Each year that he has been in the Colorado House of Representatives, Patrick Neville has pushed for a change to state law that currently prohibits guns on school campuses.
In and of itself, it might not be too unusual for someone to fight for a particular cause year after year. But what sets Neville’s case apart is that he was at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, when a couple of his schoolmates went on a shooting spree that killed 12 students and one teacher.
That bears repeating. He was there at a school shooting and today he is advocating for concealed carry by law-abiding citizens on campus.
Compare that to the high school students across the nation who have taken to the airwaves and protest rallies to call for tighter gun control in the wake of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and you’ll have a study in contrasts.
On the one hand, you see today’s students—who have been bombarded with the “guns are the problem” message—joining forces with a social media-driven movement simply because it’s the fad of the moment. On the other hand, you have a victim of something just as senseless who realizes that the very fact that schools are gun-free zones leaves them vulnerable to such mayhem.
Neville participated in a video message for The Daily Signal about how best to address the problem of school shootings. He talks about what shaped his views and why firearms freedom is getting a bad rap.
His argument has its share of support. When you have a responsible armed adult on campus, that person can bring a quick end to any threat of violence at a school, much like we saw in Maryland recently. Although the latest reports show that the assailant killed himself, contradicting the earlier message that a quick-acting school resource officer ended the threat, the law enforcement officer’s timely reaction to the situation no doubt played a role.
Neville’s message is simple. By making it common knowledge that schools are gun-free zones, we are essentially telling would-be criminals that they’ll meet little resistance if they want to wreak havoc.
Whether it’s the prospect of training and arming teachers, or whether it’s a renewed emphasis on assigning more school resource officers across the nation, having a legitimate response on hand to put down any violent threats is more likely to achieve the end goal than more gun control ever would.