Part Two: Columbine Survivor Says No to NRA Armed Guards in Schools Plan

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVoteReach

A-RevKarissa Marcum A579064_10101158438307243_1751980295_nUS-SHOOTING-SCHOOL-GUNS-NRA

Columbine Survivor Karissa Marcum        NRA’s Wayne LaPierre (Credit:AFP/Getty)

The NRA on Friday put forward what they previewed in a written statement on Tuesday as “meaningful contributions to help make sure” a tragedy like Sandy Hook or Columbine “never happens again.” But a Columbine survivor says the NRA plan to place armed guards in schools is not a good one.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a news conference Friday in Washington, DC. LaPierre also called on Congress “to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school in this nation.”

Karissa Marcum, now 28, was a ninth grader at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on that fateful April day in 1999 when two of her school mates killed 13 people and wounded many others before committing suicide. There was an armed guard on duty at Columbine, who was quickly joined by a second armed officer who was nearby, both of whom fired at one of the shooters, but both failed to stop him.

Reporter Ginny Simone, in her NRA News webcasts this week, was essentially the first to break the NRA’s early-week silence on Sandy Hook.

“…As the nation continues to mourn the loss of the 26 innocent victims” [President Obama has ordered the drafting of legislation]. “Measures that would likely include the assault-weapons ban because word from the White House is that the ban remains a commitment of the president,” Simone said, adding “a ban we all know was a failed experiment from the start.

“…And you look at Connecticut, and they’re number five when it comes to the strictest gun laws in the country,” Simone said in a webcast this week.

“If one of those [Sandy Hook] school administrators that first confronted him [the shooter] had a firearm, we might not be talking about what we’re talking about today,” opined Simone.

But as someone who has lived through a diabolical massacre, Marcum says having armed guards in school is not the right approach. “That’s a tough one,” she sighed, early on Friday morning, a week to the day after Sandy Hook.

“I firmly believe that even if we posted a security guard at every school, grocery store and movie theater, it wouldn’t be a guarantee [that Columbine or Sandy Hook types of violence would not happen],” said Marcum

“When someone is bent on destruction, a security guard who is outgunned is likely to be outmatched by a mad man, nine times out of ten…May we see God’s great mercy,” Marcum continued.

“We talk about gun control and other preventative measures because we are trying not only to stop these things from happening again, but because we are trying to answer the fundamental question of why? How could someone plot the murder of children?” Marcum added.

America appears to be on the verge of making concerted attempts to curb what President Obama on Wednesday called “the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country,” while announcing the creation of a task force commissioned to find solutions, which has convened, led by Vice President Joe Biden.

About Jim Allen, Founder/Editor, NuVote Reach

Currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Alejo Media, emerging as one of Washington, D.C.’s most artistic and innovative video production and post-production media companies. Previously, as Director of News and Media Services at the American Institute of Physics, he led the creation of the InsideScience.org news platform, which includes Inside Science TV. He also previously served as Media Director, Energy NOW! and Clean Skies TV and as Special Reports Editor/Media Relations Director at The Hill newspaper. Jim has served in various executive, business development and/or programming roles for a number of media concerns including CBS Radio/Television, Radio One Inc. and the Los Angeles Times. Since 1995, he has been a contributor to the Reporters Notebook news roundtable program on NBC 4 TV, DC. He earned a music scholarship to Delaware State University, a Bachelor of Arts in English/Television Production at Virginia State University and, from 2003-2007, attended Concord University School of Law. His commendations include the Washington, DC Teachers' Union Media Relations Award and shared an American Academy of Nursing National Media Award. Jim also chairs a development task force for the faith-based, non-profit House of Help/City of Hope, founded and led by Bishop Dr. Shirley Holloway, which has provided substance abuse, mental health and continuing education programs and transitional housing for tens of thousands of homeless (and battered) women, families and men (including ex-offenders) at its shelter and treatment facilities in Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD.
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7 Responses to Part Two: Columbine Survivor Says No to NRA Armed Guards in Schools Plan

  1. Every survivor should say NO to the NRA

  2. Mr. Allen, it’s a highly emotional topic. I’m not a big fan of Gov. McDonnell (Virginia), but I think his take is the most rational at this point in our post-Sandy Hook discussion: in an interview, he advised NOT making flip decisions based on high-running emotions, but to calmly evaluate options based on facts alone, and to choose our course of action based on results alone. If a course of action will not produce the desired result – or if a well-intended action might actually make things worse – then it is NOT a good course of action.

