Monday, February 26, 2018

Crazy Trump: guns in schools.

Democrats oppose any plan on guns proposed by Trump.  

Texas teacher

If Trump says it, it must be racist and stupid and designed to appeal to gun nuts and the Archie Bunker nativists.

Democrats do have a plan of their own.  It is to attempt to make Republicans look like foolish puppets of the NRA. More guns!  Arm teachers!  How crazy!  Teachers as warriors, hah!.  Mrs. Lorton and Mrs. Bundock and Mr. Lewis might pack heat and in a crisis confront a young man armed with an AR15.

It is a political plan, intended to win back the House, not a plan to address gun violence. 

Democrats have a token Plan B regarding violence: trust the government to pick and choose who can safely have guns. Regulate. Investigate.  Put police and FBI on suspicious people and interview them and stay on top of them. Few people trust the government to do this job well, and with good reason. There are guns everywhere, and predicting the future behavior of disturbed people is impossible. 

Dems:  "Implausible, and weird."
Democrats might win with Plan A.  Prudent Republicans are afraid of the optics of guns in schools and are echoing Democrats on this. Knute Beuhler, a Republican running against Oregon Governor Kate Brown, is positioning himself as a moderate, not a Trump-er, and he has announced that he opposes arming teachers, too.  

What if someone other than Trump made the argument?   Can a reasonable case be made? That is today's guest post, by Thad Guyer, an attorney who represents employee whistleblowers, located wherever he has his laptop computer, currently in Vietnam.

Guest Post by Thad Guyer:  

“Do Democrats love gun control more than the students?”  

This question, of course, is exactly as unfair as the claim that “gun owners love their guns more than the students”. Everybody has an opinion on solutions to school shooters. Baning future sales of assault rifles won’t stop school mayhem because a universe of alternative weapons are available. An argument that the shooter could kill only 6 students rather than 17 with a revolver is not a solution. Two cheap revolvers kills 12 students, three kills 18 students. America may hopefully someday ban assault rifles, but it will never ban shotguns or revolvers. 
Thad Guyer

I’m a Vietnam combat veteran. Instead of the 3 months infantry training, I went through a nine month specialized program in 1969. I had never handled a gun, I was 19. But gun training was a small fraction of the infantry curriculum, measured in days not weeks. Guns are uncomplicated and easy to use. Load, take off safety, aim pull trigger, reload. Truly any idiot can and does attain firearm proficiency in a very short time. Teachers who are willing can take specially designed classes, probably by the NRA, and be ready to effectively engage a shooter in short order with good marksmanship. Smart guns that police already use preclude others from firing these guns.

Police are not cowards but they are trained to act like a coward in uncontrolled shooter situations. Cops are taught to take cover, secure the scene and wait for backup before they charge into a building. But a teacher is already there under threat. The teacher knows and loves the children. It will be second nature for a trained teacher to take aim on a shooter, all of whom are also amateurs, and pull the trigger.

As an infantryman in Vietnam, the easiest and most primal thing to do was return fire. Selected trained teachers will protect themselves and the students they love without hesitation. Peter’s father, Bob Sage was a WWII veteran. I knew him. He was a Medford school system principal. Bob Sage would have run down the hallway at Roosevelt Elementary and engaged a shooter without a thought for his own safety. He would have loaded, aimed and fired. My son went to Roosevelt. I would want a trained teacher to defend him. Every reader would want that if there is a shooter in their child’s school.

School shooters are not only untrained, they are fearful and paranoid. Harris and Klebold at Columbine killed themselves when the police arrived. They made a feckless effort to dissuade police entry by firing from windows, hit no one, and then shot themselves. Suicide, not gun battles with armed counterforce is what these shooters do. They are untrained and scared when, as Trump puts it, the bullets start coming the other way. If they can flee, they do. The Texas church shooter fled as soon as a neighbor opened fire on him. These maniac shooters don’t stand their ground.
Trump has already won this argument, and will win more as red state school districts adopt this trained teacher program, as they already are. Democrats look dogmatic and ineffectual with their weak arguments in opposing trained teacher defense programs. To dismiss the NRA/Trump solution of arming selected volunteer trained teachers because we would rather use the momentum of heartbreak for gun control is pretty close to loving gun control more than students. We should get behind teacher defense programs.


  1. Lots of assumptions here...obviously.

    There's a certain macho narrative that coincides with this notion, which I think is pure BS and just another cynical distraction from Trump's agenda-say the most divisive and controversial thing you can think of and then sit back and watch the furor. Ex-military is just as divided as everyone else on the notion of "hardening" schools, but the respect we have for veterans and their assumed expertise clouds the issue further.

    I have often said we are in the midst of an epidemic of mental illness with violent psychotics leading the way. The idea that we have to fortify every public facility to protects us from them is....dare I say?...nuts.


    "Just before 9 a.m., Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery accidentally discharged her gun while using a faculty restroom at Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville, the principal said in a letter to students’ parents. The incident occurred before school hours, and no children nor staff were present. The teacher was in legal possession of her gun on school property."

