Thursday, February 22, 2018

Trump Doesn't Hear You--He Wants You to Carry a Gun and Leave Him Alone

Trump needed a cheat sheet for his listening session yesterday. Take a look at number five, which says, "I hear you." It's kind of remarkable that anyone needs a reminder to acknowledge hearing the people he's there to listen to, but that's what you have there.

It's not a big secret that Trump is considering enabling the arming of teachers. Back when Trump was running against Hillary, he denied having taken this position. But now that he's painted into a corner, NRA seems to have decided he needs to appear to be taking action.

So now, let's arm 20% of the teachers in any given school building, he says. It's not a big secret that this has neither been tried nor worked anywhere either. But it will sell more guns rather than fewer, and that's good enough for NRA. There are readily available examples of massive gun bans working, and that's not what NRA wants. After all, they paid over 30 million dollars for this President. It's like NRA people sat around in a room somewhere, asking, "How can we pretend to solve the problem and sell more guns in the process?" A WIN-WIN!

In Australia, in 1996, they decided they'd had enough of gun violence. They bought back a bunch of guns, made military weapons unavailable to the public, and they haven't had another incident since. A UK school massacre led to a gun ban there. They banned semi-automatic weapons and made gun registration mandatory. In the United States, it's pretty well known that kids who can't buy beer can buy guns.

Trump doesn't want to deal with that. He has that 30 million dollars from the NRA, and for that, there is no way he will go for a ban on military weapons. There is no way he will move to end the gun show loophole. Until he does both, pretty much anyone can buy pretty much anything. I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that NRA gave the OK for him to oppose bump stocks. Maybe, there's some possibility he'll demand age limits. But even if he does, there are always the gun shows.

As for teachers packing, I'm a teacher. My job, believe it or not, is incredibly complicated. I have dozens of teenagers in front of me, each and every one is different, and each and every one needs to be treated differently. I can talk this way to that one, but I have to talk that way to this one. I can argue with this one, because she'll argue back, but not with that one, because he will melt away, disappear, and I'll never see him again. If you're a teacher, you know what I mean.


If you're Donald Trump, you think the classroom will be a safer place with a gun in it. You think that teachers have nothing else to do, and will instantly transform into Vin Diesel and hop into action when killers come in. Evidently, when the criminal enters the classroom with an AR-15, the teacher will pull out a handgun and subdue him. If I were a killer, I'd make it a point to enter the classroom and shoot the teacher first, just in case. I don't think you need to be a rocket scientist to come to that conclusion.

But what if I manage to get my gun out in time? What if I miss? What if I miss and hit one of the kids? What if I miss, hit one of the kids, and the gunman puts down seven or twelve more while I deal with my shock? What if I'm in the middle of a really great lesson and don't want to interrupt it by shooting at the gunman? And what if I have a nervous breakdown, and rather than scream at the kid who made me mad, shoot him dead? Maybe I'm tired of calling his parents.

I don't think I'd do anything like that, but who knows? Cops aren't perfect. They make mistakes, and being cops is their job. It's not my job. I don't even want to be dean. Why do I want to deal every single day with the most problematic students in the building? Sorry, but it's all I can do to deal with the problematic students in my classes. Other people want to be deans. Should they be armed? I think not.

Marco Rubio, on CNN last night, wondered how a SWAT team would know that a teacher with a gun was a good guy. I don't much trust Rubio, but that's a very good question.  Rubio looked like he was fighting for his life, ready to say whatever necessary to make up for taking that three million bucks from the NRA. Maybe they allow him liberties to save his ass. Who knows?

Regardless, here's what Trump's game is--he will obfuscate. All this talk about teachers having guns is absolute nonsense. Here's what Trump says:

"A gun-free zone to a maniac, because they're all cowards, a gun-free zone is 'let's go in and attack,'" he said. "I really believe if these cowards knew that the school was well-guarded from the standpoint of pretty much having professionals with great training, I think they wouldn't go into the schools to start with, it would pretty much solve your problem."

Now Trump may know a little bit about cowardice, what with his five draft deferments. Still, the fact is a lot of people who shoot up schools do so because they are desperately depressed. They aren't worried about getting shot. They're fine with that. Sometimes they shoot themselves, having taken down a bunch of people with them. Trump's point, like most of what he says, is absolute nonsense. But NRA allows it because it won't fly where people aren't insane, and where they are, more guns would be sold.

Still, it's something. And that's all he needs. He can say he's tried to do something. Then he can blame the bleeding hearts for not accepting his idiotic ideas. But we know what works. We need fewer, not more guns. We need fewer,  not more military weapons. They should be banned, no civilians should have them, and manufacturers who sell them to civilians should be imprisoned.

We know what works. We also know what doesn't work, and that's pretty much whatever comes out of Donald Trump's mouth, all of which is bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association.
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