Kendrick Castillo
Screen Grab-Inside Edition Clip

Kendrick Castillo is a hero. Period. Full Stop. Last Tuesday, May 7, 2019, a student walked into a classroom and started shooting. As reported by CNN

After a classmate pulled out a gun in class, Kendrick Castillo couldn’t just stay still. He was surrounded by the friends he considered family and they were all in danger. Kendrick died when he lunged at the shooter, giving other students at STEM School Highlands Ranch enough time to hide, his family and a classmate said.

The article goes on

The 18-year-old was watching “The Princess Bride” in his British literature class when the shooter pulled out a gun, demanding that nobody moved. After Kendrick lunged at the shooter, three other students also tackled the gunman and tried to subdue him while the rest of the class fled the room.

The New York Times tells the story from an eyewitness perspective

Nui Giasolli, an 18-year-old senior who was in the class at the time, stated that Castillo lunged to stop the gunman and was shot dead. Eight other students were wounded in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday afternoon, which the authorities said was carried out by two fellow students.

Ms Giasolli further elaborates (emphasis mine)

Ms. Giasolli said Mr. Castillo’s split-second decision to lunge for the gunman gave the other students a precious few seconds of cover to dive under their desks or rush the gunman. Ms. Giasolli said a cluster of boys then tackled the gunman, allowing her and others to flee the classroom.

Further down in the article is a discussion regarding the best method to deal with an active shooter and for once, the New York Times gets it right. As I’ve noted before, the best way to stop a mass shooting, is the timely arrival of a Good Guy—ideally, with a gun.

So far, so good. Although CNN appeared to ignore the fact that it was “a cluster of boys” who tackled the Gunman, I’ll give them the “early reporting” benefit of the doubt. That excuse however, won’t wash with NPR and an early Saturday morning interview with a “licensed professional counselor,” Melissa Glaser, who questioned whether we should encourage students to fight back. The entire audio can be found here.

Here are some of her thoughts. I transcribed these, so any errors are of course, mine.

What we don’t want is for other adolescents to feel a pressure or need to jump into the line of fire.

We don’t want students thinking that the right thing to do is to be a hero. We want students thinking that the right thing to do is to follow safety protocols.

Wrong. We don’t want them to lay down and die like sheep. We don’t want them to be shot in the back trying futilely to run away. We expect our young men to look after our young women. Sometimes that means you have to take on an attacker. Sometimes that means you might have to make a real, live, no-kiddin’ sacrifice. This “counselor’s” thought process is part of the reason for the emasculation of young men in our society.

As for “follow protocols,” I consulted with my wife, a retired High School Principal. She agrees with my assessment—Castillo didn’t follow protocols and that’s why a number of kids are alive today instead of on a slab.

If there is any ‘good news” in this story, it’s that once the shooter started murdering his classmates, what actually should have happened, actually did happen. Men, yes, MEN did what they were supposed to do. That “cluster” of Men led by Castillo, attacked the murderer and subdued him so their female classmates could escape, Castillo giving his life in the effort. That’s what Men do. That’s why we have built in aggression, for just such instances. We don’t run from threats to our families and friends. We attack them. That’s not “toxic;” it’s what makes us men, not effeminate eunuchs.

Senator Kamala Harris, Candidate for the Democrat Presidential nomination, just had to throw her ill-formed opinion into the mix.

We are not waiting on tragedies and we are not waiting on good ideas,” Harris said, pointing to the “heroism of a child who we now mourn his loss, his parents’ only child.”

Wrong Senator. You have it all wrong. Kendrick Castillo isn’t a child. He’s a Man, a Man who led other Men into battle, before he could even go to a recruiting station and take an oath of enlistment—-just like Todd Beamer and his band of brothers on Flight 93. He’s a Real Man, the likes of which you and others on your team are doing your best to rid America of. I’m happy to say your efforts have failed in this instance. You weren’t able to browbeat the “toxic masculinity” out of Kendrick Castillo and his Squad. Good.

Here’s the full clip from Inside Edition


Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

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