian National University that showed children were influenced by gender stereotyping, and urged a ban on the terms ‘boy’ and ‘girl’.

          The research suggests educators should “minimise the extent to which gender is labelled” and avoid telling children what girls and boys should do.

          Parents reacted angrily to the story on social media…

          “This needs to stop. I’ve got a two-year-old daughter (yes I picked her gender based on what genitals she was born with) and she plays with cars, trains, tractors, Barbies, dolls and uses her imagination and pretends she’s cooking food or being a doctor…

          Let’s just let kids be kids.”

          Billie Deborah Chin wrote:

          “Banning the availability of anything, or taking choice away, is definitely the wrong way to go about making classrooms gender neutral. It should be about making everything available to everyone.”

          We leave it to Ron Wilson from Smooth FM, who told Sunrise “it’s about inclusion, not exclusion” but that it’s important “boys are boys and girls are girls”.

          “I wouldn’t be banning things, but I would be including more things for everybody to be involved in. When you’ve got kids, you suddenly realise that boys are boys and girls are girls and viva la difference. I don’t want to see androgyny out there.

          “I don’t want to see our children just being children. The fact (is) they are boys and girls and they are different and there’s no question about that. We should celebrate that…

          I think we need respect. We don’t need social engineering.”

          Following the uproar generated by the report, Melbourne City Council very quickly responded…

          “Our libraries aim to promote diversity, not censor books,” adding that “none of the books mentioned in media reports have been banned. The books mentioned are in stock at City Library.”

          So Winnie The Pooh and Thomas The Tank Engine are safe…for now.”

          Yes, ‘Oz’ has a bad case of “Progressive Disease”…

          • A recent story about an obviously severely mentally ill, deranged, Australian leftist, is demanding parents get CONSENT FROM THEIR BABIES BEFORE CHANGING THEIR DIAPERS. I kid you not. These “people” are freaks.

        • “A recent story about an obviously severely mentally ill, deranged, Australian leftist, is demanding parents get CONSENT FROM THEIR BABIES BEFORE CHANGING THEIR DIAPERS.”

          Here it is –

          There has been a bit of ‘push-back’, so to speak :

          “So if my child says no, I just let him wear a filthy nappy all day, then end up having to take him to the doctors for a UTI/nappy rash etc? I understand what you’re trying to say, but my boy wouldn’t understand, nor would he ever consent because I can barely get him to sit still long enough to even change him sometimes,” user Michelle Cunningham wrote on the Herald Sun’s Facebook page.

          “This has the potential to be the dumbest thing said ever. Clearly never had a child in her care and if she has would love to have been there when she asked the baby the question. What an idiot,” user Nicholas Phillips said.

    • The one I never had the balls to wear read, “Mess with the best, die like the rest.”

      • One of m old favorites was Al Mars T-shirts.
        Terminate With Extreme Prejudice.
        I miss Al.

  5. [B]ecause bullets fired from an AR-15 are so much more lethal. “You don’t have to hit the target straight on to kill a person. If you’re shot in the torso, it will kill you.”

    Quotes such as the above are so credibility killing because they are so transparently absurd to anyone with any sort of familiarity with guns. Your day is going to be ruined by taking 00 buck to the torso as well. Pretty much any long gun in a decent caliber will highly inconvenience you, to say the least, and we all know 5.56 is just a middling caliber.

    • I like to explain it as the 5.56 (.223) was designed for coyotes at 300 yards but happens to be pretty effective at killing humans at 15. Rifles designed for killing deer at 300 yards are 2-3x more powerful. Any gun designed to humanely dispatch a deer is going to be devastating on a human.

    • As they say, handguns poke holes into people. Rifles poke holes through people. Shotguns remove large pieces of people.

      • As do nail bombs posing as pressure cookers. Any guess as to how the gun-grabbing goons would react to a school bombing?

  6. although Pagourtzis made the shotgun far more lethal by using buckshot.

    Far more lethal than what? Loads designed for a 3 1/2 ounce clay pigeon? No kidding.

  7. “It may not decrease the number of incidents, but it would decrease the number of fatalities,” says Michael Caldwell, the University of Wisconsin professor, not just because he can get off fewer rounds, but because bullets fired from an AR-15 are so much more lethal. “You don’t have to hit the target straight on to kill a person. If you’re shot in the torso, it will kill you.”

    And a shot of 12ga. buck shot to the torso won’t kill you? Perhaps it’s time we all just stopped listening to people who use the title ‘professor’.

