It’s Not One Thing

Children are dead.

Shot by a bad man for reasons as-yet-unknown.

Some voices cry out, “We need more gun control.”

Others say, “No, no, it’s a mental health issue.”

A third voice claims that, “The media is at fault.”

Or that there’s a “culture of violence we need to solve.”

“It’s not this, it’s that.”

“It’s not that, it’s this.”

And we are paralyzed because nobody can find the one monster and cut off its head.

The problem is, as with most problems, a nuanced one. It isn’t a problem with one-color: it is a rainbow of fucking issues that blur and blob together into a muddy, bloody mass.

It’s not one monster. It’s many.

Guns are easier to get than good health care.

Mental health care is a black hole for those who try to get it.

The media shoves camera in the faces of kindergardeners to get a sound byte.

We adore violence in our media and abhor love and sex.

It’s all of these things. Not one to the exclusion of others.

That can’t paralyze us.

That confusion and complexity cannot give us pause.

Something has to be done.

One thing at a time. One bite out of the rotten apple, then another, and another until it’s gone. We can’t just nuke the problem. We can’t just drone strike it, or hit it with chemo and radiation, or plug in a cheat code and make it all go away. It’s a many-headed hydra. But we still have to start attacking the heads or the hydra will live on and people will still die because we couldn’t get on the same goddamn page. The time to talk — and act — is now. Not in six months when we’re back worrying about what the fucking Kardashians are up to.

The time is now! When we feel something.

When we have the fire in our bellies to write our politicians and make our voices heard. Not when our hearts are hardened but when we feel raw and in pain.

That’s why you can’t listen to people saying this isn’t the time. That’s shutting down the conversation. That’s putting up walls instead of opening doors. Not wanting to talk about it is okay. Wanting to step away from the discussion? Completely understandable. But anybody who tries to shut down other people continuing this conversation? That’s an obstruction. Calling it “politics” is false. Wanting to stop kids from dying, wanting to get busy navigating the complexities of our human experience is not “politicizing.” What someone means when they say, “Stop politicizing the issue” is, I don’t agree with you, so shut up. It’s not politics to ask that we figure this out. It’s not politics to seek solutions to suffering. This isn’t related to governance of the state. This isn’t related to political relations between people. This is about dead children, teenagers, and adults. This is about standing up and saying that we want something done, and that while we may not agree on what that something is, it’s time to move the needle one way or another because the worst thing we can do is sit on our hands in defiance of progress, in the paralysis of fruitless indecision.

P.S. — the one thing it’s not is the lack of God in our schools. If you believe in America, then God is in the schools when one wants him to be and not there when one doesn’t because that’s how freedom of religion is supposed to look. If you believe in God, then God is everywhere, and you don’t need prayer in schools to stave off a vengeance that involves killing children. And, by the way, if you believe in a God that not only allows for child murder but actively invokes it as payment for pulling prayer out of school, you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem and you should probably be put on a boat with the rest of your fucked-up brethren and set afloat so we can stop listening to your delusions of self-importance.

60 comments

  • Amazing post, Chuck. I can’t tell you how strongly I agree with you, and how difficult this was to read through tears. I will take action. I will write to my representatives. I will make my voice heard.

    Thank you for this. For your eloquence and passion and reason. You’re a good, smart egg, Mr. Wendig.

  • Excellent post, there are many things wrong with this tragedy.

    Can we start the discussion by agreeing that the current situation – that it is easier for the dangerously mentally ill to get lethal weapons, than it is for them to get affordable, effective, and regular treatment – is NOT working out well for anybody?

    We need to talk about mental illness MUCH more than we are doing now. Most people don’t recognize the signs, in themselves or others, and don’t know where to go for help and education (NAMI’s one good source.) Even if it’s recognized there’s a serious problem, often people don’t want to deal with it, just hope, like a muscle strain, it’ll go away on its own, because nobody wants the stigma of being labeled “crazy,” or as the parent or sibling or spouse of someone who is.

    Back in the days when we locked up more people in residential mental institutions, there were abuses, sure. But our current system, where it’s totally up to the family to convince an adult person whose brain and emotions ARE MALFUNCTIONING: to get help, to take meds if recommended, to monitor his/her own reaction to said meds – that, in and of itself, is crazy.

    Please let’s not wait until every school district, every city and state has its own horrific story, to seriously address the issue of mental health.

  • I agree it’s a composite problem, and that all aspects of it should be discussed — even if they’re not all equally spectacular or political as gun control.

