Monday, June 6, 2016

More on guns and school violence

When I mentioned to my kids that there had been a shooting at UCLA, the following words actually came out of my mouth:

"It was just a murder-suicide."


That's what we've been reduced to, courtesy of Wayne LaCrazysauce and the NRA.

I once again began thinking about the WHY.

Why have school shootings become an epidemic?

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “Since 2013, there have been at least 186 school shootings in America — an average of nearly one a week.” The rate of mass shootings has tripled since 2011, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

In the past 10 years, there has been an increased narrative on a few fronts.

First: teachers are the worst. They are lazy, work part time, and are solely responsible for this generation of uneducated young adults and children.

Forget the fact that it's state legislatures and the idiotic House of Representatives that have put a decreased emphasis on education - increasing funding in many instances for "school of choice", for vouchers, for charter schools, and for parochial school and homeschooling - where frequently there is no monitoring of standards, and religious beliefs are given more weight and importance than actual facts.

We not only need to excel in math and science - we need to give students a well-rounded education in all areas. Expose them to art, and music, and history (god yes, please! teach history for chrissake). They need PE - something which is all but disappearing in the elementary and middle schools. And teach them that facts are important! Teach them to question the world around them and to develop their own world view. Not to just accept as gospel the world view of their parents and teachers.

Second, and this is mostly since President Obama has come to take our guns away -  the idea that simply being a US citizen allows you to carry a weapon, concealed or not, anywhere you want. And to use it any time you want. Well, President Obama hasn't taken our guns away (much to my sadness). And yet, the idea that guns are an anger management tool seems ingrained in not just a new generation, but in their parents as well.

You're mad at your teacher? That lazy, do-nothing who didn't give you the grade you want deserves to be shot. Because we haven't told kids that it's wrong. We've taught them through the laws being passed for Stand Your Ground, and no-permit concealed carry on campus, in bars, and in churches is how we can settle arguments. How we defend ourselves from all evil.

We've forgotten to teach a new generation and their parents that we start with words. And that the pen is mightier than the sword. In our immediate gratification society, I want you gone, so I make you gone immediately. Each month, Parents Against Gun Violence posts a list on their Facebook page containing the reasons people were shot in the previous month. They are all idiotic and stupidly selfish anger management tools.

We've taught people that it's ok to kill to get what you want. Don't like my constitutional right to have an abortion? Fine. Blow up the clinic. If you die, you deserved it.  Don't like kids playing their loud music? Fine, shoot them. Don't like your grades? Fine, kill your teacher.

Of course, these only apply to white students, or more specifically, white men. Because if a black woman were to use a gun to stand her ground, she gets sentenced to jail for 20 years. When a white man does it, he gets off scott free with a huge outpouring of donations and a big dose of asshole.

Anywhooo... my original point is this: stop devaluing education in the name of the 1st & 2nd amendments. The more we educate our society (REAL education, people) the less this crap will be tolerated. And the fewer uneducated idiots will get elected to Congress.

Because my hope is to never have to say again, "It was just a murder-suicide."

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