Rapid, decisive responses by local law enforcement agencies may well have averted a tragedy at Jefferson Elementary School in Shadyside on Friday morning. What happened there is a demonstration that knee-jerk reactions to school violence, such as gun control laws, cannot eliminate threats to our children.
On Friday morning, officers and deputies from the Belmont County Sheriff's Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Shadyside, Bellaire and Bridgeport police departments responded to a report of an armed man in a ski mask walking back and forth in front of the school. He was taken into custody.
No one can know what would have happened had police not arrived quickly, though the school was "locked down" for a time after the man was spotted.
Good for the law enforcement agencies that reacted so quickly.
But, again, the episode was a reminder that simplistic action to prevent school violence may not be productive. The man was not carrying a gun. He was armed with a bow and arrow.