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Teaching and Politics: Part 1

Teaching is political. There is no way to get around that fact. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves and those around them. Evidence? Easy, look at the legislation in some states that are pushing for creationism to be taught alongside science. They want to teach that slaves were nothing more than happy servants in Texas. Last but certainly not least, children are taught a very watered down version of Columbus when they are in grade school. All because, someone doesn’t like their “history” to be challenged. All that is controlled at the legislative level.

So when people tell teachers not to get involved into political arguments, I say too bad. This is our fight. We are on the front line of the truth and reality. We are also on the front line as advocates for many of our students. In this case, we are also on the line for our own lives as well as our children’s.

I am tired. I am tired of seeing innocent children’s lives lost at the cost of someone who has access to weapons I used in war. What is more, I am tired of seeing people argue that it’s their right to own those weapons, blame it on mental illness, or talk about arming teachers.

News flash – There is no such thing as a good guy with a gun. There is just a guy, with a gun. Good and bad are relative terms that depend upon the mood and circumstances of the individual wielding the power of the situation. Hence the reason why neighbors of murderers talk so highly of the perpetrator saying things like, “I never would have thought they were capable of such violence.” Guess what? Were all human. We are all capable of violence. Take that capacity, mix in some good old fashion American firepower, and you sir, you have a hell of a weapon on your hands. No, I’m not talking about a soldier amped up for war, I’m talking about a pissed off teenager with an assault rifle. I’m talking about children who have done nothing more than anyone else before them had to deal with. But there is something else in this mix that they didn’t have before easy access to guns.

We have such an easy access to firearms in this country, it’s not even funny. No one is required to lock up their firearms in a safe. No one is required to lock their triggers. There is no training requirement for purchase. No training requirement to own. And literally, no requirement to shoot. Yet, if I want to drive a car, I need to pass a test, pay lots of money (every couple of years + money every year on every car I own), have insurance, and show that proof whenever called upon to do so. All this, so I can get to work.

But, when it comes to gun ownership, there are no such requirements. Firearms are passed in the underground markets by thieves and dealers. Some shooters gain theirs legally through purchase, other take theirs from their parent’s.

I’m not saying take away people’s rights to owning firearms. There are millions of gun owners in the USA that are not murderers. They merely shoot for sport, hunting, etc. I’m one of them. But I would not be opposed to having to get a license for ownership. Having to have insurance. And btw, my firearms are double locked up. Trigger lock. In a safe. Ammo safely stored elsewhere. Even in the Army the weapons were all locked away when not in use. Apparently, the Army is not as dumb as we veterans make it out to be. They understand that giving a bored, angry, or drunkard a rifle is a stupid idea. So how does that feel Congress? The U.S. Army, which makes a lot of really bad decisions, is now one step smarter than you are.

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