Monday, December 17, 2012

A Teacher’s Perspective: Are Guns a Right or a Privilege?

I have a microphone and you don’t, so you will listen to every … word I have to say
- Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer

A week (or so) ago, a commenter complained about me getting off the subject of the Followers of Christ, and while I do care about what readers want, there are times when I have something else to say. Like now.

A pro-gun friend of mine posted a link on Facebook about an attack in China that had taken place on the same day as the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. The person basically said, “see, it doesn’t matter if guns are legal, crazy people are everywhere.” I’m sorry for the Chinese children who were attacked, but they are all still ALIVE.
  

I have been teaching for the past ten years. I have taught in a preschool, elementary schools, junior high schools, a high school, and college.

The safest school I worked at was Glencoe High School in Hillsboro. The school doors are kept locked, except the front door right by the front office. There are hundreds of video cameras throughout (and outside of) the school, including classrooms. The videos are being constantly monitored by a security person. There is a security staff, and the school has an armed police officer onsite.

I have shared on a previous post that I dislike guns. I have good reasons for disliking them, but this is not the time to share those specifics. What I do want to address is what can be done to prevent irrational people from massacring innocent folks. Especially children.

Here are my suggestions. Please add your own suggestions in the comments below:

  1. Increase security, such as that at Glencoe High School.
  2. Arm a few, well-qualified and thoroughly-trained staff members. I hate the thought of guns in a school, but it seems that we’ve gotten to the point that it’s necessary.


“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Wayne LaPierre


    3. Make assault weapons illegal.
       
In Australia, gun laws were changed after a public massacre. Guess what? That fixed the situation. There hasn’t been another since.


    4. Increase/tighten gun control laws. A lot. A whole lot. People (gun proponents) will argue that this doesn’t work because criminals don’t obey laws, but I disagree.

Mexico has recently shut down (nearly) private gun ownership. It’s rumored that the government searched homes and businesses to confiscate weapons. This has greatly reduced gun-related deaths.

In Canada, it takes up to 60 days to obtain a gun, after registering, taking a class and going through background checks.

   5. Pay attention to our friends, neighbors, and children. Seriously, these guys were mentally ill and some people knew about it. We need to take mental illness serious and be proactive in getting the people into treatment.

  
The United States has 5% of the world’s population;
Half of all firearms worldwide,
And 80% of gun deaths in the 23 richest countries.

60 comments:

  1. Let's not stop with outlawing guns. Cigarettes, alcohol and even fast food kill more people than guns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, I didn't say to outlaw guns. Second, people who die from cigarettes, alcohol, and fast food make those choices themselves.

      Delete
    2. Cars, bicycles,pointy objects, motorcycles all dangerous and not all people that die because of them made the choice that killed them. Politicians who use these tragedies to push their agendas forward are no better than ambulance chasers. Knee jerk reaction laws are not the answer.

      If Mexico and Canada are so great and safe move there. Don't try to turn us into them.

      Delete
  2. I agree with the suggestions you make, but we might disagree over #3 on the basis of meaning. It already exists; no one can have a select-fire rifle that isn't LE, law-enforcement, or a licensed dealer (someone who would then sell them to LE). That seems in line with your sentiment in #2 which is to make sure that those who protect us have what they need to do it with.

    While I don't like it, my state has those types of rifles that look like assault rifles (but differ greatly in function) limited to fixed-magazine. In a scenario with a crazed shooter, the idea is this limits him to the 10 rounds (our magazines are also limited to 10 rounds here)before they have to stand around feeding rounds through an open receiver. I don't like it because it makes shooting at the range less fun and more difficult. They're sporting rifles; I enjoy the repetitive motion, trying to replicate it, trying to be the best I can be at something I enjoy--for the sport of it. I've been shooting responsibly since I was about 9, and am bothered by how these laws hamper a fun activity.

    Which is why I agree with you on #4 but more like reform gun laws, make them more effective. There should be classes before one is licensed to own and operate a firearm. It's not basic knowledge anymore, which it was when the right was penned and people hunted for food in lieu of or to supplement livestock and were around firearms in most homes. I think that makes it important to regard it as a right we a privileged to have as society and technology changes. I had to pass a test to shoot with the Scouts before I shot my first rifle or handgun. We have to do so to drive, so we should have to to own and operate firearms.

