Paranoia: a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.
Liam Neeson’s gun control rant sparks calls for movie boycott. Yes, even the guy from “Taken” is pro gun control.
One of the main proponents behind the initiative of getting guns in our schools is Mr Louie Gohmert, the Republican U.S. Representative from Texas’s First Congressional District. Mr. Gohmert believes that the answer to gun violence is more guns, as this would be one of those Steven Seagal movies.
The Representative expressed in an interview on Fox News that if the Sandy Hook principal “had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.” His anger towards the tragic incident is understandable and shared by many and the what if scenarios are played on everyones mind as well, but we can not think for a second that more guns is the solution to this problem.
The Texas lawmaker believes that educators should be able to carry guns but this idea is quite ludicrous if we consider that even the people whose job is to serve and protect, the ones that went through gun training and are supposed to be the experts can’t (in some cases) distinguish the good guys from the bad guys or real guns from toys.
The only thing that we can agree on that came form Gohmert’s interview is the premise that it is time for an open minded conversation about guns. This conversation most definitely should be open minded but I think that being open minded doesn’t necessarily means that we should have Steven Seagal training posses to “protect” our schools, open minded should be taken in the sense that we need to find solutions to this problem leaving behind any bias . It is true that the Texas Representative didn’t explicitly said that Mr. Seagal should train a bunch of gun enthusiast but the point is that lawmakers should be the ones that come with reasonable and realistic ideas and create laws based on those ideas in order to have a functioning society.
Bottomline, we have to emphasize that guns should not be handle by educators because their mission is not to kill people. Their mission is to teach our kids, between many other things, to use or words to solve conflicts instead of using violence. Teachers and school principals are the ones responsible of our children’s education so our society can have a better future were gun violence exists only on screen and not in our classrooms.
Good Guys, Bad Guys, and The Guns
One of the main positions the gun advocates take when there is a debate about guns is that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” In theory, this may sound as a valid statement but, as with everything, it should be use in an specific context and along with facts to back it up.
Lets take for example the Sandy Hook shooting that took place in Connecticut where 20 children were murdered. A few days after the tragic event, as it was expected, this catchphrase was present in the public appearance of the Executive Vice President of the National Riffle Association that addressed the incident. In his speech, Mr Wayne LaPierre reacts to the incident blaming video games, films, and music for this kind of violence explaining that these industries “sells and stows violence against its own people.” It is true that nowadays violence can be found in movies, music, and video games but this is not what is killing people, guns is what is killing people. And the idea that those industries are selling and stowing violence against its own people… well, lets ask NRA members and pro gun advocates Chuck Norris and Clint Eastwood what do they think about it.
Another interesting point made by Mr. LaPierre is the one about how society cherishes more banks, celebrities, and stadiums than our kids. His point is that there are armed guards protecting the previous ones and that we have ignored the security of our kids, even to the point of banning guns in schools. Lets break this down. Yes, there are armed guards in banks because money is storage in banks and thieves, since humans came up with the concept of money and decided to keep it in these institutions, have always tried break into the banks and steal it. This is not the case of schools and children. Yes, also there are some celebrities and sports stadiums that are protected by armed guards but those cases have their own reason such as being continuos threatened and being terrorist targets. The point is that you can not compare them as equal. It is true that sadly the Sandy Hook tragedy is not the first one but the argument should not be focus on why there are not armed guards in schools but why do we have high capacity machine guns on the streets and why people can access them so easily.
Mr. LaPierre believes that having guns in schools will reduce or even completely avoid tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shooting to happen again because at “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well, who can determine who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? What if the “good guys” can not do their job as it is the case of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because people and organizations such as the NRA are stopping them to do so? Can good guys be trusted to keep the weapons in a safe place to avoid accidents or, worst, that the weapon ends up in the hands of bad guys?
As we can see, catchy phrases can sound valid but we need to understand the context and the facts to consider them as that, as valid. The one about “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is a valid one, if we use it in the context of a cheesy movie or a video game, so it is the case of “don’t fight fire with fire”
Born and raised in Quito (Ecuador) where I study Law for a few years before coming to the Washington DC area. Once here, I took some Photography classes before deciding to pursue a Communication degree at the University of Maryland where I’m currently enrolled.
Between work and school, I try to enjoy the variety of features that the area offer such as art exhibitions, live entertainment, and others.
A few facts: I’m news junkie, I studied French for a little bit but sadly I barely remember anything from those days, active but not triathlon-crossfit kind of active, and, until recently, a twitter enthusiast.
I’m interested in the topic because I believe that we have to talk about the real effects of guns in our society and the risks of having them in the classrooms. The right to bear arms as it is stablished in the Constitution should be secondary to the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” specially if we consider that guns in schools undermine this ideal presented by the founding fathers. With that being said, I think the discussion about the pros and cons of guns is important and that this discussion should be a proactive one in order to find solutions to avoid more tragic incidents to take place in our schools.