Thursday, October 05, 2006

It Seems That I Misunderestimated Frank

I've often accused State Rep Frank Lassee of plucking on a one-note banjo. His monomaniacal pursuit of an artificial stranglehold on taxes is the stuff of legend. He's been willing to sign on to or co-author every version of TABOR/TPA that has come through the lege. But now he's added another arrow to his quiver of bad ideas.

In the wake of the tragedies in Weston and Colorado and Pennsylvania Frank has decided that what we need is more guns in our schools. Lassee is introducing a bill to allow school personnel to carry guns at work.

Frank thinks that a good dose of vigilante justice is needed in Wisconsin. He thinks that small arms will put the civilization back in Western Civ. Lunch ladies will be packing more than sandwiches. When the janitor says he has to "sweep the hall" everyone will duck for cover.

Whatever happened to thoughtful discourse and statesmanship? One candidate for Rock County sheriff says that we can solve society's problems by shooting the mentally ill and now a legislator is proposing, with a straight face, that we arm our Home-Ec teachers.

What the hell is happening here? Will we ever be able to get the grown-ups back in charge in Wisconsin?

Update: Carrie reminds us that a lot of Lassee's colleagues have already voted once to put guns on playgrounds away from schools.


elliot said...

"In the wake of the tragedies in Weston and Colorado and Pennsylvania Frank has decided that what we need is more guns in our schools. "

I'm emotionally uncomfortable with Lassee's proposal, however I think this is a little disingenous.

Would you posture that adding cops to a troubled neighborhood was "putting more guns on the street?"

A trained and responsible teacher with a weapon is not the equivalent of an emotionally disturbed teen with a gun.

And, I will say the same thing I always say in this situation...I guarantee that everyone who was killed in these incidents would have been grateful for an armed defender standing with them against their attackers.

Walton said...

Coming up with ways to provide defensive tools for teachers is fine. I could understand a move for tasers, mace, or panic buttons (like bank tellers have), maybe not agree with it but understand it.

However, placing loaded guns into classrooms is dramatically increasing the danger of everyone. How many "heat of the moment" situations are there in a typical high school? Moments where an unruly student has a verbal power struggle with the teacher? Normally those moments fade when the student realizes that he's outnumbered and is off to detention. But if the student knows there's a gun in the teacher's desk, what's to stop him/her from escalating to an emotional stand off with a gun in his hand?

By the same measure, how many teachers might feel tempted to pull the gun in these occasional power struggles because they feel "threatened?"

Lassee is a nut case who has no regard to the outcomes of his reactionary ideas.

triticale said...

How could you entrust your children to the care of anyone you cannot trust to caary a gun? Either you are being negligent or you hold a voodoo belief that an inanimate object can embody evil.

BadTux said...

Triticale, it is specifically BECAUSE teachers are the kind of people that we trust with our children that guns in their hands are a horrible idea. Guns kill people. Teachers help people. That's why they enter the profession -- to help people. The kind of mentality it takes to use a gun to kill one of his or students just is not in a teacher's repertoire, meaning that a gun in his or her hand would be worse than useless -- it'd swiftly be yet another gun in the attacker's hands.

I don't have a problem with concealed carry laws in general. But in this case, refusal to admit the special nature of teachers and the environment they teach in (which makes successful concealment of a weapon pretty much *impossible* because of the necessarily close proximity to children) means that this proposed law is just plain stupid. It's just political grandstanding by yet another moron who's never taught a day in his life yet thinks he knows what's best for teachers.

-- Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

slammer said...

While I think arming everyone is not the best of ideas, the idea of having a weapon in school is not a bad one. To quote Al Gore and use a 'lock box' in a particular location within a school like a principal's office and have licensed teachers and administrators with access to the handgun could disarm and nullify a situtation.

I cannot see a kid going and taking the school gun to commit crimes, unfortunetly if a kid wants to go on a rampage they will easily find a gun relative, buddy whatever, if we have trained people this can work. And no it will not be the lunch lady pissed off taking out her frustration on a kid who said the meat loaf sucks.

BadTux said...

Slammer, I have no problem with a certified peace officer having a gun in the school. For that matter, I have no real problem with school administrators having a gun in the school. But teachers -- good ones at least -- have a special relationship with their students. It is a relationship that is almost like that of a parent with his or her child. It is a relationship that is incompatible with blowing one of their students away. As my daddy always told me, never aim a gun at a person unless you're ready and willing to kill that person. I'm not sure that a teacher could ever be ready and willing to kill one of his or her students. A strange adult bursting into the classroom armed, yes. One of his or her students, no.

But many of the recent school killings have been done by students. And those are just the reported gun incidents. Those are not the ones where death was averted because a caring teacher or administrator was able to talk down a kid and get him to peacefully give up the gun. Indeed, a caring principal of my acquaintance once told me that he knew it was time to retire when his hands no longer shook after incidents where he talked a kid into giving up his weaponry and into going to the counsellor's office with him to talk about it. (Those incidents always ended up with the cops arresting the kid and the kid being expelled, but they kept happening anyhow).

Frankly, I think the notion of a teacher being armed would be harmful in that kind of situation. There is no way a kid can feel anything but threatened by a gun-toting teacher, and a kid who feels threatened is a kid who can't be talked down.