    • The anti-gun side doesn’t want to admit that the shotgun is every bit as lethal as a scary black rifle because it wound force them to:

      A. Admit that their proposed “assault weapons” ban would be pointless, and

      B. It would force them (if they want to be intellectually consistent) to come out against the lowly 12 gauge.

      • Their plan was always to come out against the lowly 12-gauge, and everything else. They just didn’t plan on showing their hand now. They wanted to ban common rifles under the pretext that they were unusually dangerous, knowing full well they’re not. That’s because the next step, once that’s normalized, would be to point out all the weapons that are just as or nearly as dangerous and ban those as well, everyone having forgotten how they got the original ban through in the first place.

        • Excellent summary of portions of “The Narrative”.

          Lives, truth, safety, none of those are what the lib/progs are after. The final goal of The Narrative is complete civilian disarmament. Any step toward that goal–the incrementalism of ‘gun control’–is a win. It will never be enough, and they will ALWAYS be back for more until the goal of The Narrative is achieved.

          To that end there is no point in a ‘conversation’, no point to ‘negotiating’, as anything given to them is a win for them and a loss for freedom and liberty. They will not stop until they have achieved their end goal and each little ‘chip’ that is given to them only serves to undermine your rights and freedoms; freedoms which they fear and loathe.

    • Didn’t Bad Boy Biden recommend a shotgun over an AR? Seems like the Santa Fe shooter took Ol’ Joe’s advice – except for the part about sticking it outside a door and firing it into the air as a warning shot?

      I’m a big fan of warning shots with the first one fired just above a perp’s head and the rest fired slightly lower than that

  8. Well, in his defense, Chris Cuomo is often confounded.

    Door knobs. Pop tops. Turn signals. Every day is a challenge.

    • I read ‘pop tops’ as ‘pop tarts’ at first and that made for a very, very funny image. 🙂

  9. Well, when our betters form La Belle France can’t keep whack-jobs from shooting up freeways with actual automatic weapons, nay for realz “assault rifles”, yeah, us provincial are probably gonna have the occasional shooting attempt at a school.

  10. it was interesting to see how little traction this shooting got when there were no ‘assault weapons’ involved. i think i saw ONE thing pop up in my facebook feed. normally i see dozens of them (i was born in NJ….i’m still friends with a lot of ‘government can solve every problem’ people)

    • Like Sutherland Springs, Great Mills HS, or the recent Marseille shooting, it won’t get much play if it doesn’t suit a narrative that promotes the gun control agenda.

    • Just because there weren’t any AR-15’s at a shooting doesn’t mean the corrupt Left can’t say that there was. Case in point – MSD in Parkland where there hasn’t been a single photo shown that was alleged to be Cruz’s weapon. Hell, they could have said Nicky brought a bazooka to school and the idiots in the media would run with it.

  11. “…the futility of preventing school shootings.”

    It looks like preventing shootings on highways in France is pretty futile, too.

  12. I still have unit T shirt with cobra wrapped around a skull on the back with our battalion ID number below it. From the 1980 Australian Army. Fully approved and worn by everyone on PT days against other units.

    I note he issued the order in the last week of his being head of the army.

  13. So, does this really seem all that crazy, as far as school safety:

    Put one way locks on all but one or two entrances and have an armed SRO at the entrance(s). Now you can have the fire exits open, and the entrance(s) covered. Dress codes shouldn’t allow trench coats. That would make it pretty darn difficult to get a long gun in the building and would hardly cost anything to implement. Let teachers carry if they want, in case someone gets past the guard.

    That and not punish a kid for defending themselves from a bully, since years of being bullied without retribution seems to be a common factor in these incidents.

  14. “Australian army chief orders ban on so-called ‘death symbols’”

    Perhaps the Aussies can substitute death symbols for pictures of their soldiers blowing the enemy. You know, all friendly-like.

    • Ralph
      There are soldiers and politician officers. I was at meeting last week of vets ranging from 30 to 70. Everyone thought it was a political move. See comment above about Cobra on skull as official sports wear.

    • “take immediate action to explain and remove such symbology/iconography in any and all formal or informal use within our Army.”
      So I assume my morale patches with the Finnish “historical terms” below would be allowed because they are just words and not offending graphical death symbols? (sarc)
      Hakkaa Päälle (“Cut them down!”)
      Tulta Munille! (“Fire at their Balls!“)
      The people who would be offended probably have no idea what they mean.