    I understand Ms. Marcum’s point of view based on her experience. However – a couple of points on her comments:

    — She is correct that an armed security guard is no guarantee. They may be outgunned. They may fire at an assailant and miss. But aren’t they better than having no defense at all? ONE well-placed bullet is all it takes to stop an assailant. And inside a building, in close quarters, honestly, a high-powered rifle is not much of an advantage over the security man’s pistol (I am speaking from my training here). Also consider, we routinely have armed security guards at other places the public frequents, and that can include children to a greater or lesser degree: shopping malls, train stations, airports, banks, gated communities, corporate offices, federal buildings, even the Smithsonian Museum. In logical, unemotional terms, why should schools be different?

    — “We talk about gun control… because we are trying not only to stop these things from happening again, but because we are trying to answer the fundamental question of why? How could someone plot the murder of children?” This is a logical non sequitur. Controlling guns DOES NOT answer the question of “Why?”, is in fact completely irrelevant to the question of “Why?”, and yet that is the REAL issue. Someone who plots the mass murder of children can achieve an even more horrifying result without the use of firearms – like Andrew Kehoe in 1927 (38 children dead, 58 wounded), or Timothy McVeigh in 1995 (his 168 dead victims included 19 preschoolers in a day care center).

    There are some 300 million guns in this country. Let’s forget the 2nd Amendment and buyback costs for the moment and say that we have passed a law to ban some or all of them, and to require owners to turn them in. Does anyone really believe that criminals or nut jobs with weapons are going to turn them in? No. The ONLY people to turn them in will be law-abiding citizens. Advocates point to Australia as a shining example of success; but detractors can equally point to Mexico as a dismal example of the failure of this approach.

    It’s not a simple black-and-white “guns are bad, just get rid of them” issue. That’s why we need to make sound, effective policy based on facts – real, global, comprehensive, all-inclusive facts – and not on emotional positions supported by cherry-picked facts and statistics.

    • Like you, I would defer to Karissa on Columbine–There was an armed guard on duty at Columbine, who was quickly joined by a second guard who was nearby, both of whom fired at one of the shooters, but both failed to stop him.

      I am not sure I want to imagine 100’s kids in a crossfire– but eventually we would want the shooter stopped, so maybe having protection at hand isn’t ridiculous.

      I think timing is always a factor, in knowing what to say when. Mr. LaPierre is someone with whom I have personally spoken, in the past, (last time was the day the Heller v DC case was decided) and I would have advised him to take a different tack yesterday.

      But, I believe there are so many guns and mags out there…to try to regulate at this point, unless you are going to outlaw and go house to house — that’s a civil war waiting to happen, in some places.

      But, in the meantime, of limit mags and stop selling seal-team guns.The folks here in Washington have to do something or get run out of here on a rail…but they might end up mistaking activity for achievement in trying to curb violence.

      Also, people seem to ignor there are critical cultural influences which are definitely impactful– many of which are exacerbated by bad parenting and things that chip away at cultural values…

      • Mr. Allen, I plan to write something about guns in general. There seems to be a lot of misconception about just what constitutes “military-style,” “assault,” “automatic,” or “semi-automatic” weapons. To have any meaningful discussion or any effective policy, decisionmakers MUST understand what these are and what they can really do… or NOT.

        Civilians DO NOT have legal access to actual military weapons capable of automatic fire. A semiautomatic “military-style assault” rifle sold to civilians is mean-looking but it DOES NOT fire any faster than a lot of hunting rifles, some shotguns, or any pistol. One pull = one bullet. This is one reason why banning weapons will not be very effective.

        You are absolutely on the money about cultural values and influences. The problem, as Ms. Marcum points out, is that we need to focus on the motives and causes of these murderers’ decisions, and address those.

        I simply think too much focus is being placed on the instruments that some murderers use for their crimes, and too little on what’s making these criminals tick… and how to recognize and stop them in the future.

      • Very thoughtful and measured, I respect that…On these semis. some are accessorized or not by the push of a button. You can buy the composite parts to make a simple rifle,as you described, into an assault weapon. Moreover, with these HC mags, if that kid at Sandy Hook had to reload more than he did, less kids might have died, before the good guys arrived. It may be a panacea — but I personally wouldn’t flght the clip limits –but not sure the weapons ban will have much effect..

    • Basharr says:

      Bravo, the point is Gun Control only works with law abiding citizens, it will not affect criminals where most of their guns are hot or unregistered.

  3. Pingback: Part Two: Columbine Survivor Says No to NRA Armed Guards in Schools Plan | Sharing Noteworthy Postings

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