The American Idiocracy
There are times when I feel like I’m living in an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and these moments usually always correspond with socio-political news.
Bad socio-political news.
For instance, the acquittal of George Zimmerman. A man who logically should have been sent to prison for the murder of young Trayvon Martin. That moment, and so many countless more like it since, at times makes me question the collective sanity of this nation.
It happened again with the election of a reality T.V. show host as President of the United States. America became a true ‘idiocracy’ in 2016, and I had to ask myself, “what in the world is happening to this country?” Have we lost it?
Now, once again – that emotion sweeps over me as I write this article. Trying to find the words to intellectualize ‘idiocratic’ policies that just make no sense. So what’s happened to cause me to feel this way?
Well as the title of the article spoils, the Florida legislature has approved a bill that will allow teachers to be armed in the classroom. This is the Right’s answer to the Parkland massacre – more guns.
The program forces teachers to pass a 144-hour training course before having the authorization to carry. A number of employees in 40 of the state’s 67 counties have already enrolled or are planning to. The majority-Republican House rejected over 20 amendments which included implicit bias training for armed teachers.
So not only is Florida moving to arm teachers, but they want to make sure they don’t have anti-bias training to lower the chance that said teachers will use their new power in a biased and racist way. This is the American idiocracy folks.
Arming Teachers Only Put More Lives At Risk
There’s a myth that is popular on the Right – the myth of the “good man with a gun.” More pro-2nd Amendment propaganda than anything else, it’s proponents believe that in mass shootings, the best thing to do is to turn the shooting into the Wild West. This obviously does nothing than put more lives at risk.
In Pasco County, Florida, a school resource officer’s holstered gun accidentally went off as he was leaning against a cafeteria wall at a Middle School on Tuesday. This is someone who has been through training, thankfully no one was injured.
This is just one example, but you can imagine that incidents like this – and much worse – will become more common if there are more guns in schools. Our goal should be the protection of children, not endangering their lives more to help the NRA.
The “good man with a gun” is more likely to shoot another innocent person by accident, than the mass shooter, especially if there’s a crowd of people around.
Many commentators have also pointed out the potential problem of a shootout happening, and when the police show up, not having all of the information yet – and accidentally shooting the armed teacher thinking it was the original shooter himself.
Others have pointed out the prospect of a potential mass shooter somehow finding out which teachers are armed and getting hold of the gun and using it against his fellow students or the teacher. Then, what about teachers who are unstable themselves and would seek to use a gun, or the threat of a gun, as a deterrent? There are a dozen different ways this could go wrong.
Arming teachers only put more lives at risk.
More Guns in Schools Put Black Lives At Risk
This new law is especially dangerous for Black students who are already disproportionately targeted by school administration officials, some teachers, and school resource officers. In 28 states, the share of arrested students who are Black is at least 10 percentage points higher than their share of enrollment in schools with at least one arrest.
Then there is the issue of the school-to-prison pipeline. Data from the ACLU shows that Black students are expelled three times more than White students and represent 31% of school-related arrests.
Black students already experience prison-like environments with police dogs, metal detectors, armed resource officers, and more. So adding armed teachers to an already unwelcoming environment for many will create more problems. It will create distrust, not only in the minds of students but parents as well. This is even more of a reason why homeschooling is something you should definitely look into if you have the means.
Knowing what we already know, it’s not far-fetched to assume that arming teachers will disproportionately impact Black students and will be used as a deterrent more against ‘unruly’ Black students. So more guns in schools put Black lives at risk.