Thursday, January 14, 2016

Guns on Campus and the Wild West

I’ve been thinking a lot about the open carry law. I’m threatened by seeing citizens around me with guns hanging from their hip. Actually I haven’t seen that yet, but still, I’m scared.

Imagine this. That in some classrooms there would be a button on the desk. If the student pushes it, the teacher evaporates. Is that atmosphere conducive to learning? Can a teacher say, “Well, Johnny, maybe you should look at it this way.”

I’m sure in 38 years of teaching I’ve said many things that would incite a student to push a button. That possibility of evaporating would keep me from reentering the classroom.

Is the button much different than a trigger on a gun? I don’t think so. Texas allows concealed guns on campus. University of Texas says that this has been the case for 20 years.

I did have two situations with students and guns. Once I had to terminate a staff member who had a gun collection and had previously checked themselves into a mental institution because they were afraid they’d use their guns. Another time I had a student who ended up killing one of his teachers with a gun. So it isn’t as if there is nothing to worry about.

My dad made me promise on his death bed not to be a dean. I went ahead and did it anyway. (He also made me promise not to retire, which I did.) I feel one of his reasons for me not becoming dean is that it is a dangerous job. As a dean, you need to make decisions that affect livelihoods. Some faculty/staff would have instantly pressed the evaporate button if it was available.

The other side of the coin complicates the issue. If I was a potential shooter who wanted to take as many lives as possible, would I go to our local grocery, Central Market, that doesn’t allow open carry… or would I go to Natural Grocers that does. Where would I be most successful?

I like the idea (fable) that in the Wild West, you’d have to hang up your gun as you entered a tavern. Are we going to have check rooms now at this store and that school, so that people can hang up their guns? I’m baffled… and scared a little about leaving my house. Where is it safe?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kay Sarah, sarah or however that line goes. H/