Saturday, January 12, 2013

Grin and Bear Arms

Nobody doubts that we here in the USA have a culture of violence. We come by it naturally, born of violent revolution. In fact, if you do the math, we have managed to become involved in some sort of war every 20 years since our inception. Even if you don't count some of those semi-violent interventions in places like Grenada and Panama, it still totals every 20 years. So it is that the more violent components of our already violent culture are being forced under the microscope in the wake of recent school and shopping mall shootings. The NRA wants to investigate the entertainment and video game industry, who wants to investigate the mental illness angle. Politicians and most of the non-gun toting citizenry want to look at gun laws. It's a real whirling dervish these days. Of course, most everybody knows that any answer to what's currently happening involves all three. Still, I've yet to hear a logical explanation for why anyone needs an assault weapon with a magazine clip that holds 30 rounds.

Today I put a status update on Facebook that referenced the solution that suggests we arm teachers. I was joking, of course, but it might give someone pause that teachers will "teach what, when, and how they want," if they are carrying a gun in their classrooms. And even though my tongue is firmly in my cheek, there will be teachers who will purchase guns, take shooting classes, and make it known that they are armed. The research shows that unless that firearm is on your person, it's of little consequence in a real emergency. Teachers who pack heat are going to have to be ever vigilant when they bend down to help a student, go to the restroom, or attend contentious faculty meetings.
In Oregon recently we've seen the phenomena of people carrying automatic weapons in public "because they can." These legally registered weapons are displayed hanging off the shoulders of their owners as they stroll through the neighborhood. Under the guise of "exercising our 2nd Amendment rights," they seem to be smirking as concerned neighbors call the cops because armed men are walking through the neighborhood. Where's Mr. Rogers when we need him now?

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