The scene: You're the teacher in that Connecticut classroom and a young man with a dangerous-looking gun bursts through the door.
The action: Your amygdala sends its messages. Do you take flight or give fight?
CUT!!! the director screams before the amygdala's other message gets through your reasoning brain.
Please, no statistics.
Asa, your words support my conclusion that you do have feelings on this subject. However, people who would remedy problems, such as legislators, need more than feelings.
Preventing people with guns from entering schools requires legislation, people, and money.
Your plan does have benefits. They include huge employment increases for guards, their managers and their trainers, huge sales for gun manufacturers and returns for their owners, and another place for China and other lenders to park their excess money.
Your plan also has costs. America is not the richest damn country in the world. If I can trust the news, America is the most indebted country in the world. Your "few bucks" will increase to many hundreds of millions. When you have decided how many guards you will post, you can begin to estimate the cash costs.
There are certain to be "friendly fire" consequences. They will cost more than just money.
That is some of the homework that neither LaPierre nor you did.
BTW, I asked "Are you trolling?"
Had I said "You are trolling" you could have correctly said I drew a wrong conclusion or insulted you.
I don’t mean to deflect from the subject of this forum, but it is such a common argument against almost any improvement to the common good that I must point it out that when you say:
“America is not the richest damn country in the world. America is the most indebted country in the world.”
I would argue the fact that America can indebt itself so greatly is only because of the almost incomprehensible assets that America possesses.
If you have $1.00 to your name, you will be laughed at if you ask to borrow $1,000.00.
America’s debt is a spit in the ocean when compared to the value of its assets. That’s why other countries are so willing to “loan” America money (actually invest), even at today’s low interest rates, and why America should be borrowing more, now, to invest in its infrastructure instead of worrying about its “debt”.
Your argument that it would be somehow too expensive to guard our schools is without merit.
Oh, and BTW back to you:
"BTW, I asked "Are you trolling?"
Had I said "You are trolling" you could have correctly said I drew a wrong conclusion or insulted you."
That you “asked” has implications.
What implications would you draw were I to ask: “Are you an idiot?”
Just askin’ . . . not insulting.
Asa, you asked what implications I would draw if you asked me “Are you an idiot?”
First, you imply (suggest) and I infer (conclude). Check a dictionary.
That settled, what would I (Tom) infer if you (Asa) were ask: “Are you an idiot?”
I infer nothing; your query lacks context for determining an amount of idiocy.
BTW, I doubt your expertise in economics. Until those "incomprehensible assets" are identified, who would accept them in repayment of a debt?
The U.S. GNP in 2012 is estimated to be $17 trillion.
America’s GNP in just one year is more than the entire national debt accumulated over all the years (last year alone by $1 trillion).
This doesn’t begin to take into account the profit on stocks, interest on savings etc.
If we collected one tenth of one cent on every Wall Street stock transaction and applied just that revenue to just the national debt, we could pay it off in less than 10 years. (sooner many experts contend)
I hope someone as obviously intelligent as yourself hasn’t fallen victim of the myth that somehow America is in desperate financial straits because we’ve borrowed some money, which the country could easily pay back. Assets are important because they assure repayment, not that they can simply be seized in lieu of repayment. That is why the U.S. can borrow so easily.
For example, if you make $50,000 a year, should you not be allowed to borrow $150,000 to buy a home because your debt would be three times what you make in a year?
Now, don’t get me wrong. We should work toward the common sense idea that a balanced budget be a goal, and the necessity of servicing debt is part of balancing the budget. But the national debt is far from a crisis.
And it certainly is not a factor when it comes to protecting our children or the rest of us from gunners in our public places.
(Not to quibble, but my “asking” was indeed an implication.
My question was an inquiry as to what you thought my implication might be. And yes, I should have instead asked what you thought I’d be implying were I to ask: “Are you an Idiot”. At that point I didn’t really care what you inferred.
And what should I have inferred about what you were implying when you asked: “Are you trolling?”
That being said, I will be more careful to use words in context less susceptible to nit picking in the future.)
Now, back to my original contention that your question about a Fight or Flight decision is one that should not have to be made in a public school in the first place. That we should avoid our teachers and students having to make that decision by simply keeping people with guns out of public schools. Is your opposition to that suggestion based on it having been made by Wayne LaPierre?
There were 2 armed police officers at Columbine - they were out gunned by the two gunmen.
Well, they were there to mostly watch for inappropriate behavior on the part of the students, and they were outside at the time, and, yes, they were out gunned.
And if we can't learn something from that experience then we're really stupid.
Seems to me that two gun toting teenagers entering a school might be considered "inappropriate behavior". The police officers weren't there to prevent wedgies and food fights. They were armed and legally allowed to use deadly force if life is in jeopardy.
There is no easy solution to this problem. Like everything else we deal with complex, there is no single solution. The approach to this has got to be multi-faceted. Anyone who claims otherwise doesn't truly see the scope of the situation.
Now if you'll allow me to solve the world's problems... ;)
First things first - stricter gun laws. Background checks, limited magazine/clip capacity - are a decent step. Tracking ammunition might also help. That said, the genie is out of the bottle. Reloading your own shells - not hard to do. Creating your own weapons - also not as hard as it once was. What it does do, is slow up the rank amateur. Look at who is going in to do these heinous crimes - mostly kids. Yes, some of them might know how to reload - but hey, we're just thinning the pool a bit with this move.
