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Daly writes: "A considerable number of the Dalton students who were thrown into an understandable panic by the gunshot on Wednesday were quick to offer their opinion of the notion that Trump shares with the NRA."

North Georgia social studies teacher Randal Davidson. (photo: Whitfield County Sheriff's Office)
North Georgia social studies teacher Randal Davidson. (photo: Whitfield County Sheriff's Office)

Armed 'Teacher of the Year' Opens Fire in School

By Michael Daly, The Daily Beast

02 March 18

As Trump talks about arming educators, students in two Georgia high schools keep telling him from experience what a bad idea that would be.

resident Trump’s proposal to arm teachers seemed nutty enough even before a second former high school teacher of the year was arrested for firing a gun inside his school.

Both teachers were in Georgia, which generally prohibits people from carrying firearms on school grounds, The first was a star math instructor at Lithia Springs High School, 25 miles from Atlanta. He fired one bullet from a handgun in what may have been a suicide attempt back in August.

The second was on Wednesday, when a star social studies teacher at Dalton High School, 90 miles from Atlanta. He was arrested for barricading himself in his classroom and firing a shot with a handgun for reasons yet to be determined.

In between the two teacher-involved incidents, the mass shooting at a Florida high school prompted President Trump to propose arming educators:

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

A considerable number of the Dalton students who were thrown into an understandable panic by the gunshot on Wednesday were quick to offer their opinion of the notion that Trump shares with the NRA. One who goes by the Twitter handle Chondi tweeted:

“@NRA my favorite teacher at Dalton high school just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot. We had to run out the back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.”

Again, high school teens were making considerably more sense than our president in the wake of a shooting. A classmate, Twitter handle hillary, tweeted:

“I’m a Dalton High School student. Please don’t tell me a damn thing about arming teachers. Please don’t tell me that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”

Another Dalton student, Twitter handle Winter, tweeted about the trolls who almost immediately sought to make the shooting appear to be part of a plot to undermine Trump and the NRA and their pals:

“What happened at Dalton High School today was very REAL. My classmates were shoved into dark classrooms not knowing if they’re were going to make it out alive and were literally posting their goodbyes on social media. Don’t you DARE make this into a conspiracy theory.”

The  suspect in Wednesday’s incident was identified as 53-year-old year-old Randal Davidson, the Dalton High teacher of the year in 2015. The father of five had become a teacher after working as the news and sports guy at a local radio station. He kept a hand in radio and his play-by-play announcing is well known to anybody who listens to Dalton football on Friday nights.

Davidson is the author of the two-volume opus "Catamounts! The Glorious History of Dalton Football.” He suggested during one interview about the first volume that he is something of an obsessive.

"That random typo will haunt you for the rest of your life," he told a local reporter. "It's something that will drive you crazy because you put 'an' instead of 'and.' So, I keep doing it and doing it and re-doing it. So, what happens is your brain starts doing autocorrect, but you don't do it on the page."

But by all accounts, Davidson has been a dedicated and popular teacher. He does not seem to have had a criminal record that would have kept him from legally acquiring the handgun he allegedly brought into the school in a computer case on Wednesday morning.

Davidson was in his classroom during a planning period when several students sought to come in. He barred them from entering and they went to the principal.

When the principal tried to open the door with a key, Davidson forced it shut. He then allegedly fired his revolver, putting a bullet through an exterior window, apparently not aiming at anybody.

The shot triggered a schoolwide panic and hundreds of students stampeded from the building. They were no doubt filled with fearful thoughts of the mass murder at the Florida high school on Valentine’s Day. Their own school had gotten a scare the following week, when a threatening note was found on a classroom floor, briefly resulting in an increased police presence.

When the shot was fired on Wednesday, the cop regularly assigned to the high school happened to be at the junior high school to meet with the follow officer assigned there. Both responded, along with numerous other cops.

“There is a barricaded subject in a classroom," the Dalton Police Department tweeted. “It is believed to be a teacher.”

After a little over half an hour, the police persuaded Davidson to surrender.

“The teacher is in custody,” the Dalton Police tweeted. “No children hurt. No children in danger.”

A follow up police tweet noted:

“Randal Davidson has been charged with aggravated assault, carrying weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of gun during commission of a crime, and disrupting a public school.”

Back on August 17, there had been another teacher-related shooting, this involving 43-year-old Jonathan Freeman, the Lithia Springs High School teacher of the year in 2015. He was known to make trigonometry actually enjoyable.