    I don't think they should ever be taken away though, because that's like taking away skateboards for everyone because a few people use them irresponsibly and hurt themselves or others; not everyone finds them enjoyable, but those that do should be allowed to enjoy their freedom in that manner, responsibly.

    Laws will not and never have stopped people from doing things. Maybe one day we will have focused enough energy on mapping the human mind to understand what makes people do these things and maintaining the mind as we do our bodies through regular checkups and screenings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So we want more regulation then? Psych checks all around! If you think that's the answer then the current laws( properly enforced) would be just fine. Your argument will only hold water if you can make it impossible to steal a legally purchased firearm. Somehow they always end up in the hands of a freak, don't they?

      Delete
  3. I can't believe what I just read! That was surprising from a leftwing nut job feminist like suzi. I guess she's not as dumb as she sounds. I had recently gotten the impression that she was a man hating Rosie Odonald lesbo waiting to come out of the closet. I guess she isn't exactly like Rosie, just close.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is useless. It doesn't do anything but spew hatred.

      Delete
    2. What else have you come to expect from the FOC? If there are so many good people out there, how come you only hear from the whack jobs?

      Delete
  4. Anonymous, you read like a real jerkoff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22-36) Now the sword was one of the best weapons that they could get there hands on at the time, it might be comparable to a handgun, why do you suppose that he tells us to get weapons then? Surely it wasn't so we could spread peanut butter on our toast? No it was to equip ourselves! Let's say a rapist comes into your house at night with a gun, that would be a bad time to not have one wouldn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Teachers should be trained to carry a gun. Make it mandatory for teachers to carry. That is the answer not gun control laws. The more trained people that carry legally the safer we will be from phsycos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a teacher, I would sign up to carry a gun if it was legal and endorsed by my school. Even though I dislike guns, it would be worth it to be able to protect others.

      Unfortunately, school employees are not allowed to carry - even those who have concealed carry permits.

      Delete
    2. That's the problem isn't it. All of the horrible college, grade school, and mall shootings could have potentially been averted, or made worse by gun toting teachers. Crossfire into a crowd is a big concern, especially when the crowd is a children's classroom. But you'd have to believe that these cowardly little craps would have turned and ran if someone shot back.

      Delete
    3. If school employees were properly trained and armed it would detour shooters.

      Suzi you seem like a focused and determined person. Why not put your attention on changing laws and rules so that you can carry in school. The more good people that carry the better we will be. We can't let schools be defenceless targets!

      Delete
    4. Turning schools into fortresses isn't a real answer either. Stopping the attacks by helping the people causing the carnage is a better answer. Teachers want their kids to succeed. But they also have an insight into the behaviors of their students. It's a slippery slope, but they could be more involved with coaching or counseling of troubled kids. Suggesting counseling where they see a need? It's probably not possible due to school policies, just throwing the idea out there that teachers probably know those kids better than their own parents in some cases. They should at least have the power to suggest some course of help, before its too late.

      Delete
    5. Counseling is the answer? Dream on hippie. Proper and going training for teachers that is the answer.

      Delete
    6. If long hair and the aroma of pot makes me a hippie, then I guess I'm a hippie. But I'm not suggesting that you get fluffy counseling for people that you believe will commit mass murder. I'm talking electro shock therapy, or lifetime incarceration, or both. We went soft on crazy, somewhere in the past. Every time they talk to family or friends of one of these people they say the same thing. They all knew this person was dangerous. We're so busy taking power away from police, we should be giving them more latitude in evaluating people. Just leave my pot alone. Will everyone here sign my petition?

      Delete
    7. I can't decide who is dumber Brian or the hippie. I think they have more in common than stupidity....puff puff pass

      Delete
    8. Maybe you would like to enlighten me? All you people ever do is get on here and spew your hatred for anyone who would have an opinion that differs from yours! Maybe I would fight, but at least I wouldn't die a spineless coward like you and be oppressed by the government!

