Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NRA Says Arm Them, California Says Arrest Them

Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons

A middle school teacher in San Diego was arrested last week for bringing a gun and a lock-blade knife to school, the Los Angeles Times recently reported. The teacher, Ned Carter Walker, was arrested in the parking lot as he arrived at Farb Middle School and booked into San Diego County jail on two felony counts of possessing lethal weapons at school.

So much for the NRA’s proposal to arm teachers to defend against the imminent threat of homicidal maniacs who are hell bent on slaughtering Innocents as they cower helplessly in their classrooms. While a seemingly rational proposal (how are lunatics going to kill very many kids when every teacher can just pull out their Uzi and blow them away?), the NRA apparently neglected to do their research and overlooked the fact that this is illegal and would likely result in large numbers of teachers being jailed, forcing districts to replace them quickly with whomever was available—quite likely incompetents and pederasts. Yet for those in the know, the NRA could hardly be called a naïve organization. Their plan was quite likely the result of a conspiracy between with the prison guards unions to simultaneously increase gun sales and overload the prisoners, thus justifying the guards’ demands for greater prison funding and salary increases. Or maybe it was a conspiracy between the NRA and the billionaire philanthropists who want to weaken teachers unions and undermine the integrity of public schools by picking off so many teachers through arrests for weapons violations that the unions and schools would both crumble through attrition.

Seriously, though, bringing a gun to school seems a little foolish, on par with bringing drugs or pornography to school—not something you want to get caught with. Unfortunately, the Times did not report on the context, so we do not know if the teacher had been threatened or had any compelling need for protection. As many teachers know, not all administrators are competent at dealing with discipline issues and it is conceivable that this teacher had a legitimate reason to fear for his life. Perhaps a student had attacked him or threatened to do so. Maybe he even reported it to his administration, which ignored him. I heard of a situation where a dean called for the police because he felt threatened by an angry student and the principal, who was not involved in the interaction and had no way of knowing whether the threat was serious or not, cancelled the call, thus jeopardizing the dean’s safety. Just as likely, though, walker was just a run-of-the-mill gun nut who, like most Americans, is terrified of teenagers and believes them all to be drug abusing, law-breaking, untrustworthy, violent miscreants.

 Arrested and fired for lock-blade knife?
On a different note, a six-inch blade can be an imposing weapon, but there are also lock-blade knives that are two inches, or shorter, designed and routinely used as tools, reasonable and seemingly appropriate tools even in the classroom (e.g., opening packages, cutting string). It is bad enough that zero-tolerance policies are resulting in otherwise good kids getting expelled for possessing toy guns and Swiss army knives (the principal mentioned above expelled a straight-A student who had never been in any previous trouble for possessing a toy gun on campus). The question is, would this teacher be in the same kind of trouble if it was only a two-inch lock-blade and not a gun?

No comments:

Post a Comment