Eddie Eagle, Meet Harriet Hawk

The recent Littleton, Colo., school shooting made me think about a new program that should be offered to teachers and others that work in gun-free zones. Actually, I awoke on Feb. 24 to a news report by National Public Radio where the announcer actually mentioned that a teacher, David Benke, at Deer Creek Middle School, recognized that the criminal in the school parking lot would have to reload a bolt action rifle, and that knowledge prompted him to judge when to move in and tackle. Benke also had help from another teacher, who remains unnamed.

In a report by CBS, 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 under a desk or in a closet. Call on your phone. Hope that a 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 children, sponsored by the National Rifle Association, where children are taught to leave a gun alone, leave the area and tell an adult about it. This new program, let’s call it Harriet Hawk, is for adults who might find themselves in situations in gun-free zones, such as 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 might have at his disposal in one magazine. 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, if need be. Knowledge is power and most teachers that I have had the privilege of working with will defend their students to the death.

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.

Editor’s Note:

Please visit Barbara’s website – it’s a fantastic outdoor news source.