4/01 Armed Guards Needed In Schools

California School Shooting Proves Need For Armed Guards In Schools
Larry Pratt

Shortly after the most recent shooting at a California school, Sarah Brady, the head of Handgun Control, issued a statement trashing Attorney General John Ashcroft because, among other things, he did not take the “gun lobby” to task “for promoting the idea that guns make you safer and that guns are a vital form of protection for America’s families.” She also said it is “a tragedy” when leaders such as the Attorney General ignore “preventing children’s access to guns.”

But, what is a real tragedy is Brady’s adamant, ignorant and dangerous refusal to acknowledge that, in certain circumstances, guns do make things safer. A case in point, ironically, is the very shooting which prompted Brady’s absurd attack on Attorney General Ashcroft.

According to the New York Times (3/24/2001), it was a man with a gun — a veteran police officer, Richard Agundez, Jr. — who prevented what could have been a mass slaughter at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California. As the Times reports it, Agundez, when he heard shots, “raced out with his weapon drawn and fired at Mr. [Jason] Hoffman five times, wounding him in the mouth and buttocks and apparently hitting and disabling his shotgun. Mr. Hoffman turned and ran, but fell about 20 yards away, near his truck. He had a .22-caliber pistol tucked in his waistband, the authorities said, but never fired it.”

In an interview on CBS’ Early Morning program, El Cajon’s Chief Of Police James Davis said that if Agundez — a man with a gun — had not been stationed at this high school things would probably have been “a great deal worse.” Davis praised Agundez because he “reacted immediately by going to the sound of the gun fire.”

Oh, and the alleged shooter, Jason Hoffman, is hardly a “child.” He is six feet, one inch tall and weighs 210 pounds!

So, what this latest school shooting demonstrates is that Sarah Brady is flat wrong! What this latest school shooting proves is that guns do make things safer. Because in this case kids were safer, and not shot, since the alleged shooter was shot and disabled.

But, neither Brady nor her fellow gun-haters at Handgun Control understand, or care, about the importance of using firearms in defense of innocent human lives.

In a recent interview on WMAL Radio (3/22/2001) in Washington DC — following the shooting in El Cajon, California — I debated Tony Orza, the Legislative Director of Handgun Control. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that lives had been saved thanks to the quick reaction of Officer Agundez at Granite Hills High, Orza attacked Gun Owners of America because we want, as he put it, “more guns, more people in schools with guns.”

Well, yes! We do want this. We unashamedly thank God that there were “more guns” than just those of the shooter at Granite Hills High. And that one of these guns was in the hands of a veteran cop who used it to quickly stop the alleged shooter and save lives.

Orza also asked at one point, rhetorically: “Do we really want bullets ricocheting around school hallways?” Well, no, if this can be prevented. But, what is Orza’s alternative? If the Good Guys are not allowed to have guns in our schools then the only ones who will have them will be the Bad Guys, the shooters, the mass murderers. Does this make sense? Not at all.

Orza also spoke dismissively of Officer Agundez’s heroic action saying that even though he was armed there were still two teachers and three students injured by the alleged shooter. But, he ignores the fact that had Officer Agundez not been there and immediately stopped the alleged shooter things would probably have been much worse with many students and teachers murdered.

Orza says there are “a lot of risks when you have a gun.” Well, yes. There are also a lot of risks by just being alive, just getting out of bed in the morning — or staying in it. But, sad to say, increasingly it seems, the greatest risk in our schools is having none of the Good Guys bearing arms for the defense of innocent students and teachers. This means a policy the result of which is that only the shooters will have guns — a policy that is sheer lunacy.

At one point in my WMAL Radio debate a caller — another anti-gun-nut — said: “Handguns are used for one thing: to kill other people.” Well, some people ought to be killed, people like those who invade our schools and try to murder our students and teachers.