The left is pushing to keep firearms out of Americans’ hands, but the most recent school shooting once again proves that the issue isn’t guns–it’s who’s holding them.
Tuesday’s shooting at a Maryland high school cast doubt on gun control arguments after an armed deputy on the scene stopped the gunman in his tracks–one day after a sheriff’s deputy was found asleep on the job at the Florida school that was rocked by a 17-death massacre last month.
St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill fatally shot 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins after the student fired at and wounded two classmates at Great Mills High School.
Sheriff Tim Cameron told the press that Rollins “produced a handgun” at 7:55 am while in the school’s hallway. He shot a 16-year old female student, who remains in critical condition.
A 14-year-old male student also shot by Rollins was reported as being in “stable” condition.
According to Fox News, Gaskill responded to the shots within one minute.
“School resource officer, Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, was alerted and immediately responded, and engaged the shooter,” Cameron said at a press conference. “DFC Blaine Gasill fired at the shooter in what is described to me as almost simultaneously the shooter fired.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called Gaskill a “capable … tough guy” who “took the right kind of action,” Fox News reported.
Gaskill has been with the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office for six years, having previously worked as a correctional officer. He has received SWAT training and was stationed at Great Mills High School at the beginning of the school year.
Tuesday’s shooting wasn’t the first time Gaskill confronted an armed individual.
Maryland newspaper The Enterprise reported in 2016 that Gaskill had a gun pointed at him by 59-year-old Pekka Robert Heinonen while responding to a complaint.
In a probable cause statement, Gaskill wrote:
“Pekka Robert Heinonen [was] standing on the porch, pointing a gun at me. I ordered the defendant to drop the gun, at which point … his wife walked between us. The defendant refused to comply with my demands, …. [until his wife] convinced him to drop the gun.”
At the time, Sheriff Cameron praised Gaskill’s handling of the situation.
“In that split second, a decision has to be made, The Enterprise reported him as saying. “In this case, the officer used exemplary judgment.”
The quick action exhibited by Gaskill stood in stark contrast to the conduct of Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
CBS News reported that a Broward deputy was suspended after he was founded sleeping in his patrol car Monday while he was supposed to be guarding Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School–the site of a shooting that left 17 dead last month.
The suspension followed news that the killer’s brother, 18-year-old Zachary Cruz, was arrested Monday when he was caught trespassing on Stoneman Douglas school grounds.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and his department have faced criticism for their handling of the shooting. Several deputies stayed outside the school rather than engage the gunman, Nikolas Cruz.
One of the deputies to not enter, school resource officer Scot Peterson, had recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation, but never followed through with the process.
Gaskill was widely lauded as a “hero” and an example Broward Sheriff’s Office can learn from. A “good guy” with a gun can prevent mass shootings–given that the right officer is assigned to the job.
His name is Deputy Blaine Gaskill. He is a hero. The media will make murders famous while ignoring the good in the world. https://t.co/oVtMsta8Y3
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) March 21, 2018
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel et al not so much!!https://t.co/PTpCKKekgF
— Grok (@Grok89585497) March 21, 2018
Look at a real man. A school resource officer who actually thinks of the kids as a resource worth protecting. Broward County should put Deputy Wayne Gaskill of Maryland in charge of their department. #Hero pic.twitter.com/BqURIXiKU7
— JohnWickofPolitics (@Gingrich_of_PA) March 20, 2018
Unlike the other Deputy at the other recent High School shooting, Blaine Gaskill immediately acted with necessary force to stop the shooter. Blaine Gaskill didn’t hide behind a barrier and cower with his hand gun. Blaine Gaskill is a true hero…. https://t.co/fQhzFIBhxF
— Johnathan Huntington (@loveforfamily01) March 21, 2018
This is what a HERO looks like! He ran TOWARDS the gunman #BrowardCountyCowards. He did NOT run away, hide & wait. He ran TOWARDS the gunman, took him out & SAVED the lives of MANY students & staff! #HeroSchoolResourceOfficer https://t.co/Z1ikGUfLh9
— Deborah Boschman (@Manitobagal) March 21, 2018
Shout out to Deputy Blaine Gaskill for putting himself in the line of fire to protect students in Maryland. Those that choose to protect others every day, be it in law enforcement or in a moral situation, are heroes and should be remembered as such.
— Megan (@RTonfleek) March 21, 2018
Will we see from @CNN anywhere near the amount of coverage they gave to @davidhogg111 as to Today’s #Hero Blaine Gaskill? The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy, who stopped this mornings rampage in 60 seconds in a #Maryland school. #MarylandSchoolShooting
— Plague of Legions (@plagueoflegions) March 21, 2018
The Face of a Hero!!
— Mark’s Rants (@Marks_Rants) March 21, 2018