When a gunshot shattered the hush before the students arrived, staff members saw Freeman stagger from an office adjacent to his classroom. He had apparently shot himself with a handgun he had recently purchased legally.

The officer assigned to the school was on the scene in two minutes. Four more officers were there two minutes after that. Freeman was taken to the hospital and he survived his wound.

Then came Wednesday’s shooting. A math instructor might well note the numbers: Two teachers of the year in seven months have discharged a firearm in a Georgia high school.

Up in Washington, our president was surprising everybody by suddenly saying he was in favor of several gun control measures the NRA opposes. He spoke of requiring background checks at gun shows. And raising the minimum age for purchasing a rifle from 18 to 21. And worrying about due process after the police take guns away from those who should not have them. And maybe even banning assault weapons.

But he was still saying that we can make kids safe by arming the teachers.

“So are we still going to give teachers guns? I'm on the bus evacuating Dalton high school,” tweeted the student with the handle Lilly Rio. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+66 # bread and butter 2018-03-02 13:19
We need to have all Americans holding a gun at eye level at all time. That's the only way to be safe.


Either that, or preemptive incarceration for anyone deemed strange, so they can't commit crimes in the future.

ANYTHING, to avoid taking guns away from violent people who will react violently if you threaten to take their guns away!
+75 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-02 13:22
The logic of the NRA's argument is impeccable in its falseness;

1. the solution to the gun problem in the US is more guns.

2. the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

3. a gun is the final determiner in all disputes. If you want to have a voice, get a gun

4. guns make you free. Slaves don't own guns

And it goes on an on. These are the laws of the wild west and of social darwinism. The most powerful always wins and should win; therefore, get a bigger gun.

I wish that everyone would understand that schools should be sort of quas-sacred places. There are where young people can learn, ecplore, discover, debate all in the safety of an environment that is non-coercive, peaceful, and respectful. Turning schools into armed prison camps will be the end of learning. Kids will learn only the pseudo-wisdom of the NRA as shown in the list above.
-5 # bread and butter 2018-03-02 18:55
Sometimes, the only answer to a bad Social Studies teacher with a gun, is a GOOD Home Ec teacher with a gun.
+12 # librarian1984 2018-03-03 00:25
Or a janitor with a grenade launcher -- boo-yah!!
+12 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 12:39


wait for it…

A school mascot with a flame thrower!
+14 # LionMousePudding 2018-03-03 13:05
To the down votes: pretty sure that was irony.
+3 # economagic 2018-03-03 20:09
If only people would read the author's other posts before sticking their thumb out!
+7 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 21:13
Not, irony, but sarcasm.

But you're right. I'm not pointing out my sarcasm anymore. It should be obvious. And if it isn't, I don't mind a few down votes. Red's a pretty color too.
+19 # Working Class 2018-03-03 12:19
Rodion: The wild, wild west you refer to is mostly a Hollywood script. Wyatt Earp, the deputy town marshal, and his brother, Virgil Earp, town marshal of Tombstone, did not allow citizens to carry guns in the city limits of Tombstone. The gun fight at OK Corral was an aberration of what transpired in most of the West. One of the problems we face in trying to get to sensible gun legislation is the romanticizing of a history that didn't exist anywhere but on the silver screen.
+6 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 21:15
+16 # librarian1984 2018-03-02 15:47
Well I think only women should be allowed to carry guns .. because Weinstein.
+13 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 00:45
I think only children, 5 and under, should be allowed to carry guns. Kids 6-12 can focus more on rocket launchers.
+65 # barkingcarpet 2018-03-02 18:32
We are a sick, corrupt and apathetic society. How and why else would we treat our children (and future) as disposable automatons to experiment on?

We want our Children to sit still, and conform?

