Friday, December 21, 2012

What sort of world is this when bullet proof glass makes a 10 year old feel safe?

I talked with my  10 year old grandson when  he called  to say thank you when our Christmas present was delivered by the mailman.  I asked him about Newtown.  He said his school is 10 miles away and  his class  spent about 15 minutes under their desks.  They have bullet proof glass in the entrance, he said. Their teacher did not tell them why they had to go under their desks, but they do practice it so it was not  so scary then. 
What sort of world is this when a 10 year old feels  he  could reassure himself and  me he was safe  by noting  there was bullet proof glass in their school’s entrance?

From his father on reading this blog:" He keeps telling me how safe his school is and then asks me if his school is safe. All I can do is say yes, of course and to reassure him that he will be fine.  The truth is, who the fudge knows these days, and I can’t tell you what a bitter disappointment ALL of our leaders have been on gun safety.  Now let’s see if Obama can move the ball finally – I am getting tired of weeping every time any one of the pictures of those poor kids in Newtown comes on the TV.  I don’t ever want to see that happen again and I sure as heck don’t want to live in a country that accepts such horror as common place.  NRA's response today defies any reasonable test of logic. Their answer is that more guns in schools will be better to protect our kids. Wouldn' t that imply that arming every man, woman and child in schools would be the best way to stop gun violence?  At a minimum that would be best for gun makers who stand to benefit from mass paranoia and fear mongering. Gotta know who your clients are..."

From my daughter, the elementary school teacher on the front lines every day: ". I could only look at my students and their parents in their eyes and reassure them that I love their children like my own. We are told at each of our safety trainings to not put ourselves in harms way... And I can only tell you that without hesitation, I would do whatever it takes to keep my students safe! My priorities each day are 1) keep my students safe 2) love them, and 3) teach them.  And to my nephew in Connecticut, I can only assure you that your teachers have the same priorities!  To all students, as much as it is no fun following rules or lining up quietly to transition to a specials' class or go out to recess... It is ultimately to keep you safe!  Teachers do not teach because of the pay (we all know that) - they teach because they love children!  "

From me on listening to the NRA proposal to put armed guards in every school:  On  prior blogs, I anticipated this and called it a "bandaid" because there is so much more to the problem, from weapons of war with non stop ammo clips readily available to a culture of violence that promotes using those weapons of war in video games, movie, TV and other media.    I  am not opposed to having armed guards at the entrance to schools (many schools already have police officers in their halls ),  but what about college campuses and move theaters and sports venues ? Estimates are a cost of billions... The governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper,  just proposed an $18.5 million program to improve access to mental health services and a statewide hotline. It will likely be approved since Democrats control both houses of the legislature and the governor's office.  Will anyone else  put their money where their mouths both governmental and private levels?  Given the Constitutional protection of first amendment rights, is there anything that can be done legislatively, or will it take a boycott of violent media to bring the entertainment industry to their senses,  if they do not take responsibility themselves?  

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