Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Soapbox Moment

If you'll allow me a moment on my soapbox.

As many of you already know, an attack occurred yesterday at a high school in Colorado. The attacker, a deranged man between the ages of 30 and 50, held six female students hostage for over 4 hours. According to one report on, the attacker may have sexually assaulted some of the hostages.

After police lost communication with this sicko, (which was done via hostages, not the attacker), they made the decision to storm the classroom. After a brief barrage of gunfire, the attacker then killed a 16-year old student before killing himself.

Granted, I probably don't have all the information on the exact details of this situation, BUT, I have a big problem with what the police/sheriff's department did or did not do.

If you've already discovered the problem, then good for you. If not, then let me point it out to you.

4 hours.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, 4 hours.

4 hours that the attacker used for his own pleasure.
4 hours that he could've killed every one of his hostages.
4 hours that the police had communications with him via the hostages.

Now I don't know about you, but 4 hours is way TOO MUCH TIME! Forget negotiations. We're living in a time where negotiations no longer work with psychos. Negotiations ended the moment the gunman used hostages for his communications. The sheriff, or whomever was in charge, should've sent men in from the beginning.

Sure - it's easy to point out deficiencies after the fact. But after Columbine, there should be no excuses why this went down so badly.


misawa said...

I hope there's room for two on your soapbox...

In the same vein, what's up with all of these people - most of whom would crumble under the pressure of deciding between paper or plastic - getting upset about the decision to go in at all. From what I have read of the situation, it became obvious to the police from the released hostages that the man was in there to do some perverse nastiness to some of the girls; sometime after that, he cut off communication with law enforcement, which all but signed his death warrant. I wonder how many of these armchair negotiating ankle-biters would have reacted had it been their daughters in there.

Appeasement and negotiating can get you killed just as quick as action to end the threat - the difference is one takes guts and shifts control of the situation; the other takes a natural born instinct to make like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand. Personally, I think I may prefer the latter - it gives me somewhere to rest my boot!

Mark said...

Very well said.

We are going to have more situations like this one. Law enforcement better make some changes in their tactics before more people are harmed and/or killed.

Jeff said...

We found out what would happen, unfortunately, a week later, when the nutjob in Pennsylvania killed five of ten girl hostages when the cops did make a move after a short amount of time.

I just wish all these sickos would kill themselves first, and save everyone the suffering.

Mark said...

Yes, this guy was out for blood at no matter what the cost. Again though, negotiating wouldn't have helped. His aim was to kill, period.

I do like the idea of arming school officials or having a school 'marshall'.