The most remarkable of the four lessons of Columbine

And the final practical lesson of Columbine is a revolution in police response tactics. Cops followed the old book at Columbine: surround the building, set up a perimeter, contain the damage. That approach has been replaced by the “active shooter protocol.”

Optimally, it calls for a four-person team to advance in a diamond-shaped wedge. (If there isn’t time to gather four officers, a single officer should charge in alone.) They’re trained to move toward the sound of gunfire and neutralize the shooter.

Their goal is to stop him at all costs.

They will walk past a dying child if they have to, just to prevent the shooter from killing more. The active protocol has proved successful at numerous shootings during the past decade. At Virginia Tech alone, it probably saved dozens of lives..

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