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01-10-2013 11:31 PM
Yes. I'm asking this. And before you go
"ZOMGZ! IF NOBODY EVER HAD GUNS WE'D ALL LIVE IN HAPPY SUNSHINE CLOUDS AND RAINBOWS AND EAT MARSHMALLOWS MADE OF PURE LUV!!!"
Please stop and actually think about the question and also read some facts below:
* According to a survey conducted in 1993 by The Harvard School of Public Health, "15% [of students surveyed] said that they had carried a handgun on their person in the past 30 days, and 4% said that they had taken a handgun to school in the past year," a sharp increase from just five years earlier.
* There has been over 55 documented school shootings in the USA since 1990 which resulted in (approximately);
- 139 student deaths
- 138 student injuries (survived gunshot wounds)
- 36 staff (teacher, principle, janitor, etc) deaths
- 14 staff injuries
* According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 1998-1999 School Year, 3,523 students (57% High School, 33% Junior High, 10% Elementary) were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.
Those are the facts.
It bothers me that schools entire 'lockdown' plan involves shutting a door and being quiet. Not even a bilistic (bulletproof) door but a cheaply made school door that even the most low-quality, cheapest shotgun can blow a hole right through.
It's sad that all teachers are given to defend their students is their own bodies which so many have used exactly that way. If *you* had to face someone armed with multiple weapons, would you prefer to just throw your body at them or to have a gun and a chance to fight back? How many of those 36 teachers might still be alive today if they'd had more than just their body to work with? How many students might still be alive today if they'd had a gun to defend themselves and their students and peg a shooter the moment they walked through the door or tried to break it down. You don't even have to be a particularly good shot to hit someone coming through a doorway. It's a confined space of 2 feet wide.
Teachers in Israel (picture above) are armed and I have yet to read a single article about a student obtaining a teacher's gun and doing harm with it. And as you can see from the picture above, none of those children are terrified/traumatized/scared of the gun. None of them are even giving it a second thought. So please don't give any of those "OMGZZ CHILDREN WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN IF TEACHERS HAVE GUNS!!!!!" It will be a little scary at first, no doubt, but a calm teacher can easily explain that it's nothing to worry about and within a week or two I doubt they'll think much about it either.
That said, this is not a matter of the government simply shipping boxes of guns to a school for the school to distribute willy-nilly.
- Teachers would need to pass certification just as they do for First AID and other skills. Certification would cover marksmanship, gun storage and gun safety.
- Guns would be on their person at all times. I prefer this to a 'lockbox' in the classroom because I don't trust lockboxes. How many times have we read that guns were in a 'locked box' but kids somehow got into them? With teachers out of the classroom for up to an hour at lunch I wouldn't risk it that way. I would prefer guns to be on their person where they know where they are every moment of the day.
- Chances are not every teacher is going to make it and that's fine. Teachers who are unable to pass certification would not get a gun. With the majority of teachers armed, a couple in each school not being armed won't tip much of the balance.
- Teachers who pass but later have disciplinary issues and show any sort of impaired judgment could later be stripped of their weapon, so we don't have **bleep**ty, out of control teachers armed.
- Guns should be turned into a safe/locked/secure room on the school premises at the end of the day. They would NOT go home with the teachers.
And could we please use some government funding to get some proper bilistic secure doors on classrooms? It would save a lot of lives. Some of those fatalities above were people being shot clean through a closed-and-locked door.
Anyway. Intelligent thoughts?
01-11-2013 12:30 AM
I love your posts.
I completely agree. Anyone who even thinks of arguing that a world where civilians are not allowed to be armed would be a peaceful one is absolutely naive. I can't remember the man's name, but some professor/researcher studied the events at the Aurora shooting to discover that the shooter passed by 7 different theaters that were closer to his home to target the only one that didn't allow concealed weapons. Coincidence? I doubt it.
I believe there is a reason that people intent on killing a lot of people go for locations where the targets are least likely to fight back. If you went to a school where you knew that the majority of teachers/staff were armed, do you really think you'd shoot up that school? At a minimum, I believe you'd think twice.
