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.