    • I do want to say, though, why I’ve personally been focusing on one part of the conversation harder than others (although not trying to exclude other parts, as I also think they are important to our well-being as a whole, not just in the case of mass murders):

      What has been perturbing me is how much the media is clearly avoiding the conversation about itself. I would love to talk about both gun control and mental illness care reform in America–I would be relieved if something as good as that could come out of this tragedy. Dr. Park Dietz, who has studied mass murders for years, has repeatedly told the media not to do what it does every dang time–you know, there have been six shootings this week? Five of them after the CT shooting. One man was arrested for threatening to shoot up an elementary school a couple of days later, that can’t be a coincidence.

      We do know that this is one thing that has a direct link to inspiring more people to commit these crimes, but I feel as though this part of the conversation is being drowned out because the news media doesn’t want to talk about it–maybe because they feel guilty, or because they still want to capitalize on ratings, but it’s not because they don’t know, because they’ve been told by someone who would probably know better than anybody else what the pathology behind these cases is.

      So, there have been a few times I have gotten snippy about the conversation being obviously weighted away from media culpability.

      • Well, it’s kind of impossible for the media to address that without continuing to feed the frenzy. Not that they would ever address that issue. No matter how you think the news media is biased, it is definitely biased in favor of itself.

        Then, I figure that if a tragedy like this wasn’t on the front page of every newspaper and the biggest thing on the news, then the media would be accused of not caring. “A Tragedy occurred and it wasn’t even top news! You’re not honoring the victims!”

        I think it’s all a losing battle. There’s a culture of voyeurism in the world that the media would find challenging to ignore even if they wanted to; there’s an opinion that if the world doesn’t know every jot and tittle of the crime and the motivation, then the news hasn’t done its job; then there’s ratings, and I’m sure something about the innate character of a Journalist. They’re paid because they want to know the 5 Ws about everything.

        • When someone runs onto a baseball field during a game, they cut that video feed. The TV audience never sees them, because it would just encourage other people to do the same.

          But when someone kills a bunch of people, we turn them into a celebrity. How about simply never showing that person’s picture or mentioning their name in the news coverage? Instead of becoming famous when you kill a bunch of people, you become an un-person, unfit to even have your name mentioned.

  • Well, I’m British, and we face all the same problems regarding the media, attitudes to mental health, etc. The obvious difference being guns.

    You won’t “solve” the root of the issue as such by banning them, but, and I apologise for the crass nature of this, it is a lot more difficult to kill multiple people with a knife.

  • It’s complicated, but how do we get to the point of looking at all of these broken elements and fixing them? Not talking about them, but doing something about them, both individually and as communities? Because too many people are looking to the government to do it. And it can’t, entirely, and not in a vacuum.

    But out of everything that’s been said in the wake of this terrible event, it pisses me off to no end that your last paragraph is even necessary. And it is. I haven’t yet encountered someone to say something to the effect of this being some kind of sick divine retribution directly – but I do know a person or two making vague statements that skirt around that point without making it that obvious.

  • It is politicizing. And only through politicizing can this problem be solved.

    Part of it is: stop fearing the politics. This is a political subject, i.e., it’s about power relations and rules of social life. If you “unpoliticize” (?) it, you’ll never solve it.

  • I’m tired of the rhetoric and forced emotions. This is a horrible and random act of violence. Schools, Crazy people, and guns have been around for over an eon. Columbine, Lancaster, Newport, Japan…these are localized incidents that are both tragic and horrible. I want someone to tell me, though, how better access to mental healthcare and/or stricter gun laws would have stopped any of these incidents.

    - Mental healthcare is only good if the individual seeks it and accepts it.

    - Gun control laws may get stricter…but unless you put a global ban on weapons, they’ll always be accessible.

    People intent on doing harm will find a way to do so with the means they have at hand. Don’t believe me? 9/11 happened without one trigger being pulled. Think about that. No gun available? Ok…I’ll steal a Buick and move down a crowd of happy holiday shoppers at the mall!

    Am I a monster? Am I a horrible human being? No. I’m just really sick and tired of this merry-go-round. Every time there’s a tragedy like this there’s a reactionary backlash from the public. It will go away within 30 days. A celebrity will die…a sports team will win…or a plane will crash. This world is completely ADD and it will not change. Politicians know this and count on it.

