Sometimes models of human excellence, examples of what is humanly possible for the rest of us to see and for which we can strive, come from unlikely places. One such place, right now, is the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

STEM students are demonstrating the virtues necessary for being good human beings and free citizens. There is much to be learned by their choices, their actions, and their demeanor.

When confronted by armed fellow students with murderous intentions, Kendrick Castillo, Brendan Bialy, Joshua Jones, and a fourth unidentified student, did not wait for any “authorities” or “experts” or law enforcements officers or licensed security professionals to tell them what to do.

They took their own security and the security of their friends into their own hands. Kendrick Castillo charged one of the shooters, without hesitation, smashing him against the wall, while Bialy and Jones quickly took the gun out of the assailant’s hands.

Young Mr. Castillo, only days from his high school senior graduation, died from a fatal shot he received during the rush. No amount of praise or prayer can beguile the parents, family, and friends of Kenrick Castillo from the pain of their loss. Let them cherish with pride and tender love the memory of this brave, brave young man.

And, still, this sad, true, real story might be precisely the kind of thing Americans today need to hear. No one can ever know how much more death and devastation was prevented by the feisty, rebellious, decisive actions of Castillo, Bialy, Jones, and the fourth unidentified student.

This much is clear: They refused to obey the commands and comply with the threats of tyrannical souls. And they refused to sit idly, defenselessly, and wait for someone else to protect them without trying first to protect themselves.

The next night, STEM School students gathered for a vigil to mourn the loss of their friend, Kendrick Castillo, and to honor the courage shown by Bialy, Jones, and others who acted swiftly the fateful day before. Then something happened. Politicians swept in and used the event as a stage to promote yet more government control over the private property of citizens.

Those students, in the midst of mourning, pushed back. They walked out. They refused to be used as pawns by political powermongers who look for any opportunity to expand the reach of government power over our lives.

My, my, my. How wonderfully spirited those STEM Students are! THOSE are the kind of souls from which freedom flows.

Thank you, dear STEM Students, for showing everyone with eyes to see what it means to be self-assertive, self-restrained, self-governing, and to have the love of living freely running through one’s veins. Thank you, Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones, for your courage and cool reasoning under fire. And thank you, Mr. Kendrick Castillo, for your beautiful, heroic sacrifice. I shall not forget.