Monday, December 17, 2012

The AR-15, now for elementary schools

I spent a fair portion of the weekend arguing with christians on Facebook. Why, you might ask? Because I get a perverse thrill out of it. It is for the same reason that I used to do drugs: it is better than being bored. This is not to say that the arguments are entirely devoid of boredom. It is when they teeter on the boring that I am at my wickedest. Sometimes I will strip down naked when I'm arguing with them, just to add that old testament sense of sin to the dynamic.

Rachel remains bemused.

Only towards the end of the day yesterday did I engage in a conversation with a gun enthusiast - also a likely candidate for christianity though I never got around to asking him. Remarkably, this was one of the more reasoned discussions that I had. He made a simple argument for training school volunteers in firearm use, safety and emergency preparedness. He posited that we have fire extinguishers in schools to protect from fire, but this is not to replace the fire department, it is only for the safety of the children. He argued that we do many things to ensure the safety of our children, yet leave them most vulnerable in this one way. 

His point was that these suicide/killers are drawn to schools because they are well aware that these are unprotected targets. In fact, most schools have strict laws against there being guns at schools, even ones carried by law enforcement officers that are there ostensibly to protect the children. Why not have an armed officer at each school? Even this seems that it could be useful as a deterrent. 

Interesting points. I'm not sure how I feel about it all, just something to consider. But since there are organizations dedicated to keeping America as armed as it can possibly be, then it does not seem to be an entirely unreasonable position to safely arm those who are entrusted to protect children. Though admittedly: the idea of there being even more guns, and closer to children, does seem to be counter-intuitive. But many ideas that run against intuitive sense have turned out to work. 

I should point out that he, this guy, trains people in gun safety. Seems almost a guarantee that he's a christian, though again, I've never asked. It did, however, bring me some pause when he relayed that he has a perfectly legal hand-gun that would do much more damage in a place like a mall than one of these assault rifles. I've never given much thought to the subject. But I don't spend my weekends at shooting ranges and gun shops. I assume that there are only so many holes you can put in a paper target shaped like a human before the analogy takes flight.

I know that some of you are thinking that I must have lost my mind. But I was only trying to consider divergent perspectives. The anti-gun group seems to only be screaming that guns are evil and to burn the witches, and soon. This stance seems somehow insufficient in the face of the problem. People have a constitutional right to own guns. That's not just going to suddenly disappear. But part of the pro-gun argument seems to be the fantasy of what they would have done differently in the given situation. These people seem to fantasize about killing spree-killers. Strange fantasy.

But who am I to criticize? I get naked and argue with christians.

Well, I partially kid. There is also a moderate perspective from the anti-gun side. I'm not sure why the pro-gun groups fight it so much. They simply want mandatory safety courses and background checks. In addition to that they want to increase the negligence penalties for those who skirt these processes. That doesn't seem that unreasonable, to me. But still, the fight remains relatively devoid of subject matter towards the middle, with few signs of improving. The political climate is such that one side, probably the left, will win by sheer force of majority. They seem to be getting better and better at forcing the other side's hand, and proud of it. Most of them seem to have an "About Time!" attitude that might not prove to hold much foresight if the republicans ever do get a majority back. The right has always acted in greater concert to achieve its goals than the left. At least in my lifetime.

So, I'm thinking of buying an assault rifle. Now, I know what all of you are thinking... Cool, right?  But hear me out. Number One, they just look radical. It's difficult to pretend that you're Rambo with a small revolver. Number Two, that is a euphemism for poop, #2. Number Three, where are you gonna be when the zombie apocalypse begins? Number Four,  It's Christmas, what better gift to unwrap under the glowing red lights of the tree than a near-military grade weapon. I mean, this is something that really says to the neighbors: you'll be moving that off my lawn now.

I began to ask myself why no spree-killer has ever attacked one of those paint ball places. It would, at the very least, represent a fresh challenge to the idea. It's difficult to guess even how long a shooter could go before the others would realize what was happening. Just run amok out onto the course and get started, not even pick a team, etc. It would take some pretty bold paint-ballers to stop you as well. But it seems to be the very thing they're asking for. I mean, those paint-ball heroes would live in para-military glory in perpetuity.

If I understand the pro-gun argument correctly, at least in this instance, it is that the world is full of crazies and we had better flood our schools with firearms and ammunition. Does that sound right?