    I’m a father of 2 little girls and I fear for them every day that they aren’t by my side…the same way my parents worried after me when I was gone. The same way they worry, even today. Yet I see Facebook and Twitter abuzz with people that seem to have suddenly realized that they have children. “Hugged my children today before they went to school.” “Scared to death worrying that my kids are safe, today”. Are these people actually worried? Or are they worried that someone won’t notice them not worrying?

    Yes…this is a rant. You’re post has lit the furnace in my hate spot. Random acts of cruelty and violence will never disappear. Tragedies shouldn’t be used as a jumping off point to rush to hasty decisions. At the same time…people shouldn’t have to die in order for people to become aware that there are problems.

    This feeling that everyone has…it’s not new. It’s been recycled from the Arizona shootings. Remember them? Crazy guy…gun…kids killed. Or wait…am I thinking of the Crazy guy that used guns to kill kids in Sweden? No…maybe it was the crazy guy that killed those kids in an Amish school.

    It’s all cool…I think I just saw a hologram of a grumpy cat humping Kim Kardashian on The Learning Channel.

    • I don’t buy, “Life sucks, violence happens, nothing to be done about it.”

      I don’t buy, “Politicians will exploit us and we’ll forget, so oh well.”

      I don’t buy, “Oh boo hoo, people are upset and shit always happens so they shouldn’t be upset.”

      I don’t buy, “These are just recycled feelings.”

      If we’re supposed to be aware that these problems exist, a comment like yours only suggests that we should ignore them because, shit happens. People *did* die. And people *keep* dying. And sometimes, the guns are procured legally. And sometimes, there might have been warning signs — whether in terms of ammo stockpiles or mental health checks or a dozen other little clues.

      All of that is alarmingly cynical and ultimately poisonous.

      And it leads to, yet again, that feeling of, “Just sit on your hands and do nothing.”

      We need to participate in our democracy. We need to stop letting the media set the pace, need to stop being paralyzed by fear of our own politicians, we need to sit down and recognize that *something* is wrong and that means — like with anything, a broken car, a busted pipe, a down economy — we cannot sit idly by mired in toxic Internet cynicism like this comment presents.

      – c.

      • The point of my post wasn’t that people should sit around and do nothing. My point was a challenge. 30 days from now will you still be writing about this? Will you still be asking the politicians to do something about the problems? Or will we all be focused on something new?

        This isn’t new. Not even remotely. Virgina Tech ring a bell? This is the EXACT SAME THING except this time the kids were a lot younger. How many people need to die before we actually get off our asses, as a collective group, and force change? Fuck…schoolkids already got shot up 3 years ago in an Amish schoolhouse. Why weren’t things changed then? Why weren’t things changed after Arizona? Why weren’t things changed after Sweden? Why weren’t things changed after Columbine? We have had a hundred chanced to force change but have instead done nothing. You’re God damn right I’m cynical.

        It’s easy to go into a voting both, press a button, and say “Yay! Change!”. Change doesn’t happen that way and I’m sick of the 30 day media cycle reminding people that they shouldn’t feel bad about something because something worse has happened.

        If people want something to actually change…get off Facebook and Twitter and march on Capitol Hill. You want things to change? Start a non-profit. Run for office. Get on a literal soapbox and preach to the masses. Look at what’s going on in Egypt. They care enough about their fate that they’re rioting in the streets. Where’s our fire? Where’s our rallying cry? There is none. Our nation is quiet and weak. We have no leaders, only puppeteers and we dance nicely for them. What’s our color-coded terrorist alert level today? Orange? Well…that;s what it’s been for 10 years…guess we won’t die today.

        Writing some words on a blog…or putting your feelings on Facebook aren’t going to do a damn thing to change the world. They may make us feel better…but action changes fates.

        Ultimately, Chuck, I agree with you. I’m just bitter and tired of seeing this same rhetoric every time people die. My life doesn’t change because of what happened last week. I still have bills to pay. I still have deadlines to meet at my job. I still have holiday shopping to do. I still will kiss my kids and hold them tight each time I see them. I still have a life to lead and make sense of. I am going to continue to take my life for granted and I am not going to try and change the world. I would, however, follow someone that has the balls and proper plan in place, to try.

        • For the record…I’m not actually this scynical. I’m just going for some dramatic effect. I believe that my words, here, reflect what a great many people feel. We’re told, however, that we’re not allowed to feel this way…the same way you feel that you’re not allowed to say what you want.

          People want to be told that they’re right. They don’t want debate and they don’t want to compromise. I’ve kind of stopped trying, lately.

        • “I am going to continue to take my life for granted and I am not going to try and change the world.”

