The Hero of the South Carolina School Shooting Was Unarmed

A 14-year-old opened fire on an elementary playground in South Carolina and an unarmed volunteer firefighter was the hero of the day. 

Jamie Brock, a 30-year veteran firefighter, was one of the first emergency responders to reach the playground in Townville, South Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. A teenager allegedly killed his father at his home and then shot two students and a teacher at the school, according to the Associated Press. 

One of the students is in critical condition. Another student and the teacher were treated and released from the hospital, according to NBC News.

Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said that Brock "just took him down" when he arrived on the scene and saw the shooter, the Associated Press reports. 

Scott Stoller with Anderson County Emergency Management said that Brock wanted to stay "humble and quiet about it." 

"Firefighter Brock is absolutely a hero," he said, according to the Associated Press. 

Brock's unarmed takedown of the shooter re-ignited a passionate conversation about guns in schools. 

The National Rifle Association has maintained that armed citizens and guards are the only effective way to protect the public from mass shooters. 

After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that left 20 children and six teachers dead, NRA President Wayne LaPierre said that someone with a gun inside the school could have stopped shooter Adam Lanza. 

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he famously said. LaPierre has repeated the phrase publicly several times since then. 


There is limited data on whether or not guns increase safety in schools, but some advocates for schools and children think it's a bad idea. 

The Children's Defense Fund writes on its website that "armed school guards and teachers will not necessarily make children safer but may
jeopardize the futures of some children."

The fund uses the examples of Columbine High School tragedy and the Virginia Tech shooting. Columbine High School employed an armed guard and Virginia Tech employs a campus police force.

The Fund also argues that increased security at schools often disproportionately affects poor and minority students. 

"While there isn’t clear evidence that armed security guards or police officers keep children in schools safer, there is very troubling evidence that their large presence on school grounds leads to the criminalization of some children, especially Black and Latino males, at increasingly younger ages and the feeding of children into the prison pipeline." 

The NAACP’s Youth and College Division found that in 2011 that black students in Florida were 21 percent of the youth population but received 46 percent of the disciplinary referrals to law enforcement, according to the Daily Beast. 

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