I’ve argued before that one of the major problems with gun control laws in the US, and why school shootings are happening more frequently, is that schools are gun-free zones in the US. Thus, evil people are able to attack defenseless teachers and kids there with no threat of facing resistance.
Pearl High School, Mississippi: This incident began the morning of Oct. 1, 1997, when 16-year-old student Luke Windham entered the school with a rifle. Wearing only an orange jumpsuit and a trench coat and making no effort to hide his weapon, he initially entered the school and shot and killed two students, injuring seven others. He was stopped by assistant principal Joel Myrick, who retrieved a .45 cal. handgun from the glove box of his truck.
“I’ve always kept a gun in the truck just in case something like this ever happened,” said Myrick at the time, who went on to become principal of Corinth High School, Corinth, Miss.
Appalachia Law School, Virginia: On Jan. 16, 2002, Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a former student from Nigeria, arrived on the campus of the school with a handgun around 1:00 p.m. and immediately killed three people, at least two of them at point-blank range. Two students – Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges – both retrieved handguns from their vehicles and confronted Odighizuwa. As former police officers, both men were trained to subdue suspects but the fact is they were on the scene and armed, and helped prevent more killings.
Muskegon, Michigan: From the Aug. 23, 1995, issue of the Muskegon Chronicle: “Plans to slay everyone in the Muskegon, Michigan, store and steal enough cash and jewelry to feed their ‘gnawing hunger for crack cocaine’ fell apart for a band of would-be killers after one of their victims fought back. Store owner Clare Cooper was returning behind the counter after showing three of the four conspirators some jewelry, when one of the group pulled out a gun and shot him four times in the back. Stumbling for the safety of his bullet-proof glass-encased counter, Cooper managed to grab his shotgun and fire as the suspects fled.“
Colorado Springs, Colo.: On Dec. 9, 2007, gunman Mathew Murray, 24, launched an armed attack against the parishioners of the New Life Church that ultimately left two innocent victims dead. But the toll could have been much higher, were it not for the heroic actions of former police officer Jeanne Assam from Minnesota. In an interview she said she very nearly decided not to go to church that morning but because she saw a headline on her computer indicating that two young people were murdered and a training center for Christian missionaries about 70 miles away in the Denver suburb of Arvada, she changed her mind. Murray shot a total of five people before an armed Assam shot and killed him. There were about 7,000 people at the church at the time of the attack.
“Criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns to defend themselves each year. Out of that number, 400,000 believe that but for their firearms, they would have been dead,” columnist Larry Elder wrote in July, following the shooting tragedy at the premier of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo.
“We know from Census Bureau surveys that something beyond 100,000 uses of guns for self-defense occur every year,” adds Professor Emeritus James Q. Wilson, a public policy expert at the University of California-Los Angeles. “We know from smaller surveys of a commercial nature that the number may be as high as two-and-a-half or three million. We don’t know what the right number is, but whatever the right number is, it’s not a trivial number.”