Excerpted from the New York Times –
When a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas last year, Telemachus Orfanos somehow survived.
On Wednesday night, though, he didn’t.
“He was killed last night at Borderline,” his mother, Susan Orfanos, said, speaking rapidly into the telephone. “He made it through Las Vegas, he came home. And he didn’t come home last night, and the two words I want you to write are: Gun control. Right now — so that no one else goes through this. Can you do that? Can you do that for me? Gun control.”
Ms. Orfanos then hung up the telephone.
A week ago, I attended ALiCE Training for work. Luckily I was prepared for what was to come by colleagues in other states that had already received initial training. Others in my training clearly had no idea what they were walking into. It became evident when more than one stormed out crying in frustration.
I’m sure the law enforcement officer that administered our training meant well, but one of the first things we heard was that previous victims of gun violence, school shootings in particular, “did not exhibit a strong will to live” on the various days that they were slaughtered with automatic weapons by unbalanced men.
The point of federally mandated ALiCE training is to teach us to make proactive decisions (run away, fight back, throw things, hide, etc.) in dangerous situations rather than defaulting to lockdown only. Fair enough.
It also means that my daughter has already been trained by her 4th grade teacher that in the event of a lockdown, she will first hide in her cubby. If a shooter breaches the classroom, she is then to throw her shoes at them.
Please go back and reread those two sentences and really absorb that reality.
She will later be taught what the appropriate arm length distance is from a mass murderer for taking responsibility for swarming the shooter. And how far away is the appropriate length that she can run for her life and leave others behind to do the swarming. She will be taught how to tie belts around door hinges, and which bookcases are worth climbing behind and which are not. She, like me, could probably tell you whether or not her classroom door is wooden or steel.
I’ll say it again – this is federally mandated because at some point our elected leaders decided this problem was somehow beyond them. Let’s just train the babies to fight back. Against madmen with guns. Perfectly reasonable solution.
This approach to our mass shooting problem is so clearly saving lives already.
I’m sure the family of Telemachus Orfanos will take comfort in knowing that his inability to survive a second mass shooting in two years was due to his lack of a “strong will to live” and nothing at all to do with our lack of action as a nation.