Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

Personal freedoms


I keep trying to write this post.  I start it, with my brain full and swirling with ideas and imagery, but then my emotions take over and I find that I just can’t do it.  I can’t force my fingers to move smoothly over the keys while my heart is pounding so hard and my eyes keep filling with tears.

It’s late.  I’m very tired.  I have just finished a Facebook faceoff with a relative of mine who is a staunch Republican conservative gun rights advocate.  And I am shaking from head to toe with rage and with despair.

I can’t organize my thoughts, so I am just going to pour out my jumbled ideas and hope that someone out there will hear me, and maybe have second thoughts about guns and rights and freedom and what it means to be a civilized country.

Today there was another shooting at another school.  I don’t know the details; I just know that one student brought a shotgun to school and shot and critically wounded another.  And two teachers, two teachers, unarmed and untrained and NOT carrying weapons, walked toward the shooter and talked that young person into putting down the weapon and giving himself up to the police.

My reaction? “Two more teachers as heroes; that is a job that I am terrified I will be asked to take on! I don’t want to risk my life to teach.  I am not a cop, not a soldier, not a hostage negotiator.  I am a TEACHER.”

Today I heard a radio talk show where caller after caller spoke about the impossibility of ever getting the assault weapons away from their owners. “People will refuse to give them up.”, they said.   Better to try a law that will actually be obeyed.

My reaction? “If we only want laws that everyone agrees to follow, then I guess we can do away with speed limits and stop signs and all the marijuana prohibitions everywhere, huh?”

I heard people proposing the logical step of insisting that, if we can’t confiscate the weapons of mass destruction, at least we can ask people to register them.  You have to register your car, you should have to register your guns.   And then I heard the rant from the “law abiding” gun toting military man who sent a video to Senator Feinstien, saying, “No, Ma’am, I will not register my guns. I will refuse.”

My reaction?  “Folks, isn’t anyone out there listening to this crap?!  This is mob rule!  This guy, and those who agree with him, are saying ‘ I will refuse to obey the law, and I will fight you with my murderous, deadly, legal weapons if you try to make me obey.’   This is criminal behavior at its worst.  These people are threatening to kill police and federal agents. WHERE IS THE OUTCRY FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT?  What the hell are they not getting here?”

Today I saw, on Facebook, from my relative, a sketch of Adolf Hitler and the words “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens”.  As my blood pressure rose, I searched as many sites as I could for an attribution for this quote; it isn’t there.  He never said this.  German citizens were NEVER disarmed.  Hitler did think that inferior races and conquered nations had to give up their weapons.  But why are gun rights advocates looking to Hitler on this argument, anyway?  Is there position so weak that they have to make stuff up to try to make their opponents look like fascists?  Are they actually telling me that because I want to outlaw weapons that can annihilate a room full of children in one minute, that makes me a Nazi?

My reaction? “Some people will go to any lengths, tell any lies, insult everyone who dares to disagree with them, just so that they can play with their favorite dangerous toys.”

Worse: Here is what I really think, and this is what I really want to say to people who make up fake quotes to try to win an argument that has no merit.

“You are selfish to the point of cruelty.  You refuse to inconvenience yourself in any way even if it might save the lives of innocent children.    You are liars who can never, ever be trusted.   Your personal freedoms end at the very moment when they endanger other people, so you have no personal freedom, no inherent right to carry or own or use or buy or store or manufacture or sell or touch these weapons. You are dangerous, ignorant and unworthy of any respect from any decent human beings.”

Hitler never said that bullshit about disarming his citizens.  Know what he did say, though?  He said:

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
And:

It is not truth that matters, but victory.

Kind of sounds like the working motto of the NRA, doesn’t it?

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My new year’s resolution


Like all of the other teachers in the United States, I have spent the past ten days weeping, thinking, planning and shaking in anger.

Like all of my colleagues in American schools, I am shocked by the fact that we suddenly find ourselves in the crosshairs of an insane debate about “gun rights”.

I don’t know if everyone out there shares my sentiments, but here they are for better or worse.

The famous “Second Amendment”, that glorious sentence so beloved of the “shoot ’em up” crowd, was written in 1791, when every single family in the brand new United States owned at least one gun.  Those guns were muskets and fowling pieces, used to bring home game for dinner and used to protect the family at a time when the country had NO POLICE FORCE and NO STANDING ARMY. The amendment had NOTHING to do with the rights of individuals to own guns; no one was arguing that right at that time!

OK? You get it?  The whole point of the amendment was to insure that the local towns could maintain a WELL REGULATED MILITIA.  A police force.  A protective group.   You GET IT?

It wasn’t intended to allow Mr. Creepy Stalker to own and use a sniper rifle on the girl who said “no”.    It wasn’t written so that Mr. NoTeeth Paranoia Boy could carry a Bushmaster and a thousand-bullet magazine into the mall, just in case a “bad guy” tried to insult him. And it wasn’t written so that the average American citizen could shoot up the neighborhood in case the federal government tried to set some limits on his insanity.  Sorry, folks, but if you read just a tiny bit of American History you will see that I am right.

That second amendment was NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER intended to allow people to buy and sell weapons of mass destruction at road side “gun shows”. It was not meant to allow people to stockpile weapons whose only purpose is to kill as often and as quickly as possible.

James Madison was absolutely NOT thinking about 800 rounds a minute.  He was thinking about muskets, and one shot every two minutes. He was thinking about protection in a time when there were threats from Native Americans, and from the French and from the damn British Army, and when there were no organized police or armed forces.

Get a clue, America.

Seriously.

I have watched the NRA representatives present their views and suggestions on CNN for the past few days.  They say that it would be “useless” to register guns, to record gun sales, to limit the use of multiple shot magazines.  None of that would help, they declare, as they fondle the money from the gun manufacturers that sits in their pockets.  No, the only logical solution is to put more guns  into our schools.

More guns.

So the crazy people who are so easily able to procure those terrible weapons will know that we have one armed guard in the school office.  So that they can think of us as even more of a target. So that they can come gunning for the kids at recess.  Way to go, NRA.

More guns, so that the screaming terrified children who run from the shooters will have to contend with crossfire, too, as they desperately try to stay alive.

The NRA is an evil, self-serving, lying bunch of hypocrites, whose only aim is to increase the sale of guns and ammunition.  They care nothing for my life, or for the lives of my little innocent students.

It is way past time for the NEA, the state teachers’ unions, the locals and the individual teachers themselves to stand up and fight against this utter insanity.

It is my New Year’s Resolution to participate in that fight, to do whatever I can to end the madness.

Before the next big media event happens in our very own classrooms.

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