          I guess I appreciate the honesty, but you have kids. That’s really the attitude you want them to have? To grow up with? To have in mind when they think of you?

          Again, kudos for honesty, I guess.

          I’m going to be over here continuing to believe we can affect change — because we do so every day. Because our the world is better now than it was 50, 100, 500 years ago. And I’m not going to think that speaking out on a blog is something not an action or not actionable. Words have power to bolster and inform the action we take. Otherwise, we act in ignorance and darkness.

          – c.

          • No…no…I just don’t communicate well writing. Of course I want there to be change. I would love to make change. I just don’t have the time or resources to do much. The future of my children is very important to me and I will continue to teach them that anything is possible if they put the effort in. That’s the key, there. Effort. When I joined the Army…holy shit that was 19 years ago…I really wanted to make a difference. Maybe I got a bit jaded from that experience.

            While you say that you don’t believe in recycled feelings, you can’t tell me that there’s not a sense of Deja’vu. The Chicago theater killings just happened not so long ago. What became of that? Where did the rage and feelings go from that? In fact…here’s a list of all of the mass killings that have happened in the US since Columbine:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9414540/A-history-of-mass-shootings-in-the-US-since-Columbine.html

            I have written my congressmen so many times over the last 15 years that I’ve just become used to getting the same old form letter back. Hell…in the last few years…they don’t even send a real letter. They send an e-mail.

            I can’t, as one guy with a full-time job, kids, girlfriend, ex-wife, and such, enact meaningful change at this point in my life. I have to focus on what makes me a better person…so that I can make my kids better people. I live for them now. I want them to be able to try and make a difference…if that’s what they chose to do. At the very least I want them to be informed and to stay informed so that they can do what they can for their families and communities.

            I get really angry and depressed thinking about all of the people that have died while we’ve spent years discussing what needs to change. There have been 3 Presidents since Columbine. None have done anything meaningful at the Federal level. The State level has been just as bad. It’s really depressing to think about. Then…every time there’s another event like this…the rhetoric starts and people scram at the internet until the next thing comes down the pipe. I don’t have much faith in our people, these days.

            I also didn’t mean to insult your blogging. I was just trying to point out that I doubt you’ll be talking about this in 30 days. It’s just going to go into the hopper as another tragic event. Yes…words can be powerful motivators…but they need to be persistent and heard/seen regularly to have meaningful impact. Otherwise…it’s just rhetoric. Shaking a stick at the world and telling it to get off your lawn.

            Everyone has a say in what kind of change happens. Me…I’ve dreamed of starting a non-profit that helps the neglected and forgotten elderly lead better and more meaningful lives in their twilight years. Too many older people die with a whimper…their vast experience and knowledge falls through the cracks, never to be appreciated. I’d love to change that…and I plan to, eventually.

            People have too broad a focus, in my belief. You can’t be effective when you have to paint an entire building and only have a one, small bucket of paint. We need to focus our efforts on our passions. This ADD society drives me up the wall, but their are good groups out there…and good people. Fuck…I hate PETA…but at least they have a mission and don’t really veer away from it.

            I usually make it a rule not to have online debates because I lack that skill to do so in this format. It’s much easier in person.

  • Great post. The whole “let’s not politicize something” argument is such transparently bullshit. It clearly means “let’s not change the status-quo”. Fuck the status-quo. Especially fuck the status-quo when it means children getting shot at school.

  • Great stuff. As the parent of two elementary school kids, this incident hit home more than 911 did. Perhaps because we are doing it to ourselves. “What a piece of work is man..” keeps ringing in my head in irony. I keep picturing my own kids faces on those of the victims and hearing their cries. And yes, fuck the politics of it. I want to rant like Barry Champlain in Talk Radio

  • Americans are comfortable dealing with an obvious white hat/black hat conflict with clear, quick solutions. We are not comfortable dealing with an everchanging, nuanced, shades of gray, enemy-among-us threat. No matter how complex, how tedious the issue may be, it is time to sit down and do the work to fix things. No matter what. There have been 31 school shootings since Columbine. It is past time.

  • The thing that pisses me off is the weak-spined bullshit shrinking away from “political” — it’s not a negative, you fucking cowards. ANYTHING that deals with how we address circumstances that affect us all as citizens is POLITICAL.

    This is what happens when people stop understanding their own language — the root is from the Greek word for CITIZEN, people.

    “I don’t pay attention to politics.” “I hate how political everything has gotten.” Might as well just wave a giant red flag that says “I’m an ignorant tool. I don’t want to shape our public policy, I just want to do what I’m told.”

