As a survivor of being taken hostage by a man with a gun, I would like to voice my opinion on the subject of arming teachers in our classrooms as an effective solution to dealing with potential assault by someone armed with a weapon.
Based on first-hand experience, I have no doubt the man who told me if I looked at him he would "blow me away" had done so in the past and was prepared to do so again. I am alive today, but the person the gunman referred to — a female FBI agent, armed and trained to defend herself — is not. The reason: I was defenseless.
I believe that weapons invite violence. There are alternative solutions to being confronted by a gun. I applaud the training being offered to teachers that does not include carrying a weapon in the classroom and encourages creative ways of successfully protecting children in their care.
Again—I am here today because I was defenseless in that I did not carry a weapon. As terrified as I was, I did not hesitate to look him in the eye and tell him I was not afraid. I was able to engage him in conversation and appeal to his sense of compassion.
I beg you to reconsider how to deal with the issue of gun violence. More guns are not the answer.
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