Tag Archives: guns

I’m a Teacher. Please Don’t Give Us Guns.


Emma González. Source: cnn.com

Listen, you and I both know that conservatives squawking about wanting to arm teachers have no intention of doing so. They refuse to pay for pencils, desks, adequate pay, building maintenance, or updated textbooks, so there’s no chance they’re allocating the funding to buy us all Glocks.

Recognizing this, Trump has floated the idea of issuing concealed carry licenses for teachers. This is a breathtakingly bad idea. Teachers carrying guns means students shot out of anger. How do I know? Because humans carrying guns means humans shot out of anger. And how do I know that? It happens in the US every single day of our lives. Almost all shootings are between people who know each other, and happen in the heat of the moment because a gun was readily available.

Who gets shot most often when an armed government employee confronts an unarmed teenager? Get ready for this headline at least once a month: “White Teacher Shoots Black Student; Says He ‘Felt Threatened.'”

As a teacher married to a teacher, I am always reluctant to point out the foolishness of my fellow educators. Most of us are working very hard for very little money and even less respect. And yet, I cannot pretend that teachers like this do not exist:


It took me just a few moments to connect this commenter to his teacher page on the website of his southern California public high school, in a city with 30% registered Democrats and 39% registered Republicans. Given the progressive bent of modern high school students, it’s a safe bet that this guy’s California classroom is at least half “satan infested scum” on a daily basis. Are you certain you want this math teacher, who not only openly despises half his students as Satanic scum, but feels perfectly fine stating so in a public forum, given the right to carry a firearm in the classroom?  Someone who believes half of America’s youth are “satan infested” but Donald J. Trump is “Godly” is so far removed from reality I would hesitate allowing him a sharpened pencil. We want to allow this man to carry a deadly weapon into the classroom?

While delusional, angry conservatives are thankfully rare in the teaching profession, they are not nonexistent. Nor are liberal teachers with short tempers, for that matter. Nor are clumsy teachers, or teachers with poor vision, or teachers who are easily flustered, because teachers are human beings. We are trained to educate others in specific academic disciplines. We are not trained armed guards. Even if we were, many schools (and other sites) that have experienced mass shootings have had armed guards or police on site. If a trained, experienced police officer can’t stop a shooter from killing people, what makes you think a Language Arts teacher can?

How would police arriving on scene be able to distinguish between a “bad guy” shooting into a crowd of running, screaming students and a “good guy” shooting into a crowd of running, screaming students? How many more innocent lives would be taken by an inexperienced teacher taking ill-advised shots? An active crime scene does not look like it does in the movies. The bad guy doesn’t stand there, in the open, monologuing, while everyone stands aside to give you a clear shot. It’s chaos. Professional law enforcement officers who are expert marksmen hit their target during an active shooter situation 18% of the time and sometimes hit innocent bystanders, but you expect Ms. Reynolds in Room 8 to take out an active shooter without accidentally killing students?

While we have far too many mass shootings, we have even more individual shootings. The presence of a gun greatly increases the likelihood of an innocent person getting shot, which seems painfully obvious, yet somehow still fought by gun nuts. Most of us have not been in a mass shooting situation, but all of us have seen a student piss off an overworked, frazzled teacher. Every teacher knows at least one colleague who has been threatened in their classroom by a student or parent.

We have ample evidence to demonstrate that angry, frazzled, or frightened people in power shoot young Black people and Native American people at alarmingly high rates. Black people are routinely shot when they are doing nothing more threatening than riding as a passenger in a car, playing with a toy, holding a cell phone, or walking down the street. Black and Native American people are shot when they are running away (see also this), complying with an officer’s orders, or sitting with their hands up. Black children are shot sleeping.

What about Black teachers? There are numerous Black people in the teaching profession. While Caucasians are quick to defend Caucasians who shoot a person of color, they are filled with rage and calls for retribution when a person of color shoots a white person, even accidentally. Are we going to arm Black teachers and defend them when they shoot innocent students the way we defend white police officers who shoot innocent citizens? Are we going to defend a Black teacher who shoots a white student because she “felt threatened”? Or even when she’s actually threatened by a student or parent?

And how many gun-toting teachers will shoot the woman who rejects them in the heat of the moment? Women are attacked or killed for rejecting men every single day. Are you ready for “Math Teacher Shoots Sophomore Who Rejected His Advances, Threatened to Tell Principal, Wife”?

There are many solid reasons not to arm faculty, but there are none more solid than this: students want fewer guns in their schools (and in their streets, and in their lives, and in their nation) and they’re not going to stop until they get exactly that.

Those fiery, witty, brilliant Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, who responded to their personal tragedy by setting the nation ablaze with their fierce activism? Those students are not at all unusual. Emma González, with her shaved head and her historic “we call BS” speech? Half my girls are like that. What gives these kids the guts, grit, and strength to put themselves out there, open themselves to the relentless harassment, death threats, and smear campaigns by gun-loving adults, is that they know this, too. They know there’s an entire generation behind them, they know that Black teens have been advocating for gun control for years (and received even worse harassment and threats), they know that their generation will swiftly outnumber us, and, as digital natives, they can organize more quickly and effectively than we can. We clutch our pearls complaining about teenagers and cell phones while those teenagers use those cell phones as hammers to reshape our world.


