The Stupidest Thing Anyone Has Written About Sandy Hook

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 19 2012 3:13 PM

The Stupidest Thing Anyone Has Written About Sandy Hook

I don't want to get into the ring with every derpy columnist who weighs in on Sandy Hook. But the derp is country strong with this Charlotte Allen item.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees... Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

Kevin Anzellotti, the head custodian at Sandy Hook, is a man. Theodore Varga, a fourth grade teacher, also possesses XY chromosomes. I just did the research Allen didn't do, and it took all of fourteen seconds. Beyond that, though -- why does no one who writes this way look into the circumstances of other massacres? The second person shot by Jared Loughner was Gabe Zimmerman, an aide to Gabby Giffords who, hearing the gunshot that would cripple her, turned and stepped toward Loughner. The gunman shot Zimmerman in the head. The fourth person shot by Loughner was Giffords's aide Ron Barber, who survived shots to the cheek and groin. He was saved by John Roll, who lunged at the aide and was shot fatally in the back. Loughner did all of this in less than six seconds. Grown men in good health were cut down, because bullets move faster than people do.

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Shockingly, this is the second-stupidest argument in Allen's column.

Remember United Flight 93 on 9/11. It was a “flight of heroes” because a bunch of guys on that plane did what they could with what they had.

The terrorists on Flight 93, as I thought everybody knew, were armed with box cutters. The people who tackled them had a long time to plan their counterattack, ducking behind seats and whispering. This is obviously inapplicable to any situation involving semi-automatic weapons. Who thinks like this?

(Hat tip: Beauchamp.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.