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Reloading the gun debate


With Parkland as latest wound in national pride, Gonnella attacks more right wing ideas
By Elliot Gonnella

For the past two weeks, I have bit back every urge to just copy and paste my previous editorial about the Las Vegas shooting, with just swapping the time, place and casualties. My thoughts have not changed at all from that, but it seems that the usual voices still make the usual rounds after the events that happened in Parkland. I would like to, however, first cover the things I will not be writing about.

I will not be writing about the ridiculous comment of Trump saying he would have rushed into the school unarmed. Everyone and their uncle has done it, and I would just be repeating similar points.

I will not be writing about the Town Hall and the responses from various individuals. Nor will it be about the manufactured controversy of questions. I don’t know the details, so I really don’t care.

Rather, this article will be about some of the soundbites that I have heard from the aftermath, as well as some I have heard several times in other shootings. Most of these will be related to school shootings in particular, but they could be applied to any type of workplace environment.

If the teachers were armed, none of this would have happened!

Going into education, I can say that this idea is one of the most idiotic and dangerous there is. You want teachers to carry a lethal weapon in school, around children all day, ready to use at any time? I don’t think that many teachers could handle that responsibility and stress, and there are so many legal consequences at every turn.

First, who buys the guns? Would it be a BYOG deal, would the schools set aside funds to buy the weapons or would the state/ federal government do this? Is training going to be a concern? What about keeping the weapons secure from students? Stand in the middle of a busy hallway during the changing of the bell, and I guarantee that you are not going to notice every time someone touches you. Now imagine if a student lifts that gun.

Suppose worse comes to worst, and there is an active shooter on campus. How are the police or school rent-a-cops, once they remember what their job description is, going to be able to tell who the shooter is from the “good guy with a gun?” What if a teacher shoots and kills a student who wasn’t the shooter? Who is responsible?

If the teacher decides to go postal, they have easy access to a gun and targets. That alone should be enough to dispel the idea of arming teachers who had no right to be armed in the first place.

Fine, give them flashbang grenades or pepper spray!

Non-lethal weapons are just as dangerous as their deadly cousins. I think it may be even more so because they may be used without as much consideration. A student may be throwing a temper tantrum and the teacher may think that macing the student is an appropriate response.

And nonlethal means are not going to stop them. Pepper spray has to be close range and can easily be avoided with eye protection like a gasmask. Flashbang grenades are just metal firecrackers and are only “effective” in a close, confined space. Outside or in a hallway, they are annoying at best. This childlike worship of technology is not going to help anyone. They are not guaranteed to stop an assailant and can hurt you and innocents well before they hurt the intended target.

The removal of God in school leads to this violence!

No, no it does not.

Well, I use my “assault” weapon for hunting so it can’t be discriminated against!

Yes, and fragmentation grenades can be used as fishing equipment, so I shouldn’t tell the authorities I bought them. That is a pretty ridiculous and inapt comparison. While all guns can kill your fellow man, assault weapons were specifically designed to kill humans.

The AR-15, any family member of the AK family and I would be willing to say shotguns that hold more than three shells are designed for fighting other armed humans. The round from an AR-15 is meant to kill or, at the very least, maim the target. If you use that weapon for hunting, you are an idiot for using it as a tool because you are going to destroy a lot of meat, or you are using the gun as an excuse because you need to make yourself feel better.

Also, if you need more than three shots to hit something, I seriously doubt you should own a weapon for your own safety and those around you.

But you just want to confiscate our guns and pave the way for (insert xenophobic, anti-Semitic New World Order theory)! You are just using this staged shooting as an excuse!

No one is going to come and confiscate all your guns. Bloodsuckers like Wayne LaPierre or Ted Nugent say these things so those with more disposable income than brains can buy weapons for the bogeyman of the week.

What I want is more regulation on firearms. If it takes only fifteen minutes to buy a gun, but a summer of driver’s education and three tests to get a permit to drive, I say that it should change. If you can’t wait a few days to get rifle or a handgun, maybe you shouldn’t get it. If you can’t offer a logical, rational explanation for your need to own a semiautomatic rifle with thirty rounds of “cop killer” armor-piercing ammo, why should anyone sell it to you?

Also, maybe stop listening to Alex Jones and other conspiracy hacks for your sanity and health. Not to mention those you subject to such nonsense.

Unfortunately, considering the makeup of ideologies on Capitol Hill and the White House, it is unlikely that anything will happen on a national level when it comes to legislation. States vary, though those that have lax gun laws are in no hurry to tighten them up. Although, it seems that corporations are picking up the slack, with companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods removing their assault weapons and Walmart raising the minimum age to buy any gun. While this may not accomplish as much as some would like, it does send a message that something needs to be tried.

At the time of writing this, there have already been more shootings—such as two more dead at Central Michigan University, and this trend will no doubt continue until we have the common sense to try doing something besides the usual, and worthless, “thoughts and prayers.”

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