I’m a teacher. I’m not a Marine.

I’m a teacher. I’m not a Marine. I do not want to have to make the choice to shoot one child to save another. I don’t want to be put in a position where I might be responsible for “collateral damage” that might include my own students. I don’t want to have to walk around my class with an assault rifle slung over my shoulder while I’m teaching a lesson on cosines and tangents, or Shakespeare, or the geography of Asia – a gun might be kind of a distraction to my students, you know? Do not think that you are solving the problem of school shootings by arming teachers. Frankly, that is one of the most ludicrous, insane, nonsensical propositions I have ever heard.
– Karen

“The times they are a-changin…'”

Did you all see the video clip of the high schoolers protesting at the White House today? Young people are not going to put up with crap. They aren’t going to put up with homophobia, racism, corporate greed, self-serving politicians or the NRA. Our young people give me hope for this world. They are articulate, educated, informed, and they know how to “spread the word” to each other.

The times they are a-changin’.

And it’s none too soon.

“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

“Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.”
– Bob Dylan

 

Danskos or Skechers? Gun Control Now

“Wisdom is better than weapons of war…”
Ecclesiastes 9:18

This might help you understand where I am right now: This morning as I was getting dressed I debated whether I should wear my Danskos or my Skechers. I decided on the Skechers. If I need to be able to move fast, help my students get out of the building, and jump for the tree outside my office window, I think Skechers would work best, right?

Yeah. God is Love. Love will protect. And so forth. I believe that. But Love also provides us with the wisdom, and Mind provides us with the intelligence, to take the sensible steps we need to take in our human lives. Just as Jesus didn’t leap out of the tower when he was tempted to (“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”) – I believe we need to not throw ourselves out of 12-story windows to see if God will save us. And we need not make available to private citizens the type of guns that were designed to kill large numbers of people in a very short time. Common sense, people. Common sense.

Someone commented on one of my posts that more people get struck by lightning every year than have been killed in school shootings. About that: If you choose to stand on the top of a hill holding a metal rod during a lightning storm your odds of being struck by lightning increase a lot. And if we, as a society, choose to allow these types of guns in the hands of people who have no business owning them, we shouldn’t be surprised if a lot of innocent people die.

We need gun control now.

Click here to see a map of the mass shootings since Sandy Hook.

 

Adding Bullet-Proof Vests to Our School Supply Lists

Our local gunshop is a couple miles from our home, down the street from the local elementary school, in the same parking lot with the post office, and next to the pre-school. Here is what it looks like:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Yup. Those are AK-47s. I’m pretty sure. Assault rifles. Weapons made for the purpose of killing a lot of people in a very short time. Being sold in a building down the street from a school. Sharing a parking lot with a government building.  Next door to a pre-school.

And… does this strike anyone else as COMPLETELY INSANE?!!!

Here’s what it says on the gun shop’s webpage: “All American Armory is offering discount pricing to persons of faith wishing to purchase firearms to protect themselves and their families. This includes Handguns, Self Defense Shotguns, and AR’s.”

Assault rifles were designed to kill mass amounts of people in a very short time. What the heck are the “faithful” people of my community preparing for?!  Is there some zombie invasion here that no one has bothered to tell me about? When did my neighborhood suddenly become a war zone?

***

I have heard people say that teachers should be armed to protect their students from intruders. And… well… there’s an idea, for sure. Of course, shooting a gun is not like in the movies where you just point and shoot and the bad guy drops. In real life there is “collateral damage” – innocent people sometimes have an annoying tendency to get in the way of the bullets – and, in a school full of teachers armed with guns, the “collateral damage” would be school children. And even if a teacher is an expert shooter she’d have to actually have the gun on her person to be effective against an unexpected intruder, intent on murder.So, yeah – let’s make sure our teachers are walking around their classrooms with the guns holstered to their waists or shoulders for easy access. This will surely give our nation’s kindy-garteners a nice cozy feeling in their first year in school.

Of course, if the intruder is wearing body-proof armor – which is often the case – a little handgun is not going to be a very effective weapon against a man in a bullet-proof vest. So maybe we should arm our teachers with AK-47’s, also. An AK-47 might be a little bulky for a teacher to strap to her waist, but maybe she could carry her AR around in her left hand, while she holds her whiteboard marker in her right. And maybe we should wrap up all our students and teachers in bullet-proof vests like the bad guys to make it all more fair – maybe we should add bullet-proof vests to our students’ school supply lists?

Yeah. That’s the kind of world I want to live in, for sure.

In case anyone’s interested there were two more school shootings yesterday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/us/campus-shootings-texas-arizona.html?_r=0