Antoinette Tuff is a real-life hero. In August of 2013, a gunman entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, an elementary school in Georgia, with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition. According to CNN.com, “The gunman faced Tuff, the school’s bookkeeper, who happened to be working the front desk that summer day. Tuff called 911 and then, with the dispatcher on the line, she spoke with her would-be killer, Michael Brandon Hill. For nearly 25 minutes, she relayed what Hill was saying and doing while trying to talk him down from a lethal ledge.” Thankfully, because of Antoinette Tuff, the gunman surrendered to police and not one person was harmed.
That said, how does Antoinette feel about arming teachers or school officials? She told CNN.com, “If I had had a gun on me, we’d have all been dead. Because you got to go back and look at the state of mind you are in at that moment. I tried to commit suicide two days before that. My life was in an uproar. My husband had just left me after 33 years.”
She continued, “We already have teachers on the front lines every day. They are in the schools trying to teach our kids. They have behavior issues they are dealing with. They have foster kids, homeless kids. They have kids (whose) only outlet is when they come to school. So now what we are saying to them is: Not only do you have to teach them in the midst of what you have going on, but then I need you to protect them, too?”
She also added, “What are we really saying? That’s the question we have to ask ourselves. At the end of the day, is it safe to put our educators in that position? Because they have families, too. When you put so many people in the fire, then who is going to snatch them out?”
How incredible that Tuff has more compassion, intelligence and deescalating skills than the Trump administration? Hopefully, lawmakers will listen to someone like her and end repeating the ridiculous logic that more guns will make us safer.
Here is a clip from when the story first broke:
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by gun violence. On March 24, thousands of young people will participate in March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., a rally for more gun regulations. For more information, click here.