And The Rain Comes Down…
Through the wet broken window,
And a dark-colored screen,
I increasingly look down,
On a darkening scene,
On world without rainbows,
Feeling soon I will drown.
“Geez, Mickey,” you will say, “Why-ever would you write such a gloomy pessimist’s poem?”
“Because I prepare myself for the worst. The worst in this case is that the President of the United States says the solution to school shootings is putting guns in the hands of teachers. He wants those of us whose hands were made for using chalk on chalkboards, and hearts were made for talking to kids, learning who they are, and guiding them toward a better future, to pick up a gun and accurately take out a threat coming in with legally purchased weapons of war that can shoot more rounds faster than any weapon that the school system will be able to put in my hands. It is a terrible idea, and he is going to make it happen just because he stupidly can.”
One time at a middle school I taught at, a child did bring a gun to school. It was a handgun concealed in a back pack. He apparently meant to shoot his former girlfriend. But, as kids will, he told friends about it. They told a teacher. The principal called the police and confiscated the back pack. Not only did the target survive without being shot at, the perpetrator, after his brush with the law and time served, was able to right his boat again and sail on into adulthood, a job, a wife, and kids. He even told me later that he was grateful to have been stopped from ruining his life, even possibly ending his life. The problem was solved without a shooting because of teacher skills, being able to talk to kids, being approachable to talk to about problems and unsettling rumors, and knowing where to turn for the proper help at the proper time.
Of course, we were lucky on that one. Stopping that shooter was not 100% guaranteed. And it happened in the 90’s during the assault rifle ban. He was immature enough and excitable enough to have killed many with a more powerful weapon.
If it were up to me to become a weapon-toting defender of the innocent, I am fully aware of how little chance I have to be successful at such a thing. I am a lousy shot. If I had to face down an AR-15 with the cheap school-district pistol, I would become one more obvious target that any shooter will obviously take out in seconds. That’s the best possible outcome for the school, because my missing shot would probably hit some poor innocent bystander.
And, of course, conservative Facebook friends won’t stop insisting that teachers need to be armed. A good guy with a gun can defeat a bad guy with a gun, you know… assuming the SWAT team doesn’t shoot the good guy, mistaking him for the bad guy.
So, even though I don’t like it, I guess I have to be prepared for schools to become battlegrounds. Every day a shootout at the OK Corral. I just hope Wyatt Earp is on my side.
And it really is raining outside today. Cold, February rain… and it depresses me.