Big win for gun nuts, as long as everything goes according to plan

Gun nuts are claiming a big win in their plan to get more guns into schools:

Despite being mercilessly mocked by the MSM for suggesting armed police officers be put in schools — a program the NRA dubbed the National School Shield program — the idea has quickly taken hold all around the country. From Texas to Virginia to Staten Island to Sandy Hook Elementary itself, parents are demanding that their children be afforded armed protection rather than trust their luck to gun-free zone designations that determined murderers tend not to comply with.

No one will ever accuse these folks of humility, that’s for sure. Let’s see how their effort to defeat gun-free school zones and put more guns into schools is going in the real world, shall we? Let’s check rural Ohio:

The school board voted unanimously on Wednesday to allow four janitors to carry their own guns inside the school. Four janitors, all men, have volunteered to take part and are to undergo a two-day training course in March that will be paid for by the school district.

This is an (edited) comment I saw in John’s gun post (thank you, Oregon guy)

I’ve had the pleasure of living in the one place in the world where it is positively required to carry a weapon on your person at all times – an Army FOB in Iraq… On the FOB, we were required to carry our weapons as described above at ALL TIMES. Also, weapons on the FOB were unloaded. You kept a magazine on your person ready to insert, lock and load as needed but unless you were on perimeter patrol or tower watch you did not have a loaded weapon on the FOB. Why? Because negligent discharges happen, and people get hurt or killed.
When leaving the FOB on a mission everyone would “go red,” which means we would insert magazines, lock and load a round into the chamber of our weapons. When we returned from missions, immediately inside the FOB there were clearing barrels, basically 40 gallon oil drums half filled with sand, and with a circular opening cut into the top.
We would dismount our vehicles., walk to a clearing barrel under the supervision of another soldier, drop our mags, eject the round from the chamber, and lock the bolt back so the weapon could be verified as “clear.” Then, and only then, could we proceed into the FOB which was filled with unarmored people.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what a “well regulated militia” does.

Negligent discharge. Hmmm. Maybe gun nuts aren’t familiar with this risk to children? Oh, they know about it, all right. They spend a lot of time in emergency rooms. Here is a site where they share stories of negligent discharge. This is one story. There are many.

I came across your story and just wanted to say thanks for having the guts to tell it. About a year ago, I was cleaning my 1911 in the kitchen, wife wasn’t home, she had our oldest with her and our baby was upstairs taking a nap, he was about a 16 months old then. I, for some reason, thought I had it emptied out, but never the less I aimed it at the floor, in a direction where I knew that even if I was wrong the penetration of the floor would only lead to the basement and a concrete floor I pulled the trigger, and it went off. I was sitting at a weird angle to where I was aiming and realized it had actually ricocheted off the carpet, through the let of the high chair, and into a wall. Exactly the direction I did NOT want it to go. Then I realized that our baby didn’t cry upstairs, and went ice cold trying to figure out why the noise hadn’t woken him. I can’t even tell you the terror realizing that the wall the bullet had entered was right below his crib. I went upstairs, more scared than I had ever been in my life…he was sleeping soundly, little chest rising and falling as it should be, I even moved him a bit to hear him just start to wake to be sure, then let him settle back down to continue his nap. I told my wife when she got home, cried again and told her I would only clean and handle at the range from there on out (unless of course there is an intruder). Always thought of the folks who do this sort of thing as idiots who just arent thinking. Pride comes before the all I suppose, just as the bible says.

Our kids would be safer from an accident involving a gun on a FOB in Iraq than in their second grade classroom in rural Ohio. Big win for the gun nuts.They finally beat the gun-free school zones. I would suggest they stop crowing and start hoping that there aren’t any accidents, ever, when their unregulated and poorly-trained militia experiment arrives in public schools.

105 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I, for some reason, thought I had it emptied out, but never the less I aimed it at the floor, in a direction where I knew that even if I was wrong the penetration of the floor would only lead to the basement and a concrete floor I pulled the trigger, and it went off.

    All guns are loaded. Always assume there is a round in the chamber. Clear the fucking weapon every time you pick it up.

  2. 2
    2liberal says:

    legislative suggestion: require that school zone weapons-wielders use the same protocol (or a variant) as described above to avoid negligent weapons discharges.

  3. 3
    Anoniminous says:

    Bet everyone a virtual lollipop there will be at least one “friendly fire” incident leading to Yet Another killing of a schoolkid by the end of this year.

    Bet everyone a virtual lollipop there will be at least one “friendly fire” incident with one of these untrained goofballs shooting another untrained goofball.