      Delete
  7. No one wants to rape you Brian. Teachers carrying? I agree, schools are regularly targets. Teachers should have a chance a protecting themselves and children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, but if I had a wife and kids it would be my job to protect them!

      Delete
    2. Is that really what you meant? I think someone is a little full of them self. Sell your gun, your safe.

      Delete
    3. How am I full of myself?

      Delete
    4. I said break into your house, not mine, but if a killer breaks in I'm prepared, I got my 9.

      Delete
  8. Talk to Christopher, maybe he can map your mind! I hope you know I'm just kidding around. I don't want you bustin a cap in me with your 9.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one is bustin a cap on you, unless you are planing on raping or killing me! Lol

      Delete
  9. No plans, but you are cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Thanks Anonymous!

      Delete
  10. Maybe we should put more into getting people with mental health issues the medical care they need than worry about fighting back. Our society is sick and there isn't always a place to go for the family of a mentally ill teen or young adult to get help for them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are waiting lists for concerned parents. Where they wait for help, and hope that they get it before a tragedy happens. I feel for them too. But republicans cut programs like those to save money. It costs money to take care of people, it takes a village to ensure their well being, and in this case our own.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We live in a very strange society. There are more bureaucratic hoops to jump through to get a license to cut someone's hair than to own and operate a gun.

    Rather than taking away the right to gun ownership we should force people to license, register and insure each gun they own the same as we do cars. Break any of the laws and you are subject to impoundment and forfeiture. It might slow down people who purchase guns and have them around their house for no good reason. Did Nancy Lantz really need so many guns or was it a sign of paranoia and mental illness in her too?

    We will never eliminate guns in the US - we are long past the tipping point on sheer numbers for that - but we don't have to make them so damn accessible either. Too often those guns fall into the wrong hands or get used in suicide or domestic violence against the very people they were supposedly bought to protect. Just think how many people might live to see another day and a solution to their problems if a gun in the home wasn't so handy in a moment of anger or despair.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You can thank Ronald Reagan for the real phsycho's on the street. They're hurting the police, and private citizens. He decided to close the mental institutions putting these lunitics among our children, and innocent adults.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Way to go Ronnie! I'd be willing to bet that it saved each American household $5.00! But it was re-spent on STAR WARS!!!! Billions went to large corporations, and we got left to figure out what to do with the crazies. Now that's fiscal responsibility. Maybe they will come to their senses and spend the 2 trillion that Ryan was going to blow on un-necessary military spending to clean up this republican debokle.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ronald Reagan is at fault*!?@?
    What about the founding fathers?
    They gave us the right to bare arms.
    Go home hippies your drunk!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They gave me the right? I think Jesus gave me the right. Constitution or not I have a right as an individual to defend myself!

      Delete
    2. Hey dummy at 9:40 pm.

      Do think all people in the world have the right to bare arms?

      Jesus taught peace, that its better to be killed than to kill. He did not say you have the right to defend yourself.

      Delete
    3. 9:17, I'm at home, stoned, and happily gun free. No one is raping or killing my family. I think you should keep your guns. But if they fall into the hands of your children, or anyone who does harm with the weapon, then you should spend as much time in jail as the shooter would, if they get caught before the kill themselves. And be responsible for financial restitution to the family of the murdered. $50,000 fillers got each person murdered is a good jumping off point. Say $20,000 per injured person? We'd fix our budget problems in a hurry, and spare a lot of lives.

      Delete
    4. Really anonymous 10:44? Sell your garment and buy a weapon? Says where that me and every other person has the right to defend themselves! Why did he want you to have a weapon? I guess it was so you could turn the other cheek or something! Modern Christians are so stupid!

      Delete
    5. There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Including a time to fight! Now if those men in 1775 at Lexington would have just surrendered there weapons and submitted to King George the 3rd's authority, we would have no America today, but those men knew it was there God given right to defend themselves and there weapons, when they were told to surrender they answered that demand with shots fired! But the Christian man today has been castrated! Like I said before those swords weren't so they could spread there peanut butter!

