Carrying a gun around schools didn't work out quite as man hoped
HILLSBORO, Ore. - Sometimes, a point is best left unmade.
Even the man who caused a scare at four Hillsboro schools on Thursday admits carrying a gun around in the neighborhood probably wasn't a great idea.
The man said he was trying to make several points about guns when he walked around the outskirts of Century High School and three other schools, causing a panic and an immediate change in policy.
On Friday, the man - who asked that his name not be used - told KATU News his plan might have been misguided.
"It wasn't in my mind that I was really gonna terrify or scare anybody," he said. "It was just the route I usually take when I go run."
The man said he was making a point about gun rights, offering condolences to victims of gun violence and trying to demonstrate that gun owners aren't by and large evil people. It's not the first time he's open-carried around the schools, packing either a shotgun or handgun.
On Thursday, he was carrying both.
It turns out, his mother is a teacher at Century High. He said she doesn't know it was him carrying the gun, and that she'll likely be upset when she finds out.
Still, although it was inadvertent, he said he thinks he might have made Hillsboro schools safer.
"Yes, in a way," he said. "Did I intentionally mean to scare everybody? No. Is this a safety precaution to help secure the schools? Yes. Will I carry around schools again? Probably not. Once again, that wasn't my intent to scare or terrify anybody."
The man walked around Century, Imlay Elementary, Ladd Acres Elementary and Brown Middle School, all of which are within a couple miles of each other.
The district responded to the flood of complaints it received by revising its policy to require schools to go into immediate lockdown if somebody is openly carrying a gun nearby.
No state or city laws prevent the open carry of legal firearms in Hillsboro. Had the man been on school property, he would've been arrested.
Open-carry advocates have been increasingly active the past few months, publicly carrying firearms to remind the public it's legal.
Still, the man said he might've been in the wrong this time.
"Maybe I shouldn't have," he said.
"Hillsboro schools has taken a new policy to those ... with guns."