Dave Sanders. That's the name that has been rolling about my head over the past week as the story of yet another school shooting has been splashed across the twenty-four hour news cycle. Dave was a teacher at Columbine High School who was shot and killed on that day back in another century. He was trying to save students at his school from bad guys who were shooting up his school.
Frank Hall chased a kid out of his school who was shooting "indiscriminately" in the cafeteria. He doesn't feel that he was a hero, perhaps because he couldn't do anything about the four kids who were shot. Three of them died. If he hadn't confronted this kid with a gun, it is unclear how many more might have been wounded or killed. He's a hero.
Mark Foster "wanted to reveal that internal dialogue of a kid who doesn't have anywhere to turn." The result was "Pumped Up Kicks," a song that may be the tipping point of youth gone wild. It's hard to imagine such a ditty would reflect the despair that existed in Eric Harris or T.J. Lane. It's hard to imagine that any of the songs that attempt to reflect the mindset of a killer could make the top of the charts. Is Mark Foster a hero?
On my playground, when I see little boys chasing after each other with their fingers pointed, making sounds informed by plenty of movies and video games, I call them over to me. "Hand over the guns," I tell them. One by one, they step forward and pantomime disarming. "Now we're going to toss the guns into the ocean." A few of them holler their disapproval. Most of them are resigned to their fate. I make a big show of hurling the arsenal over my shoulder and watching it land with a splash, far out to sea somewhere across the blacktop. Some of them will re-arm themselves after I walk away. I'm not a hero. But there are a few who get the message: They admonish their friends, "Mister Caven said 'No guns!'" They're the heroes.