That school in CT? The answer is not to ban guns or remove assault rifles or target specific types of guns...frankly, your .45 pistol will put a bullet into your body just as much as your .22 shotgun. You'll be just as dead no matter what is shooting you if you're left unable to defend yourself. CT has one of the most strict gun policies in the nation. Obviously, removing guns isn't the answer because it sure as hell didn't help a single one of those people.
I do believe you need to take into consideration that living in Israel is living in a war zone and living in the US, for all intensive purposes, is not. You'd face a lot of backlash for trying to get this one passed. However, I think Israel has the right idea. Especially in light of yet another school shooting in California today. I think there's a scary shift in society lately and the powers in place are more concerned about saving face than they are about saving lives.
01-11-2013 01:52 PM
Yes. Many of the school shootings were done with legally owned weapons. I believe Eric and Dylan (Columbine) legally owned/purchased the weapons they used. The guns Adam Lanza used (Sandy Hook) were legally owned by his mother. I don't feel more gun laws is going to do much because, for the most part, they only target illegal weapons. And, as you say, restrict one type of weapon and plenty of others are still allowed.
I know someone would get a lot of flack for proposing it but I think the time of living in lala land pretending that shootings don't happen and will never happen again if we just don't talk about it is over. They happen. They will keep happening. Schools are not safe and as long as the government legally mandates parents to hand over our kids then I think parents have a duty and a right to demand that the kids be as safe as possible in those schools. They need to plan accordingly and that means changes *inside* the school, not outside (the general public via gun laws). Secure the school buildings, not the entire state.
01-11-2013 09:30 PM - edited 01-11-2013 09:35 PM
I really don't get American logic on guns... I just can't envisage how make guns more normal and more widely available would do anything other than increase gun crime. The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. Since the 1997 Firearms act which was introduced in response to the only school shooting ever to occur in the UK, essentially banning handguns, we have had 0 school massacres resulting in 0 deaths and 0 injuries, and only one incident of a lone gunman going on a killing spree. Other than in Germany and possibly Finland, school shootings are very rare Europe, so I don't think it's all that naive to suggest that school shootings are not inevitable but cultural. Of course, people involved in gangs or terrorism can always still manage to get guns, but the difference is that troubled teenagers here for the most part can't. Their parents don't have a gun cabinet. Their friends' parents don't have a gun cabinet. Nobody other than farmers have gun cabinets, and it's rather hard to hide a hunting rifle in your coat pocket...
Israeli schools are often protected by armed security guards, but the teachers aren't generally standing in front of the class teaching algebra with a gun strapped to them. (I have family in Israel, but also see here). Besides, Israel is facing a completely different situation. Children in Israel are not 'traumatized' by the guns because they are used to living in fear. They have air-raid drills instead of fire drills. They have their bag searched for weapons every time they go to the mall. They see armed IDF soldiers every time they get on the bus. They hear about impending war every time they switch on the news. But really, that's not an ideal way to live. It's not something that a free country at peace should be aspiring to.
There are definitely things that can be done to protect children and I'm all for increased security, even armed professional security guards, but teachers having guns on them in classroom seems like a terrible idea to me. Just because no child has managed to get hold of a teacher's gun in Israel (and there aren't as many guns floating around Israeli schools as you might think anyway) doesn't mean it can't happen, especially somewhere with a very different gun culture. Teachers are more than capable of breaking down too, and by the time it's obvious that somebody is out of control, the damage may well be done already; unstable people don't always give fair warning. Plus even with all the training and regulation in the world, accidents happen and mistakes are made. It just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
I also don't think that normalizing guns is a particularly great message to be sending out to young children. Teachers are role-models, and if they are visibly armed then the children are obviously going to pick up on that and think that carrying a gun at all times is a sensible thing to do, and perhaps this is just the Brit in me, but I really don't see that as a positive. Children should find guns scary - guns are scary.
