Who ARE We?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Steve and I just had a quick back-and-forth at the end of the comments section of the previous post, in which I list a few suggestions that don't and do bug me.  I agree with Steve:  let's do that next, because we start to hash-out some actual policy suggestions that have come up recently, and of which there will certainly be more as Congress will apparently begin to actually debate this issue.

But for now, after reading posts like this, I simply need to say:

Who the hell are we??  What kind of society do we live in where we actually suggest that having armed teachers is a good thing??

Accidental-discharge deaths aside, nobody anywhere arms their teachers because it is just...wrong.

So seriously.  In what kind of strange alternate reality do we dwell where arming teachers like airline pilots and US Marshalls seems like a reasonable suggestion?  Are we so insane, so fearful and so violent that we feel like from now on, we need armed people in classrooms?  This isn't some sort of minor issue from the nutbags.  This is a seriously-debated topic here in Lansing among Serious People.

Or that maybe the reason the kids died is let's-blame-the-victim-because-they-shoulda-bum-rushed-the-gunman?

Good fucking holy mooley on a beach, people.

Look, if the folks who want some gun control measures have to claim the Dirty Hippies and pro-ban-on-everything people on their side, then the anti-ban folks have to claim the "let's arm the teachers" people on their side.  Then we can summarily dismiss them.


Smitty 4:07 PM  

As of 3:50pm, Governor Snyder vetoed SB 59.

Let the nuttery ensue.

Bob 4:11 PM  

It has been reported by the bill sponsor that Snyder is about to veto SB59. I guess he didn't want 1 million Michigan moms after his ass for endangering their kids.

Thanks for the post Smitty. I appreciate it especially because I know you have a gun fetish of your own.

If we want to help our kids be safe in school, how would we feel about putting money behind it? We should lock down our schools (My kid's school is wide open) and as a state could require local cops to remain in the school during school hours. The state could foot the bill.

At least real cops are a better solution than arming every f'n teacher.

Bob 4:11 PM  

our posts passed each other in the internet.

Smitty 4:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smitty 4:29 PM  

I know you have a gun fetish of your own

Guilty. But you know my M.O. for gun ownership and handling, and it looks nothing like the nuts'.

Bob 5:02 PM  

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Rifle Association said on Tuesday it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions” to prevent future massacres like the Connecticut shooting on Friday, marking a sharp change in tone for the nation’s largest gun rights group.

“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown,” the organization said in a statement sent to reporters."

What "meaningful contribution" will this be?

Streak 5:20 PM  

I just posted something on this that relates to Bob's comments. I think part of this is a discussion between a belief in community and a fairly extreme belief in individualism.

steves 7:22 PM  

What nuttery? Me?

Putting police in school. Who does that anywhere?

I don't support forcing teachers to have weapons, just that they be allowed to if the district/community allows it. As for who does this, I already pointed out that the state of Utah does. Not that this is the best example, but Isreal also does. Following a mass killing in 1974, they allowed the civil guard to train parent volunteers and they have not had a shooting since then. This is a moot point, anyway.

steves 7:34 PM  

As a clarification, I don't support arming teachers. I think that people that have permits should be allowed to carry at work and this would include teachers. They shouldn't be forced, coerced, or otherwise made to feel like they had to.

I realize this would have to be a decision that a school board wood have to make.

FWIW, the PA parent and the rushing the attacker have been discussed on gun boards. I realize that the places I peruse are not necessarily representative, but both of those people were chastised as being criminally negligent and just plain stupid.

Bob 7:37 PM  

Putting a cop in a school? Silly me. As if relying on a volunteer teacher militia to protect our kids is a sane suggestion.

See Streaks blog. He makes some sense.

BTW- He means the nuts that are going to start screaming at Snyder.

Bob 7:59 PM  

Putting a single cop in every one of Michigan's 4,126 public schools would likely cost around $412,600,000 a year. Good luck with that.

Streak's right, everyone will want to outsource it to the local militia.

steves 9:38 PM  

Allowing people to carry at work = armed militias at schools?

If we are going to engage in hyperbole and ridicule, then count me out.

Bob 10:01 PM  

Replying on armed citizens to protect our kids is essentially a militia. Not really hyperbole.

Bob 10:41 PM  

Oops. Relying, not replying. Why cant blogger have an edit button?

Smitty 12:09 AM  

Ya, Steve, when I mentioned nuttery, I didn't mean you. I meant Facebook flame wars and op-Ed madness and talking head drool on the tele.

I also recall you mentioning that you don't support arming teachers. I think you and I agree on that point; that there ought not be a requirement that teachers learn to carry and then actually do.

But I think we part ways after that. Man, I gotta tell you, I can't abide by any firearms in schools at all. I don't even think there should be a choice. Guns in schools period is just off the charts for me. At a minimum, I can't see risking accidental discharge or other face-blowing-off accidents for the chance to stave-off the statistical impossibility of another massacre.

And if the shit ever did hit the fan, I want my sons' teacher's first motherfucking priority to be to get his or her kids the fuck out the back door or into cabinets or locked in the bathroom, NOT "let's see if I can squeeze-off a well-aimed shot in a room of screaming kids and a wild-assed killer."

