The school board in the impoverished rural north Texas hamlet of Harrold has drawn national attention with its decision to let some teachers carry concealed weapons, a track no other school has followed, says the New York Times. The idea is to ward off a massacre like the 1999 one at Colorado’s Columbine High School. “Our people just don't want their children to be fish in a bowl,” said David Thweatt, the school superintendent and driving force behind the policy. “Country people are take-care-of-yourself people. They are not under the illusion that the police are there to protect them.”
Gun-control advocates are wringing their hands, while pro-gun groups are gleeful. Leaders of the state's major teachers unions have expressed stunned outrage, while the conservative Republican governor, Rick Perry, has endorsed the idea. In the center of the storm is Thweatt, who describes himself as “a contingency planner” believing Americans should be less afraid of protecting themselves and that school signs saying “gun-free zone” make them targets for armed attacks. “That's like saying sic 'em to a dog,” he said.