    Bet everyone a virtual lollipop there will be at least one “friendly fire” incident with one of these untrained goofballs shooting themself.

  4. 4
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I don’t like the half assed, armed janitor thing.

    But if my kids were still in school, I wouldn’t complain about uniformed, highly trained, openly armed security guards as well as tight perimeter control.

    You might have noticed this is now serious shit.

  5. 5
    Paul says:

    I would suggest they stop crowing and start hoping that there aren’t any accidents, ever, when their unregulated and poorly-trained militia experiment arrives in public schools.

    Why? We all know what will happen. They will claim:

    1) This is not the right time to talk about this (if a tragic accident happens). How dare you be so insensitive?

    2) No matter what, more guns would have prevented the tragic accident.

    In their own world, they can never lose.

    Sadly, at the same time, innocent people are losing their lives to satisfy the gun people’s hysteria about guns.

  6. 6
    The Pale Scot says:

    “All guns are loaded. Always assume there is a round in the chamber. Clear the fucking weapon every time you pick it up”

    What Omnes Omnibus Says.

    Really, how can you pick up a gun in any situation that’s not a fire fight and not clear the action?

  7. 7
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    OT…Just thought we might want to revisit this exalted, and praiseworthy, Public Servant.

    http://www.boston.com/news/loc.....rtiz_2011/

  8. 8
    Schlemizel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My BIL was a Marine trained sniper (seriously – no BS) He owns & shoots a lot of guns and is more careful with them than anyone I know. He does not slack off ever.

    We were plinking tin cans with a .22 semiauto rifle on Saturday on the farm. When we were done he pulled the clip out, worked the action a couple of times and then pointed the gun at the backstop & pulled the trigger – nothing. He worked the action again and before putting it into the case pulled the trigger again – BANG! scared the hell out of both of us. We went over that a dozen times & neither of us can figure out how the hell that happened. Sure .22 rimfire is a screwy round but how that one hid as long as it did is a mystery.

  9. 9
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    How on Earth is defense by deadly force supposed to deter a mass murderer who expects to die in the act? They haven’t even done rudimentary first-order analysis on the outcomes of this plan.

  10. 10
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anoniminous:

    One change:

    Bet everyone a virtual lollipop there will be at least one “friendly fire” incident leading to Yet Another killing of a schoolkid by the end of this school year.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Y U RUIN MAH GUN SHOOTIN’ FANTASY STUPID HIPPIE LIB??

  12. 12
    elmo says:

    In my line of work, I am in part responsible for overseeing armed employees, and formulating policies governing firearms safety. These employees get weeks – not hours or days – of training. The pay is good, and the background checks are stringent, so our hiring is selective. For the most part, these people are high caliber.

    And I still spend a ridiculous amount of my time dealing with stupid, careless mistakes and complacency. People get fired from good-paying union jobs because they forget and leave the gun in the bathroom, or because of a negligent (never to be called “accidental” because it’s always negligent) discharge. People who want armed teachers or armed janitors have simply never had armed employees.

  13. 13
    Joel says:

    Looks (futuristically) like I’m going to have to ask schools if there are any guns allowed on the premises before agreeing to send my kids there…

  14. 14
    scav says:

    On the upside to their mind, there won’t be as much money left for dangerous instructional materials (like Al Gebra and Biology) because I’m sure they’re going to hire calm, highly trained professionals instead of janitors, teachers, mall rent-a-cops, and anyone that comes cheap. Handy little armed warehouses to store kids until its convenient. Two wins for the price of one! But remember, don’t vaccinate the little dears.

  15. 15
    Mark S. says:

    Four janitors, all men, have volunteered to take part and are to undergo a two-day training course in March

    Wow, a two-day course? They’ll probably cut it back to one to save some money.

  16. 16
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I worked for a custodial company for 3 years. I know maybe 5 out of hundreds of those workers who I would trust to carry. And I guarantee all 5 of them are far too sane to actually agree to do it.

    Accidental discharge story I’ve told here before: a few years ago someone I know very well accidentally shot his friend to death at his kitchen table with a carelessly handled ‘unloaded’ gun.

  17. 17
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Hey, it’s Moloch. He want children. He’s not particular about how he gets them.

    Who says we have no state religion?

  18. 18
    OzoneR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    But if my kids were still in school, I wouldn’t complain about uniformed, highly trained, openly armed security guards as well as tight perimeter control.

    There are 50+ other countries where I could raise my children and NOT have to have uniformed, highly trained, openly armed security guards as well as tight perimeter control. Why would I raise them here?

