Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Road to Hell



This is what a school should look like - a place of life and learning - not guns and death.























I've been resisting posting about Sandy Hook.

It's so sad, so predictable, and so American. Violence is as American as apple pie.

But a comment on a blog has forced me into it. Someone is seriously and earnestly advocating arming teachers as a solution to the problem of school massacres.

Admittedly, this suggestion was made by someone living across the Pacific. I'd hope no Australian would have such a tenuous grip on reality to promote it.

Can you imagine it? A school full of armed teachers? Armed with what? Glocks, perhaps, or Brownings?

I can see it now. Range practice after school - annual skill and safety checks - the establishment of secure school armouries. The janitor groundsman could double as the school armourer. There'd be an issue of ammo every morning on parade. All weapons would have to be cleared and handed in at day's end.

The arms industry would make (excuse the pun) a killing. The contracts would be lucrative and attractive.

Murphy's Law would hold, of course. Imagine what could go wrong. Teacher carelessly mislays his/her weapon - it gets picked up by one of the school's more crazy students. Don't laugh - there's a constant percentage of psychopaths in every school. You'd only need one.

Or perhaps there's a break-in at the armoury. Twenty or so Brownings (or Glocks) are let loose in the criminal community.

Or perhaps a teacher finally succumbs to the many pressures of the job and barricades himself/herself in a classroom holding twenty-five kids hostage.

If it can happen, it will happen.

The fact that this lunacy could even be considered is a pretty clear indication of the problem stateside. Gun violence is so embedded in their culture that it's seen as a solution rather than a problem.

It takes a particular kind of delusional view of the world to come up with this train of thought.

 What's next?

I give it a week or two until they come up with a new solution.

I can hear it now. Lower the age of conceal carry to five.

That way the grade oners can look after themselves.

Bizarre? Don't bet on it.

We are talking about the NRA, after all.

And the tragedy itself?

I find it profoundly unsettling to think about what the children and staff at that school have been through. It has triggered memories I’d rather forget. On three occasions in my over 40 years in schools, firearms as a threat were in the picture.

Twice the threats were verbal, but on one occasion there was a real physical threat. A father came to the school with a rifle in his car. I managed it by sitting down when the perpetrator came into my office. It seemed a better idea than standing up. I was unable to get him to take a seat, but eventually he ran out of grief and left.

I say “ran out of grief”, because it was grief that was driving his rage.

He came back next day and apologised. I didn’t contact the police. Perhaps I should have. The weapon was legal.

It did give me an insight into the feeling of sheer helplessness you experience when you’re placed in the position of being responsible for the safety of a group of children, but lack any means to do anything about it.

But arming teachers is not the solution. It would be a short cut to hell.

29 comments:

cav said...

94,000 American shot this year so far

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/

1735099 said...

That's more than the total US casualties in Vietnam (58,282 KIA).

Anonymous said...

Cav, the question is were they shot or killed?
1735099 assumes killed and misquotes figures in reply....total American casualties during the conflict in which you assisted were 211,454 and 2,489 missing. KIA figures are in the ball park you mention. You have misrepresented the numbers as usual.
I see the Chinese are more clever with distribution of firearms. Disarm the populace and the government is safe from being overthrown but nutters with knives are attacking kids in schools. What is your answer to that one genius? Soft targets are always sought by cowards. School kids unfortunately seems to be common targets.

1735099 said...

Were they shot or killed?
They’re dead.

1735099” assumes killed.
I assumed nothing. These are Defence Department figures.

But, if you like, let’s count total casualities as KIAs. If you did that, it would take only 2 and a half years for US gun fatalities (at the current rate) to match total US casualities (KIAs and WIAs) in Vietnam.

Put another way, it would take about 3 days of US firearm deaths at the current rate (159 per day) to match the total number of Australians killed in Vietnam.

Your school of thought comes straight from the National Rifle Association script.

The NRA and the Taliban have a lot in common. They are both based on an anachronistic view of the world (in the case of the NRA a statute written in the 1790s when the most lethal firearms were muzzle loaders, in the case of the Taliban, medieval tribal mores).

They both tolerate mass murder.

They both exert an influence on national affairs (in the one case Afghanistan, in the other the USA) way out of proportion to their relevance.

If you (anonymous) want to conform to that kind of collective lunacy, go for it; but I’ll call it when I see it.

Anonymous said...



"The graphic above shows the composite estimated average number of people shot or killed in the United States in one year and every day."