      Delete
    6. 9:17, how is Reagan not to blame? He closed the loony bins. And literally put them back on the streets. Puuuuufff,,,

      Delete
  16. Load your gun smart guy, if you think you're going up against the US government with your AR, consider the tomahawk targeting your house. Your big bad 223 isn't going to protect you from anyone. Number 1 the likelihood that you'll be home when they break in is slim. Number 2, if you were it probably won't be within reach, or loaded. If it is, and you sleep with it, seek help.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I typically don't support gun control laws, but we would all be safer if Brian didn't have a gun.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Brian I'm going with turn the other cheek on this topic. Lots of things happened in the Old Testament. Those things happened during their season. I think Christ taught us peace. Be peacemakers, not bust caps. Rush Limbaugh can fill you full of whatever, but standing up to the government with a gun will get you nothing but dead. It's fun bravado, but you can't be serious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When a strong man, fully armed, gaurds his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. (Luke 11:21) of course someone will try and relate this to some spiritual thing, but this is practical! He was using a physical example, you have every right as a Christian to defend!

      Delete
  19. After realizing people like Brian own guns I am starting to think Mexico got it right.

    Brian give up your gun and get your head checked before someone gets hurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point isn't to be trigger happy, the point is to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones! I don't advocate for killing anyone, but if someone that I loved was in danger, I wouldn't hesitate! You followers sure do a good job at putting people down tho!

      Delete
  20. Puting a person down is a lot different that puting down the idea of laying in wait with a semi automatic weapon for an imagined threat. The news reports scary information constantly. If it bleeds, it leads. That's the formula they use to decide what to put in front of us. They could run nothing but the fluffy goodness of strangers and Christian organizations helping the homeless and beyond, but it wouldn't sell. Not when it's up against another news channel running blood laced, more exciting, and scarier stories. There are real threats in this world, but there are far more perceived or imagined threats. If you're well armed and expecting a threat, then your very likely to find yourself shooting at a perceived threat than a real one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one is laying in wait with a semi auto, you make it sound like I'm in a bunker somewhere waiting for the events of 12-21-12 to unfold, I'm not armed to the teeth, I don't carry my gun around everywhere, I am not running around looking for someone that would harm me to pop! I have one just so if I am in danger, I live in a very black neighborhood, and not to sound "racist" but generally there is more crime associated with areas like that.

      Delete
  21. All racists love to say "not to sound racist, but...." you are a racist brian. You say nigger all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't hate any group of people, of that's what your referring to as "racist" they are all God's creation! I have Mexican friends, and granted I don't know many black people, I have had black coworkers that I have got along with very well, I even have a Vietnamese friend that I have often given him a ride home from work, and how on earth would you know if I said that or not?

      Delete
    2. You didn't deny it

      Delete
  22. They can't discredit you any other way Brian, take it as a compliment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Oh man I know! No I didn't deny myself using the N word, that isn't a word that I use in anger, I don't think that I'm above anyone or supreme, no I don't use that word on all the time as you put it.

      Delete
  23. Many followers are very prejudiced. They do not believe a black person can make it to heaven. I have heard the n word used over and over by members.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy buddy you'd better hang on to your hat! Get ready to be attacked and called a liar!

      Delete
    2. Did you know there has been black follower preachers and churches. Way to go spreading more lies.

      Delete
    3. There has never been a black follower preacher in Oregon City, its predecessor church in Idaho or Oklahoma. Whether there were black congregations or not does not change the fact many in the group regularly call black people the n word.

      Delete
    4. White follower men are the only white men that use the word NIGGER.

      I want to go back to the beginning of this blog and put together a list of slanderous things that have been said so far. It might take a while I don't want to miss anything.

      Delete
    5. You are correct about there not being blacks in the OC or Idaho churches. But, there is some mention of a black man in the history of the Church of the Firstborn. I will have to look that up.

      I heared the "n" word used a lot in that church. I didn't know it was wrong to say it until I was in my teens.

      Delete
  24. Where? I'm just curious about the history of that segment of the church.

    ReplyDelete

The catchpa has been removed to enable easier commenting. Spam and irrelevant comments will be deleted.