Follow on with LESS news coverage for the shooters. You see these pimply faced kids with full armed guards - voila! Instant badass. Giving the shooters that don't get killed/kill themselves instant fame and, for lack of a better word, street cred.
Improve education. Stop treating kids like cattle and they'll stop acting like animals. How lovely it'd be if we could afford, as teachers, to breathe and focus on our students. If we know our students better we can act as preventative care.
Improve the economy - this one is straight from my rectum, but still... There is a direct relation between brutality and economy. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that a single income blue collar family could afford a house, a car and an education for their kids. These days, we have over-worked and disconnected parents. It's hard to give a rat's posterior when you're exhausted. Teenage angst has always existed - but the level of parental dis-involvement seems to be a bit of a new trend.
Improve mental health. In my last life (not literally - just speaking metaphorically) working with law enforcement - there's literally NOTHING that can happen to deal with a potential violent criminal until there is blood. Law Enforcement is not there to protect - it is there to tidy up after. If there is no route for people to take with mental health issues, we aren't going to see the end of this sort of violence.
NOW! This all said - arm a teacher? Hell. No. I'm a tough broad. I've been trained - and there's no way I could unleash my inner SWAT sniper (because there isn't one to unleash) without taking note of the screaming children. My teaching peers? Oh hell no. Have you MET a first grade teacher? Teachers are not snipers - they're people choose to teach not because they wanted to be rich - but because they want to improve society. Some teach because they suck at everything else - but what I've found, is that the vast majority of teachers start off with a very altruistic and dedicated view, we just have it beaten out of us over the years.
Armed guards? I dunno. Again, I don't even know if THEY could stop anything and crossfire is a bad idea. But for the sake of putting it all on the table - sure. Just as long as we address the other things too.
Okay - I think if you add this to my initial two cents, we're up to $1.27.
I can't help but think that a good few of these ideas might be worth trying out. However, trying to install reason into an intellectually broken culture might prove easier said than done...
If you spend more than $1.50, you can get into the price club - just a heads up ;)
Personally, I'm in favor of reasonable gun control. I interpret that as basically enforcing the gun laws we already have and banning the sale of automatic or semi-automatic weapons and high capaicty magazines to non-law enforcement officials and those who aren't certified to handle them.
I find it interesting to note that in such debates about what we might or mightn't do, it seems to be an "all or nothing" sort of debate.
"We can't stop all criminals who wish to enter a school with a weapon, so arm all the teachers or turn schools into airports (because we like so much how we've turned airports into airports)." A summation of Wayne LaPierre's position.
Reducing the number (the excluded middle in the debate) is just that: excluded.
And even if one were successful in turning schools into airports, shooters will just go elsewhere. The logical conclusion of Mr LaPierre's position is "arm everything, everywhere" without the consequence of "with all those arms, won't shootings go up?"
The worst school massacre in the USA was in Bath Michigan in the Twenties, and was accomplished with military explosives that were widely available in any hardware store without a licence at the time.
The problem was farmers and others insisted that such explosives were necessary for their work, and that they had a right to them.
The government moved to seize them all. Did agriculture stop? Was there a sudden famine? Did American democracy come to a halt because any ol' person could no longer buy explosives?
And that brings up the most emotional and least sensible argument of the NRA: that registering guns, ammunition, and owners is a first step in the overthrow of our democratic republic.
Hogwash. Just like registering all autos and drivers has led to a suspension of driving privileges.
Do they honestly think that they could stand against a "real" organised militia, the one the II Amendment calls for and the NRA always fails to mention, that is, the US military, with their peashooter AR-15s, if an overthrow were planned?
What prevents the military from overthrowing the republic is military doctrine that starts at boot camp and throughout service maintains that the military is subservient to the civilian elected government, not a bunch of alarmists wandering around in the woods in camo uniforms pretending to be military experts.
Mr LaPierre does not represent the NRA's gun-owning members; the vast majority of the NRA's money comes from manufacturers and dealerships. The NRA represents businesses, not gun owners.
So you want your children going to school in an armed fortress? Is that really how you want our kids to spend their formative years?
Ok I am an outsider here. I'm not from the U.S. So I really don't get the attachment elements of 'Mericas society have to unrestricted firepower. I must admit I'm glad i don't.
The reality is there are proven answers to these problems. Just about every democracy in the world has the solution. Get firearms away from people who don't need them.
28th of April, 1986 Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 more at Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia. It was a dark horrible day. I remember listening as a 13 year old to radio reports thinking that this couldn't be happening in my Australia.
In the wake of this tragedy Australia's gun laws where drastically tightened. Semi-Automatic weapons were banned from most of the population. In the years since no mass shooting like this have happened.
Yes sure criminals still use guns to kill. You wont see them using military grade weapons though. Why use a big heavy rifle when a pistol will have the same effect.If they knew they chanced coming up against someone armed with a gun logic dictates they would use bigger guns, and so on and so on. The reality here however they are more likely to use a knife. I don't know about you but I'd prefer to take my chances with a knife wielding bandit than one with a gun.
Maniacs like Anders Brevic (sorry if i misspell his name) can and WILL carry out mass murder even in a disarmed society. However the regularity of these sad events will only be increased if you actually make it easy for someone to get the guns in the first place.
I really hope that America takes this opportunity to re-evaluate this nasty aspect of its society.