Saturday, May 26, 2018

It's What's Outside

Finding a solution for mass shootings in the United States is a cottage industry for talking heads across this great land of ours. Hugh Hewitt, of MSNBC, suggested a ban on trench coats. “To the teachers and administrators out there, the trench coat is kind of a giveaway. You might just say no more trench coats. The creepy people, make a list, check it twice.” Creepy people like Lloyd Dobler. If you've seen that movie, you know that Lloyd might be considered creepy, but is more likely to be concealing a boom box under his trench coat instead of a gun. What about Rick Blaine? Sure, he's a subversive who carries a gun and fights Nazis, but does that make him a danger to society? In today's topsy-turvy culture, it might be enough to have him put on a list. 
Then there's this bill in the California legislature that would expand on the 2014 law that allows others to "red-flag" dangerous gun owners. The new bill would expand the list of people who can file for restraining orders to include a subject’s employer and co-workers and the staff of a high school or college that the person has attended in the last six months. It was not clear from a cursory reading of the bill if trench coats were part of the "red-flag" items to notice.
Meanwhile, we train ourselves to protect the children who are not wearing trench coats. We conduct lockdown drills. We attend active shooter training. We wonder if we could arm ourselves with pistols or rocks or any version of common sense that would keep our kids safe. The rocks? Really?
Yes. The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, announced last week that he had armed the classrooms in all his schools with five-gallon buckets of “river stones.” Armed intruders would be turned back by a hail of rocks thrown by kids who will, no doubt be trained and tutored on the effective hurling of such missiles. And they will never use them on each other. Ever.
All of which allows us to continue to ignore the guns being used in all these attacks. The Second Amendment is the law of the land, and it shall not be questioned. Rather than finding a way to make sense of a two hundred thirty year old document in today's society, we seek ways to lay the blame anywhere else: Ritalin. Video games. Rock and roll. Trench coats. I guess the Trench Coat Association of America just doesn't have the clout that some organizations do. 

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