Monday, January 14, 2019

When Guns Come to School

One day last week I forgot to bring a book and some copies I needed to class. During my first class, I was giving a test. I guess I was preoccupied with that and forgot to bring what I needed. I was able to call another teacher to watch the class for a moment while I went down to get my things.

Every now and then, we forget things. Once in a while I forget to bring my phone or my laptop. It's kind of remarkable to me that when I started teaching, I had neither. My laptop has become my most trusted and used tool. I have no idea how I ever did without it.

Last week, in nearby Babylon, someone left a gun lying around. I guess the person took it off in the bathroom and forgot to put it back on. The superintendent writes that the gun was not loaded, and that, I suppose, is to suggest it was less of a threat.

Personally, I'm not altogether impressed by that. First of all, if someone can forget an unloaded gun, someone can just as easily forget a loaded one. Also, who knows who might have picked it up? While this time it was someone who saw fit to return it, there's no guarantee that would happen next time.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, it isn't. In Arkansas, an officer left a gun in another bathroom, and as the article says nothing about this firearm being unloaded, I'm going to assume it wasn't. How do you feel about elementary students wandering around and finding firearms in school? I'm not particularly comfortable with it.

Of course I think bringing firearms into schools is a terrible idea. I wouldn't feel any safer knowing that armed people were walking around where I worked. I wouldn't want my kid attending such a school either. For me, that would be far worse than my being there. You know who else finds it an unacceptable risk? Insurance companies. Evidently,  they see heightened risk, not the reduced risk DeVos, Trump, and their fellow troglodytes blather about.

Accidents happen. People make mistakes. Having deadly firearms around means said mistakes and accidents can be a whole lot worse. It's pretty pathetic that the NRA has bought off so many politicians. What's wrong with making it more difficult for lunatics to buy weapons? Why on earth do I have to buy insurance for my car, designed to get me to work, when people don't need to buy insurance for their AR-15s, designed to kill people?

I'm not sure how many more Americans will have to die before we apply the same common sense we saw displayed in Australia, where they managed to cut down on the sort of incidents we see occurring here. What do the NRA-purchased politicians say? They offer "thoughts and prayers." Let's move away from guns, keep them out of our schools, and use thoughts and prayers to build the wall for the orange Idiot-in-Chief.
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