Sunday, December 16, 2012

Newtown, Conn., 14 December 2012

I hear two things from those on the political right, both among the comments on this site and from sources past numbering nationally:

1. The solution is to arm teachers.

2. This happened because we took God out of school.

Those who parrot # 1 love to trot out some version of what sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein wrote years ago: “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

Excuse me, but that is the rankest horseshit. According to the latest numbers I can uncover, the total number of nonmilitary firearms in the United States as of 2009 was 310 million. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau listed the country’s population in July 2011 as 311,591,917. Do the math. We’re very close to firearm/citizen parity, and we ain’t noticeably less prone to gun violence. Calling for first grade teachers to be packing heat, along with priests in the pulpit and information-givers in the mall kiosk, is not just ridiculous; it's insane. When in the United States has an ordinary citizen with a gun stopped a mass shooting?

In 2009, the latest figure available from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 31,347 people died from gun injuries in the US. Compared to other "high income" countries, firearm homicide rates were 19.5 times higher in the U.S. than in 23 other countries, using 2003 data.

As for those who piously take the route of # 2 above, words cannot express the tin-ear inappropriateness of suggesting that 20 little first-graders in Connecticut lacked God, or that all they needed to be safe in this world was a school in which prayer and Bible-reading were mandated. If you can’t keep such opinions to yourself, at least get out of my face with that sick evangelizing. If you can first show me a state of the Union where mass consensus on piety and religiosity have produced a more angelic society -- instead of severe alcoholism, serial infidelity, and personal violence -- then we can talk.

By the way, among the six least-violent nations on the face of the earth, you might not like it very much that several of them are also well-known socialist societies or practice religions not covered in your Huckabee sense of religious entitlement.


Anonymous said...

Both Texas and Michigan now allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools.

Israel requires them to carry, usually assault rifles. It solved the problem in that country.

Henery said...

Be more like Israel? I would really like to see us be more like the America envisioned and promised by the Constitution.

And if you think "the problem" was "solved" in Israel, you're just not in touch with reality.

It's sort of depressing to see the lunatic fringe still raving at a time like this.

Anonymous said...

When was the last school shooting in Israel, Henery?

I do agree about the America envisioned and protected by the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment. What part of not be infringed do you proponents of crime safe areas such as gun free school zones not understand?

Not Really said...

Amen, Henery. The people ranting about how great things are in Israel also don't seem to have actually done any research about gun regulation in that country:

"According to Yaakov Amit, the head of the Ministry of Public Safety’s Firearms Licensing Department, the difference between the gun laws in the United States and Israel are as clear as night and day.

“There is an essential difference between the two. In America the right to bear arms is written in the law, here it’s the opposite. Here you don’t have the right to bear arms, only those who have a license can bear arms and not everyone can get a license.”

Amit described how gun licenses are given out only to those who have a reason to carry a gun because they work in security or law enforcement, or people who live in areas such as the West Bank, “where the state has an interest in them being armed.”

He added that former IDF officers above a certain rank can get a license.

Anyone who fits the requirements, and is over 21 years old and a resident of Israel for more than three years, must also go through a mental and physical health exam, Amit said, and then pass shooting exams and courses at a licensed gun range, as well as background checks by the Public Security Ministry, which is in charge of the Israel police. Once they order their firearm from a gun store, they are allowed to take the firearm home with a one-time supply of 50 bullets, which Amit said they cannot renew."

Henery said...

What part of "A well regulated Militia" do you not understand? Assault rifles aren't regulated at all, are they?

Anonymous said...

I understand that a well regulated militia is having the people (who are the militia) armed well enough to control their government if it becomes tyrannical. Could that be behind Obama's gun control push?

Sally M. said...


Anonymous said...

Not according to the Supreme Court.

johnbyjohn said...

There's nothing in the Constitution about the militia being able to "overthrow" the government. The "well regulated militia" is supposed to protect the country, not rise up against it.

Anonymous said...

You forget the letters that the founding fathers wrote each and the Federalist Papers that es plains what they meant,Johnnyjohn.

They had just escaped from one tyrannical government and wanted to protect themselves from future ones.

Read a little and educate yourself. You might start with the documents submitted for the Helller decision.