We have begun an old discussion again and added a new caveat. In the wake of New Town the hue and cry was bifurcated into two radically dissimilar camps. The old wheeze is that of Gun Control, while the new rallying slogan is “Protect the kids put a good guy with a gun in every school.”
As a career educator and a person who enjoys blowing up innocent cans with a .357 I have to say neither camp has won me over.
America’s love affair with it’s guns is well-documented. 1) From the legends of the Minuteman to the proliferation of shooting games on our computers there is no possible doubt that we will continue to have guns in the United States for a long time.
It is not of question of banning guns, it is a matter of regulation. Should we outlaw all guns? Of course not, that is patently ridiculous. Should we regulate the types of weapons available to the public, train the gun users and do universal background checks on all gun owners? Certainly, that is obviously, equally true. Register guns as we do cars, license gun users as we do car drivers, deny the use of purely military weapons as we do vehicles. You can’t buy an Abrams tank to drive your kid to school so you shouldn’t have an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine to hunt rabbits and coyotes.
Even more troubling to me is the current discussion that revolves around arming school personnel. I do not want a principal, a teacher, a custodian or even an armed security guard at my school (even one personally validated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio as an official volunteer). Guns and schools are a bad idea. As a teacher I forbade students to even bring play guns to school. I routinely throw over the fence, those branches that have fallen from our trees at school so my students won’t be tempted to play guns.
Did I play guns as a kid — you bet, but not at school.
We used to have SROs, School Resource Officers, in our schools, though only occasionally or as they needed and even then seeing someone with a gun in a school always made me nervous.
What we do need is increased support personnel to allow for identifying and treating mental health issues in children. We have cut counselors, social workers, teaching assistants, school monitors, psychologists, therapists, librarians and teachers all of whom are more eyes and ears focused upon our children and additional adults offering an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. 2) Our children deserve better and this early identification and treatment will foster better care for and control of troubled youth and as a consequence improve the safety of all.
2) firstname.lastname@example.org “CONGRESS NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY: TELL THEM SOME CUTS NEVER HEAL”