Yell, don’t wave

July 14, 2008

Some of us believe that a few guns, in the hands of responsible teachers and administrators, can contribute to school safety. This guy , overreacting in a case of mistaken identity, doesn’t help make our case:

A South Bend elementary school teacher was arrested Thursday for reportedly threatening three neighborhood kids with a shotgun.

And one of the children — a 10-year-old girl — is supposed to attend the school where the man teaches this fall.

Edward Winchell, a sixth-grade teacher at Jefferson Intermediate Center, was handcuffed, questioned and then led away from his home in the 700 block of South 28th Street about 7:30 p.m. He is charged with three counts of intimidation, a Class A misdemeanor.

According to the mother of two of the children involved, Winchell, thinking the children had just rung his doorbell, exited his home with a shotgun and threatened to shoot the kids and then call police if they ever stepped on his property again.

“Apparently some kid had been ringing this gentleman’s doorbell, and my kids were walking home from a neighbor’s house and he thought it was them,” Kristi Rosbrugh said.

It says later in the story that he’s a good teacher, a friendly neighbor, Boys & Girls Club volunteer, etc., etc., and that people are “flabbergasted” that he even has a gun. Ringing a doorbell and running away giggling is the kind of thing people think is funny when they’re the kids doing it and grossly irresponsible when they grow up to become the adults subjected to it. I can understand the guy snapping. But that’s the time to run outside with your lungs at full power, not waving a shotgun.  That’s a legitimate fear of guns, that they can escalate a situation just by being available, even to ordinarily reasonable people.

I favor police having tasers, but that’s a valid argument against them, too. Yes, they can substitute less deadly force in some situations where a firearm might have been used. But they still can be deadly, and might lead police in some cases to not even consider the negotiation phase they would have tried without the taser’s availability.

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One Response to “Yell, don’t wave”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    But for a mere $1000 (plus tax), you TOO can now own a TASER.
    I’m really liking that!
    Try applying THAT particular “board of education” to the “seat of knowledge” with the way these young thugs act nowadys.

    They sure aren’t the “little rascals” WE used to be…that’s for sure.

    I read that story, too.

    B.G.
    (and stay off MY lawn, you little….)


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