Emma González will be old enough to vote in 2020, and so will my students. “Libtards” aren’t coming for your guns under this extreme right wing administration, but Emma González and an entire generation of fierce, pissed off youngsters certainly will be soon enough. Soon enough those kids, in all their diversity and fierceness and lack of interest in your “BS,” will outnumber us. Soon enough the Senate and the House will be filled with those kids. Someone like Emma González– if not González herself, because DAMN– will be sitting in the White House. You think these kids are entitled, selfish, whiny snowflakes who need safe spaces, yet they are already demonstrating how much braver, how much bolder, how much tougher they are than we ever were. Compare adults who need a gun to feel safe, who need to pretend these kids are “crisis actors” in order to feel safe, who need to pretend young Black activists are “thugs” in order to feel safe, to González, and Cameron Kasky, and Sarah Chadwick, and David Hogg and Maxine Wint, and all the kids who continue to speak out, organize, and protest despite relentless harassment and death threats from adults.

I’m a teacher. If you want students to be safe at school, giving us guns will achieve the exact opposite. President González will just recall them all in 20 years anyway.



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We Have Seen the Enemy



This is America. (Source: amreading.com)

Another school shooting means yet another young white man who has been radicalized by extremist right-wing thought and convinced that murder is the answer. Nearly every one of these domestic terrorists is white, male, and connected to the alt right, red pillersIncel, MGTOW, MRA, or PUA, groups that specialize in wound collecting, in blaming women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people for every difficulty, real or imagined, urged on by the larger right wing that now thrives on hatred of these groups. Although the right wing at large is still pretending offense at being called “racist” or being called out for abandoning civil rights, their every decision belies that, their every decision is designed to marginalize anyone who is not white, male, cishet, Christian.

The right wing at large, having lost sight of its principles, having gorged itself on propagandistic media that labels any American to the left of Ted Cruz the enemy, feeds this wolf at their door, and we all see it– WE ALL SEE IT– yet they continue to pretend it’s not happening. They hold the highest positions of power in our government while they feed these wolves, they remove roadblocks to getting them weapons while they give the subsequent dead nothing but their “thoughts and prayers.” They, in short, are training and arming young men to fight a war against diversity.


This is America.  (Source: Chicago Daily Herald)

They will not win. As desperately as they’re fighting, as bad as the gerrymandering that keeps them in power (for now) is, we outnumber them, and this rising generation, this beautiful, magnificent, historically diverse rising generation, is going to yank this nation forward. Is already yanking this nation forward.



This is America.  (Source for top photo: outinsa.com; source for bottom photo: towelroad.com)

Angry white men: We are not your enemy. We are America. You cannot stop the rising generation from being browner, queerer, & more fierce than we were. No matter how many young white men you convince the world has wronged them & the answer is murder, YOU CANNOT STOP THE FUTURE. It’s already here.


This is America.  (Source: Atlanta Black Star)

I’ll leave you with some poetry, because art heals. Here is Elisa Chavez‘s great poem, “Revenge,” written in November 2016.


Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.

I could’ve swung either way? But now I’m definitely spending
the next 4 years converting your daughters to lesbianism;
I’m gonna eat all your guns. Swallow them lock stock and barrel
and spit bullet casings onto the dinner table;

I’ll give birth to an army of mixed-race babies.
With fathers from every continent and genders to outnumber the stars,
my legion of multiracial babies will be intersectional as fuck
and your swastikas will not be enough to save you,

because real talk, you didn’t stop the future from coming.
You just delayed our coronation.
We have the same deviant haircuts we had yesterday;
we are still getting gay-married like nobody’s business
because it’s still nobody’s business;
there’s a Muslim kid in Kansas who has already written the schematic
for the robot that will steal your job in manufacturing,
and that robot? Will also be gay, so get used to it:

we didn’t manifest the mountain by speaking its name,
the buildings here are not on your side just because
you make them spray-painted accomplices.
These walls do not have genders and they all think you suck.
Even the earth found common cause with us
the way you trample us both,

oh yeah: there will be signs, and rainbow-colored drum circles,
and folks arguing ideology until even I want to punch them
but I won’t, because they’re my family,
in that blood-of-the-covenant sense.
If you’ve never loved someone like that
you cannot outwaltz us, we have all the good dancers anyway.

