This is just a simulation of
our beloved essayist at work.
We really are not sure what
his creative process involves,
we just print the results.
Teacher’s Got A Gun
At some point in the not too distant future, I fully expect humanity to become
technically advanced enough for us to be able to implant miniature guns into
women’s wombs. And given how gun nutty and crazy our country is, I fully expect
someone to suggest arming fetuses, especially if they are twins because the only
thing protecting us from a bad fetus with a gun is a good fetus with a gun. I expect
news conferences. I expect talking heads solemnly taking the proposal seriously on
whatever television has become at that point. I expect President Kardashian or
whatever individual has climbed to the highest office in the land by being kicked in
the head by a mule to garner votes from it. I expect state legislatures to pass
resolutions. I expect pregnant women’s bellies to start exploding in shopping malls,
churches, and courthouses across the fruited plain. I then fully expect someone to
say the only way we are going to stop these mad dog fetuses with guns is to arm
zygotes, eggs, and sperm cells.
Why? Because this is The United State, the land where even the stupidest
idea can bloom like a beautiful rose. Arming America’s teachers is a colossally,
amazingly earthshaking dumb idea. I admit I am already concerned for this country
Clem Kadiddlehopper is upset because he thinks his Second Amendment rights are
being violated because Chuck E. Cheese won’t let him carry a pig iron on his hip
because it might accidentally fall into the ball pit. If you have ever been around a
bunch of screaming five-year-olds for more than an hour, you realize that an armed
Chuck E. Cheese would make the Cambodian Khmer Rouge killing fields look like a
day trip to Disneyland.
Unless they are going to televise it for my entertainment, I don’t want to see
guns in courthouses, at children’s sporting events, or in elevators where Captain &
Tennille’s Muskrat Love or Starland Vocal Band’s Afternoon Delight are being piped
in either. Divorce and the realization that you better hope the elastic holds up on
your underwear because you are going to be sending every spare penny you got to
your ex-wife for the next fifteen years as she slowly turns the children against you
tends to not make men the most rational creatures in such situations. Of course, I
am probably wrong about children’s sporting events. It is not like I personally have
ever seen a parent scream at a coach about how their child who just tripped over the
bats on his way to the drinking fountain should be starting at third base.
(I have said it before in this column, from first hand knowledge, I can truly say
hell on earth is attending a party comprised of soccer parents and people working in
the mortgage industry. I still wake up from time-to-time in a cold sweat with Vietnam
Blaming gun free zones for increased violence or believing that such places
should become armed madhouses is blaming the dry part of the handkerchief for
getting snot on it after you have blown your nose and stuffed it in your pocket. It is
not Chicago, some mall, or the local school that is the problem, it is the amazingly
poor gun laws in the states surrounding them that are the snot. The solution is not to
blow your nose in the handkerchief until you cannot pull it apart anymore.
I have a lot of respect for Second Amendment advocates as long as they are
intellectually honest. Guns are fun, guns are cool, guns give you a feeling of power
and safety, and it might even be the case that if we skip over that little comma in The
Bill of Rights that it is your right to have a firearm, but just admit guns in the hands of
idiots kill people. Arguing that somehow you and a nation filled with Earls and Billy
Bobs eating Tide pods having semi-automatic assault rifles makes things safer is
claiming pouring more gasoline in a puddle is going to prevent pyromania.
Just admit guns kill people. Not everyone is a good guy all the time.
Sometimes good people are drunk, sometimes they are screwed up, sometimes
they are irrational, sometimes they are depressed, sometimes they are angry,
sometimes they are mentally ill, sometimes they are abusive, and that is the price of
being human. It is not the stranger that is the problem. It is the father, husband, son,
or kid down the street. I personally know only one kid that was in a school where a
shooting occurred, but I know at least a dozen women, probably a lot more, who
have been threatened with a gun in a dark moment in their marriage by their
otherwise law-abiding husband. You might be right in your reading of that ancient
document and it is probably already too late, the horse is already out of the barn, but
just admit it is a right with extremely, deadly consequences.