  19. 19
    Anoniminous says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Oh you cynic.

  20. 20
    GregB says:

    The Ron Paul is Right amen chorus haven’t been trumpeting his line about the concept of armed schools as being part of the “Orwellian serveillance state”.

    When there’s money to be made by the military industrial/domestic security complex Ron Paul takes second fiddle.

  21. 21
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @elmo:

    these people are high caliber.

    I see what you did there.

  22. 22
    Yutsano says:

    @GregB: Gee…it’s almost like they’re actually Republicans instead of true to the Ron Paul cause. Splitters.

  23. 23
    Mudge says:

    We will raise a generation of kids who are afraid of the bogeyman and accept the armed police state. The right is afraid of so many things and one of their goals seems to infect the rest of us with fear, rather than doing things to remove those fears.

  24. 24
    kay says:

    @Paul:

    You knew they weren’t going to put any MONEY or TIME or THOUGHT into “school security”, right? It’s guns + kids! What could go wrong?

  25. 25
    scav says:

    And, for all the joy at that two-day trained army of four, don’t janitors have to do a good bit of their job when the kids aren’t actually in the building? The daytime coverage is probably less impressive. i also wonder how this can tie-in with Newt suggesting that kids could learn to be janitors. Sort of like the air marshals.

  26. 26
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: And wait until the first”Green on Blue” style incident with a disgruntled worker at a school. This country is dying but first we are going mad. Like the old Greek phrase.

  27. 27
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @scav:

    don’t janitors have to do a good bit of their job when the kids aren’t actually in the building?

    A typical elementary school with around 500 students would have one day custodian and two after hours. Day custodians are often women, who like the hours and interaction with kids.

  28. 28
    Ohio Mom says:

    Not that it makes any difference but Kay since this is in your neck of the woods, can you tell us a little about this town? Is is a well-to-do bedroom community, or a farming community a good ways out from Toledo, or… Just wondering about the demographics.

    For over a year after 9/11 there was a lot of talk about terrorist attacks among the PTA moms in my very typical suburban neighborhood, the consensus being the school should do something about this very real possibility (they never seemed quite sure what, though).

    It struck me as somewhat narcissistic, their kids were so special that Mooslims were targeting Symmes Elementary? I almost got lost the first time I tried finding it for a before-school opens tour with my kid. But those moms were sure that building could be a target.

    Meanwhile, the march of standardized testing, privatizing, budget slashing, etc., moves ever faster and with more gusto. *That* threat to their kids education, these parents seem unable to comprehend.

  29. 29
    kay says:

    @elmo:

    It’s arrogance. Next, gun nuts offer suggestions on mental health. They’re experts on that, too. I can’t wait for their sober well thought out plans regarding THAT vulnerable group now that they’re branching out.

  30. 30
    Olivia says:

    I really think that when liability comes in to play and lawsuits start happening the weapons in schools idea will come to a screeching halt. We may be a gun loving society but our lawsuit loving cred is even stronger.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It’s rural, working class, middle class and lots of poverty. Inadequate tax base, constantly trying levies, you know the OH public school drill.

  32. 32
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anoniminous: A bit of cynicism but also, as I worked for an educational organization for almost 16 years, realization that school years are different from calendar years.

  33. 33
    4tehlulz says:

    Somewhere in Ohio, a school district is about to get a steep liability insurance increase.

  34. 34
    jefft452 says:

    Behold the awesome power of the NRA!
    They have won a school board vote in a Montpelier OH, a “Williams County village of 4,000”
    I expect to see terrified Congressmen and Senators begging Wayne Lapierre for mercy any minute

    Hey gun-nuts?
    This is what you losing looks like

  35. 35
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Two whole days’ worth of training and they’re qualified to carry firearms in the midst of children. I had to spend a few weeks in training before the military allowed me to carry a firearm in the Mekong Delta.

    Fucking brilliant.

  36. 36
    Trakker says:

    The gun nuts can only win battles from now on. They’ve already lost the war.

    Twenty years from now the American people will have become so fed up with the slaughter of kids and other innocent people just minding their own business by the idiotic gun nuts who will keep pushing the limits of sanity: stand your ground laws, open carry of loaded semi-automatic firearms, teachers with guns in schools, and allowing paranoid, suicidal gun nuts to commit suicide by taking out dozens of people in malls, theaters, churches, etc. before turning the gun on themselves.

    Gun sales have been increasing every year. We absolutely know that more guns, especially more loaded guns in public places, can only end in disaster, in fact many disasters, every year. At some point even the people in the rural gun-loving states will become so sick of the increasing carnage that there will be a huge backlash against gun ownership.

