Millions of kids took to the streets yesterday to protest gun violence in schools (maybe in general?). What did I think of that? I thought they should be out having fun and there should not be guns in schools. That’s what I thought. And, yeah, I got the other message, “But, Martha, there ARE guns in school,” but that really didn’t change my perspective. If I were a parent today (or apparent) I wouldn’t send my kid to school. THAT’S the protest that needs to be made. For that matter, if I were a teachers’ union, I would recommend a mass walk out until teachers and students can KNOW they’re safe. I’d litigate to make the gubmint pay for it.
When I was a teenager, a gunman climbed up a tower at the University of Texas and opened fire on the students walking below. That happened. I had nightmares about it and thought about it every time I ate my sack lunch on the lawn in front of the library at the University of Colorado Boulder. I knew I was a sitting duck with a PBJ and Fritos.
It was shortly before noon on a sweltering Monday morning, Aug. 1, 1966, when architectural engineering student and Marine-trained sniper Charles Whitman climbed to the observation deck of the 27-story clock tower in the heart of UT’s flagship Austin campus, armed with rifles, pistols and a sawed-off shotgun. (source)
Fifty-two years ago. They guy didn’t have an automatic weapon or a semi-automatic weapon (with or without bump stocks). He had a small arsenal and he was well trained.
A young student and scoutmaster, firing with a Marine sniper’s cold and deadly accuracy, killed 13 persons Monday from high in the University of Texas tower after slaying his wife and mother* with knife and gun.
In an hour and a half of terror in the Texas capital, he also wounded 31 persons.
Two policemen ended the carnage by climbing to a platform above the sniper, Charles Joseph Whitman, 24, and killing him with six shots from a revolver and two blasts from a shotgun loaded with deer slugs.
Fifty years is a LONG time. I believe that if the American people really WANTED to do something about this, they would have done it. They don’t want to do anything about it. Other things matter more. That being the case, our educational system — which was pretty rotten anyway — is dead.
No kid should return to school after spring break until high levels of security — as in the airport in Tel Aviv — are installed in their schools. Since we are helpless to do anything about guns in this culture, that kind of security is necessary. It’s OK to make that choice, but it’s necessary to follow through.
While that is being installed (paid for by the NRA) teachers can rethink the curricula they’re forced to teach, the bullshit of standardized tests, limited recess, mindless memorization and they can stand up to the big publishing companies that are making bank on the current system and say, “No. We want to teach in a way that responds to our actual students, identifies their needs and meets them. We want school to be challenging, engaging, meaningful. We want to teach them HOW to learn as much (at least) as we want them to succeed on a dumbass exam. If you can respond to that, more power to you. Meanwhile, we’ll put our own curricula together and teach it as we — professional educators — know how. Go peddle your papers elsewhere.”
*his wife and mother were, presumably, two different people. Grammar matters.
P.S. I deleted the paragraph in which I used the word “swallow” I guess it has been swallowed by my editing.