“When the founding fathers wrote that the right to bear arms ‘shall not be infringed,’ politico.com writes, “did they mean guns must be allowed everywhere, even in classrooms and dorm rooms?” Yes! No? “The University of Virginia Board of Visitors took up the issue of campus carry in 1824, and didn’t have to look far for an originalist perspective—Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were in attendance. The board resolved that ‘No Student shall, within the precincts of the University … keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder.'” Flash forward a couple of hundred years . . .
Those who want to arm educators often cite the example of Pearl High School, where in 1997, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick retrieved a handgun from his own truck and confronted a gunman. (Some accounts forget to mention that Myrick was an Army reservist, and that he intervened as the 16-year-old assailant was leaving the school, following a shooting spree that left two people dead and three others injured.)
I’ve never heard of Pearl High School. The example is weak sauce, if you’re trying to prove that armed civilians are a bad thing on campus. But I guess you can find anecdotes to [kinda] back-up any position. Here’s my anecdote, from the infamous UT tower shooting no less.
With more and more weapons aimed his way, though, Whitman ducked behind the four-foot wall encircling the deck and began firing through rain spouts cut in the walls, using them as gun ports.
More than 300 feet below, at the base of the tower, Martinez found a civilian named Allen Crum, a retired Air Force tail gunner who had never fired a shot in combat. Together they worked their way to the top of the tower with another Austin officer, Houston McCoy, following them.
Martinez carried his duty revolver, Crum had an old rifle, and McCoy toted a 12-gauge shotgun.
At the door to the observation deck, Martinez told Crum to cover him and point his gun toward the southwest corner.
“I said, ‘If the guy comes around the corner, shoot him,’ ” Martinez remembered. “Allen thought he heard him running, and he fired a shot.”
By then, Martinez had peeked around another corner, behind Whitman, and saw him crouching, looking for Crum.
“I saw him, but he didn’t see me,” Martinez said. “I opened fire and Houston McCoy was behind me with the shotgun. “I hit him probably on the shoulder. He was trying to shoot back at us, but we didn’t give him the chance.”
“I emptied my gun, and McCoy fired the shotgun. We engaged the sniper, and we killed him.”
Here’s another one from the same article (How Armed Civilians Have Helped Stop School Massacres via frontpagemag.com):
In Israel, four years ago, when a Muslim terrorist armed with an Ak-47 entered the Mercaz HaRav religious school and began murdering students, he was shot by Yitzhak Dadon, a part-time student.
“We realized something happened so I cocked my handgun,” Yitzhak Dadon said. “I went up on the roof and waited for the terrorist. Meanwhile, I saw blood and shattered glass. The terrorist continued firing in the air, so I waited to see him again, and then I shot him twice in the head.”
So yes, Virginia, armed students and other civilians on campus stop school shootings. Not to mention the deterrent effect of armed civilians on perps committing campus rape, robbery and murder (a not irregular occurrence). Oddly (for a relentlessly anti-gun website), the politico.com article ends without backing-up their headline. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Debate on the issue intensified after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. Soon after the tragedy, the National Rifle Association commissioned the School Shield Program. A committee led by Asa Hutchinson (in private life at the time, after his term in Congress but before his election as governor of Arkansas), was tasked with developing strategies to stop active shooter scenarios. Their report recommended arming teachers and loosening laws that prohibit licensed individuals from carrying their weapons onto school campuses.
As we’ve said before, the School Shield Program report will come back to haunt those who oppose the NRA and its common sense recommendations for protecting our schools from lone wolf or coordinated terrorist attack. But it’s a lot less likely to happen at The Lone Star State’s schools of higher education, now. As for the Texas public school system, in which my daughter partakes, it’s still a matter of God help us all.