Molly Hudgins credit:

Molly Hudgins

Some will surely refer to this extraordinary situation and say “See? No one needs guns in schools!” Fox News reports:

A Tennessee school counselor is being called a hero Thursday after convincing a teenager to handing over a loaded handgun.

A 14-year-old boy went to Sycamore Middle School on Wednesday asking to speak with counselor Molly Hudgens, according to WKRN-TV.

Authorities said he told her he was having problems and was going to kill teacher and a police officer, but no students; he told her she was the only one who could talk him out of it.

She did.

Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said Thursday that after they talked for 45 minutes in her office, the boy agreed to hand over the semi-automatic handgun he hid underneath his clothing.

‘She was an amazingly brave person to be in there that long with this young man,’ Breedlove said. ‘She did something even the most experienced law enforcement officer might not do. She’s a hero in our community.’ [skip]

[The unidentified student] is being held in Williamson County Jail on charges of possessing a weapon on school property and threatening school employees.


Hudgens said in a statement that she credited her training and experience to help a student out and keep her colleagues and students safe.

‘The safety of our school is a responsibility I take very seriously as a school counselor,’ she added,

The district’s policy of zero tolerance for weapons on campus requires his expulsion from school for not less than one year.

Hmm. I’d be thinking rather longer than that, all things considered. In fact “’till Hell freezes over” sounds eminently reasonable.



Before anyone gets very excited about drawing policy initiatives from this incident, let’s consider the facts. The boy came to Hudgens, apparently because he had a relationship of some kind with her, and he was looking for an out. Perhaps this threat was only a gesture. It’s possible he never intended to harm anyone, and his putting Hudgins between him and his intentions suggest just that. In any case, he apparently made it clear he didn’t intend to harm Hudgens.

Does that lessen her courage and skill? Not at all. She handled the situation well and got the best possible result. Courage is not an exclusively male attribute. Of course, once he entered her office, told her he had a gun, and his intentions and conditions, she had very little choice about what she could do. She did well.

What does this mean for the anti-liberty, gun-control debate? Gun grabbers will surely use this incident to argue that guns are dangerous and should never be allowed in schools for any reason. Of course, just about anything triggers that reflexive response: rain, sunshine, dogs, dirty laundry, global warming, and certainly anything even remotely having to do with a firearm anywhere near a school. In reality, this situation changes nothing, and lends no additional weight to any anti-liberty argument.

What if the boy had intended to kill? What if he simply bypassed Ms. Hudgens and acted out his intentions? What if Ms. Hudgens was not successful? When one is dealing with situations and people like this, there is no guarantee of success. What then?

As always, there is one, and only one, policy that would deter attacks, and save lives if and where one occurred: allow willing teachers and other staff to carry concealed handguns.

For additional information, see my updated series exploring the issue from all angles. The first, 2016, installment, is available here.