Scot Peterson, the armed officer who was on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when Nikolas Cruz opened fire, killing 17 children and teachers, never went inside to confront the gunman as the shooting took place. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel stated in a press conference on Thursday that Peterson was spotted on a security camera stationed at the west side of the building, but "he never went in."
Peterson was initially suspended without pay as the authorities conducted an internal investigation. But when details started to emerge, he resigned. Israel said he was "devastated" and "sick to my stomach" by the discovery. "I mean these families lost their children," he added. "We lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the homes where they are sitting Shiva. I’ve been to the vigils. It’s just, ah, there are no words.”
The news of Peterson freezing up when he was needed most is indeed tragic, but it also draws into question the theory presented by Donald Trump that the answer to preventing school shootings is to arm "certain highly adept people" with firearms. After all, it doesn't matter how prepared someone is to use and handle a gun, there's no way to foresee how they will truly respond when thrown in a situation involving an active shooter.
As much as we want to believe that a teacher or "certain highly adept people" will step up if a school shooting takes place, it's pure fiction. We can't expect someone to be willing to sacrifice their life for another person. For every Scott Beigel and Aaron Feis, there's going to be a Scot Peterson.