River Stones and 18-Inch Mini Baseball Bats: The Liberal Solution to School Shootings

I’m not kidding.

This past March, the Blue Mountain School District—about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia—held a press conference to discuss its new policy regarding gun violence prevention at its schools, a policy which Superintendent David Helsel stated he implemented last fall. Namely, the school district had stocked each one of its elementary, middle, and high school classrooms with a five-gallon bucket full of river stones. These are smooth stones, small enough to be held in a hand and thrown and are intended to be hurled at armed attackers.

Helsel added, “If someone can provide a better last-ditch response to an armed intruder that’s trying to gain access to a classroom, then I would be open to any idea.” I can think of a few.

But wait, hold on, it gets even better.

On April 2nd, Superintendent William Hall of Millcreek School District in Erie, PA, had 600 18-inch mini baseball bats distributed to classrooms and school offices to be locked up during the day and used in the event of an armed attacker. According to Hall, the point of the bats was less about their actual efficacy in an altercation, and “more about the educational piece and that awareness—teaching our kids to be better prepared for these situations,” with the goal being to “provide awareness to everybody that you may be in a situation where you have to fight.” Trust me, I don’t need a souvenir baseball bat to remind me that there’s a fight incoming when someone storms onto my campus with a gun. All the bat does is remind me how defenseless I am, and how much of a dipshit my superintendent is.

Okay, seriously, let me get to the point here (though this piece pretty much writes itself): are you actually serious with this? Have we gotten to the point where we’d rather be politically correct than have our children be safe? Like, you’re telling me, all things considered, some version of having 10-20 armed police officers at every elementary, middle, and high school campus—whether in classrooms, or immediately removed from students in a faculty lounge area, or something in between—is LESS EFFECTIVE than second graders armed with rocks? Have we gone insane?

There are many ideas being thrown out there—arm all teachers, arm some teachers, have one armed police officer in every classroom, have one armed police officer on school premises for every 50 students—to name a few. I completely understand and agree, each of these ideas has its own benefits and its own drawbacks. Solving the issue of gun violence at our schools isn’t an open and shut case. But for the love of God, can we at least all agree that giving six-year-olds a bunch of rocks, or a couple of toy baseball bats, to fend off an adult with a semiautomatic weapon is absolute LUNACY? For our sake—and for the sake of every child, staff member, and teacher at our schools—I hope we can. At the end of the day, there are three things that can stop a person intent on harming others with a gun: the person taking their own life, the person running out of ammunition, or the person being killed by a third party. (Shocker, third grader with toy bat isn’t on the list.) In any event, none of us want to rely on the gunman/woman killing themselves or running out of ammo, so we’re left with the third option: they need to be killed. Not only that, but assuming the attacker is wielding a firearm, you will need to respond with equal force; in essence, you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. To incapacitate a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun. What’s more, the quicker they’re killed, the fewer casualties they cause. Let’s review:

  • Bad guy with gun can either run out of ammo, kill themselves, or be killed. We won’t wait on the first two options, so we pick the third.
  • You need to match the force the bad guy is bringing to the table, so you’re going to need a gun to kill him/her.
  • We need the bad guy killed ASAP.

The above analysis yields only one logical conclusion: more guns, in the hands of good people, on our campuses. If you really want to prevent school shootings, there are a variety of options that fit this very bill, and each, while not perfect, puts more guns in the right place, in the right hands; and each, without any shadow of a doubt, will do a better job of preventing a killer with a weapon from doing harm at any school than will a bucket of rocks off in a corner, or a miniature baseball bat tucked away in a desk. I’m not saying we need to militarize our schools through and through. I’m just saying, when ludicrous attempts at gun control actually become law, it’s time to wake up and come to our senses.

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