Two Hundred Words . . . and then a bit more

You can easily find my opinions on guns, gun violence, gun control, and violence in general. As a rule, in every prior instance when I expressed my opinions, I was mad. No; mad is the wrong word. I was pissed. I was furious.

My readers might have noticed I’ve been silent on the issue for a long while. I’ve been silent in the aftermath of various tragedies and readers probably appreciated the respite. They might have wondered if I no longer cared or if I’ve changed my mind, or if I’m sticking to the shadows for fear of condemnation. It’s nothing of the sorts.

I’ve been reading bloviating blogs, Twitter tirades, Facebook fulminations, and callow comments and had no desire to damage my calm by embarking on yet another fruitless discussion of the same tired arguments.

However, I was challenged by a friend to offer my opinion about what we could do in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and to do so in two hundred words or less.

In a way, the request is ludicrous. It seeks to condense an immensely complex issue into no more than a soundbite. Yet, I paused and decided I’d interpret it a different way. Here are my two hundred words.

~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~

Two hundred words aren’t enough for anything other than addressing the most pressing issue: kids being killed in school. That is the immediate concern.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about the suggestion to allow school personnel to carry weapons if they so desire. Some people will be appalled at the idea, in part because “gun nuts” (and Trump) elicit a knee-jerk reaction from people who believe the world should be different than what it is.

And yet . . . is there anyone who would’ve objected to one or more cops in the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting?

What’s the difference between a cop confronting the killer and an unarmed teacher who gets shot confronting the killer? A gun. That most evil of evils, an object capable of killing.

There is one other difference; the teachers acted while the cop assigned to protect the school did not.

We can sit and debate larger and more complex issues after we take credible steps to stop a killer from roaming unopposed and unchallenged as they kill at will.  Letting school personnel choose if they want to carry is one of those credible steps.

~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~

This is where I cheat . . . this is where I add to the two hundred words. I’ll do so without tackling other issues. This issue — were I a parent — is what I consider the most important issue at hand.

We can discuss the merits of the second amendment, gun control, types of weapons, and anything else you want . . . some other time.

What we should discuss now, right now, is what to do WHEN — not if — a gunman enters a school.

As a mentioned above, the officer assigned to protect Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from an armed intruder opted to do . . . nothing.

Do you know who always acts with bravery and determination? Unarmed teachers.

Want to know something else? There are already states that allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in school. Some states don’t even require they notify the school or school board.

I was on the exercise bike at the gym and watching some pundit or other interviews two librarians(!), asking them their opinion of arming teachers. I’m paraphrasing here, but this was their response as they tsk-tsked the suggestion.

“Do we really want another person with a gun in a situation where students are already being shot?”

Sorry. I’m making them sound more idiotic than they were . . . but not by much.

Their major concern was the armed teacher getting into a gunfight with the killers and students being caught in the crossfire. They thought it would only make an already bad situation worse.

I wanted to go through the screen and ask them a simple question; the same question I asked above.

“Would they object to having an armed cop engaging the shooter?”

Because, dear readers, if they — and you — answer no, then you both suffer from ignorance and willful stupidity. Come to think of it, even if you answered “yes”, I charge you with the same deficiency in reason and common sense.

Not just because the passing score for many police department shooting qualifications is 80% (one-in-five shots missing the targets) but because the police are not going to be there. This last shooting took the whole of six minutes.

Six minutes.  Seventeen dead.

Do you know who was already at the scene? With zero response time, unarmed teachers. 

We’re already asking teachers to take a bullet for our kids . . . can we not allow them to shoot back if they are so inclined?

I watched the high school kids protesting . . . they asked tough questions, but I didn’t hear the toughest question. The one that I ask, the one that I would be screaming if I had a kid in school . . .

“Why the fuck isn’t anyone protecting the kids in school?”

Sorry . . . I got mad there, for a moment.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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