Op-Ed: Only a gun could have stopped Jeff Weise

March 30, 2005
St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press

By Mark Yost

In the week since teenage gunman Jeff Weise walked into Red Lake Senior High School and killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before killing himself, the usual voices from the usual precincts have been asking: What can we do to keep this from happening next time? How about arming security guards, as well as a handful of administrators and teachers who volunteer to be properly trained?

I can hear the gasps echoing from Mac-Groveland to Crocus Hill. But if we think any legislation is going to stop the next Jeff Weise, we're fooling ourselves. Indeed, the idea that with the right legislation and an unlimited pot of money we can take the risk out of any of life's endeavors is simply wrong.

There's no arguing that Weise had a tragic life. And the search for possible explanations and missed clues runs the gamut. Was it the music he listened to, the movies he watched, the video games he played, the Web sites he visited or the medication he took (the most plausible)?

As for possible remedies, typical were those posited on these pages by Dan Gartrell, a former Head Start teacher at Red Lake. According to him, Weise would have been just fine if teachers "had time to greet students in the morning, easing them through conflicts since the previous day that may be getting them down." He went on to suggest that we need full-time mental health professionals in our schools, from preschool through college.

What's ironic is that Gartrell's advice came just two weeks after another professor — Robin Magee of Hamline University — took St. Paul police to task for carrying Tasers in schools. She argued that police need no more than "a stern command" to control unruly schoolchildren. Red Lake Senior High School security guard Derrick Brun tried that. His funeral was Monday.

Click here for more of this excellent commentary from the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press.

Gun Grabber's Letter to the Editor:

Fewer guns in fewer hands - not the opposite
…"Instead of expressing sympathy for felons, Morris, how about showing concern for the nearly 30,000 victims of gun violence every year in the United States - the highest rate of gun deaths in the developed world? How about speaking out against immunity for gun manufacturers and dealers (once again before Congress)? How about advocating for an assault weapons ban, or for closing the gun-show loophole, or for other sensible measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and disturbed children?"

How about telling us how any of that would have stopped Jeff Weise, Karen?

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