A logical starting point is to ask why mass murderers like Adam Lanza do it. Most of them don’t intend to survive; their murders are a form of suicide culminating in their own deaths. The impulse to suicide is understandable, but what is the point of murdering ten or twenty school children or mall shoppers first?
I think the answer, for most such murderers anyway, is that they want to go out in a blaze of notoriety.[*] Typically people who have made little impression on the world in life, they want to become famous in death. Shooting themselves won’t achieve that goal, but shooting lots of others will. I think they inspire one another: the Aurora movie theater killer probably helped to motivate the Oregon mall murderer, and the Oregon mall murderer probably helped to motivate the Sandy Hook killer.
Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.
Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, countered that the moral of the story in Newtown was that existing bans prohibiting adults from carrying firearms in public schools left the children defenseless. “Gun control supporters,” Pratt maintained, “have the blood of little children on their hands.”
*In retired FBI profiler John Douglas’ book Anatomy of a Motive, he outlines that a mass murderer harbors a selfish obsession with being famous – even at the expense of others’ lives. The alternative emotive can be one of selfish desire to have others feel as badly as he may have in his life. Either way, the ultimate cause of violent action is selfishness.