What have we learned from yet another in a long line of horrendous campus gun murders at Seattle Pacific University? That pepper spray turned out to not only be just as good an emergency defense strategy as a "good man with a gun", it turned out to be better.
Cross through the police barrier with me, and let's investigate.
SEATTLE — A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire Thursday in a building at Seattle Pacific University, killing one person before a student subdued him with pepper spray as he tried to reload, Seattle police said.And did you notice this bit?
Police say a student building monitor at the university disarmed the gunman, and several other students jumped on top of him and pinned him down until police arrived at the Otto Miller building.
. . . before a student subdued him with pepper spray as he tried to reload, Seattle police said.So here we have a situation which suggests that a smaller clip - one which necessitates a greater rate of reloads when the gun murderer can potentially become vulnerable - is possibly a contributing factor in the subduction of a rampaging gunman. It's not the first time such mass gun murderers have had their day cut short while reloading - other examples include the 2011 Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson, AZ, and here's 40 more.
Why is pepper spray possibly even better than armed students in a situation like this? Here's why:
Update at 4:11 p.m.: Police now say there is only one suspect in the shooting at Seattle Pacific University and he is in custody.Because if you want to determine details about the psyche of an individual who would perpetrate such a horrific crime for the purposes of possibly reducing the number of such events in the future, that interview requires a live suspect rather than a dead one.
As an educator, I've never been one to carry pepper spray on my person, but as of today I've decided that this will change. Maybe it'll do some good some day.
9:12 AM PT: Some pertinent information that wasn't yet available when I first wrote this - thx to ayjaymay for providing this information about engineering student and security desk volunteer Jon Meis who incapacitated the gunman and subsequently brought him to the ground. This guy did good and deserves recognition - the description "hero" comes immediately to mind!