  • The goal should be to make it harder for psychos/evil people/bad guys (whatever you want to call them) to kill lots of people with minimal effort.

    Banning military weapons would be a start.

    Just as we don’t allow private citizens to own nuclear weapons, that same logic should be applied to military weapons. If you want a military weapon, join the military..

    • Just for the record, military weapons have been banned* for civilian ownership since 1934, though encouraged for the police.

      This is part of the problem when talking about gun control; people don’t know what the weapons actually are.

      *Yes, you can buy a pre-1986 made automatic weapons, with the payment of a license fee and individual approval of the ATF. They cost tens of thousands of dollars. Only one murder has ever been committed with such a weapon, and that was by a policeman (killed an informant).

        • Here’s the thing about my post. People own way more dangerous guns than semi-automatic rifles. I’m talking about belt-fed machine guns, grenade launchers, etc. Why aren’t there any crimes committed with them?

          Maybe it has something to do with the extra level of vetting that the ATF does on those purchasers. The most dangerous weapon in the world is harmless if the person holding it doesn’t intend to do any harm.

          • Why does a citizen need an assault rifle, a belt-fed machine gun or a grenade launcher?

            A shooting massacre can only happen in a matter of minutes if a bad person has the tools to do great harm quickly and with minimal effort.

            Let’s take away the tools that bad people use to execute these heinous acts in a matter of minutes.

            Let’s make it harder–not easier–for bad guys to kill multiple people in minutes. To me, that seems like a very worthy goal.

  • These things are hard. Everyone sees something terrible happen and demands that Something Be Done, but no one wants to do the hard work of actually coming up with a plan, a multi-prong approach that might actually do something. Everyone wants a quick fix, an easy solution. Some people say get rid of all the guns, some people say hand out more guns. (Either would help, neither is optimal.)

    Gun control _alone_ hasn’t worked. (Connecticut already had all of the laws that people want to pass now, yet the massacre happened anyway. I’m sorry, but there’s no way to call that anything but a huge fail.) Maybe it’s time to look at the people buying the guns.

    These massacres seem to have only really gotten going after the Reagan Administration eviscerated mental health care in this country, back in the ’80s. Maybe it’s time to take a civilized approach to mental health care, and healthcare in general.

    It’s harder to force your way into a computer data center than a school. WTF is up with that? Securing our schools is EASY and would stop probably 95% of these incidents…but it would cost money. When it comes right down to it no one’s going to approve of anything that taps their personal wallet, or inconveniences them, no matter how many kids it might save.

    We make celebrities out of mass murderers, instead of pariahs. Maybe it’s time to change the way our media covers these stories.

    Those are just a few things off the top of my head. But no one is interested in doing the hard work; everyone just wants a magic wand to wave.

    • “Connecticut already had all of the laws that people want to pass now, yet the massacre happened anyway. I’m sorry, but there’s no way to call that anything but a huge fail.”

      Disagree. CT’s gun laws are stronger than a lot of states but still nowhere near what I would consider common sense regulation. Only a partial ban on assault weapons, no licensing, etc; etc; — I agree that it’s not gun control alone, but I feel it necessary to point out that CT doesn’t necessarily contain all the laws people are talking about.

      – c.

      • Just out of curiosity, what’s partial about it? It looks pretty comprehensive to me. Comprehensive enough to ban the weapon actually used, and pretty much the very thing many people want to now make nationwide.

        http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/Chap943.htm#Sec53-202a.htm

        They don’t call their handgun eligibility certificate a license, but there’s small difference. You apply for it, pay a fee, go through a background check, get fingerprinted, take and pass a safety course, and that makes you eligible to purchase (but not carry) a handgun. Isn’t that pretty much exactly what you called for?

        True, the gun control laws in CT don’t add up to the total confiscation that some people are calling for, but they’re about as strict as you’re going to find in the US. And they failed.

        You can certainly argue, “Well then we need even STRICTER laws!” but there’s something historians learn about laws. When a society is passing law after law and law, all about the same thing, those laws aren’t working.

      • What would be “common sense regulation,” relative to CT’s laws? Please be specific. Also, define “Military/Assault Weapon” and “Ammo Stockpile.” Otherwise you’re just tossing out politically charged buzzwords.

    • Oh, forgot to mention that we won’t do anything about mental health care because it would cost money, and we in this country collectively believe that it’s morally wrong for poor people to be healthy.

