One week ago a deeply disturbed young man entered his old school in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15 and ended the lives of fourteen students and three adults. Ever since then the survivors and classmates of the victims have demonstrated a rare and inspiring resolve to make Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the last site of a such a tragedy. If they succeed they will have beaten the odds, because survivors from Columbine to Sandy Hook have said the same thing.
Many of the Stoneman Douglas students have made passionate and rational cases for taking military style assault weapons off the market. That solution has been predictably opposed by conservatives and NRA shills in Congress. And, of course, Donald Trump is siding with the obstructionists and mass murderers union. But one of the most galling responses to the demand for common sense gun safety reform is the notion that teachers should be put on the front lines by arming them with commensurate fire power.
That is maybe the most boneheaded solution imaginable. For one thing, it only makes the teachers more likely to be the first victims of the shooter. It also requires the teachers to turn their attention away from securing the students while they engage in a firefight. And it relies on the assumption that an armed teacher will be at the the specific location of the shooting with a weapon in hand. In real life scenarios that is an unrealistic assumption. The teacher might be in a different classroom. And their guns would probably be locked up for safekeeping. Since shootings like the one in Parkland usually last about three minutes, the tragedy would have occurred before an armed teacher could show up.
But what makes this suggestion so inappropriate as a potential solution is its narrow focus on schools. What would happen if every school in America were to be rebuilt as a fortress with armed teachers and security guards and snipers on the rooftops? Besides, that is, making our kids go to school in prison of war style institutions? If a shooter were to plot a mass murder under these circumstance, he would simply select a different target.
How would fortifying schools protect children who gathered at McDonalds on the way home after school? How would it protect them in the mall, or a concert, or at church, or at a playground in the park? Would all of those places also have to be re-envisioned as prisons with weapon-toting sales clerks and volunteer parents on patrol? Would American society be turned into one big gulag where any suspicious person might be gunned down by an overeager pseudo-cop?
Trump met with a group of students, parents, and teachers on Wednesday afternoon and told them that he supports concealed carry for teachers. He ignored entirely the subject of taking these weapons off the streets. The only other solution he proposed was for opening old-school mental hospitals where people with psychological problems could be held after being “nabbed” by the thought police. Bear in mind that the vast majority of people with mental illness are not dangerous or violent.
Why isn’t the media addressing these obvious flaws whenever the armed teacher solution is proposed? Our kids and country will not be safer because schools are converted into frightening destinations where learning would be nearly impossible. The only things that all of the potential sites for a massacre like the one at Stoneman Douglas High (or Las Vegas, or the Pulse nightclub, or the Sutherland Springs church) had in common was the means of execution and the tears of grieving friends and family.
No matter how many times the gun fetishists insist that guns are not the problem – guns ARE the problem. There may be many other facets of a comprehensive response, but the problem will never be solved until the weapons that produce the severity and quantity of casualties are removed from the equation. And that won’t happen until the NRA whores are removed from politics. That may be the silver lining that is being revealed by the brave and passionate Parkland students who are finally getting the voices of victims to be heard. Students like Samuel Zeif:
Crying Parkland student Samuel Zeif asks Trump how a person can go into a store and buy weapons of war with an expired ID, and why nothing has been done. pic.twitter.com/UUOa1UFwcB
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 21, 2018
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5 thoughts on “The Media Needs to Stop the False Argument of Arming Teachers and Fortifying Schools”
What’s senseless is the conspiracy and bogus attacks on these kids by the right. When Bill O’Reilly says we shouldn’t listen to these kids who survived a horrendous experience because they’re too young and emotional…then I say…why the Hell not…the so-called NRA money pocketed Republican adults haven’t ever listened to the adult survivors of mass shootings, so it’s about high time they listen to the surviving children…
Yep. The right really blew it by taking on these kids. They are smart and committed and social media savvy. They are innately better at the media than the political hacks who are attacking them.
It was stupid to accuse them of being “crisis actors” and dismissing them as too emotional. The right-wing cretins are going to regret it.
For sure Mark…these outwardly facetious attacks will finally backfire and come back to bite Refibs/NRA in their fanny perpendiculars. These kids have risen and are not going to climb back down. It is so true as these kids remark..’.you’re either with the NRA gunslingers and assault weapons owners, or you’re with the nation’s children and for their sanctity and safety’. This is the stance these kids are laying out so equivocally.
The only way to end this is getting those assault weapons T(the choice of mass shooters) off the market and out of the hands of gun possessed souls period. All other alternative excuses, like arming teachers, stiffer background checks or simply laying all blame on the mentally ill, parents, teachers just isn’t going to cut it anymore. The bogus 2nd Amendment excuses have been thrown out the door with the trash as well.
Finally, America is waking up due to these kids, not the adults and have boxed Refibs into a tight corner…let ’em sweat…and for the Refib state congressional members that refused to meetup with these kids then voted to enforce assault weapon sales right in the face of these kids while they voted to condemn porn as an health crisis…I wont say…”go to Hell,” for they’re already in it by being Hell themselves on Earth…
I suppose eventually the right will take the obvious next step and have the armed services teach school and fire the teachers.
The religious nut Pat Robertson came out in support of banning assault guns! You read that right in support of banning them. Maybe something will happen this time but I’m not holding my breath. The crazy nut CPAC is going on right now and they seem to be shifting their narrative that the msm is manipulating these kids and actually love it when these tragedies happen. There is no bottom to their barrel.
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