Colorado Republican & Columbine Survivor Favors Guns in Schools


Colorado state Rep. Patrick Neville, a 45th District Republican, supports allowing armed teachers on school campuses. (Screen snip, YouTube, KUSA 9News)

U.S.A.-( Colorado state House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, a third-term Republican, supports legislation to allow concealed handguns on school campuses and defended that position recently in an interview with NPR, and the second-generation lawmaker has a unique perspective: he’s a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School attack.

Neville joined NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro just days after the STEM school attack in Highlands Ranch that left one student dead and several others injured. He told Garcia-Navarro that he thinks students at the school would have been safer, had there been a legally concealed handgun on campus that day earlier this month when two other teens, allegedly using guns stolen from one of their homes, opened fire. Both have been charged in connection with the case.

“I think that probably wouldn’t have – the shooting probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place,” Neville contended, according to an NPR transcript. “One of the reasons I propose this bill year after year is the fact that it’s a major deterrent. If they (school shooters) know they’re going to go in there and face opposition and they don’t know where that opposition’s going to come from, they’ll probably think twice about doing it in the first place. So I think they probably would have been safer had it actually broken out. But I think it probably would have prevented it from even happening in the first place.”

This is not the expected rhetoric of someone who survived a school shooting. Indeed, other Columbine survivors and at least one parent of a Columbine victim, have taken the opposite position, and support more gun control laws.

Neville, who won his first election in 2014 with a 69 percent landslide, and came back two years later to retain his seat with a 70 percent approval, according to Wikipedia, doesn’t seem at all fazed by the fact that he goes against the liberal current in the Denver area. In an appearance on Next with Kyle Clark on KUSA 9News, Neville said the proposed creation of a supervised heroin injection site in Denver is “a horrendous idea.”

“I think this is the equivalent of basically having a separate lane for those who choose to drink and drive,” the GOP lawmaker observed.

The same proposal is being pursued by the City of Seattle, where the far-left City Council is under heavy public criticism for policies that have allegedly turned the city into a magnet for drug addicts and “professional homeless” people. Property crimes have gone up, there are “homeless camps” all over the city landscape including one large homeless camp that was cleared Monday, according to KIRO News, because it was found to be “high risk” after police raided the place last week and found drugs and weapons. Turned out the homeless camp was also something of a drug ring headquarters.

Back in Colorado, Neville told NPR’s Garcia-Navarro that he has actually received some support from other Columbine “friends and colleagues” for his suggestion.

“I’d point to the fact that we really haven’t seen this problem in our schools until Americans adopted gun-free-zone policies throughout the states,” Neville observed during his interview. “And that’s what’s actually contributed – not the only cause, but contributed to this happening.”

Recently in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7030, which authorizes local school boards to allow teachers, who voluntarily go through training, to be armed on campus. The Unified Sportsmen of Florida backed the measure, which actually was the result of a suggestion by a panel of law enforcement, education and other specialists that looked into the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

So, what Neville is suggesting is not so radical after all, it would appear. It just isn’t politically correct among liberal anti-gunners.

But they’re still licking their wounds for failing to turn a vigil for deceased hero STEM student Kendrick Castillo into an anti-gun rally, an error so embarrassing that the Brady Campaign was compelled to issue an apology. Castillo was the teen who died when he pounced on one of the shooting suspects in an effort to defend other students at the school.

Much will be learned from the tragedy at the STEM school, and Neville’s argument that having armed staff on school grounds might be a deterrent may now get serious consideration. After all, the “gun-free school zones” approach has been tried, and it hasn’t worked. That policy was in place 20 years ago and it didn’t prevent Columbine, and Neville was there. It was still in place earlier this month, and it didn’t prevent the STEM school shooting, and now Neville wants to try something different.

RELATED: ‘Imagine if Media Treated Gun Rights Groups Honestly,’ Says Writer

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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