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One morning this year, a 12-year-old girl entered her school in a United States farming community and shot three people. Soon after, a brave teacher emerged from her classroom and, seeing who the shooter was, calmly walked—and talked—to her. In just minutes, the teacher had quietly taken away the handgun. Then she held and consoled this “very unhappy” girl until police arrived. Later, the teacher’s brother-in-law called her “a born mother.” He wrote in his blog, “Determination pushed her to act, but tenderness and motherly love—not force—lifted the gun from the girl’s hands to hers” (“How a teacher disarmed school shooter with motherly love,” The Christian Science Monitor, May 20, 2021).
Thankfully, no one was killed, and the injured have largely recovered. But what drives people, including a little girl, to resort to violence in the first place?
Ethel A. Baker
The atmosphere of Love
August 9–15, 2021
From our readers
Letters & Conversations
Michael Garvey, Franceska Wilde, Ann Barnes