Right-wing legislators and radicals continue to pollute our society with their gun obsession. They’re about to take the issue to a new and dangerous level. On the side of reason I’ll share my proposal for a realistic approach to protecting our schools.
Some GOP state legislators want just about every adult who has any conceivable connection to a given school to conceal carry a gun. That’s in class; the hallways, the cafeteria, auditorium, bathrooms; everywhere! Dozens of people armed per school. There are the obvious candidates for legitimate carry; Law Enforcement School Resource Officers. That takes care of the obvious candidates. But many on the right would arm administrators, teachers and yes, even custodians. Do we do this in other professions where guns might come into play? Do we arm all bank tellers for instance?
Arming teacher civilians concerns me. There are roughly 3,200,000 public school teachers to serve around 50 million students. If this awful idea catches on, are we really going to arm millions of teachers and all those other folks?
Also to be taken into account is the fact that women who constitute at least three-quarters of all teachers are not as enamored with firearms as men. CNN estimates 1 out of 10 women own guns in the U.S. That may or may not be true, but I know one thing to be at least anecdotally true. I’ve never met a lady gun nut. The idea that most female teachers are going to be comfortable packing is ludicrous.
Speaking of our gun-obsessed red state legislators, South Carolina State Senator, Lee Bright who never runs out of gun and anti-government ideas has a brand new distasteful bill to foist upon his fellow Carolinians. Bright has filed legislation that would give schools the option to include a class in marksmanship as part of their elective curricula.
Clearly there is zero need for such a class in today’s environment. If the kid really wants to blow a squirrel apart or become a sniper (the U.S. will always have a war to accommodate him), then he and pistol-packin’ Papa can seek out a rural friends’ back 40, set up targets in front of a raised berm and have at it. But this bill is a much more insidious piece of cultural propaganda that goes well beyond just being able to shoot straight.
The bill is called, “The South Carolina Gun Safety Program.” The title falls well short of its’ real purpose. “Gun safety is but a small component of what is essentially a right-wing cultural intrusion into the formative minds of high school students. In addition to firearms operation instruction, the course would teach “the history of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the role of firearms in preserving peace and freedom.” This has all the makings of the beginning of a mind-molding strategy to justify for young people the possibility of firing on anyone (read the federal government) who may be standing in the way of that sacred constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” and further to justify the use of firearms to kill in order to preserve “peace and freedom.” That’s sick!
Let me say this with all the clarity I can muster. There is a subset of right-wing extremists who want an armed insurrection. And brainwashing the younger population is part of their strategy to see that happens. Over the years the right has also purchased the overwhelming majority of firearms sold in America to facilitate that war when the advantage in armaments becomes too large to be overcome by their “enemies.” The numbers aren’t there yet but can be within a generation.
Don’t believe me? Believe James Yeager, the Tennessee CEO of Tactical Response, a company that teaches “defense.” He gained notoriety recently when he appeared on YouTube and said that he’ll start killing people if Obama is able to enact stricter gun laws. An exact quote; “Eff that. I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot.” Later he added, “If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people.”
How much clearer does a game plan have to be laid out? Tennessee authorities wisely lifted his gun permit and he apologized shortly thereafter (at the urging of a lawyer I’m sure), but I doubt he intends to cover the bullets tattooed in abundance on his left arm. He’s undoubtedly the new darling of the “life as militia” crowd. I salute his honesty and surely his rant will be great for his business of sharing the joys of pulling a trigger repeatedly pretending you’re back in the 1860′s (on the Confederate side of course).
If you want to get real conspiratorial you can look into the purported evangelical control of the U.S. Air Force Academy as reported by Truthout a couple of years ago.
Realizing that the only salvation for Democratic Progressives lay in the voting booth, Voter ID laws, designed to minimize the “liberal” vote to the point of impotency have been pushed through right-wing dominated legislatures at a fever pitch.
Let me bring reason into this conversation. In addition to mental health and other Obama Executive Order initiatives that have militia-worshipping panties in a wad, there is an additional solution that involves a law enforcement presence without schools becoming gun dealer subsidiaries. When I was down and out and living in a rather vicious gang-banger neighborhood, all illicit activity came to a screeching halt whenever a police car rolled through the hood. No drug sales, no drive-bys, no jump-ins, no gathering in the streets; nothing.
So, here’s the plan. Patrol each area around the schools from the time students arrive to the time they’ve all departed. If necessary park outside the school in plain sight. Have a direct communications link from inside the school to the specific police or sheriff’s vehicle assigned to that school and have a “red button” directly into the police or sheriff’s department, whichever is closer or has jurisdiction.
I don’t mind a Resource Officer or two, but that’s it. Schools aren’t tinhorn dictatorships, they’re centers of learning. Beepers are all the arms teachers’ need. Limit school access, making sure you don’t compromise fire exits. For the most part, even the most mentally disturbed among us will get the message. Neighborhood watch-type volunteers could be useful as well as additional eyes and ears.
There will be a need for a modest increase in funding in the state to bring this idea to fruition. Believe me, headlines notwithstanding, the money is there. Every state has its secret stash. South Carolina hides its excess lucre in the Insurance fund. Most school districts have reserve funds, some well into the multiple millions. For those districts lacking in resources, Uncle Sam can fill the void.
There are your choices. Reason or Yeager. Your vote is your concealed carry.