Day 122 / Guns In Schools


Yet another school shooting this week. 

This time a 12 year old boy shot and wounded two peers, fatally shot a teacher and then killed himself; a pattern that seems to be becoming much more prevalent these days. Kill as many people as you can and then end your own life. Could this be the manifestation of the institutionalization of feelings of frustration and desperation in this country? I'm asking. I have no idea. This seems to be a rising phenomenon and it's more than a little terrifying and I think we all feel at a loss for an answer.

Not only do these citizens feel they have nothing left to live for, but they evidently feel so isolated and ignored they both decide and are then quite able to take action against strangers. Which sounds rather terrifyingly similar to the strategy of other ideological groups out there? 

I'm not saying these people are terrorists in the sense we've become accustomed to defining the word. Not the religiously motivated men and women of faith who are manipulated into these acts through social pressures or the pursuit of religious rapture. No, here we have people doing these things out of desperation and blind anger or undiagnosed mental problems that go untreated; both causes that are at the same time pernicious and entirely treatable. 

A teacher from another school shooting was on the news today being interviewed about her story which involved talking the gun out of the hand of a 12 year old who pulled it out during her class. She employed a relatively rare tactic called "compassion" to calm the child down and convince him to give her the gun. This tactic won't work in every case of course, as this teacher had already laid the ground work by speaking to the youth often and having a personal relationship with him, a forgotten art in a lot of schools these days.  

When this woman was asked if teachers should be armed in the classrooms the woman she it was one of the worst ideas she'd ever heard of. "I can't imagine pointing a gun at a student and pulling the trigger," she said. And this would be the mindset of a teacher who either had the time or the desire to get to know all her students. Or perhaps both. This is not an option for all teachers. 

So here's the point I'd like to make on this debate. In a country where politics has descended into immature fanatical chaos, where the rights of citizens are being limited and social mobility has fallen to a point that ranks it globally just above Turkey, in addtion to all the other problems going on both socially and economically, it's not hard to understand why people would want access to a weapon in order to protect themselves. 

But arming teachers is not the answer. 

First of all it sends a poor message to the children being taught. "I'm being paid to teach you but please understand that at any point if I feel threatened I will pull it out and do what needs to be done." And secondly it means that we'll have an entirely new generation of Americans who will grow up becoming accustomed to daily expsure to weapons. Guns would fade into the background of their experience and become just another accepted part of their world. Which, I suppose, is just what a lot of people out there want. 

Perhaps another option would be to strive for a country where the people don't feel that walking outside and murdering as many people as they can pull a trigger at is the most viable option available to them. Or, failing that lofty goal, would it not make sense that at least in the interim, at least until people can educate themselves on ways to behave in this world and take a more active and informed role in selecting their representatives - so that we won't be sending egomaniacal dunces to Washington in hot and expectant pursuit of blowjobs and envelopes full of money - until then perhaps the least we could do is stop people who feel that that in fact is their best option from getting their hands on weapons that will make that horrific fact a reality. 

That may all seem like an unrealistic goal, but only perhaps to people so far down the rabbit hole of social self-delusion with regard to guns as to be spending most of their time debating the wisdom of arming teachers in the first place. Teachers. The people who spend all day in a small room with your kids. I hate that I feel the need to remind everyone who thinks this is a good idea that teachers are just people too. And any person put under the immense and sometimes crippling economic pressures that are a reality in our world, who feels there is no where to go and no way out, can snap just like the rest of us. 

"In a country where the people feel the need to protect themselves from each other, there is no longer a country worthy of protection at all."