Israel is no kind of comparison. Every day, Israel is a war zone. There is a whole state right next to and even among them who are actively trying to eliminate them every day. We do not suffer the same. At. All. It's not even a metaphor. They are at war. We are not. If we are invaded by Canada or Cuba or whatever Red Dawn shit we can think of, then ok. Guns everywhere and I retract my statements. Are we at war, every day, in a war zone? An actual war zone? No.

Guns are for killing. This wildness about them being for deterrent or safety melts my face (I am off you, Steve, and onto general ranting now). Guns are not fucking teddy bears or blankies. Yes, I want to purchase an M-1911 .45. Yes, I want to ask Steve to give me the CPL course. But I can't and won't have the notion that it makes me feel safe even when I only carry it under my hunting jacket in the woods (I dont need it when i walk the streets of Detroit; i am not afraid of Detroit). It's not about safety. Guns are not safe. They're not meant to be. They are for killing. We must think of them not as implements for our protection. We must think of them as implements of death. That gives them the weight they deserve. And I don't want implements of death in a classroom, and I think the notion of even permissibly allowing them there is misguided, dangerous, and not a mark of a rational society. Hence, this post, asking WTF.

steves 8:28 AM  

I know that my sentiments regarding teacher carry are not shared by everyone. At this point, it is not going to happen in Michigan and we might as well be arguing over should teachers be allowed to have phasers.

There are a few states that have allowed them and I saw that Tenn. is considering it. Time will tell if this a good or bad thing.

Smitty 8:56 AM  

should teachers be allowed to have phasers

Yes. Because in the movies, good guys never miss.

My long rant was to satisfy the purpose of the post, which was about schools and my disbelief that it's a topic of debate for those of us not in war zones in the U.S., which currently includes all of the U.S. I know that at about 4:00 yesterday, it became a moot point, but the point was made, and reflections ensued in the comments.

Streak 9:08 AM  

I am with Smitty on guns in schools. And the nutjobs who are talking about it see this as a much cheaper solution to actually addressing gun violence and mental health. It is telling teachers that they are the last resort, and that in addition to paying for most of their supplies, they will now need to purchase a gun, ammo, and be prepared to blow someone's head off.

One part of the discussion that bothers me even more, is that the Gohmert proposition that the principle have a weapon locked in her desk to respond to a school shooting means that she would retrieve it after hearing shots. Evidently, in this model, there are still acceptable numbers of child deaths.

And I have always struggled with this assumption that armed citizens would be good in a firefight situation. My one cop friend agrees with me--she does the training for a lot of OK cops. She doesn't want relatively untrained civilians in that situation. As a reader on Fallows blog noted, "People who believe the only way of halting gun violence is to equip every American adult with a weapon may be well meaning. But they envision a United States populated by Jack Reachers. I think we'd get a United States populated by Barney Fifes."

steves 9:56 AM  
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Streak 10:00 AM  

My apologies. I didn't mean you, and should have been more clear. I was talking about the people who want teachers armed as a direct response to this shooting. Their response is not yours--which is, as I understand it--is to say that if teachers are trained and want to have guns at work, they should be able to--as should everyone at work if they want to. I disagree with you, but was not referring to you with the term, "nutjob." I was talking about people like Gohmert and others who seem to romanticize the armed teacher as the magical cure for school shootings.

I have tried to be reasonable with you all along dealing with guns. I would think you might have picked that up. Perhaps I was not as clear as I want to be. But you seem to have decided I am the problem with guns, and seem to have suggested so several times on my blog.

steves 10:13 AM  

I just logged back on was going to delete my post, as I was angry and there was no reason for me to be do rude and disrespectful. Consider it retracted.

I have never said that you were the problem. If that is what came across, then it was the result of my inability to convey a message. I don't know if I can even define the problem. If I had to guess, the problem is an inability to take effective steps, while still protecting liberty. The other problem may be a lack of intellectual honesty. This can be in the form of ignoring research and cutting funding to programs that reduce crime.

Since you don't do either of those things, you are not the problem, in any way.

Again, I apologize.

Streak 10:15 AM  

No worries. Like I said, I was very imprecise in my comment about teachers and guns.

Jay 2:13 PM  

I was going to try to stay out of this for a bit and let my thoughts coalesce. However, something occurred to me after Noah's comment above, in which he referred to guns as "implements of death." Whether or not it is far to think of them in those terms and only those terms, that is pretty much how I think of them. And if one is interested in understanding how someone at my end of the spectrum thinks about guns, a simple and effective exercise would be to replace the word "gun", "firearm, or "weapon" in any given statement with "implement of death." If the statement then sounds insane to you, the statement about guns sounds insane to me.

So talking about "concealed implements of death" is what I hear when you talk about "concealed weapons." The "Right to Bear Implements of Death" is what I read from the constitution (which is why I feel how I do about a society that views it as a fundamental right). I acknowledge it is not a fair way of thinking about the debate. But for better or for worse, that is how I (and I suspect many people in my part of the spectrum) view it.

As a result, the places where I would consider it acceptable (not desirable, but acceptable) for the public to access and use guns for any purpose is going to be pretty limited (basically, only within...ahem...shooting distance of like-minded adults). And it is also, in a nutshell, why I think a compromise that pleases both sides is going to be exceedingly difficult to find.

steves 2:45 PM  

I agree that compromise will be difficult. I think it will essentially come down to the position that will have the votes to pass a law. Right now in Michigan, the status quo is no concealed weapons in schools.

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