While I was waiting for my bagels this morning, I saw the first few paragraphs of this article in the Chron:
They’ve prepared in drills. They’ve heard prayers. Now students want real solutions to gun violence
The opening words caught my eye:
Turn out the lights. Lock the doors. Hide. These are the simple steps — easy to remember, hard to forget — that teachers and students across the country are told to take if a gunman targets their school. And that’s what many did at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
It wasn’t enough.
right that’s not enough. I had hoped that after 11 September 2001 we
as a society had learned that it’s actually dangerous to go along with
the bad guys, that failure to fight back will get you killed.
But no, a few years later along comes some disturbed kid with a couple
handguns who kills 30 Virginia Tech students and faculty while they
cowered under desks in an attack that could have easily been defeated
shortly after the first shots were fired.
Ingrid attended an “Active Shooter” seminar at her old employer, Southern California Edison. The theme of that
exercise was that survival could only be assured by fighting back, and
that an office environment is full of potential weapons. It was really
refreshing to hear about it, especially considering that a utility is
almost like a government agency. But I guess some institutions are done
with pretending: shit like this happens, there’s no way to stop it, and
people need to be prepared if it should ever happen to them.
not in schools, not when it comes to protecting our own children.
Suggesting the state does not really have an absolute monopoly on the
legal use of force, well, that’s simply beyond the pale. We will let children die before we make that concession. It’s as simple as that.
defense is not simply a human right, it’s a moral obligation. It’s
actually been illegal in the UK since about 1950! And plenty of
Americans want it to be illegal here too. I can’t begin to understand
why. What the fuck is the point of candles and flowers when you won’t
even concede that victims should have had the right, the will and the
training to defend themselves?
“Active shooter” drills in schools
should not be about cowering under desks in the dark, they should be
about fighting back. Every student should know what to do. The biggest
boys in the room should instantly jump up and hurl chairs at the
attacker until he is down and when he’s down they should kick him into
insensibility. Raw, savage violence. I don’t like it either, but I
like mass shooters even less. It’s nothing less than a matter of life
And don’t stop there. There are plenty of dangerous
people out there who aren’t shooting up classrooms. If we really care
about our children we would admit this unpleasant fact to them and show
them how to defend themselves.
But that would be too much, wouldn’t it?