When Probability Becomes Reality

Jack R. Noel
3 min readJun 21, 2022

June 21,2022

A question i came across on the Blog of Mike McDaniel (Stately McDaniel Manor), “I’m curious…. if everyone carries a gun it seems to me the responding police in pretty much all situations where the call was regarding an armed suspect… what’s to keep the cops from shooting the first person they see holding a gun? Like a teacher who just blew away the bad guy and runs into the hall to find the police.. smack into 19 cops?

I believed I could offer a helpful reply so here it is with a few editorial corrections:
True, we keep getting disappointed in what people are doing on any given issue. But your question suggests you’ve been bitten by the Sound Bite Universe that exists everywhere today. “Cops” are not a single united entity with all channels reaching all parts simultaneously. The reality is that, like any other organization, law enforcement is made up of mostly competent but some incompetent people so it’s them you have to worry about. But the Sound Bite Universe always begins with a partial understanding of the real situation. People with life experience can often provide fuller understanding for everyone’s benefit.

A 911 call reporting a shooter in a building is handled first by the dispatcher who answers the call. They are trained to ask for specific details and a well prepared caller will be ready and able to answer those questions. So it starts with us because at any given time we may find ourselves in a building that an active shooter has managed to get access to. It’s simply probabilities, at one time or another this probability will pop up anywhere, even in countries which haven’t had a school shooting so far.

First the Dispatcher will ask what is your emergency.
Yep it’s up to us to provide the information which will prevent such an accident as you describe. Describe the shooter if possible — giving just color of shirt or coat, pants, shoes and the skin color of the shooter. To be extra helpful you should give the type of gun being used (supposing you’re not a gun-ignorant anti-gunner type). Shotgun, rifle or pistol? semi-auto or full auto? (you’ll know the difference by the number of shots fired in a couple seconds. A full auto will fire 6 or 7 shots in ONE second.) Where is the shooter now? Is the shooter moving around from one area to another?

Next give the number of armed defenders in the building if you can — describing a few quickly if you can. If

Jack R. Noel

Writer (non fiction/fiction), science buff, history buff and political commentator at large.