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  #131  
Old 12-17-2012, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
I honestly feel I can mourn and discuss this. It's not as though our discussions are holding up any serious progress in the case, gun control laws, or mental health issues. And I don't think it's disrespectful to the loss. Probably a fairly expected/normal way to sort through the tragic event.

But I'll say this and then I'm going to bed early (fingers crossed): the more someone feels the need to fight for his or own right to own some piece of equipment like but not limited to the Bushmaster, the more uncomfortable I feel in my stomach. So I guess that pretty much sums up my thoughts. I have a loaded gun right beside me, literally. But it sure as heck isn't essentially a freaking machine gun.

Good night. Hopefully.
Rational discussions are needed, not emotional ones. Right now, we are for the most part reacting on emotions,understandably, but the more we react on emotions and argue that our points are right, the less value and contemplation we put into someone's opinion who disagrees with us. So, the disparaging begins.

I hate when purposeful conversations turn to black and white. There are so many gray areas about this whole situation, yet in my humble opinion, in times like this (from an emotional standpoint) society only sees black and white. Unfortunately, the media likes to see it this way as well.
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  #132  
Old 12-17-2012, 08:58 PM
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Portulaca~there is a school district in TX that has been allowing the administrators on campuses carry weapons. They are off a major interstate, but still rural enough that it would take a long time for a sheriff's car to get out there so principals carry weapons just in case something happens. Another school district in TX has just passed something saying that ALL teachers can carry weapons once they have undergone training.
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  #133  
Old 12-17-2012, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BettyRubble View Post
If you can kill 26 people in 10 minutes with a knitting needle then we will have to discuss putting restrictions on them.
26 or just one which is worse? rhetorical


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  #134  
Old 12-17-2012, 09:07 PM
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DizneeTeachR DizneeTeachR is offline
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Originally Posted by smalltowngal View Post
Portulaca~there is a school district in TX that has been allowing the administrators on campuses carry weapons. They are off a major interstate, but still rural enough that it would take a long time for a sheriff's car to get out there so principals carry weapons just in case something happens. Another school district in TX has just passed something saying that ALL teachers can carry weapons once they have undergone training.
They are trying to pass a law that would require more training for those to carry in the "gun free zones" here... but it's on the governor's desk... so not sure what will happen in light of the recent events....
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  #135  
Old 12-17-2012, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Portulaca View Post
I'm curious, are other people still hearing the calls to arm teachers in their area? ... ... I choose to be gun-less, which is a choice some people call "naive, vulnerable, stupid," because I firmly believe it would damage the social fabric if I chose to be otherwise.
Having a responsible adult who is trained and armed or can get to a weapon easily, could mean the difference between 0 and 20+ causalities.
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  #136  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:17 PM
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Hi Irishdave - I did concede that it was possible that armed teachers could stop a freak event. (They could also very easily injure additional children, who, like all people, are not very predictable under crisis conditions. If they did, who would bear the responsibility?) My worry, my objection is the tone it would set between students and teacher, the message it would convey about the source of power and authority, and the actual, physical dangers this would pose day-to-day. I outlined my thinking in detail in my previous post. What are your thoughts about how I see this affecting the classroom atmosphere?

smalltowngal - Thanks for the examples from Texas. My local cultural/political climate is pretty similar to Texas's in a lot of ways, so I guess I better be prepared for these proposals to become reality here too...
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  #137  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by smalltowngal View Post
Portulaca~there is a school district in TX that has been allowing the administrators on campuses carry weapons. They are off a major interstate, but still rural enough that it would take a long time for a sheriff's car to get out there so principals carry weapons just in case something happens. Another school district in TX has just passed something saying that ALL teachers can carry weapons once they have undergone training.
I saw that. I'm afraid I'd have to go invest in another career if that became the norm.
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  #138  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Portulaca View Post
Hi Irishdave - I did concede that it was possible that armed teachers could stop a freak event. (They could also very easily injure additional children, who, like all people, are not very predictable under crisis conditions. If they did, who would bear the responsibility?) My worry, my objection is the tone it would set between students and teacher, the message it would convey about the source of power and authority, and the actual, physical dangers this would pose day-to-day. I outlined my thinking in detail in my previous post. What are your thoughts about how I see this affecting the classroom atmosphere?

smalltowngal - Thanks for the examples from Texas. My local cultural/political climate is pretty similar to Texas's in a lot of ways, so I guess I better be prepared for these proposals to become reality here too...
I worked at an alternative high school last year. We had female School Resource Officer (SRO) stationed on campus every day. She was officially an employee of the Sheriff's Office, but was "stationed" at our school. She walked the halls with her firearm on her side all day, every day. The kids respected her, not because of her firearm, but because of her personality and the way she interacted with them on a daily basis. She always made a point to speak to the kids and address them individually. Her office door was always open (literally) for any student who just needed to come talk about some things going on in their life. All of this helped establish both a rapport and her authority with the kids, so when she DID have to intervene, they usually did what she asked right away.