From the site quoted by Cav. The statement includes persons not killed and the figures do not come from Defence department figures as you claim but from the anti gun lobby.
Please read comments and try to digest the content before before going off on a tangent and trying to attack from the flanks.
"But, if you like, let’s count total casualities as KIAs".....hardly relevant since you don't understand the origin and method of compilation of the figures you attempt to compare. Head to the site quoted by Cav and you will find that if you make comparisons between Australian KIA and the numbers from the site that you wrongly believe to be daily KIA by firearms in the US today, it would only take two days as the current daily number is 268.
Get your "facts" correct and do not assume that I think the yanks have it right with their lack of firearms control. Hardly the case.
"The NRA and the Taliban have a lot in common".....I am sure they both disagree with your well thought out statement. You carry on as if the US is the only country in the world that believes it is the right of the populace to bear arms. Open your eyes....it could be that they are one of the few that publicise the error of their ways. By the way you haven't addressed the problem of Chinese with knives.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you have faith in Wikipedia but try "List of countries by firearm-related death rate" It seems The US is twelfth on the list, so you should at least give the eleven above them some sort of run on their gun legislation....what do you think?

1735099 said...

The statement includes persons not killed

Which is why I included the total casualty count in Vietnam in my response. It doesn’t really make much difference, does it?

“before before (sic) going off on a tangent ….”

You’re the one on a tangent, and it’s taken you all the way to China.

“and do not assume”

I don’t assume – it makes an ASS of U and ME.

“Hardly the case…” Good for you. What’s the solution?

the problem of the Chinese with knives.

Not sure it’s much of a problem. Figures for knife fatalities in China are hard to find, but in the 5 knife attacks recorded in the media, 15 children died. In the same period in the USA, 138 have been killed by gunmen in schools. The most recent knife attack in China resulted in woundings, but no deaths.

Given the populations (1,347,350,000 in China and 314,959,000 in the USA) I don’t think that comparatively speaking, the Chinese have a problem. That being the case, apart from the obvious red herring, what’s your point with the Chinese?

1735099 said...

The fact that the US is 12th on the list is neither here nor there. You need to compare apples with apples.
Of the 11 countries above the USA on the list, only South Africa and Brazil could be considered not third world.
Compare the USA with a comparatively developed country, say Canada, because it is on the same continent. The Canadian rate is half that of the USA.
Compared with Australia, the rate in the USA is about 8 times ours.
That last figure, for me, is most relevant. I live in Australia, and am tired of listening to nutters who promote the NRAs philosophy on gun ownership. If they want a rate 8 times higher than what we have here, they're welcome to move to the other side of the Pacific.

statelymcdanielmanor said...

Dear 1735099:

Hi there. Since you're apparently referring to me, and since I had no trouble allowing you to post a link to this article, would you be so kind, in the interest of American/Australian relations, to post a link to my article, the article you take to task, so your readers can be fully informed?

Thanks!

Yours,

Mike McDaniel
Stately McDaniel Manor

1735099 said...

Happy to - http://statelymcdanielmanor.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/what-other-right-truly-matters-the-nra-misses-the-target-2/

Anonymous said...

"But, if you like, let’s count total casualities as KIAs"
Why don't we count KIA's as wounded, then your illogical complaining would once again count for nought.
"You need to compare apples with apples.
Of the 11 countries above the USA on the list, only South Africa and Brazil could be considered not third world" So....if your country cannot be compared to the US, your per capita death by gun rate counts for nought. Now that's targeting stats, isn't it.

1735099 said...

your per capita death by gun rate counts for nought
Tell that to the friends and family of the over 30000 killed by guns in the US this year.
This is worth reading - http://www.businessinsider.com/shooting-gun-laws-2012-12

Anonymous said...

Well from 94000 to 32000 deaths by gun this year...you have been sussing out the numbers, at last.
"Tell that to the friends and family of the over 30000 killed by guns in the US this year".....is that considered a diversion from making a meaningful answer? You are still targeting Americans rather than being more critical of the whole picture. A bit like squeezing one pimple on the back of one of your mates with heavy acne, way back in the boonies and saying "Job done" because the problem is so tacky and immense.
You off and running about firearms but you should check child homicides by gun and compare to chold homicides by other means....guns are low by comparison. Any death of a child is to be deplored but you make an issue of it to sound off and like the pollies only relate to firearms related homicides to push your barrow.

1735099 said...

The most critical statistic, and that the one that is consistently ignored by the gun lobby is the correlation between rates of gun ownership and firearm homicides.
Analysing the ages of those killed is simply a red herring.