We could instead be turning them on and setting them free in the world, hopefully to clean up the mess we have all made of it all. Do we care about anything, other than money and disposable buy products?
-89 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-02 18:50
So what's your point, liberals? You want to do away with all firearms, which won't happen, so that you can feel comfortable in your safe space, at least until someone with a knife or baseball bat does you in. Yes, there are teachers who might do this, just like there are firemen, policemen, soldiers, preachers, etc. who might do this. Mankind is not perfect by anyone's imagination. But the smartest thing we can do is all those teachers who wish to be trained and carry to do so. We are not saying that the teacher has to go stalking the hallways looking for a shooter...we are saying that when the thug breaks into the classroom that the teacher has something to protect themselves and the kids!! Is that so freaking difficult for you liberals to understand? Do you want your wife and kids to be totally unprotected and at the mercy of the thugs??
+29 # pmargaret7 2018-03-02 20:48
No! I want the "thugs" or anyone else NOT TO HAVE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! They are wrong for life, period. There is no reason for automatic weapons in civilian hands other than to kill human beings (and by doing so lengthen the imagined size of their own "member"!). Please explain to me why we need automatic weapons. They are a deathly machine that is unnecessary except in war or video games. There are enough other guns out there to do plenty of killing - why give ar's to the crazies?
-22 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-03 13:22
Pmargaret...the re are no automatic weapons in the hands of civilians other than class 3 licenseholders. didn't know that? Or has our liberal media simply brainwashed you to the extent that you can't believe it? Automatic weapons have been outlawed for civilian use since 1934. And while we're at it there is absolutely no such thing as a "semi-automatic assault rifle"...that is also a media made up term.
+13 # economagic 2018-03-03 20:14
Your expertise regarding firearms does not make you an expert on the politics of their availability and use--or on any other aspect of politics, which fortunately you mostly ignore. I think you also know perfectly well which particular weapons people are talking about, even if they do not know their technical names.
-9 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-04 15:04
Econo...yes I know what the liberal media is talking about and propagandizing. ..but that doesn't change reality. The AR15 is a semi-automatic rifle of medium power. It is not a military weapon and is the most popular rifle in America due to it's reliability, accuracy, ruggedness, etc. It is not some magic killing machine like y'all would like to believe and they have been used for self defense in some well documented occasions.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-03-04 17:56
Magic, no. Killing machine, yes.
+4 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 18:29
You're right. It's not a "MAGICAL" killing machine.

You still need to aim and pull the trigger, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…. etc.

without ever reloading.

You still need to do all that.

If ONLY there were a MAGICAL killing machine where you could murder all the innocent school children you want, without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home…

If only…

But, until then, you gotta admit, the AR-15 is incredibly good at splattering their little brains out, LONG before they ever have a chance to grow up, become lib'rels, and break their daddy's heart by dating a black man!
+4 # economagic 2018-03-05 08:07
"It is not some magic killing machine like y'all would like to believe and they have been used for self defense in some well documented occasions."

No magic at all, just an exceptionally effective killing machine available to virtually anyone at a price often only about double that of a decent handgun. Whether we call it a military assault weapon or a slice of baloney is irrelevant to the discussion. Why do you favor its being available to any and all without restrictions? Or if you do not favor that, what restrictions DO you favor? How about some of that documentation of its use in specific instances (plural) of self-defense?
+15 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 21:18
They're still machine guns. Play word games all you want, but that doesn't bring back the dead children other "collectors" have racked up to their high score for the day.

The idiotic word games are disgusting, just like all attempts to normalize the mass murders that are going on right now, all in the name of profit.

Your parents would be ashamed. Did you have parents? Are they buried in a shallow unmarked grave somewhere?

The only people who need these weapons are lunatics.

Wanna argue about the definition of "LUNATIC" now?
+12 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-03-02 21:16
& gun freaks are 'not perfect by anyone's imagination', either.
+12 # futhark 2018-03-02 22:06
skylinefirepest wrote "...we are saying that when the thug breaks into the classroom that the teacher has something to protect themselves and the kids!!"

Here is a modest suggestion from a teacher going on 40 years of experience in the classroom: I know it may seem incredible, but many classrooms in the 4 local school districts in which I substitute STILL have doors that cannot be locked from the inside and most of these also require possession of a key. Safety, economy, and good sense dictate that all possible defensive measures be taken before potentially lethal offensive strategies are adopted.
+21 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 00:38
Thank you for calling us "liberals".

Considering that 93% of the American public agrees with us (HINT: NOT WITH YOU), that pretty much tells you how well conservative ideology is going.

I agree with your last sentence. That's why we need to get the guns AWAY FROM THE THUGS.
+18 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 00:40
I also noticed how you refer to our "wife and kids".

Don't you talk to women directly? Or only through their husbands?
-12 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-03 13:18
Actually women and black Americans are the fastest group of gun owning citizens. So the question answers itself.
+8 # economagic 2018-03-03 20:29
No it doesn't.

"Do you want your wife and kids to be totally unprotected and at the mercy of the thugs??"

With a relatively small number of exceptions (which you may or may not even recognize), your question by the standard rules of grammar is addressed to males only. That is of course your privilege, but by denying the fact when it is pointed out you come off as both defensive and sexist. Your handle strikes a contrarian pose, contrary not only to conventional wisdom but in appearance to the values and ethics of the credentials you have previously claimed in these forums.