My current school also has a full-time SRO on duty, but the population is much larger, so we don't always see him in every hallway every day.

I fully respect the fact that guns make you very uncomfortable. I agree that, given your level of discomfort, it would be a disservice to you and to your students if you were asked to carry a gun. As a teacher, I wouldn't wear the gun strapped to my side. Instead, I would likely keep it in a backpack or some other location where it could be kept out of reach of the students, but within my own reach if needed. For women, they could keep it in their purse.

Is it a "good idea" to arm teachers then? I would say "Not for all of them." Some would feel too uncomfortable with them, like yourself. Others might uncomfortable accepting the responsibility of carrying a weapon to school, but feel fine having one at home. Those that do feel comfortable with the responsibility should undergo extra gun safety and training before being allowed to carry the weapon. By necessity, they would have to obtain a concealed-carry permit, which automatically requires classes in gun safety and extra training. Perhaps school systems could require even more training, such as a short course provided by the local law enforcement office.

A school would not need to arm every teacher to protect the children. Just arming a select few would improve the chances of stopping a gunman IF one should enter the building and begin shooting.
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  #139  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BettyRubble View Post
You don't want to hear my opinions on competitions like those. I just don't like guns and I don't respect shooting them as a hobby. Sorry.
You're perfectly entitled to that view, Betty, and I respect it, even though my own view is different.

I've grown up with guns and I simply enjoy shooting guns for recreation. It is a fun and exciting activity for me. Despite that, I haven't actually fired a gun in years. As I said, I don't have a safe place to shoot my guns, so I simply keep them locked up.

I have no problem with competitive markmanship or target shooting. I enjoy watching Top Shot when it is on TV. I also thoroughly enjoyed talking to my former student (a 7th grader at the time) about his accomplishments in each competition.

So I defend his right - and the right of others - to compete in their chosen hobby because they are NOT the ones endangering innocent children. That being said, I supported the ban on assault weapons and have no problem with it being re-instated.

I enjoyed shooting the extremely powerful assault rifle my friend owned, but I don't think I would ever want a gun like that for myself.
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  #140  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:00 AM
Portulaca Portulaca is offline
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Thanks for your comments, Cerek.

Yes, I'm uncomfortable with guns, and you are comfortable with them. I simply don't think "comfort levels" are a very useful measure in matters like these. I know many people who are comfortable and confident regarding their abilities in nearly every area of life. They think they are impeccably coordinated, eminently reasonable, completely unbiased, never make mistakes, and never get distracted. To be honest, this is the personality type that I think would be most likely to volunteer to have a gun stored in their classroom, or to carry it on them. To "accept the responsibility," as you say. (I am sure there would be exceptions, but in general.) Now, I often have a very different assessment of these self-appointed paragons. Under most circumstances, it doesn't matter much if their sense of themselves is a bit over-inflated, in my opinion...but when we're speaking about who should be allowed to have constant, daily custody of deadly weapons in a school full of children, well, then I start to see it in a very different light. Confidence is fine, but over-confidence could be dangerous.

It's good that your school resource officer had great rapport with the kids; they can be valuable to a school community, for sure. I still think the student-teacher relationship is a bit different, though, and the circumstances and conditions under which the officers interact with kids (our officer, anyway) isn't really the same. When they are in a crowd, their whole job is to be "on alert," surveying the scene, and yes, keeping close track of their weapon, if they have one. As teachers, we're trying our best to be "on alert" to what's going on in our room, as much as we can be, but we're also doing a million other things, like trying to teach the lesson, or give a kid extra help with a long, complicated math problem, or break up three small inter-student arguments while confiscating a cell phone. Or all of the above, at once. I just don't think those conditions are very conducive to safekeeping a gun.

As for storing guns in backpacks or purses, as you suggest, I have never been in a school where the teachers' desks/cubbies lock adequately well for that to be at all responsible. I would certainly have to see some serious renovations before I would even begin to approve of that concept.
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