Anonymous said...

The smelliest "red herring" of all is your claim that anything that doesn't suit your beliefs is a red herring.
Lets look at deaths by motor car....correlate that to car ownership. Similarly with anything likely to cause death, the abundance of tools makes it really easy to kill, but once again.....if US citizens propensity to own guns means that they have more weapons per capita then why is it that there are eleven countries with higher per capita rates of gun related death than the US?

Anonymous said...

Didn't like my last comment?

Anonymous said...

A more relevant statement to raise eyebrows in relation to gun related deaths of Americans would be.....in 13 years or so at war in Vietnam 58 plus, thousand Americans were killed by firearms and explosives. Each year in America 30000 die by the same means without taking part in a war.

1735099 said...

in 13 years or so at war in Vietnam 58 plus, thousand Americans were killed by firearms and explosives. Each year in America 30000 die by the same means without taking part in a war.
And either or both were/are completely unnecessary.....

Anonymous said...

"And either or both were/are completely unnecessary..... "
What are your views on our involvement in Afghanistan, now that Labor is in office and
still has our blokes involved?

1735099 said...

What are your views on our involvement in Afghanistan Irrespective of what party is in power, I don't think we should be there. To quote Major General John Cantwell - But the fundamental question has continued to gnaw at me: is what we have achieved in Afghanistan worth the lives lost and damaged? Today, I know the answer - it's no. It's not worth it. (Exit Wounds, Maj. Gen. John Cantwell, Melbourne University Press, 2012, p359.)

Anonymous said...

Ah.....does that mean that Labor has got it wrong according to your personal opinion?

Anonymous said...

"Not sure it’s much of a problem. Figures for knife fatalities in China are hard to find, but in the 5 knife attacks recorded in the media, 15 children died."

Perhaps you could explain that to the parents of the 15 deceased and then go on to explain how unimportant being carved up by a lunatic is to the parents of the wounded.

1735099 said...

does that mean that Labor has got it wrong
On this issue, the Greens have the only policy I'd support.

1735099 said...

Perhaps you could explain that to the parents of the 15 deceased
15 deceased in Chinese school killings compared to 379 in the USA since records have been kept. That says it all.

Anonymous said...

I say again, over....."Similarly with anything likely to cause death, the abundance of tools makes it really easy to kill, but once again.....if US citizens propensity to own guns means that they have more weapons per capita then why is it that there are eleven countries with higher per capita rates of gun related death than the US?" Is this beyond your scope of understanding or is your lack of response to the qustion an indication of your anti Yank obsession?

1735099 said...

Compare like with like - The rate of death from firearms in the United States is eight times higher than that in its economic counterparts in other parts of the world.
(Kellermann AL and Waeckerle JF. Preventing Firearm Injuries. Ann Emerg Med July 1998; 32:77-79.)
is your lack of response to the qustion (sic) an indication of your anti Yank obsession?
I don't have an anti Yank obsession - but I don't believe that their gun laws are superior to ours, unlike many nutjobs who post on right-wing blogs.

Anonymous said...

"why is it that there are eleven countries with higher per capita rates of gun related death than the US?"
Is it your reponse that poorer countries, lesser developed countries, uneducated countries, therefore have a viable excuse to avoid your condemnation of their apparent indescriminate use of firearms? If that is in fact your belief then you should have a position in the judiciary, perhaps a Magistate or a Judge. It appears that those educated people have similar beliefs to yours.

1735099 said...

Is it your reponse (sic) that poorer countries, lesser developed countries, uneducated countries, therefore have a viable excuse to avoid your condemnation of their apparent indescriminate (sic) use of firearms? If that is in fact your belief then you should have a position in the judiciary, perhaps a Magistate (sic) or a Judge. It appears that those educated people have similar beliefs to yours.
Marks - Spelling - 7/10
Reasoning - 5/10 (repetition)

Anonymous said...

Dear Cur, (sorry no circumflex on my keyboard)

Response to cwestion= 0/10

Result of marking.....5/10 and 7/10that's a pass mark. Now I'll become a teecha and maybea a hed marsta after that and with a view to being Minister for Education.

"but I don't believe that their gun laws are superior to ours"
Ah, we agree on that, but that doesn't mean that we should change ours. The only people finding it easy to get a firearm in this, "the lucky country", are the crooks, and you are naive if you think thefts are the major source. If you doubt that try to get a shooters licence and then try to legally obtain a firearm. You don't have to actually purchase a gun, just go through the process. You might even learn something.

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