I remember back during the 1997-98 school year when we were all stunned by five school shootings within a period of eight months in places few Americans had heard of: Pearl, Miss., West Paducah, Ky., Jonesboro, Ark., Edinboro, Penn., and Springfield, Ore.
Then there was Columbine the following year, April 20, 1999, at a high school in Littleton, Colo. It became a pivotal event that started a national debate about school security, police tactics in response to a shooting and the shooters themselves — their psychological state, their upbringing, their families and of course, their access to guns.
There was even talk about creating a government agency that would deal with school shootings the same way FEMA responds to natural disasters.
The 18-year-old student who stormed into his Colorado school last month with a shotgun and a bandolier of bullets across his chest, fatally shooting a classmate and setting fire to the library, provided fresh ammunition for one lawmaker’s bill that would allow teachers to carry guns in schools.
The Dec. 13 incident struck a chord with Republican state Sen. Ted Harvey, whose own son attends the school, in Centennial. Harvey, whose wife is a schoolteacher, said armed teachers at Arapahoe High School might have been able to act even more quickly than the two staff members being hailed as heroes after running toward the library, where James Pierson, 18, had gunned down Claire Davis and ignited a Molotov cocktail.
“I don’t want my wife and kids to be sitting ducks,” Harvey told FoxNews.com. He said his own son was on the debate team with Pierson, who took his own life as the two staff members, including school resource officer James Englert, who was armed, and Rod Mauler, an unarmed school security guard and retired deputy, closed in on him.