      Basically, the only proposals that will get any traction are those that don’t cost any money, and don’t inconvenience its supporters. Because, when it comes right down to it, no matter how sad people may be when some tragedy happens, they don’t care enough to actually put their own time and money on the line. (Sure, sure, not YOU; you’re different. I’m different. We’re all different. But watch and see.)

  • Disappointed to see you regurgitating the “guns are easier to get than good health care” meme that’s been going around. That statement doesn’t even make sense. Sure, it’s catchy and memorable, but it’s also vapid.

  • Over the weekend I woke up from a dream in which Janis Joplin told me, “It’s all the same fucking storm, man.”

    Dream Joplin was correct. I haven’t been able to stop crying.

    The horror.

  • Your words are so true and I am so sickened by the facts that my local gun store had x4s normal sales on 12/15. What why and how is it legal to get this semi automatic rifle legally. At least lets make it a little challenging. Our country is in a world of hurt and we have to stop debating but reform now not after the next tradegy

    • New sales records every day. Is that a result of easy access, or suspicion and fear ?

      That’s a real question. What drives sales? Perhaps the path lies in a different direction.

  • Solutions:

    I believe state-run health care would solve this. Too many people don’t have access to it, and so many other countries have the government running it, plus it’s just an extra tax. Eat your hearts out, Republicans.

    Yes! There should be water tight standards one should meet to carry a firearm! Take that, Texas! I mean, seriously. Getting a checking account is harder to get than a gun!

    I have a police officer at my school. I don’t know exactly why. But I do believe if some sort of trained authorities where there, perhaps a couple more kids would be alive.

    We could make School security tighter than airport security. But that might not go down too well. Perhaps visiters should be required to get checked by said policeman. Perhaps.

  • So where do we go from here? How do we decide what changes are right to make, and then make them? How do we, who are essentially random internet strangers brought together by web graffiti left on the page of someone whose words we admire (or something), get a change made? How do those of us who literally have no power in the fight (our overseas friends, for example) help?

    Knowing what needs doing and doing it are two different things.

  • I’ve had a conversation with more than one person about the numbing effects of post traumatic stress on society at large exposed to the voyeurism (for lack of a better word) of the spectacle of violence. In the past it was lions in a coliseum, gladiators, witch burning, lynchings, death in the street, mob mentality, ignoring the dying homeless in the streets….these things have gradually (in our society and culture at least) been weeded out and deemed unacceptable by most. But they are part of the human experience, these images we see, the experience of violence. There is no way to comprehend the impact of exposure to violence on every single individual but our society has come a long way from the bread and circus massacres of the coliseums. We have further to go. Violence in fiction has nothing to do with it. Violence in video games has nothing to do with this very real violence. We must not stop until REAL violence or the intent of violence is so reprehensible that is inconceivable anywhere but in fiction. The fact that we can still conceive of these awful things actually happening in as “advanced” a society as our own…bread and circuses. Mourn these children respectfully. Grandstanding, soapboxing, clutching your gun, or blaming those on the autism spectrum (they aren’t witches by the way) solves absolutely NOTHING.

  • I have to credit this idea to James Tuck, who said that the government should move police stations into the schools. Put a sub-station in every school or have a police cruiser visible on school property.

    I don’t support arming teachers because that expands their role to law enforcement. The answer is not making everyone cops. Let’s not start smudging lines between those who uphold laws and those who teach civility. Anyway, I’ve known a few short fused teachers in my day who liked to toss erasers at unruly students’ heads. Let’s not upgrade it to lead.

    • Well, the former may not scale in all areas (too many school buildings, too few precincts), but the latter is interesting as a visible deterrent, like a guard dog.

      Arming of teachers has to be a local issue, I think. For example, a teacher can be armed in Israel, but they volunteer for training and screening if they want to go that route. It’s not a requirement. However, there’s an armed guard at the school, anyway. Of course, over there they have real concerns of Breslan style attacks. And rockets. The US, as a whole, doesn’t have those worries as yet, though it surprises me that a foreign group attack on a school hasn’t happened. However, it would be interesting to hear from schools in higher crime areas whether an armed teacher or two in the building as backup to the regular officer might be attractive.

      These are all in context of school security, in any event, and with the lone gunman scenario.

  • I gotta say AMEN to that p.s. at the end. I almost flipped a fucking switch on someone on Facebook for making an ignorant insinuation of such. Her status said something like, “Where was god during the shooings? Oh yeah, he’s not allowed in the schools.”

    I thought I had a brain anuerysm when I saw it.

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