In Newtown Connecticut, a madman entered a school shooting six adults and twenty children. At least three adults were face to face with the spree killer, and at least two did the best they could to deter the killer from doing his awful work. Pause for a moment to consider the heroic actions of Dawn Hochsprung. A witness said she and two others ran to investigate the gunshots. Hochsprung is credited with switching on the intercom, warning other teachers by broadcasting the sounds of fear and panic . . .
Place yourself in that moment. She rounds a corner and sees a figure in black. He is pointing a rifle. She realizes the full horror of what is happening. In that terrifying moment she chooses to go on the offensive. Did turning on the intercom seal her fate? Did she get close enough to grapple with him or was she murdered at a distance?
Hochsprung had children, she had friends. She had dedicated her life to being an educator. She hurled her body into combat unarmed because her love for the children and friends at the school was greater than the love for her own life. The Savior of us all says there is no greater love.
Imagine the feeling of hopelessness she must have felt in those final moments before she passed on to her reward. Imagine how helpless she must have felt. Did she know she failed to stop the man? Did she live long enough to hear gunshots in the distance? Could she hear the cries of children in her last moments on earth? Think about the monumental wall of grief that might have crushed her noble spirit just before passing away.
Ms. Hochsprung had the key component of a warrior in a crisis – the willingness to take dramatic action. With that willingness, all she needed was the right tool. First rule of a gunfight – bring a gun.
For less than $700, a snub-nose .38 revolver with a laser aiming aid would have allowed her to place five powerful shots on the target, likely neutralizing the threat altogether. Easily concealed, super-reliable, sufficiently deadly and more than accurate enough, especially with a laser. If any of the women who confronted the shooter had carried this inexpensive and highly effective weapon, there would have been multiple opportunities to stop him.
History shows us that spree shooters stop when a good guy with a gun shows up. How many innocent lives ended that day because the good guys with guns were 20 minutes away?
It’s understandable that many have a negative visceral response to the idea of guns in schools. But those who do ought to consider the horrifying final moments of the people who died for want of any kind of weapon and ask themselves if gun-free zones are worth the price of murdered children. There is ample evidence that a gun would have changed the equation and saved lives at Sandy Hook. Dawn Hochsprung sure could have used one.