Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stupid idea of the week: Gun-totin' teachers

One proposal of the nutball fringe, in response to the recent school shootings, is to arm the teachers. This is the stupidest, most inane idea I've ever heard of. All you're doing, giving guns to teachers, is giving future school shooters a source of weapons already pre-loaded in the classroom.

See, here's the deal. Guns have one purpose: to kill people. It takes a special kind of person to just pull out a gun and kill a person -- the thought of killing another human being is abhorrent to most thinking feeling humans, meaning that only antisocial crazies can easily use a gun in this kind of situation, and hopefully "antisocial crazies" does *not* describe our teacher corps. Or it takes a special kind of training to over-ride that abhorrence. Infantry soldiers get that kind of training. Cops get that kind of training. Ordinary civilians don't.

Now, some folks, conditioned by television and fiction (and I'm slightly guilty here, sigh!), think you can just pull a gun out and kinda wave it around and stuff and the bad guy will just stop and put his hands up. That's not the case. The bad guy is going to lunge at you and grab the gun and turn it on you and kill you. The only way to stop that is to kill him -- immediately, without hesitation, without thought. Unless you're trained beforehand to do this, it isn't happening.

And then there's the question of where the hell teachers are going to carry weapons. In their purse that's in their locked desk drawer during class hours to keep the little hoodlums angels from stealing them blind? Open carry in a shoulder holster because the male teacher took off his sport jacket because teaching is a hot and sweaty business (talk about your classroom distractions!)? In a gun safe where it's going to do a helluva lot of good if an armed hoodlum rushes the classroom? The people proposing this have never taught a day in their life, and don't have the slightest damned idea of just how logistically impossible their idiotic proposal is, given the working conditions of a typical teacher. Unlike an office worker, you can't just leave a loaded weapon in a desk drawer where it's easily accessible. The little thieves angels *will* get into your desk the moment you turn your back, satisfying their need to steal curiousity. And because teachers are in close proximity to children all day long, the kids will swiftly figure out that there's a gun in that fanny pack holster... and if the children know you're carrying, everybody does, meaning the bad guy will simply take you out first, take your weapon, and use it to kill others.

So yeah, go ahead and arm teachers -- if you're wanting to provide bad guys with more guns and ammunition. There's a reason why all the cops surveyed think this is the dumbest idea ever to come out of the right wingnuttysphere. And it ain't 'cause they're interested in coddling criminals either.

-- Badtux the Gun-totin' Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 10/05/2006 03:00:00 PM  


so what is the middle ground here??

just curious what the solution really is

now i'm not making fun -- and part of me agrees with you

but i's the kind of person who like solutions when things are all shot to hell...(like that one? grin)
# posted by azgoddess : 5/10/06 3:32 PM  

Hear! Hear!
What he said.
Thanks for that nice sanity bath Badtux.
# posted by Dum Luk's : 5/10/06 5:20 PM  

Unfortunately, AZ, I think this is something that can't be solved as long as American society remains violent, disenfranchising, and offers nothing but helplessness and hopelessness to those who are at the bottom. In short, I think it's built in to current American society that there will be people who just snap and take out others.

That said, there are things that can be done to reduce the incidence of school violence.

1. More money. There. I said it. Now I'm going to be called a liberal. But the fact is, more money is needed to both a) hire more armed school security to take out armed strangers who storm schools, and b) hire counsellors to find and counsel kids who are at risk of snapping *before* they snap. Schools have laid off school nurses, counsellors, etc. because the money to offer these services has been soaked up by all the unfunded mandates coming down from the federal government -- especially the No Child Left Behind mandates (which have done nothing to improve education and everything to improve Bush campaign contributor ETS's bottom line), and various long-standing special education mandates which have gotten only worse with the passage of time.

2. Close every school with more than 400 students. I'm serious. Today's large "industrial" schools are just a horrendously impersonal and disenfranchising institution. This goes back to #1 too. You'd need more money to do this -- more money to build more schools, more money to hire the teachers and staff for those schools.

That said, as I pointed out, neither of these will solve the problem as long as American society remains violent and disenfranchising. Short of resurrecting the American Dream, which died a slow and miserable death during the 1980's and only briefly showed its head above the waves in the late 1990's, it'll just keep happening. And since most Americans are happy with the way things are, since it allows them to justify their attitudes of unwarranted entitlement and ignorance and hate, I'm not sure what can be done of that. As H.L. Mencken pointed out, democracy is where the people get what they want, good and hard.

- Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 5/10/06 6:27 PM  

What if we just armed everyone? Ooops, then we'd be just like Iraq.

Never mind.
# posted by TheCultureGhost : 5/10/06 11:36 PM  

Jesus, is there anything in this country that some poeple don't think guns cans fix? What shall we do? Make our elementary schools prison camps? Station police at the doors?

No, these school shootings are tragic anamolies, and the worst possible outcome is a shoot-from-the-hip response (pardon the irony of the phrase) like this. Aside from being completely ineffective, for the reasons you set out, it's just plain wrong on so many ethical and public policy levels.
# posted by Red State Blues : 6/10/06 5:53 PM  

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