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Babbs in the Woods: Eddie Eagle, meet Harriet Hawk

Last week’s Littleton, Colo., school shooting made me think about a new program that should be offered to teachers. Actually, I awoke on Feb. 24 to a news report by NPR on the radio by my nightstand where the announcer actually mentioned that a teacher at Deer Creek Middle School recognized that the criminal on campus would have to reload a bolt action rifle, and that knowledge prompted him, David Benke, to act. Oh, and he also is schooled in martial arts.

In a report by CBS here, Benke said, “I saw that the guy had a rifle and then, unfortunately, he got another round off. I was walking towards him and then I realized that it was a bolt action rifle and that he wasn’t going to be able to load quickly enough, and so I grabbed him.”

In the first place, I could not believe that NPR actually reported that someone used his knowledge of firearms for good. And in the second place, I started thinking about how great it would be if more teachers knew about how firearms worked.

I used to be a substitute teacher at the local high school and I know the drill. Lock the door, hide. Call on your phone. Hope that the uniformed cop will be in the school somewhere.

Maybe it’s time for a new program, one that moves past the excellent Eddie Eagle program for kids, sponsored by the National Rifle Association, where children are taught to leave a gun alone and tell an adult about it. This program, let’s call it Harriet Hawk, is for adults who might find themselves in situations in “gun-free” zones, like schools or churches. They would learn how to identify the firearm being used, and with that knowledge, they would be able to figure out how many rounds the murderer would have at his disposal. They would know what caliber ammo was coming out of the gun. But most of all, they would go from hiding under desks to thinking of ways to defend themselves and their students. Knowledge is power.

No, it’s not as easy as it sounds … but it is a mindset. In this free society, with millions of guns, we need to have more Harriet Hawks.

~Barbara Baird

Twitter: http://twitter.com/babbsbaird
Facebook: http://facebook.com/babbsthewon

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Women's Outdoor News says: March 2, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Paige: Proactive is always a good thing! I think all women should learn to drive a standard transmission, too. That way, in case they ever need to do so, they have the knowledge.
    Terri Lee: From the head counselor of Campwildgirls.com, I take that as a supreme compliment. Thanks.
    Dawn Gribb: Good for you that you took that class with your son. I took Hunter Ed with my son, because my other one only reported back that he “didn’t want to become a statistic!”

  • Dawn Gribb says: March 2, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Yes, you are certainly right! I recall that in prior situations it was a boy scout who stayed calm and helped his fellow students. Maybe there should be a more in depth merit badge that teaches them about the different types of firearms and how they work. I do agree with you, knowledge is power. My son (15 years old) and I just took a basic handgun class sponsored by the NRA. We both learned so much and have had many discussions about threatening situations. Rather than turn our heads and hope that something like this will never happen to us, we need to learn how to defend ourselves and learn what to do. I so totally agree with you Babbs! You go girl!

  • Terri Lee Pocernich says: March 1, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    You are absolutely right. Knowledge is power. Go Harriet!

  • Paige "Chicki Chicki" Eissinger says: February 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    You’re so right, Babbs. Just because teachers are put into the position that they can’t do anything to defend themselves or their students in life threatening situations like the recent one in Littleton, they should at least have the knowledge and skills to be able to identify the threat so they can take some sort of positive action to protect themselves and their classes.