After the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School less than one month ago, politicians and concerned parents have been coming out the wood-work with new ideas on how to keep kids safe at school; the seemingly most popular solution to this age-old problem is simple: put guns in the schools. Assuming you all are a pretty socially aware crowd I’m pretty confident that you know that’s not exactly the plan but that’s what it seems like to me! Rather than taken the road less traveled (peace) our school and government officials are backing bills and motions to get armed staff members into schools to protect the children. Let’s pump the brakes right there. Under no circumstance do I think it’s necessarily a good idea for anyone to bring a firearm into a learning institution but it’s a little more understandable when you’re referring to a high school. Sure, many kids at that age are unfamiliar with guns and some may still be uncomfortable around them but at least a fourteen to seventeen year old has a basic understanding of weaponry and can understand the potential need for them in order to better secure their safety. We’re talking about elementary school kids here! I don’t know about modern-day toddlers and pre-teens but when I was that age I did not want to be anywhere near guns. I was never afraid of them but the though that a piece of metal packed enough power to end my life and the notion that another human being could turn it on me if he/she saw fit wasn’t the most comforting of thoughts. With these thoughts in mind, I can’t imagine being forced to go to school with this sort of stress looming over my head everyday. Again, maybe these new millennium kids are tougher than I was but I can’t imagine going to a school like that. Moving back to the present day, the great minds moving to fight fire with fire when ending the national war on school violence have taken a slightly different approach than one could assume when talking about introducing guns into a school setting. Rather than hiring security guards or encouraging local police precincts to add schools the beat they walk every morning, school staff members such as teachers and janitors will be given training and issued a gun to carry into the school to protect the kids. W.T.F.
Without stepping too far out of my boundaries I will be so bold as to say on behalf of those school staff members that’s not the job they signed up for! If you wanted to be a pistol toting cowboy/cowgirl I’m sure these men and women would have become Soldiers, security guards or cops. Not educators. I think it’s rather unjust and wee bit presumptuous to ‘force’ these people to take on an added responsibility in the event of a catastrophe. I fully understand that many parents drop their kids off at school each morning and leave the life and mind up to that kid’s teacher but believe it or not, that shit only goes so far. Yes, it is a teachers job to look out for the better interest of the child but since this person is only a teacher, there is only so much he/she can do. Following that train of thought, why not teach your kids what to do in the event of an attack? Although blessed and brilliant, children aren’t born with any knowledge or understanding outside of what the world teaches them. Why not teach them how to defend themselves while maintaining their innocence rather than turning them into tiny savages that think violence is the only way to stop a problem? Here’s something I’d like you to consider. Send your kid to school with armor. You arm their minds with knowledge, their heart with kindness and love but we seem to forget about their little bodies. Amendment2 makes these nifty kevlar lined backpacks that also come in kids sizes and child friendly designed. It is quite common for us to teach kids to use objects to channel their emotions, get over shyness and use them as means of self-expression; why not teach them to use objects as a means of protection? Kids have imagination; why not use that imagination to keep them safe? You remember the movie Big Daddy starring Adam Sandler? Sonny told his ‘son’ that his sunglasses were magical and that if he ever got nervous he could put them on and he would become invisible. Without fail, whenever Frankenstein got nervous he put on his sunglasses and became invisible. Relying on this same innocence and purity all children are blessed with, how hard would it be to explain to a kid that his/her backpack is magical and that if he/she gets down behind if something happens at school that he/she will be safe? The kid doesn’t have to know that the backpack is actually bulletproof. Hell you don’t even have to mention bullets! Just show them how to crouch down behind the bag and reiterate the importance of staying low and you’re son/daughter will be another notch safer… without the use of guns! See my point? Just something to think about.
Whew! That was my PSA for the week. Now, on to the topic at hand! The National Rifle Association (NRA) have created a commercial supporting the use of firearms to keep kids safe by sort of starting a pissing match between President Obama and you (the parent). “Are The President’s kids anymore important than yours?” the commercial boldly states followed by pointing out the fact that his kids have armed guards with them at all times while your kids get “No Gun Zone” around their schools. Wow. Talk about ballsy. I’m not sure if it was the NRA’s goal to incite anger in the American people by posting mild propaganda but it sure did get people’s attention! In the defense of free speech and right to bear arms I say plus one for the NRA but in the spirit of peace, humanity and respect for ones personal family and those in charge, I’ll take that point back. I feel as if this commercial was done in poor taste. No matter how you feel about gun control and school safety it’s a bit ignorant to refer to the Commander-in-Chief as a hypocrite. Like it or not, that man is the leader of our country and the face of the people (for now anyway). Slandering him only makes our country appear weak and divided. What other country takes to public venues to slander their leaders? Hell Iraq was under the rule of a sheer tyrant for many years but you didn’t see them posting “fuck Saddam!” commercials. Aren’t we supposed to be more evolved? I digress.
I’ve embedded the commercial below for your viewing pleasure. For some reason, I don’t think you’ll see this one on TV during the commercial breaks of your favorite shows so the world-wide web might be your best bet for catching a view. In closing, no matter how you feel about gun control, guns in schools or school security please remember to be safe with your firearms. Keep all firearms in an approved gun locker with a sturdy lock and keep all ammunition away from the weapons. Never store a loaded gun and always remember to clear your weapon before disassembling for practice or cleaning. If you have children in your home, make sure that they understand that guns are not toys. Lastly, please make sure all weapons are properly registered in your state, county, etc. Gun safety and following the law is key in preventing future tragedies and protecting our children. Now that you’ve heard my safety briefing, take a look at the video below and let me know what you think. Enjoy!