Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You're still wrong, Wayne LaPierre...and here's more proof

First, a little review:

Shortly after the shootings last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 20 young students and 6 others were killed by a young man with weapons and a lot of ammunition, National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre famously said while proposing that all US schools be protected by armed officers that "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He said that on December 21, 2012.

On January 10, 2013, Wayne LaPierre was proved wrong.

On that day, less than a month after his pronouncement, a student had entered Taft Union High School in Taft, California, with a weapon and shot and wounded another student who he said had been bullying him. The armed guard who was customarily on campus was absent that day because he was snowed in and couldn't make it to work. In his absence, an unarmed science teacher, Ryan Heber, talked the student into putting down his weapon and surrendering after distracting the shooter long enough for the rest of the students in class to escape. Yes, the one student was injured, but nobody died.

I wrote about this here shortly after the events in Taft.

Now, fast forward to yesterday, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, to Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia. A 20-year-old young man entered the school with an AK-47-style weapon and close to 500 rounds of ammunition, took a couple of school employees hostage, shot a hole in the floor of the school's office, and exchanged gunfire with police. But there were no injuries as the 870 students at the school, pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders, escaped.

They were able to escape not because the police shot at him, but largely because one of his hostages, the school's bookkeeper, an unarmed woman named Antoinette Tuff, engaged the young man in conversation, then talked him into putting down his weapon and ammunition and surrendering.

Again, an unarmed school employee managed to do what armed officers could not do - end a dangerous incident with as little violence as possible.

So, you know, Wayne. Once again we see that you were wrong in December and you're still wrong now.

And, once again, everybody lived. That can't be a bad thing.

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