“Guns in Schools- It’s a Good Thing” or “Common Sense Wins Again!”

I’m glad the military and the police has guns,because naively I believe they will protect me should some other country get a mad hankering for poutine and universal healthcare. But as a Canadian- and a human- I am super glad that guns are not easily accessible in this country. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to shoot a round or two at a shooting range-because that would be awesome! I’d totally do that hold it sideways thing even though I hear it breaks your wrist #worthit. Sure, having a gun might be nice at times- I sincerely believe that come zombie apocalypse I will be one of many Canadians ruing the day I didn’t learn how to shoot a gun (who am I kidding- I’m totally going to a zombie like twenty minutes in), but I don’t feel it is an integral part of my daily safety plan.

bike-girl-zombie“O Canada”…more like “Oh why didn’t I know how to use a gun!”*

I try not to get too political, especially about a country that is not my own. I know guns in the hands of the ill-informed, undereducated, general public is a bad idea…because common sense, but being the polite Canadian I am I don’t feel it’s my place to preach my opinion, beliefs, superior intellect etc.

I will however laugh and laugh and laugh when I see stories like this: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/09/05/idaho-arms-teachers-teacher-shoots-himself-in-foot-on-first-week-of-classes/

As an educator, in a world where if I were to sneeze on a student I would be sued for negligence for spreading the flu, bringing guns into the classroom just seems like a stupid, stupid, stupid (ad nauseam) idea. I could list all the ways this could go so very wrong, but I’m going to make the bold assumption that you at the very least a semi-intelligent person- perhaps I’m being overly generous- and can figure out why for yourself . Now everyone should go write those reasons down and mail them, en mass, to whoever decided arming teachers was a good idea.

Want to try that again, Billy? **

So, from my basic understanding the thought process goes a little like this:

Gun Enthusiast vs. Common Sense Round 1 – FIGHT!

GE: People bringing guns into schools is bad, they might/can/have shoot the kids! But how will we ever solve this problem?

CS: Perhaps we should limit who can have access to guns? And while we’re at it maybe the types of guns people should get? Like AK47’s, no one needs an AK47 right?

GE: Okay, I hear what you are saying- we need more guns.

CS: No…no not quite. I didn’t say-

GE: No this is a great idea. We will solve the gun problem by adding more guns! It’s like that math thing I learned about before I bribed my way through school to become a politician- what’s better than one apple? More apples!

CS: I feel like you don’t grasp the spirit of math.

GE: This is genius. Give all the teachers guns, train them how to use them- we wouldn’t want them shooting no kids on accident-and then they will be so bad-ass no one will ever think of walking into a school and shooting the children again!

CS: *facepalm*

Here’s two things no one really stopped to think about during this plan- they were too busy out getting more guns.

1. Teachers are super stable individuals- not!
As a general rule teachers are amazing people. They are kind, compassionate, and love their jobs, their kids, and would do everything in their power not to let any harm come to any of their students. These upstanding people make up the vast majority of the teaching profession. However,  at the back of the professional magazine licensed teachers in my province get a few times a year, is this lovely directory called “The Blue Pages”- wherein the College of Teachers lists teachers who are accused, charged, and/or tried for breach of conduct to varying degrees. Yes, at its worst, this is where you find your pedophiles, anger management drop outs, and various other people you imagine walk around with squinty, shifty, eyes. Case in point, while I was teaching in the UK I knew a resource teacher who would fall into that last category.  I was completely convinced would come in with a weapon one day- because he just couldn’t take it anymore. Teachers are people, people who are charged with the task of dealing with your hyperactive, defiant, charming, young person- for more hours of the day than you, their parents, usually see them- times thirty. Then they have to listen to you complain they get paid too much. So putting a gun in their hand seems like a super good idea right?

2. The people who commit school shootings are perfectly logical and not at all crazy. Again, not!

I feel like if you’re contemplating walking into a school and pulling a gun on innocent children and teachers, you’re probably not in a sound place mentally. So do concepts like “if I walk into this school and threaten kids someone will shoot me” actually matter to these people? I’m going to argue no. These are not obstacles they will fear. They are likely not in a place to think logically- because logical, rational people- whether they have access to guns or not- don’t seriously believe the way to solve whatever their problem is is to go kill a bunch of people. However, this may seem like a perfectly rational idea to someone suffering from some mental illness. More than likely, these people know on some level that they will not make it out alive. Knowing that swarms of police will come and likely shoot them doesn’t deter them, so why does anyone believe that teachers- albeit “trained”- with guns is going to succeed where that image fails?