I’ll confess I don’t know if I’m alive right now;
I haven’t heard my heart beat in days,
I keep holding my breath for the moment the plane goes down
and I have to save enough oxygen to get my friends through.
But I finally found the argument against suicide and it’s us.
We’re the effigies that haunt America’s nights harder
the longer they spend burning us,
we are scaring the shit out of people by spreading,
by refusing to die: what are we but a fire?
We know everything we do is so the kids after us
will be able to follow something towards safety;
what can I call us but lighthouse,

of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m a shroud.
And of course it’s not fair but rest assured,
anxious America, you brought your fists to a glitter fight.
This is a taco truck rally and all you have is cole slaw.
You cannot deport our minds; we won’t
hold funerals for our potential. We have always been
what makes America great.

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All right, drama queens, here are the ACTUAL 23 executive orders


I’ve been making the mistake of reading comments on news articles about this. People are going BATSHIT FUCKING LOCO.

Hey, gun-toting crazies: You might want to take a look at these before announcing to the world that the scary Black man is taking away your guns and you’re going to start an armed rebellion, mkay?

Here are the executive orders along with my commentary.

1. “Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.” (BACKGROUND CHECKS. Like we already have, but making sure states actually send in the damn data so we can track their convicted rapists.)

2. “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.” (More about making the background checks work better)

3. “Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.” (Even MORE about making the background checks better– this time with 33% MOAR BRIBERY for recalcitrant red states)

4. “Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.” (Hey, maybe we should make sure convicted rapists can’t buy guns in all 50 states.)

5. “Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.” (When the cops take your gun away from you because you were starting shit at Applebee’s on a Friday night, now they get to run a background check on you to make sure you’re legally allowed to possess it. Sorry, Rapey McFelony! Everyone else– as you were.)

6. “Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.” (A letter?!?! About BACKGROUND CHECKS?!?! FASCISM AT WORK.)

7. “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.” (Hi. I’m Adrienne Barbeau, and I’m here to talk to you about guns)

8. “Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).” (How do we make gun locks and gun safes better? ASKING THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!11!)

9. “Issue a presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.” (Wait, they don’t already do this? The hell?)

10. “Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.” (Writing and releasing a report. Yeah, I agree with conservatives: sounds like CIVIL WAR TIME TO ME! NO REPORTS. And no glossy report covers, either! Those are for the gays and the libruls, right, boys?)

11. “Nominate an ATF director.” (This doesn’t count! You were supposed to do this ALREADY. What, is your laundry #19?)

12. “Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.” (I can see how properly trained cops, firefighters, and teachers would piss off conservatives. UNION THUGS.)

13. “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.” (OK, enforce the laws we already have, got it)

14. “Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.” (MEMORANDUM!?!? About RESEARCH? That’s almost as bad as a REPORT! GET MAH RAHFLE.)

15. “Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.” (HOLY SHIT A THIRD REPORT. Seriously, this is getting SCARY. Someone block off the Office Depot paper section, STAT.)

16. “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.” (Um, just writing that sentence does that, so, check.)

17. “Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.” (THE FUCK. Now we’re up to three reports, two memos, and a letter? TYRANNY. Don’t clarify existing law for doctors! YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUST SHRED THE CONSTITUTION AND WIPE YOUR ASS WITH IT, LIBTARDS.)

18. “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.” (Wait, isn’t this what conservatives wanted? They’ve been screaming about it nonstop since Sandy Hook.)

19. “Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.” (Emergency response training? AGAIN WITH THE TYRANNY.)

20. “Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.” (ANOTHER letter? MORE clarification of existing law? THE AMERICAN EAGLE SHEDS A SINGLE TEAR FOR THE DEATH OF LIBERTY.)

21. “Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.” (Weren’t you supposed to do this already? I don’t see how this counts. This one, along with the one about appointing the head of the ATF, are just filler, aren’t they? Was there a word count minimum for this?)

22. “Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.” (Ahem. See 21.)

23. “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.” (Not a dialogue! Talking is TYRANNY and SOCIALISM and requires THINKING.)

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Yet Another “Law-Abiding” Gun Owner Wants to Kill You Over Gun Control Laws

This guy says he's going to kill you if someone else passes stricter gun control legislation.

This guy says he’s going to kill you if someone else passes stricter gun control legislation.

See, OK, this is exactly what we’re talking about, you guys. Gun advocates all say over and over how most gun owners are law-abiding, wonderful people, but we’re seeing this kind of thing repeatedly now– ignorant, panicking armed idiots THREATENING OUR LIVES and the lives of our CHILDREN over something the president can’t even do. Despite what you heard some halfwit on the radio say, NOBAMA can’t take yer guns away by executive order. No, he can’t. You need Congress for that, and since this Congress is about as useful as the condom Scalia’s had in his wallet since 8th grade, I’m going to label that occurrence “UNLIKELY.”

I’m sure there are gun owners who are law-abiding, gentle, kumbaya-singing hippies who would only shoot in self defense and keep their weapons in a bunker 100 feet underground accessible only by a keypad and a retina scan, like you all claim. Sure, why not. But you know what? WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU that *MOST* gun owners are law-abiding and awesome, because THIS. Over and over, THIS.

‘I’m Going To Start Killing People’ Says CEO Of Weapons Training Company Over Gun Control.

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