“V” For Vendetta : School Board Shooting
Bay District Schools in Panama City, Florida. (12/14/2010)
Discussion Question (bottom of article)
The world was shocked today when television aired the video feed from yesterdays Bay District School meeting in Panama City, Florida (watch main video here). Clay Duke, a man of 56 years, (it was said [CNN.com]) sat quietly until the end of the meeting. When it was time for citizens to air their grievances, Duke walked over to a wall, spray-painted a large circle enclosing the letter “V” in red… and within moments pulled out a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. Duke asked everyone in the room to leave except for six men.
Superintendent Bill Husfelt (seated in the middle) asked the gunman to let the others go, but Duke made his intentions clear as he raised his gun and began firing. In the nick of time, security man Mike Jones returned fire, hitting with two shots. Duke, wounded, fell to the ground, turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger. None of Duke’s shots found their mark, and all the board members were unharmed, physically.
Besides Mr. Husfelt’s brave efforts to de-esculate the situation and ‘hear Duke out,’ there was another heroic effort made by board member Ginger Littleton. After being let out, Littleton crept back inside (Duke’s back to her) and walloped him with a right-handed swing of her pocketbook. Her attempt to subdue him failed, as she lost balance and fell to the floor. Luckily, Duke choose not to kill her then. She later went on to say (about why she intervened),
“I was concerned about my guys…I knew something bad was going to happen. That was my option. …My guys had three-ring binders and pencils for protection, and that’s all.”
As self-defense teachers (as many of our reader-base is), it is important that we turn a keen idea to this violent scenario. What was said, what was done, the measures taken, the possible outcomes,… the whole enchilada! In my mind, and if you saw the video – there are cues that can be picked up, possible opportunities squandered, but all-in-all… they all (especially William Husfelt) did an exceptional job and (most importantly) no one got hurt.
As a self-defense teacher, martial artist or even as an everyday citizen, what is “your take” on what happened? Seeing as though the six board members where very lucky (and they were!) that none of the bullets hit… that aside…what would be another plan-of-action? In other words, would you have done something differently -had you been either the Superintendent or Mrs. Littleton?
We all are looking forward to your comments.