Yesterday in Atlanta – not thirty miles from where I live and my own children go to school – yet another disturbed person walked into an elementary school, armed to the teeth, prepared to go out in a blaze of infamy, taking as many innocent children with him as he could before committing “suicide by cop.”
But he didn’t plan on Antoinette Tuff. She stopped him singlehandedly.
How? Did she have an assault rifle under her desk – as so many from the gun lobby have advocated in the wake of Newtown? Did she out-draw the would-be mass murderer and spray his blood all over McNair elementary’s lobby, then emerge victorious from the front of the school, panting and covered in glory, a wisp of cordite still trailing from the red-hot barrel of her gun?
No. She did it with compassion, decency, a spine of steel, faith (if you go in for that sort of thing), openness and above all, WORDS — not more bullets.
Watch Ms. Tuff, the woman who talked a would-be Adam Lanza or Eric Harris out of his incipient massacre of children in Atlanta yesterday, explain it in her own words (VIDEO):
You remember your mom saying “use your words,” don’t you, Wayne LaPierre? If you don’t, most of the rest of us do. Antoinette Tuff surely does.
As I reflect on yesterday’s events in my town, I’m mindful of the fact that this wasn’t my kids’ school – it wasn’t even their school district. But it was close enough geographically that it got played on the local nightly news here. It could easily have been my children whose school this troubled man walked into, fully armed. When I think about that, I know for sure that if it ever came to that, I’d much rather have someone like Antoinette Tuff at the desk than Wayne LaPierre or one of his acolytes.
**UPDATE** – Apparently, the heroics involving Ms. Tuff weren’t the only school shooting in Georgia yesterday. Here’s how Mr. LaPierre’s “good guy with a gun” approach fared yesterday in Savannah:
A Savannah State University public safety officer accidentally discharged a firearm Wednesday morning, sending a bullet through two windows before it came to a stop in a classroom wall.
University spokeswoman Loretta Heyward said the officer’s weapon fired during either a training exercise or a demonstration.
The bullet went through a window of the C wing of the Hubert Tech Science Building, where the Department of Public Safety is housed, then through the window of an A wing classroom, where it lodged in the wall.
There was a class in session in the room where the bullet came to rest, but no injuries were reported, Heyward said. (emphasis added, because: public safety, LOL)
Oh, thank heaven for those good guys with guns.