  3. Arming teachers is absolutely unacceptable, while other efforts to turn the current gulags that we call high schools into high class prisons through the so-called "hardening" of security is almost as bad. Removing all semi-automatic weapons (rifles, if nothing else), large-capacity magazines, the so-called bump stock, and then tightly regulating ammunition will go a long way toward reducing large-scale school shootings. If a crazed adolescent (or pre-adolescent) wishes to do harm to fellow children, make him work really hard to do it (and the presumption that it is a "him" is neither sexist nor unwarranted).
    Sensible gun control, itself, is not an answer. Background checks need to codified, simplified, and made universal ... at the same time taking extreme precautions to protect privacy. Just as important would be a universal, national set of basic gun laws that are the same, everywhere.
    Another point of approach is the entire mental health issue. The right wing would really like mental health (e.g., control) to be the issue, and just as we have to ensure privacy protections in the realm of background checks, we have to be equally cautious about mental health used as an excuse to make people "disappear" ... or experience various forms of disappearance. I could speak forever about mental health, but will save it for later, because there is a third arena to explore that so far has received very little attention.
    The third approach has to do with changing the emotional and mental health environments of the schools, themselves, and then using safer, more democratic and egalitarian schools as the springboard to educate our next generation. Just consider two things. The first is that with but very few exceptions, perpetrators of school shootings do not choose their target because it is "soft" ... they choose it because they want to get even. Shooters as a rule tend to feel alienated, isolated, picked-upon, left out and angry. Being humiliated and repressed are common feelings they express. Most of us, though we never acted on our feelings, painfully remember some of those feelings from own high school days. Questions to ask would be to what degree does a school promote hierarchies, cliques, divisiveness and superiority (including its opposite)? What can it do to create a more equitable, collaborative, cooperative, and supportive environment ... there are many things we do that include "winners and losers" that do not breed feelings of contempt, inferiority, frustration and hate.
    I think schools also need to look closely at the disciplinary policies that they have put into place and use.

  4. The 2nd Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Emphasis on "well-regulated militia," vs para-military enthusiasts.
    At this point in the progression of our society, coupled with the evolution of modern firearms, it's clear that John Q Public requires more oversight and more training with gun ownership. The gun privileges of the past are not working.
    Solutions for a safer armed-society will mean additional costs for gun owners. For starters, "TLR": train, license, report - like owning/operating a car.
    - Train gun owners
    - License gun owners
    - Mandatory reporting of all firearms.
    I would add: impose limits on firearm inventory per owner, and limits on type of firearms. That would include ammo limits for magazines. Ban bump-stocks.

  5. Mental health professionals knash teeth and tear hair when they hear talk about "promoting mental health" solutions. These problem individuals have deep and persistent conditions that require intervention and long term treatment, including quarantine.

    Our current mental health system has NO...repeat NO...protocols, policies or procedures for addressing this issue. Insurers refuse to include mental health diagnoses and treatment in their policies, or only a minimal amount. Another vote for single payer universal health care.

    Let's get real and include this in our Progressive agenda. Until then it's just cheap talk. No points to the AMA or any other medical organization either, BTW.


  6. Sent from my iPad

    On Feb 26, 2018, at 3:59 PM, Ralph Bowman wrote:

    If you have stood in a classroom you would quickly understand that kids are very smart figuring out who is packing and who is not, where the gun is located and how to get their hands on it by distraction or other methods. ADHD John Boy gets it and fires a round for fun. Cool.
    New situation. Looney enters school. TEACHER jumps up and starts firing. During the exchange- One ricocheting bullet One innocent special ed. kid stands up suddenly to see what is going on bam. Oops,Teacher bullet severs child’s spine. Who pays for this disaster? All the parents sue School District. Teacher looses pension.
    What really happens now that guns are ok in a school setting. Teacher aid screams hysterically grabbing the gun in her purse and fires at will. Student pulls his hidden gun from his backpack and starts shooting at crazy man. Determined parent waiting in the parking lot jumps out grabbing his Glock and heads toward the gun shots . The Vice Principal, the Auto Mechanics teacher, the baseball coach, and the home Economics teacher who are also carrying pull their guns and rush toward the gun shots. Oh yes the custodian and the security guard and the school bus driver are locked and loaded and run toward the action.
    Are you kidding me? Guns in schools? As a grandparent I would sue you blind if one mistake was made and my grandchild was injured by these non-law enforcement citizens. Who will pay? All involved. All will become victims. For years and years.

    No solution will be paid for. No real nurse in a school, no trained psychological counselor and no city cop or county sheriff in every school all day. No training for gun happy teachers , never happen. Hell there is no money for Drama classes and art classes , let alone Band Uniforms and textbooks.


    Sent from my iPhone

  7. even without the GOP, some are inching-toward doing the right thing:

    "Kroger Co said on Thursday it will stop selling firearms and ammunition to buyers under the age of 21 at its Fred Meyer stores, becoming the third major U.S. retailer to set restrictions that are tougher than government regulations."


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