01-11-2013 09:57 PM
They already have security guards in some schools in North America and it doesn't do much, that I've heard. Sometimes they aren't armed and even if they were, taking out one or two armed guards is much easier than taking out 12+ armed teachers/staff. I'm not saying I wouldn't take it in a heartbeat if it was the only option..it's absolutely better than the nothing schools currently have. But just putting a potential con out there.
On the flip side of your last paragraph, perhaps that taboo is part of the problem? Guns are scary and fear = power. Most of the kids who commit these acts do so because they've felt powerless for so long (often bullied). A gun and the fear it causes because of everyone being so terrified of guns gives them power. If we take that power away by trying to make guns less scary and less taboo..who knows. Again, I think it just goes back to not putting a Canadian/UK twist on it and acting like "If the US could only get with it like it is here!!" because it's not going to happen. Let's work with US values and US customs and try to get something done than just whining about how backwards they are and fighting a losing battle.
Just rambling. :-)
01-12-2013 12:20 AM
"I also don't think that normalizing guns is a particularly great message to be sending out to young children. Teachers are role-models, and if they are visibly armed then the children are obviously going to pick up on that and think that carrying a gun at all times is a sensible thing to do, and perhaps this is just the Brit in me, but I really don't see that as a positive. Children should find guns scary - guns are scary."
It's not about normalizing guns though. Guns are already part of the culture, like it or not. Children do, for the most part, find guns scary, as well they should. That gun is going to be no less scary when they're staring down the barrel of one as a gunman blows away his teacher. If a teacher is armed, maybe they'd be better able to protect their students.
I can appreciate the theory behind an armed guard at every school, but that would only be effective if they were at the right place at the right time. I think about my own high school, which has multiple points of entry, a front office with little to no visibility of the front door, and while there is a police officer who is armed in the school, it's one guy. If a shooter really wanted to do damage, that cop would simply be the first victim if he were even positioned in the front of the building. If you look at the profile of these crimes, the locations that are targeted are specifically places that are made into gun-free zones. In the US, places that have concealed gun laws have fewer violent crimes than those that have more strict gun laws. Debate the logic on that one all you'd like...It's just what's going on here.
School shootings are rare here too. There have been spikes lately, but frankly, we also had a huge spike in freaky cannibalism in the last year and I hardly find that to be statistically significant either. Personally, I think mental health should be the focus, but that's a scary line to walk down as well.
02-15-2013 01:17 AM
I think guns should be allowed for police only.
All those shootings in the states were made my legally owned guns so... less availability on guns, less mentally problematic people can get their hands on them and use them.
I think arming schools is ridiculous. It portrays the picture of a prison rather than a safe area for children to grow.
I have no idea what the US should do to fix their issues because their gun laws should have been strict from the beginning and now it's much more difficult when profits are involved. If I lived in Texas, you're damn right I would probably own a gun for protection... because any lunatic can access one. Best reason why I'm happy I live in Canada and I love the gun laws here.
Don’t let your wounds make you become someone you’re not.
02-15-2013 06:08 AM
John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, New York:
Lew Wallace High School in Gary, Indiana:
Morris High School Campus the Bronx, New York:
18 Signs that US Public schools are now comparable to prisons.
So US schools are ALREADY basically prisons the only difference is that prisons have better security...because we apparently care more about protecting Joe Rapist and Stan Multiple Murder than we do protecting our kids. It's impossible for random people to just walk into prison, but you can just walk into schools.
Schools AREN'T a safe are. I think we need to let go of that illusion. It died a long time ago somewhere between bullying and school shootings but the idea of schools being this place of flowers and rainbows is just a complete delusion that's now cost hundreds of student's lives so that adults can stuff their fingers in their ears and go "LA LA! SCHOOLS ARE SAFE! LA LA LA!" even as more and more and more and more and more school shootings happen.
And as I've said in prior posts..you're not going to make guns less available in the US. Not going to happen. So we can all agree that it would probably be better and safer if they had gun laws like X country but it's wasting time and resources and attention that could be used to actually changing something and making schools safer instead of just on a circular debate that goes nowhere. I like Canada's gun laws too...guess what? US =/= Canada. Next part of the discussion? :-)