Shooting Blanks

Conservatives are constantly bemoaning the state of schools and and the young folks that inhabit them. “It’s the unions,” they cry. “If we only had school choice we could indoctrinate the youth of America 0ur way!” Gut the public schools once and for all, if Betsy DeVos and the religious right get their way.

One wonders why there aren’t enough conservative teachers in the system to balance the liberal brainwashing that has infected generations of our youth?

Could it be that teaching doesn’t pay well enough to attract a more diverse cross section of the citizenry, or that teachers have to work well past the school day preparing lessons and grading the papers of their overcrowded classes? Or that many are paying for school materials out of their own pocket? Don’t they get three months off every summer? The ungrateful wretches!

There are big problems with public schools. Funding never seems to cover maintaining the infrastructure, new books, and administration eats up too much of the budget. Many teachers tell me the biggest problem they have with student discipline is the parents, who refuse to believe their little darlings are capable of antisocial behavior.

But then, when a real teachable moment like a school shooting massacre comes along, where are the conservative voices? Throwing insults and name calling, mostly. David Hogg is referred to as “piglet.” He’s berated for not having the smarts to get into the right school. The rest of the thousands protesting are labeled as stupid, ignorant, brainwashed sheep who couldn’t even find their way to Washington without the help of their shepherd handler adults.

They grouse about the “kiddies” emotional response, but nod in agreement when Wayne LaPierre goes ballistic, looking like the kind of spastic nutcase who might be deemed too mentally unstable to wield a weapon in any properly organized society.

And of course, they trot out statistics that prove school shooters are less likely to perforate your classroom than a random lightning bolt landing in your lap, but who wants to be the next random statistic? Russian roulette, anyone?

It was only seventeen years ago that a mentally disturbed fellow with an arsenal shot up the HEW building in Nevada City, killing two there and then going on to kill another at the local Lyon’s restaurant. At the time, I lived a stone’s throw away from HEW and frequented Lyon’s regularly, so the odds say I should not have to worry about being anywhere near the next shootout. I can’t tell you how relieved I am.

The shooter’s brother, a law enforcement officer himself, knew his sibling had mental issues, but didn’t do anything until it was too late. A recent local case where a man with dementia killed his caregiver is another example. At some point, there needs to be intervention.

Background checks are an imperfect solution and communication between law enforcement entities needs to improve, as the recent event at YouTube HQ has proven, but it’s better than any knee jerk attempt to ban guns, or make owning one too expensive for the average person. Unlike John Paul Stevens, I want to keep the right to bear arms.

Yeah, that’s right. I believe sane people should be able to protect themselves. And as unpopular as it may be with some, I believe schools should have an armed guard on campus at all times. Preferably, not a teacher. It’s a sad reality, but one that needs to be addressed. The kids are right to say “enough!”

Those kids may have a lot to learn about guns and life in general, but they’ll learn much quicker if given some respect by their elders. It’s a choice conservatives have to confront if they don’t want to alienate another generation of future voters.

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7 Responses to Shooting Blanks

  1. Michael R. Kesti says:

    The mistaken belief that if something has happened more frequently than usual in the past then it will happen less frequently in the future is known as “gambler’s fallacy.”

  2. Chris Peterson says:

    Couldn’t disagree with you more, Bob, and I’m a gun owner. Difference is, I suppose, my rifles are for killing the coyotes and such that prey on my livestock, here on my small farm. I have no problem with anyone wanting me to prove my absence of criminality, or prove my expertise in handling a gun, or making me wait a period of time to get a gun, or limiting me to 10 shot magazines, or denying me AR-style weapons. Truth is, these AR-style weapons are just costume-weaponry; not really military guns at all. They’re simply for those who want to dress up like military personnel, most of whom have never served. To me, they’re like the mall cops of the patriots, and couldn’t get within a thousand yards of me, if it came to that.
    You want more guns on our streets and in our schools, and we can have that debate, but first you have to tell me who we ‘re protecting ourselves from. Before you circle the wagons, guns a’blazin’, you need to tell me how to recognize the idiots INSIDE the circle.
    Otherwise, we have met the enemy and he is us, therefore, hand everyone a gun, take ten paces back, turn and fire.
    And I do so look forward to the many stories to be told of how the good citizens of Grass Valley were able to protect their homes from the marauding horde, with their trusty Glocks. I’m sure that scenario happens all the time. (Obviously, way more than I’m aware of.)

  3. rl crabb says:

    You could ban guns tomorrow and there would still be untold thousands out there. The reality is there are morons who will mistakenly believe their shot at immortality will come from the barrel of a gun. Nobody said having armed security (and I’m not talking teachers, just trained, licensed pros) will stop every nutcase, but at least they’ll have a fighting chance. I don’t really see any other viable alternative.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      I don’t argue with any of your points, but one; and it’s a biggie. While I agree that we will never be a gunless society, (too late for that), Justice Stevens was spot on: there ain’t no guarantee that everybody gets a gun. The second is pretty explicit about every man with a musket being necessary to fight off intruding nations back then, and they weren’t talking about self-insurrection; (not according to the Federalist Papers, anyhow).
      But your vision of Mad Maxx meets Big Brother is a place I’d rather not live. Building Trump’s Wall, at this point, seems like we’re closing the door on the asylum, so the fewer sharp objects in the room, the better.

      • rl crabb says:

        Guess we’ll just have to wait for two-thirds of both houses of congress and three-quarters of the state legislatures to repeal the 2nd amendment. I’m not holding my breath. And I don’t really see Big Max and Mad Brother in our immediate future either.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          It actually can be accomplished much easier than that; 2008 was the first time the SCOTUS had addressed gun ownership, in District of Columbia v. Heller, ruling that we all had the right to own weapons outside of a military function. It was a 5-4 decision which, had Obama been allowed to appoint Merrick Garland after Scalia’s death, it might have been rightfully overturned. So, we’re just one appointment away from tighter gun control, no change to the Constitution needed.
          At present, what we have is a conservative court struggling to control a Constitution written by radical progressives.

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