So, stop it. Stop the malarkey about how if guns were taken away people
would still kill people with knives and rocks. That might be true, but after hitting three
or four people in the head with a large stone, a person gets a little tired. Guns make
killing a a lot easier.
Stop the “shootings are government red flag operations” talk. Just because
some guy puts a video on YouTube where you don’t see a muzzle flash or some
white, brown-haired woman looks similar to another white, brown-haired woman who
lost a child doesn’t mean a conspiracy is afoot. You are not Sherlock Holmes, Ellery
Queen, or Adrian Monk. Life is sloppy. Things don’t always add up. People make
mistakes and perceive things wrong. Memories change, sometimes in mere
seconds. If you have to pause to examine the menu at KFC before ordering, they
have chicken, that is all, you certainly are not going to figure out the conspiracy of
Stop the “I need a gun to protect myself from the government” crap. Red
Dawn was just a movie. Ninety-nine percent of us are in the fetal position if we
cannot find a plug-in for our cell phone charger let alone if a tank filled with husky
marines pulls in our driveway. We are probably less than a generation away from
nanotechnology and designer viruses coded to an individual’s or group’s DNA that
can be sprayed over large areas being a part of warfare. I don’t think Comrade Sam
is going to fear Ol’ Betsy when you are clutching your chest because a
microorganism that has floated into the room has induced a heart attack. So, just
stop it. Don’t be a nut. Just be honest.
Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Becky DeVos want teachers to
carry guns in the classroom. I am not going to get into how teachers already have a
job that takes most of their attention. It is called teaching. How worrying about a
pistol on top of that might take away from that task. I am not going to list the
incidents of teachers who have had firearms accidently go off in the classroom, a
few of which have just occurred in the last few weeks.
Nor am I going to dwell on the human psyche and the fight or flight instinct in
all of us. Although Donald Trump believes that now that his bone spurs that kept him
from being drafted and going to Vietnam have magically healed, he would run into a
school and rip an assailant apart with his bare hands, that is not the way our brains
work. (Why do I think dumb Donald would make it about twenty feet before he would
tear a hamstring and have to take a breather for about twenty minutes because he is
so obese?) While we would all like to think we would be John Wayne in an
emergency, it is not reality. In the real world, the Duke was a pansy who stayed in
Hollywood while others fought World War II. Killing someone is a lot harder than one
would think, especially when you have to look that person in the eyes. Most people
freeze. The vast majority of us are not natural born killers, even when we need to be.
Guns, just like television cameras in the courtroom, change things. Unlike
most people, I don’t know what happened almost six years ago when George
Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in that Florida backyard, but I do know that the
presence of a gun altered the events of that night. If Zimmerman had not had a gun,
he never would have followed that scared youth into the darkness. He would have
acted differently. Both of them would have gone home that night. Similarly, a firearm
alters the exchange of ideas, hampers the educational process. Knowledge of the
presence of a weapon changes student/teacher interaction. It cannot help but do
that. The teacher is going to act differently and so is the student to the determent of
I went to a great school, one of the best in the state. I was lucky. Yet, I also
know that I had at least three of my teachers, probably more, engage in sexually
inappropriate conduct with students. One even went to jail for it. Things are better
today. The system has changed and parents and administrations are much better at
recognizing and dealing with such situations. Still, I figure there is at least one
teacher who crosses a line they shouldn’t in every school.
How do these teachers still get away with it? Often with threats and
intimidation, sometimes directed at parents or siblings. Threats become much more
real with a gun present. Children are going to be less likely to speak out in such
situations. How many lives will be shattered with the silent pat of a Smith and
Wesson? Are a thousand, ten thousand, or a hundred thousand extra molestations
worth the price of arming schoolteachers? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.
Allowing guns into classrooms is not a zero sum game. I hope that is something we
can all agree on, but I doubt it.