These are just two flaws with this idea, there are countless others and if I were to talk about them all this post would be infinitely long. Are teachers actually going to react the way they hope now that they are armed? What happens when someone inevitably forgets the gun in the bathroom, staffroom, cafeteria, etc? What happens if said “trained” teacher gets their own gun turned on them? What happens when a teacher, terrified that at any moment someone is going to walk through the doors and try to kill them, over reacts to a situation and shoots an innocent person? What happens if the teacher’s gun’s safety is accidentally turned off and it discharges in their pocket shooting their foot-besides making me laugh?

I also acknowledge the argument that the idea is less about intimidating the would-be shooters, than it is giving the school staff- the last line of defense as it were- the ability to protect themselves and their students. But, you know where there isn’t a ton of school shootings resulting in mass death? Canada. Seriously I just did a quick Google search and the Canadian Wikipedia page (because reliable!) has about six shootings. The United States? Its broken down into freaking centuries and decades!

United States vs. Canada

Obviously we have to take this information with a grain of salt, but I think it does begin point to one simple fact. When people can’t easily get their hands on guns, shootings happen more rarely.

I won’t even get into constitutional rights, and all that- mostly because I’m Canadian so I don’t give a crap about those things- and  although I am forced to know more about the U.S’s legal system than I do my own thanks to TV, I don’t get a say. If I did I would probably point out that using ancient texts that were written in a time and society that really bears no resemblance to our own probably shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your arguments, and also…common sense.

But, at the end of the day someone is going to have to save us from the zombies- hopefully its Darryl.

 

Comment if you have something to say about guns and schools, because let’s open that can of worms! Like this post if you liked it, follow me on WordPress and follow me on Twitter or else Darryl won’t save you! You’ll be stuck with Shane- remember Shane? Or hoards of zombies! You wanna be stuck with that? Didn’t think so.

 

Credits:

* according to google I got this image from here- don’t sue me: http://zombieresearchsociety.com/archives/category/zombie-science-2/zombie-decay-theory

** Poor Billy. According to google I got this image from here: http://sandiegofreepress.org/2013/02/you-want-to-arm-my-teachers/#.VA4mJ2Pp8qI

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on ““Guns in Schools- It’s a Good Thing” or “Common Sense Wins Again!”

  1. “I’m glad the military and the police has guns,because naively I believe they will protect me…”

    Not sure exactly what the law is in Canada, though I doubt it is much different in Canada in regards to one important point. In the U.S. (and I suspect Canada too) the police have _no_ legal duty to protect you as an individual. Below is a link to some interesting comments on that.

    A Nation of Cowards
    by Jeffrey R. Snyder

    http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/a-nation-of-cowards/

    Like

    • lwk2431- thanks for the comment. You are right- which is why I threw a “naively” in there. ” Police services shall be provided throughout Ontario in accordance with the following principles: 1. The need to ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in Ontario. 2. The importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code. 3. The need for co-operation between the providers of police services and the communities they serve. 4. The importance of respect for victims of crime and understanding of their needs.” R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 1.

      Law Enforcement, like all institutions, is flawed. I accept that in the grand scheme of things law enforcement generally takes a “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” mentality- and probably rightfully so. “The need to ensure the safety and security of ALL persons and property in Ontario”- to me this does not speak about the individual but rather about the safety of ALL people- the police’s duty is to society, not to me individually.

      I tried to do some research specifically on the issue you brought up, looking for some specific policies, reports, rulings etc in Canada- and while I found a lot about this issue in the US, I couldn’t find much about it here. So, unfortunately I can not speak to how similar or different this issue may be between our countries. The Bottom line is, though, I don’t feel that I rely on police protection to keep me-individually- safe. Rather, I feel safe because our society- its laws and cultural values, and our collective understanding of their enforcement- does not create a landscape of mistrust and fear that I feel the need to carry a gun/weapon to feel protected.

      Like

      • “I accept that in the grand scheme of things law enforcement generally takes a “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” mentality- and probably rightfully so.”

        Which is why Jeffrey Snyder in the article I mentioned claims, and rightfully so in my view, that we as individuals have a moral duty to be the “first responder” when a violent aggressor attacks us, or our family. Did you read it by any chance? It is a rather famous essay.

        Like

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