An inmate in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, managed to shoot three officers at a police station early this morning, according to the Philadelphia affiliate of ABC News. All three officers survived, while the inmate was killed by police. Details are still unclear — the township's police has yet to describe the inmate, or how he was able to procure and use a firearm while in custody — but the incident has already steered the ongoing gun conversation on Twitter today:
We need an armed guard in every -- oh wait abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?sec…— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) December 28, 2012
NRA will be calling for an armed guard in every police station now. Oh...— Martin Fitzgerald (@MartinFitz) December 28, 2012
The unnuanced commentary about the NJ Police Station shooting is going to be 'And you think 1 armed guard in a school would mean something?'— John Eddy (@jaydeflix) December 28, 2012
Whether "unnuanced" or not, the "armed guard/federal agent" meme refuses to go away. It began on Twitter last Friday night when the conservative columnist David Frum went on something of a rant, applying the NRA's new armed-guard-in-every-school proposal to every shooting since Newtown. And if the comparison applies in this case, it's not because it invalidates the idea that stationing armed sentries at every school, or every nail parlor, is a realistic policy for preventing mass shootings. Three officers were injured, yes, but nobody (except the shooter) died at the police station. The shooter was gunned down before he could inflict more injury or death on others. And that's where this morning's top trending topic is turning the conversation.