When NRA spokesman Asa Hutchinson announced the NRA’s proposal for trained and armed defenders in every school, he mentioned a name that is legendary in gun rights circles.
The assistant principal, Joel Myrick, went out to his truck and retrieved his firearm.
It was on October 1, 1997, when a 16-year-old Mississippi kid named Luke Woodham followed a now-familiar pattern. He murdered his mother, then took her car, and his hunting rifle, and headed for Pearl High school, where he killed his ex-girlfriend and another girl and wounded seven others. Myrick recognized the sound of gunfire immediately because in addition to be assistant principal, he’d been trained as a National Guard unit commander.
Said Myrick, “I was trained to not shoot when I could endanger other lives. I was also trained, I think, to squeeze the trigger if I had too.”
Last month on Mississippi Public radio, Myrick spoke out for the first time about school security. He agrees, every school needs a trained and armed officer.
“That does not need to be a school employee. They’re not trained for it. But there needs to be a trained, armed person in every school.”
He’s not an activist, but he’s resigned to who we are as a country.
“We have a violent society. It was born that way. And we protect what we love with guns.”
And Myrick will tell you that on that day in 1997, his gun saved lives, including the life of the shooter. He never fired a shot.