What happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Ct. should never happen again. That horrible incident shocked us into the reality of how violent our culture is, like none of the previous mass shootings did. Until the shooting at Sandy Hook, it seems like we had just accepted these unacceptable actions as almost normal occurrences. But thankfully having 6-and-7-year olds murdered at their school, finally shook our world enough, that we are now willing to stand up for what is right. What took us so long to get disgusted by gun violence in our culture?
Another shooting incident happened last week at Taft Union High School about 30 miles outside Bakersfield, California. One student was shot and is in critical condition. But there is a hero in this story; a 40-year-old named Ryan Heber who is a popular science teacher at the high school.
The teacher stood in the classroom face-to-face with his 16-year-old student, who was holding a shotgun. Ryan had no idea whether the student – whose pockets were filled with ammunition – would put the gun down or pull the trigger.
Eventually, the teen let go of the gun, and police took him into custody. But how many of us could have faced a kid with a shotgun, not knowing what he might do next? That takes an enormous amount of courage and fearlessness!
The teacher’s father, David Heber, was interviewed after this incident. This is what he said about his son, Ryan. “Because he knows the boy and the boy knows him ... I attribute that to why the boy talked and listened to my son. It’s all about kindness. It’s all about my son being kind and caring about his students that makes this successful.”
If this shooting incident happened at some other time with another shooter, who knows what would have happened. But that still doesn’t take away the fact that in this incident, kindness made a difference in the outcome. We forget how important it is to be kind to each other every day in all our dealings. This is a good lesson for all of us.