Todd then asks President Obama, “Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to outgun law-abiding citizens?” And: “Whose side are you on?”
He has now spoken to hundreds of public and private high schools, colleges, churches, youth groups and more, all to tell his story and give his perspective on what can be done to prevent and stop such tragedies in so-called “gun-free school zones.” He has also spoken out on national news networks and radio shows.
“When I was in high school and people came to talk, the students in attendance were always whispering or not paying attention,” he says, “but when I speak about Columbine, students always sit quietly. They feel the seriousness of this. So I try to give them the most honest answers I can.”
After years of speaking out, Todd recently had begun moving on with his life, allowing the speaking opportunities to fade. Then a killer targeted all those children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
“It brought it all back,” Todd says. “I just want to tell people—just grab them and make them listen—that creating fake ‘gun-free’ zones doesn’t work. Someone needs to be able to physically stop a killer. This means that good people need the right to bear arms.”
Todd was so changed by those seven minutes at Columbine High, and all it means to be left powerless by a government forcing people to be defenseless, that he said as much to a friend of his, Billy Hallowell, who works for TheBlaze.com. Hallowell asked Todd what he would say to President Obama if he could speak to him. Todd wrote his thoughts out in an email and sent it to Hallowell. Todd’s email was so compelling that Hallowell published it as an open letter to the president.
The letter then went viral.
Todd wrote: “I personally witnessed two fellow students murder 12 of my classmates and one teacher. The ‘assault weapons’ ban [which was then in effect] did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other 30-something laws that they broke.” Todd then asks President Obama, “Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to outgun law-abiding citizens?” And: “Whose side are you on?”
In the letter, Todd goes point by point as he asks the president to open his eyes to the truth about what really can stop murderers. He asks, “[I]s a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.”
On the president’s desire for a new ban on so-called “assault weapons,” Todd says that the previous ban “had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004.” He later points out that the Virginia Tech massacre of unarmed people occurred in a “gun-free zone.” He says, “Seung-Hui Cho [the Virginia Tech killer] used two of the smallest-caliber handguns manufactured and a handful of 10-round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.”