Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Shoot 'Em Up

Shoot ‘Em Up
There are dumb ideas and then there are really stupid ideas.   The notion to arm teachers in the wake of the most recent school invader shooting certainly ranks as a really stupid idea.
What are these people thinking!?  There are so many reasons this idea is so bad that it is hard to begin.
Let’s begin at the beginning.   The solution to the problem of a violent, probably mentally ill person in a school is to provide more armed people with guns in a school.   Has it ever occurred to people that there are some teachers who also may have mental health issues?   But Trump says some teachers might have a knack for guns and those teachers should be trained and, perhaps, even given a bonus for being willing to be armed.
A teacher’s first job is to teach children.    However, we already know that a number of children find their parents’ guns and use those guns to create harm either intentionally or unintentionally.   How will we protect students and staff from some students finding the teachers’ guns and using them to settle a school argument.   What will happen to a teacher’s gun when she/he goes home from school?  That gun will go home with the teacher.  Now we have a significant increase in the number of homes with guns.   Not a good idea.
Then there is the faith that a teacher trained to use guns will demonstrate that training in skilled way if the school is invaded.   The teacher, in the heat of the crisis, will be able to distinguish the intruder from the plain clothes resource officer who may be in the area, also with a gun who may be shooting.   The teacher will get a straight shot at the invader.  The invader will stand still so the teacher can take a good shot and the students will all move out of the way so they are not hit by a stray bullet.   The entire scene will freeze in time to allow this marginally trained teacher to be calm in the moment using the pistol to fire in the direction of the automatic rifle that is being fired.   Really!!   What fantasy island do you live on!
Our solution to the problem of violence is to create the opportunities for more violence.   A person may be a straight shooter but that is not straight thinking.
Our society has become increasingly violent.  Many reasons for this violence have been advanced.   Media in the form of games, movies and popular music have exposed us to increasing amounts of violence so that our threshold for outrage keeps getting higher.  Mental health treatment gets minimal attention in our health care system.  School are becoming bigger and bigger so kids aren’t known to teachers as feeling people but rather as potential test scores that could raise or lower a teacher’s rating.  It is no wonder some kids feel alienated from the very group whose attention and caring they want.

The United States already has the largest number of guns per capita among first world nations. There are approximately 50 million children in our public schools.   Tragically 200 of them have been killed by armed invaders.   Giving more guns to more people, particularly teachers, solves nothing.  It just gives people more opportunity to shoot ‘em up.

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