Not that it matters, but I too am male, educated, 70+ years old, and with credentials different from yours but equally significant.
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 01:18
WOW, economagic!

That was a really great comment!
+9 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 21:20
Wait a minute…

Did you just bring up "black people", after I referred to "kids"?

Are you for real? We weren't even talking about black people. We were talking about the fact that you spoke about women as though they had no ability to speak for themselves.

When called out on that, you bring up black people?

Is this a missing episode of All in the Family or something?
+27 # librarian1984 2018-03-03 00:51
You raise an excellent point. Liberals can't fixate only on guns .. and conservatives can't keep bullshitting. If we want, as you advise, a holistic solution, that has to include guns.

The last thing we need is gun battles in the hall. And we can't have nurses or music or sports programs but we're going to pay to arm teachers? I didn't think conservatives could fuck up the schools more than they already have but they do find a way don't they.

You love to criticize liberals for their hypocrisy but what about yours? The NRA pretends they care about dead kids but they support cop-killer bullets and bump stocks? They've made sure the CDC doesn't look into the causes or effects of gun violence and we can't have gun buy backs or smart gun technology for reasons beyond comprehension. You may think your precious guns are more important than kids' lives, but wedge issues like those are NOT.

It's always so much easier to see others' hypocrisy than our own.
+23 # librarian1984 2018-03-03 01:07
Oh, and if we're going to enshrine guns as a sacred human right, then let's treat them as we do cars -- people need to be licensed and certified. They should be taxed to fund victim organizations, and gun owners should be insured.

There should be a unified, digitized gun database for law enforcement.

The NRA way always involves MORE guns, but that's what got us here, with the frequency and fatalities increasing.

Every right has limits. The second amendment does not guarantee that every person can have every weapon ever invented.

Your tolerance for the growing carnage is not rational. It's like a 9-11 every month but you just close your eyes to it because it means you might not get to pull the trigger of an uzi. Grow up.
-9 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-03 13:16
You've got an obvious problem with your facts there, Librarian...Con stitutional rights don't come with licenses and certification and the frequency of fatalities is definitely not increasing. A little research will show you where you have erred. While gun ownership has gone up the amount of "gun violence" has decreased markedly...some thing that you guys just hate to admit but easily proven, even by liberal sources.
+8 # Texas Aggie 2018-03-03 20:30
And where in the Constitution does it stipulate that there can be no regulation of firearm ownership? The second amendment specifically mentions "well-regulated ." And to make it ever worse (from your point of view), Scalia specifically stated that legislatures may regulate gun ownership under the Constitution. When you lose him, you've lost the battle.

Fully automatic weapons are strictly controlled so there is no reason why that same authority can't be extended to semiautomatic weapons, which despite your attempt to redefine reality, do exist and are already carried by a whole bunch of people. (It's interesting that when a certain group of people are put into the situation where they don't have their guns handy 24/7, the number of emergency room admissions for gunshot wounds drops by 20%. So if guns don't kill people, but people kill people, then we know which people to lock up, don't we?)
+5 # economagic 2018-03-03 20:31
Red herrings.
+10 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 21:22
You really need to actually READ the Constitution.

Why do conservatives refuse to actually READ the Constitution and the Bible?

You quote things out of context, because the FULL context disproves every argument you have.

But what more can we expect. You watch FOX News and have no problem with the number of time it's been publicly PUNKED by articles from THE ONION that it thought were REAL.
+1 # economagic 2018-03-05 08:16
"Why do conservatives refuse to actually READ the Constitution and the Bible?"

I think the words "conservative" and "liberal" should be retired from the English language, as both have taken on so many contradictory shades of meaning over the centuries that both mean, as Humpty Dumpty said (in "Through the Looking Glass"), whatever one wants them to mean.

But a lot of people who claim to be conservative and also Christian, having read the Old Testament, seem to have decided that they need read no further.
+5 # WYThomas 2018-03-04 21:19
Stop trying to hide behind the Constitution, which does not grant everyone the right to own either automatic or semi-automatic weapons. The Founders wrote "well-regulated militia" into the document. The phrase cannot be interpreted to mean possession of these types of weapons.

The United States is the only country having this kind of mass slaughter. Wayne Lapierre has become a multi-millionai re, pushing the NRA's propaganda. You have swallowed it hook line and sinker.
+8 # barkingcarpet 2018-03-03 19:56
YES! and Certainly.

