March 24, 2005

Another Victory for Gun Control

The security guard killed at Red Lake last week, Derrick Brun, apparently tried his best to delay Jeff Wiese.

Brun, a former Red Lake police officer, was certainly qualified to carry a firearm. But he couldn't; federal law prohibits guns within 1000 feet of schools, except when carried by law enforcement - which Brun was not, at the time of the massacre.

So the only weapon he had with which to face Wiese was his size and his personality. It was apparently enough to delay Wiese for a bit, perhaps saving lives. But it cost Brun's life.

The Strib has the story:

A security guard who survived the shootings at Red Lake High School described a frenzied scramble to warn students and credited a fellow security guard with saving lives at the cost of his own.

In an interview Wednesday, surviving guard LeeAnn Grant said co-worker Derrick Brun ignored her pleas to run and instead rose from his desk to confront Jeff Weise, the 16-year-old shooter.

"Derrick saved my life," Grant said. "He didn't even look scared. He didn't look worried. He knew what he was going to do."

Grant's wasn't the first eyewitness account of the shootings Monday. But it was among the most vivid, and it gave the first picture of Brun's heroism.

Grant said that she and Brun, 28, were working at the school doors that day, as usual. Three of the four doors were locked; the unlocked door funneled students through a metal detector.

Wiese fired two rounds from his shotgun into the air, then came through the door as Ms. Grant ran to pass the word:
"He walked in and fired another shot, and I was telling Derrick, 'Come on, let's go, let's go, Derrick, run, we need to save these kids, we need to do something.' And I radioed in ... 'There's a guy coming in the school and he's shooting and he has a gun.'

"Derrick just sat there at his desk. ... He didn't look scared. He didn't look surprised. ... He just kept staring at Jeff. I kept hollering for him to come with me. He wouldn't come, he just stayed there."

The noise drew some students toward the front doors, Grant said. "I start yelling at them, 'Run! There's a guy with a gun here! Just run!' And then I took off to try to protect them," she said. "I turned back a little bit, and you could see Derrick kind of getting up, going right toward Jeff. And then I heard two shots again."

Other witness accounts indicate that's when Brun was killed.

So - all the guns within 1000 feet of the school were in the hands of a kid bent on murder and suicide.

Is this what the gun controllers really wanted?

By the way, I've always wondered about this:

Once alerted of trouble, teachers locked the classroom doors, as they were trained, Grant said.
This strikes me as akin to the pre-9/11 advice for dealing with hijackers; don't fight, you'll make 'em angry.

In an era where too many school shooters think school is a roach hotel - they'll check in, but they have no intention of checking out - is it really a good idea to keep the prey locked in with the predator?

Posted by Mitch at March 24, 2005 12:08 PM | TrackBack

I thought that the legislature and school boards in MN declared schools to be "Gun Free Zones" and that the metal detectors were to prevent students from bringing weapons into the schools.

Obviously we need more laws, statements, declarations and legislative input to make the schools safer.

Maybe we need some lard-butt indy film-maker to film a "documentary" to show how this was GWBush fault.

Posted by: Genek at March 24, 2005 03:00 PM

I'm curious - and this is not to detract from your point Mitch, which is as poignant as it is correct - but do reservations have to adhere to the same gun laws that the "rest of us" do? I wouldn't have thought so, but the fact that Mr Brun was not packing would suggest that they do.

Any expertise there? Tried googling for it, but there's just too much to wade through...

Posted by: Jeff at March 24, 2005 03:47 PM

Reservations are not subject to state law, but they still have the feds.

Posted by: mitch at March 24, 2005 03:53 PM

It seems to me that the gun free school laws have a primary effect of setting up a victim holding center number 200 to 1,000 people. It is similar to asking antigunners if they would be willing to put a sign on their front lawn proclaiming "This house is a gunfree zone." even rabid antigunners refuse to do that, using grunting incoherently when asked to explain why. Gun free schools are a target holding pen already. IN a sane country, teachers and staff would be armed to defend the children, as in Israel.

Posted by: John Cunningham at March 24, 2005 11:48 PM

Reservations aren't actually soverign nations. They generally have agreements with the government making them, I can't remember the exact phrase but something like, dependant nations, or limited soverignity. It was covered (briefly) in one of my criminal justice classes and I think the Supreme Court coined the phrase. Most reservations essentially have contracts with the state government to receive certain services like law enforcement and in exchange they basically follow the laws of the state.

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