  15. “…although Pagourtzis made the shotgun far more lethal by using buckshot”

    uh, what? Oh, right, these people don’t know what a shotgun is.

    Geez, good thing he didn’t use slugs or they’d start getting their infographics going about how they’re powerful assault bullets used to kill grizzly bears that have no place in our society…

    • “Oh, right, these people don’t know what a shotgun is”

      Exactly. Using such a phrase to demonize buckshot serves ‘The Narrative’. As Josh Sugardaddy said in his manifesto on ‘assault weapons’:

      “Assault weapons – just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms – are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

      The same logic applies to demonizing ANYTHING else that they can conceivably create a belief (false or otherwise) in uniformed LIVs; or, much like another special person once said, “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

      No, I have no issues in likening Sugardaddy to a Goebbels. Looks like a duck…

  16. I didnt know that the Aussies wore ABU’s too!/s
    That picture is rather unrelated lol

  17. Your puny weapons are useless, resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated

  18. Spartans encouraged “extreme militarism

    Militarism? In the army? Quick, fetch my smelling salts!

    • And too much ‘toxic masculinity’.

      After all, your armed forces should be kinder, gentler and use words instead of war. The enemy is, after all, just a friend that is misunderstood.


    • Spartans encouraged “extreme militarism?”

      I’m sure that the Battle at Thermopylae would have turned out just fine if it was fought by 300 Sheilas from Sydney seeking safe spaces.

  19. The penalty for causing a multiple fatal casualty event in a school should be death by flamethrower. Retroactive to 1990. Includes aiders and abettors. Wouldn’t eliminate attacks, but would make a lot of perps think twice about what they’re planning.

  20. When do people get sick of the inanity?! First commonality in all *(public)* school shootings: the school. Why the flip are we still hung up on mass concentration of kids to teach them?!?!
    Second: the blatant and unconstitutional violation of all school employees (and some of the students) right to self defense! Why doesn’t the MSM report on the fact that this rarely ever happens at private schools?! It certainly wouldn’t happen at my homeschool as one of the life courses is marksmanship and another is preparedness.
    It’s time to take back the education of our children. STOP TRUSTING THE GOVERNMENT WITH YOUR CHILDREN’S MIND!

    • The commonality is GUN FREE ZONES! Eliminate them and you eliminate 98% of all mass shootings

  21. All of these are deadly weapons, to keep this in perspective. However, with multiple, larger projectiles and greater muzzle energy, a 12 ga. pump action shotgun firing 00 buck shot is arguably the most devastating close quarters weapon. My God, it’s borderline immoral in wartime or as a self-defense weapon, let alone its use in a spree shooting.

    It looks like this guy is just straining to keep gun grabbing momentum going, despite the most recent attack grossly straying from the liberal narrative and talking points.

  22. “Campbell’s policy provoked outrage in the Australian military community.”
    As it should.
    No commander wants his soldiers going into combat thinking, “This is the legitimate and discriminate taking of life.” He wants them going into combat thinking, “I will kill that motherf*cker!!!”
    Well, no actual commander wants that. There will always be the oddball that thinks the military is there to promote the general good through accepted social means. Next, he will order that all firearm practice be conducted with nerf guns.

  23. Always confront the “expert”

    Dear Dr. Caldwell,

    In the Atlantic article you stated regarding the banning of semi automatic rifles: “It may not decrease the number of incidents, but it would decrease the number of fatalities,” says Michael Caldwell, the University of Wisconsin professor, not just because he can get off fewer rounds, but because bullets fired from an AR-15 are so much more lethal. “You don’t have to hit the target straight on to kill a person. If you’re shot in the torso, it will kill you.”

    Point in fact, at close range, buck shot from a shotgun is far more devastating to the human body. As well, semi auto rifles account for being used in less than 400 murders a year. While tragic, the number is lower than the use of fists and clubs. As I am sure you are aware these statistics can be found via the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    I send this with no malice, but if one is to be quoted as the expert, they should know the topic. Your argument has the flavor of hyperbole.


    John Eliyas, MA Criminology

    (12 yrs at the Penn State University, 25 yrs practical field experience)

    • According to FBI stats, all rifles combined have accounted for 298, 285, 258, 258 and 374 homicides: a declining number for the four year period, 2012 – 2015 (the 374 for 2016 was an anomaly) and those numbers include justifiable ones!

      Murders and homicides are tallied differently by the FBI.

      • The Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack that killed 50 helped to spike that number in 2016

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