“My school’s an easy target”
by Chad Baus
7:00AM Friday, March 2 2018
On February 20, a 13 year-old seventh-grader in Jackson Twp., OH boarded a school bus concealing a .22 rifle.
The Jackson Memorial Middle School student had been writing a school “attack” plan, inspired in part by the mass murder in a Parkland, FL high school just six days before. (His writing shows he had been thinking of attacking his school for a few months, but actively planning for only a few weeks.)
His written plans reveal that he had the glorification that the media give school shooters fully in mind, and that he knew his school was defenseless.
"I want to leave a lasting impression on the world. I'm going to die doing it."
“When they interview my parents and ask how they didn’t see the signs, they should know it’s not them, it’s me and it’s because of how I see the world. I’d hurt and destroy something bigger but my school’s an easy target.”
From the Akron Beacon-Journal:
“I’ll look in to those scared little britches’ [sic] eyes before I kill them,” he wrote Feb. 17, invoking the names of the two Columbine High School shooters, but botching the spelling of one of their names.
“Now I’ll have followers because I’m so awesome,” he wrote. “I know someone will follow me just like I followed [the Columbine shooters]. … They say school shootings are horrible but they don’t think like us, like me and [the Columbine shooters].”
[The armed boy] knew he was going to die, he wrote, promising the attack “will be bigger than anything this country’s ever seen.”
“I will never be forgotten. I’ll be a stain in American history and the Simons’ history, it’s going to be so mutch [sic] fun,” he wrote. “They won’t expect a thing.”
Police said the boy carried about 80 rounds of ammunition that fit the .22 rifle he smuggled into school that day. He passed teachers and classmates and even ran into another boy who was using the restroom when [the armed boy] entered with his rifle.
From the Akron Beacon-Journal:
nvestigators’ timeline of the minutes leading up to the shooting reveals that [the armed boy] had started to launch his attack plan.
It began, police said, when [the armed boy] left home about 7:10 a.m. Feb. 20 and walked with a noticeable limp to a nearby bus stop.
He had a .22-caliber rifle hidden under his clothes, possibly in the leg of his pants, police said. But if anyone was suspicious, no one spoke up.
The bus pulled up to the middle school about 7:44 a.m. and [the armed boy] limped inside, heading directly to a boys’ restroom, where another boy was already inside.
Besides the rifle hidden in his clothes, [the armed boy] carried a backpack into the bathroom that held about 80 rounds of ammunition and an assortment of fireworks, batteries and an aerosol can.
Police said [the armed boy] believed he could make an explosive device, but bomb experts said he didn’t have what he needed.
[A} few minutes later, school security cameras shows [the armed boy] re-emerging from the bathroom alone — this time carrying a long, black rifle in his hands.
At least four students were in the area outside the bathroom, and none appeared to notice [the armed boy] or the gun.
The cameras showed the boy who was in the restroom at the same time as [the armed boy] exiting next.
Police said he saw the rifle — either inside the bathroom or in the hall — and went to tell teachers.
For unknown reasons, the boy returned to the restroom and shot himself to death.
This boy's writings confirm three things people in the gun rights community have long been warning:
"Now I’ll have followers because I’m so awesome"
Media glamorization of these killers serves to inspire others. Write your local media and demand that they stop feeding this cycle by using the names and pictures of these killers. Stop reading, watching, buying or sharing ones that do.
"My school's an easy target."
Persons looking for a body count choose places where they know people can't fight back. Is YOUR child or grandchild's school an easy target? What are you doing about it?
"He had a .22-caliber rifle."
They can seek to ban all the AR-15s they want, and attackers intent on committing murder will simply chose a different weapon. The problem is people.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.