School Shootings (continued)
October 11, 2006
If there's one thing I've learned from various forms of story-telling like comics, movies, and TV, it's that God never gives super powers to unattractive people. If there's one thing I've learned from the real world, it's that discussions of guns in the media provide endless examples of backward, moronic thinking.
President Bush held one of those typical government "make it look like we're doing something" get-togethers yesterday. Leading up to the meeting, some of the networks had interviews with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
I happened to catch the interview on Fox News. The highlight had to be when Brian Kilmeade asked the Attorney General about giving teachers guns. His response was something about how that's not the answer and we want teachers "to concentrate on teaching". While I'm glad that someone somewhere in the MSM even brought up the idea, I feel very frustrated knowing that it will go nowhere because of this attitude that says if we let teachers have guns, we're "turning them into police" or some-such.
The thing that makes the police different is not that they defend people or that they carry guns. The thing that makes them different is that they enforce the law in general. The rest of us are not only allowed to defend ourselves, but we are expected to. Giving a teacher a gun does not "turn her into a cop" or anything else. Teachers have access to hammers in their classrooms. They may need to hang a picture or show the class how to build a bird house. Who knows? Are teachers wildly hammering their chalkboards instead of writing on them because they just can't control themselves or figure out when to use which tool? No. Are they using hammers to discipline students? No! Does letting a teacher have a hammer turn her into a carpenter? No, God dammit! There are just times in your life when you need to use a hammer, no matter what you do for a living. The same is true for guns. There are times when you need them, no matter who you are. Having the option to win in a confrontation with a violent person doesn't make you anything but prepared. I'm glad these ass-hats weren't running the show when we started putting fire extinguishers in schools. They would have said "that's the fire department's job" and "we don't want to turn our teachers into firemen".
When Fox went to commercial, I flipped over to CNN and before long, they were interviewing the same two officials. The stupidity this time comes from the interviewer, Soledad O'Brien. She points out that the most recent case of a shooting in school involved a kid with a "MAC-90" and she suggests (in the form of a question because she's totally objective) that stiffer laws against "assault rifles" are the answer because "nobody needs a gun like that". I love how liberals can avoid guns at all costs and simultaneously be experts on which ones we need and don't need. I've never even heard of a MAC-90, and a quick look at Wikipedia makes me wonder if there's any such thing. I'm no expert, but if I don't know what's up with a particular gun, there's a pretty good chance that Soledad doesn't either. Anyway, let's consider Soledad's Brilliant Plan™.
To start with, she uses the classic liberal gun control sleight-of-hand (although I'm not convinced they even realize they're doing it). She considers the benefits of getting rid of certain guns, but then presents them as benefits of banning those guns. The impossibility of actually getting rid of guns is what makes banning them so dangerous. But let's pretend we could get rid of the more powerful guns out there. If you refuse to arm the school's staff, a 13-year-old kid with a small 9mm handgun or a .22 rifle still has a good chance of totally pwning some people. What good is that?
As for which guns we "need"… As far as written law is concerned, the main reason Americans have guns is to defend themselves from the government. With that in mind, the more powerful "assault rifles" should be the last guns considered for a ban, not the first.
So, what did they talk about at Bush's school safety summit? In a word: prevention. They want to improve relationships between students, teachers, and law enforcement in the hopes that they will be able to anticipate attacks. That's a worthy goal, but prevention is nowhere near 100% effective in these cases, and it isn't going to improve any time soon. We need to consider what to do when prevention fails or when prevention isn't an option because the attack comes from an outsider. Along those lines, all I see being seriously considered is:
- Make guns illegal
- Establish "zero tolerance" policies for guns in school
- Establish harsher penalties for kids that violate such policies
That plan will keep gun violence out of school, just like it did marijuana! I feel better already. Seriously, there's a glaring omission:
- Be prepared to shoot back