Just out of curiousity, have you ever taught? I have. Maybe I know a little bit about how teachers and kids think, and about how these kinds of situations are handled, every day, in schools around the nation without loss of life? You hear about the cases where it doesn't work. But you never hear about the cases where it *does* work -- where unarmed teachers and administrators successfully talk down a kid, get him to give up his weapon, and let the cops take him into custody from there with nobody dying. Frankly, I think that is the highest and best use of a teacher in that situation -- as a negotiator, not as a participant in a gunfight that the teacher won't win because he or she can no more kill a student than a parent can kill his or her own child.

= Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

mason b said...

Whatever happened to metal detectors and closed campuses?

Do we fight the problem of guns getting into schools by putting more guns in the school? Just step back a second and think about it.

Yeah I vote for more secure schools and metal detectors before I would even consider guns.

Then again, how about samuri swords? Now there is an idea.

Other Side said...

Both candidates for governor have already condemned this crazy idea. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are backing away.

It is madness to think that introducing weapons into schools will make them safer.

slammer said...

Funny story badtux, I actually got the idea from a current teacher in High School last weekend after the Casanovia incident. I agree with him 100%.

So you are trying to tell me that you will not "mow" down one of your students eventhough this students may be in the midst of mowing down 15 of your other students. 15 innocent to 1 guilty would be good enough numbers for me. As a former student I would not care in the least if the school had a deadly weapon on hand for safety, my opinion maybe not all have the same, good thing about this country.

As for your last bullshit paragraph, the facts of me ever teaching are irrevelant. Yes I have taught (coached) 4 years football, 8 years baseball all voluntary, tutored in college grade school children and actually started my college degree in Elementary Ed until switching to business. Oh and here is a good one I have 2 children so I may know a little about how children think. I know the mentallity with some teachers and administrators espically in our good hometown of Evansville you are a lot better parents then people like myself, if it wasn't for teachers like yourself my son and daughter will spiral into a world of drugs, crime and prostitution. So while I do not have the "Sheepskin" that says I am the know all end all, I like to think when it comes to my children I can have an opinion about the situtation at hand without the I know children better than you line.

Walton said...

So give loaded guns to crappy teachers who are arrogant and don't have a clue? You really want someone you have so little respect for holding a loaded weapon and looking like Barney Fife against an enraged kid who thinks he has nothing to lose? Sorry Slammer -- that just doesn't sound like you.

slammer said...

walton we are not talking about the home ec teacher packing. The gentelman I talked to is an avid hunter, coach, and very well respected teacher. I would say if a teacher wants to take that responsibility and can show through classes they can handle that responsibility I say go for it. RIght now they are like deer in a forest no way to protect themselves and that is unfortunate. Plus I did not say all teachers are crappy just the ones who think they are better parents for my kids than myself

BadTux said...

Plus I did not say all teachers are crappy just the ones who think they are better parents for my kids than myself

For what it's worth, in case you're aiming that at me, I don't care how you raise you kids as long as, when they're at school, they behave in a respectful manner and do not interfere with the learning of others. You can raise your children to be unruly hooligans all you want, but when they step into my classroom, we have different rules. If your kid is not performing in class because he refuses to pay attention or to do the work, I will notify you. But it's not my job to raise your kid. And if your complaint is that I teach your children things that do not agree with what your preacher told you, tough. What I teach is what the State tells me to teach in the curriculum guide, which is the general consensus of the citizens of this state as to what children need to know in order to become productive citizens of this state. Take it up with your state representative.

All of which is beside the point. A teacher's job is not to escalate violence. A teacher's job is to de-escalate violence -- i.e., to prevent fights, not encourage them. I do not believe that it is possible for a teacher to move from a mentality of de-escalating violence to one of escalating violence in the short amount of time available when making the decision to make use of a concealed weapon. You, apparently, do believe it's possible to do so. I stated why I believed this to be true -- i.e., that I have been a teacher and know many very good teachers and know how they think and react to situations. I asked you for the factual basis of your opinion regarding whether teachers should carry. Your response is that apparently as a teacher I'm some sort of horrible evil creature who thinks you're a bad parent. Which is relevant to this discussion about as much as monkeys are.

The only relevant thing you stated was that you sampled a sample size of one teacher who agreed with you that it was good to arm teachers. It does not surprise me that the teacher you talked to was a coach. Coaches do not have the same mentality as other teachers. For the most part, they entered teaching as a job, not a calling. Which does not make them evil or anything, just makes them poor representatives of teachers in general, especially if you are performing a statistical analysis with a sample size of one (LOL!).


slammer said...

"And if your complaint is that I teach your children things that do not agree with what your preacher told you, tough."

Dude when the hell did I complain about your teachings, I have no idea who the hell you are, what town you live in, what grade you teach, for that matter subjects you talk about. I hope this is not the matter you interact with students that you do not agree with on particular subjects. Your right the best way to deal with dissenters like myself is call them bad parents and tell them I am the boss when your brats come to my room. Nice high horse route that you are better than teachers who coach, tell them that please.

It's tough to respond otherwise I posed a response of a child killing 15 of your students in a rampage would no t warrant stopping a that child with deadly force. Believe it or not I respect what you and other teachers do on a daily basis. But when you pull the "I'm a teacher you're not card" would then mean you or anyone else should not comment your opinion on any particular subject (football, politics, weather). So please do not assume you know me facts are this I have two children who do not get in trouble nor do I ever plan or support them to, and even a better one I do not own a gun of any sort.