Posts Tagged ‘School shooting’

Arming Teachers: Trump Proposes Making an Insane Situation Even More So

February 22, 2018

One week after the most recent American school slaughter, which left 17 dead, Donald Trump took time off from writing appalling and infantile tweets to gather together teachers, family members and survivors of the recent horror at the White House. In what was billed as a “ Listening Session,” Trump sat silently, wearing an expression meant to signify some approximation of empathy while holding a cheat sheet of handwritten questions and sympathetic expressions, including one that read “I hear you.”

The televised event was difficult to watch. Survivors and parents of the dead from multiple school shootings in the past decade or so, including Sandy Hook, alternately pleaded with or demanded that the man who declared that the “American carnage” would stop on his Inauguration Day use his immense power and influence to finally do something to end the insanity of allowing the sale of weapons of war that lead to yet another completely preventable bloodbath, this time in an American high school.

When at last Trump spoke, he babbled on incoherently about hero football coaches and “cowardly” gunmen. Gone for the moment was Trump’s previous concern for the mental health of the shooters, which was all he talked about when discussing the last few mass murderers. Then, as casually as if the idea just welled up in his brain, Trump floated the following astounding proposal: to allow teachers and school administrators to bear arms with which to shoot down future would be mass murderers before they rampaged yet another American school.

“That,” said the President of the United States, “might solve the problem.”

It would and could do no such thing, of course, as it doesn’t even begin to address the problem on any level, even as it pretends to answer any number of questions that haven’t been asked, principally, why can one purchase a weapon of war? True to form, Trump, the con man par excellence, played the grieving, still numb crowd like the master card artist who tells his mark to pick a card, any card, while cleverly slipping the very card he wants you to have into your hand.

Trump then asked the group what they thought of the idea, acknowledging that it was “controversial” but only one of many that his administration would be “looking into.”

While Trump’s exceedingly dangerous idea (instantly echoed by the NRA, who likely first vomited it up) would do nothing to stop the problem of a lunatic with a weapon of war in a school, and very likely exacerbate it, it would certainly help to solve Trump’s problem- he whose campaign received no less than 30 million dollars from the National Rifle Association, and also the problem of every one of his confederates who is owned, body and soul, by said organization, and have been busy dissembling or hiding or crowing all over the country.

Those who are crowing are crowing the following: “the solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” which is, of course, the logic behind Trump’s proposal, even as it is proven to be an infantile, macho fantasy – a lie and a blood-soaked lie — on an hourly basis in the most murderous nation on earth.

Without outright declaring it, the proposal states the following: there is nothing to be done or nothing that should be done legislatively to end the outright insanity of selling weapons of war under the pretense that they are somehow protected by the Second Amendment.

This afternoon, amid more banter about homicidal “cowards” going into “gun free zone schools” as if “going in for an ice cream cone, ” Trump came out with a full-throated endorsement of the idea.

As a public school teacher who has chaired safety committees and Building Response Teams for years and participated in many an, albeit, non-lethal emergency situation, I have tried to imagine how such an arrangement would work, never mind work well, and I cannot. By definition, there is simply no time for retrieving locked away weapons so as to shoot down would be mass murderers. Moreover, of the hundreds of teachers I have worked with and known, I can think of no one, myself included, who could instantly transform into what amounts to a member of a SWAT team. Although I’m certain there is a minuscule percentage of teachers who might feel comfortable doing so, I am absolutely confident that the overwhelming percentage of teachers would not and could not react in such a manner. You would not ask the same of doctors or nurses or architects or whomever. That is not why they became teachers. Only those who have no idea of what sort of people become teachers or how schools are run or what a school emergency looks and feels like could conceivably come up with such an insane solution to such an insane problem.

As a public school parent, I am filled with rage and disgust that we have so defiled and degraded our political reality that such proposals are even being discussed.

What Trump and the NRA are saying to America is this: there is nothing that can be done to stop such situations and all we can do is prepare for our worst nightmares, always and everywhere. Deal with it. What they are doing with this lunacy is solving their problem and not the unspeakable reality of American children being gunned down in their classrooms and hallways. What they are revealing is that they could not care less.

Under Our Insane Gun Laws No School is Safe From A Newtown-like Massacre

December 17, 2012
No Words

No Words

Even if the odds of it happening are miniscule, it is a chilling fact that because of our insane gun laws no school in America is safe from a Newtown–like massacre.  Not today. Not tomorrow.  Not anytime at all until such laws are at last changed.  A school can have the most fearless teachers and security officers   in the world.    A school can have the most comprehensive safety plans on earth. A school can place airport-quality metal detectors in all of its entrances and have surveillance video cameras covering every square inch of its campus.  A school can create Building Response Teams to handle just about any crisis that comes up as NYC schools have done in the wake of 9/11.  A school can run lockdown drills till all are blue in the face. A school can have highly trained and sophisticated SWAT teams mere minutes away and, as has been proven in Columbine and Newtown and elsewhere, none of this will matter much at all in the face of a person or persons with guns intending to use them.  The SWAT teams arrive too late. The metal detectors can be shot out   and the security officers manning them shot down in the same manner as the fearless teachers. And the video cameras can only record the slaughter, not stop it.

In the face of guns all of these things can prevent nothing.  Nothing at all.

These thoughts ran through my head this morning as, in a process that was surely enacted the nation over, my fellow teachers and Safety Committee members and I went through our protocols – the school safety plan, the Building response team, the lockdown procedure.   All this was in an effort, suddenly given great urgency, to be as prepared as possible for an attack of the nature of Newtown or Columbine or any other of the major school shootings that have occurred in the past few years: Chardon, Ohio, February 27, 2012,  Port Orchard, Washington, February 23, 2012, 
 Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 21, 2012
 Brownsville, Texas, January 4, 2012, Berkeley, CA, November 15, 2011, 
 Fayetteville, NC, October, 25 2011,  Harper Woods, Michigan, August 26, 2011, 
 Mandeville, Louisiana, August 8, 2011 and on and on.


In the midst of all this a strange and terrible thought occurred to me: the only school in the entirety of New York City that was invulnerable to a Newtown–like attack is the fortress like school in the prison on Riker’s Island.

And how sick is that ?

Yes, the odds that your child’s school or my child’s school will be attacked by a gunman are miniscule but that is brutally icy comfort to the people of Newtown.

The odds need  to be zero. They must be zero. And they can be zero. And there is only one way that that can occur.

There is only one question: How many more children must die before we make this happen ?