Historically, there have been so many mass killings with knives and bats
+26 # Jaax88 2018-03-02 18:58
Is there anything in civilization that honors or encourages human beings to foul their own nests? I thought not. I seems to me that the NRA, the guns for all advocates (nuts) and many hundreds. if not thousands of our politicians, so-called leaders are doing just. It seems to me that the American Wild West times has shown the infantile nature of the show down on main street mind set.
+28 # Thomas Martin 2018-03-02 19:05
The next thing you know, gun nuts will be proposing arming students, in addition to teachers! Training students to shoot would provide a steady stream of entrants into our armed forces who are already marksmen (and women), nearly ready to be deployed to the foreign involvements we’re in, without having to be taught how to shoot during basic training!
+9 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 00:43
Actually, the gun nuts already have been making that argument for years.
+8 # LionMousePudding 2018-03-03 13:09
Of course they will. The only answer to a bad social studies teacher with a gun, is a good child with a gun.
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 01:27
Which eventually morphs into:

"The only answer to a bad social studies teacher, is a child with a gun."
+16 # Skeeziks 2018-03-02 19:18
War weapons? Just should not be in any civilian's home, car, truck.

Since the idea of having weapons in everyone's possession to repel an attack on the U.S.A., one idea would be to have two armories in every county and and that they would be loaded with automatic weapons, ammo, grenades, bazookas and even a couple tanks to dissuade any other country from attacking us.

Just think of the jobs that would create too by just having all the weaponry kept ready.
-11 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-02 23:03
So what are you calling a "war weapon"?
+5 # LionMousePudding 2018-03-03 13:11
Anything that fires bullets without having to press the trigger a second time.
+4 # economagic 2018-03-03 20:37
Unfortunately that is his point: Those are the ones that are NOT publicly available as such, although simple and inexpensive modifications move them closer. Semiautomatic weapons, which require no additional acts besides pulling the trigger in order to fire another round, can create all the mayhem one could desire, especially if equipped with large-capacity magazines.
-5 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-04 15:07
Thanks I don't have to educate another firearms illiterate liberal. Citizens of this great country don't own "weapons of war".
0 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 18:31
You're right.

If they were "weapons of war" we could use them to defend us against BIG GOVERNMENT…


Since they aren't… There goes ONE MORE PHONY ARGUMENT of the NRA.
0 # economagic 2018-03-05 08:09
+10 # Texas Aggie 2018-03-03 20:33
Anything that doesn't have a hunting function such that using it rips up the prey so badly that it isn't worth trying to butcher it.
-7 # skylinefirepest 2018-03-04 15:09
Aggie, the 2nd Amendment, as you probably know but choose to ignore, is NOT about hunting. And if you compare the .223 round to the 30.06 round you'll find that your comment is rather silly.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-03-04 17:58
And if you look at the bloody bodies of schoolkids you'll find your comment is rather disingenuous.
+6 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 18:36
The 2nd Amendment is about a WELL REGULATED militia.







I'd spell "well regulated" in a pretty design, like that of a 5-year-old getting her brains splattered against a wall with the ABCs on it, if it turned you on enough to pay attention,

but you still wouldn't bother to read those two words.
+9 # bread and butter 2018-03-04 01:33
Actually, "war weapons" are ALWAYS what we're talking about, so long as we're referring to YOUR OWN DAMN ARGUMENTS!

The MAIN conservative argument FOR more convenient access to weapons that improve the efficiency of murdering school children, IS that we "NEED" those weapons to kill members of our government if we feel like it, any time we deem it necessary.

The argument HAS ALWAYS been, "OUR RIGHT" to "defend ourselves" against members of our representative democracy.

You only have a few choices what you can call that:

1. armed insurrection / treason;


When it's pointed out that NO conservatives are arguing for the kinds of weapons we'd actually need to overthrow our duly elected government, you ALL go mysteriously silent.

+10 # bread and butter 2018-03-03 00:42
I'd like my own predator drones, operated from outer space.
+27 # economagic 2018-03-02 20:04
Speaking of schools and education:

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS were loaded for bear (so to speak) by the time the sound of the shots had died away. This didn't "just happen," and while many of them are indeed outgoing and talented, the education they had received is of a kind seldom seen today, especially in a public school system. It prepared them to ask the right questions, make the right arguments, and make them as clearly and as articulately as any POTUS ever has done.

A friend from high school and I received such an education in the public schools of Tulsa, Oklahoma (class of 1964), at which we frequently marvel, comparing it to the norm of today. Our families were not poor, but neither were they rich, simply part of the middle class that expanded in the 1950s an 1960s largely as a result of the original GI Bill.

There is an excellent article about the school today on another web site, and I hope that RSN will republish it. In the meantime:

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