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PRO: Weapons save lives, stop violence before it starts

By JR Ortega
Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2012 at 6:31 a.m.

Paul Christopher

Facts about school violence

• Seventeen homicides of school-aged youth ages 5 to 18 years occurred at school during the 2009-2010 school year.

Of all youth homicides, less than 2 percent occur at school, and this percentage has been stable for the past decade.

About 5.9 percent of students said they did not go to school one or more days in the 30 days before the survey because they felt unsafe.

On one or more days in the 30 days before the survey, 5.4 percent of students reported carrying a weapons (gun, knife or club) onto school property.

About 7.4 percent of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property one or more times in the 12 months before the survey

About 20 percent of students reported being bullied on school property and 16 percent report being bullied electronically during the 12 months before the survey in 2011.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

The surefire way to fight back against an out-of-control shooter is to equal the playing field -- have a gun yourself.

Paul Christopher, Stan Parry and Jack Daniels, all of Victoria, grew up in the 1950s and 1960s -- a time, they say, when gun control was not a hot-button topic.

They believe arming teachers or having more security guards will prevent future school shootings.

"More violence is not the solution," Christopher said. "But stopping it is."

Parry and Daniels agreed with Christopher, adding schools would be safer with guns.

Their example was the 1997 Pearl High School shooting in Mississippi, when Joel Myrick, an assistant principal and U.S. Army Reserve commander, used a gun to detain 16-year-old shooter Luke Woodham.

Woodham's mother was found stabbed to death in her home. Woodham, who claims he was bullied, then went to school, where he shot and killed two students and injured seven others. That was when Myrick went to his truck to get his .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. He held Woodham at gunpoint until police arrived.

Had it not been for Myrick's actions, more could have been killed by Woodham, the three men suggested.

"You notice how none of these crazy people have gone into an area where they know there are guns," Christopher said.

The Victoria school district is watching the debate from the sidelines until more information is available, said spokeswoman Diane Boyett.

"The safety and security of our students, staff and visitors to our schools is, of course, critically important," she wrote in an email. "There are so many questions and not enough answers related to teachers carrying guns at school that, at this point, we find it premature to join the debate."

Parry said he understands how talking about gun control could be difficult, especially after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

"What happened was a horrible, terrible nightmare of a thing," Parry said.

His two lunch partners, Daniels and Christopher agreed.

"No one is denying that," Christopher chimed in.

Daniels also gave input.

"You know, it's not the guns to me, it's the mental disease," Daniels said.

The three said they feel people's thoughts on guns, especially after a school shooting, are jaded because of how emotional and fresh the incident is.

For them, the violence in schools has always existed and will continue to exist until something is done.

"If this (school shootings) is a problem right now, it was a problem six months ago, and it will be a problem six months from now," Christopher said.

Related stories:

Aiming for safer schools

CON: Too soon to tell if guns on campus would deter future shootings

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