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    No numbers. No information in the blog post at the link to say how many parents, at how many schools, are actually calling for guards with loaded guns on school premises. Are these parents in the majority at their schools? How many local school boards are actually hiring armed guards? This Dan Zimmerman person’s claim of victory for the NRA is entirely unsupported.

  38. 38
    PurpleGirl says:

    What kind of holster will they use? Will they still be able to do their MAIN jobs while armed? Will the gun/holster get in the way of their being able to move with bucket and mob, brooms, etc.? Will they put the guns away once the kids leave the school? I’d bet no one’s asked these questions yet.

  39. 39
    GregB says:

    I assume a shrewd shooter will wait until he sees the custodian outside clapping the erasers clean and then taking a butt break before going on a spree.

  40. 40
    Mike in NC says:

    Janitors with guns? Candidate for ‘Stupidest Idea of the Year’ and it’s only mid-January.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @GregB:
    Or the shrewd shooter’s plan might go:
    1) Ambush the custodian first.
    2) Then shoot up the school.

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @Trakker:

    I generally agree with this, politically. I think they’re reckless and I think people eventually reject that, see: The Tea Party. The last round of gun regulation (1968) was a response to a general perception of a bloodbath, and chaos.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @Yutsano:

    Gee…it’s almost like they’re actually Republicans instead of true to the Ron Paul cause. Splitters.

    Virtually every self-proclaimed libertarian I’ve ever met is a Republican through-and-through when push comes to shove.

    There ARE exceptions, to be clear. I think I’ve met… one? Yep. One. Maybe one more who boldly wrote in Ron Paul for his first election in 2008, but by the time the next election came by, he’d come around to being a garden-variety Republican.

  44. 44
    SatanicPanic says:

    Let’s be real, these guys aren’t going to jump out in front of a shooter for $8 bucks an hour, they just want guns hoping they can defend themselves. I highly doubt this would ever do anything for the kids.

  45. 45
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    What kind of holster will they use? Will they still be able to do their MAIN jobs while armed?

    Hell, when I was supervising custodians I couldn’t even get them to hang on to the ring of keys that they constantly used. No way they’d keep a bulky and useless firearm on their person.

    Now, if you could incorporate a smartphone with the pistol they’d hang on to it. Those never left their hands.

  46. 46
    MikeJ says:

    All of those rules the army came up with weren’t the result of somebody sitting down and thinking about it beforehand. Rules are written after somebody gets killed. They probably started with, “everyone be careful” and moved on to “everyone should unload his weapon” and eventually wound up with “somebody will watch and make sure each person has unloaded his weapon.” And each step along the way there was another dead body.

  47. 47
    4tehlulz says:

    @Amir Khalid: You skipped a step:

    1) Ambush the custodian first.
    2) Take his gun.
    3) Then shoot up the school.

  48. 48
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @GregB: Isn’t what the guard at Columbine was doing when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on their spree?

  49. 49
    eyelessgame says:

    Why would they have to hope there’s no accident ever? What would happen if there was? I mean, apart from the dead kid – not like they’d lose their school access. They’ll just argue the only thing that stops negligent discharge is more guns around – that way most of them don’t discharge. It makes as much sense as anything else they argue.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I didn’t even consider leaving the gun somewhere, but of course that will happen. It happens NOW. Our last deadly kid-on-kid accidental shooting came about because dumbass 34 yr old left his gun on a clothes dryer in the garage.

  51. 51
    Mike G says:

    @GregB:

    The Ron Paul is Right amen chorus haven’t been trumpeting his line about the concept of armed schools as being part of the “Orwellian serveillance state”.

    And of course they will be happy to pay more taxes to boost school budgets to pay for all this security theater.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @4tehlulz:
    I stand corrected.

  53. 53
    The Pale Scot says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    “Will they still be able to do their MAIN jobs while armed? Will the gun/holster get in the way of their being able to move with bucket and mob, brooms, etc.?”

    Having swung a mop or two in my time, I was thinking the exact same thing. Combine that with someone choosing a safety-less pistol, Whoopps!

  54. 54
    Hidden Heart says:

    I predict we’ll see the gun nuts calling for universal compulsory ownership, mandatory NRA-directed training, compulsory carrying for many jobs and promote for all adults, and a ban on insurers charging anything extra for the inevitable costs of all this. By 2014, if not sooner.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    I hate to be mean about this, but these stupid ass fucks in these rural areas are gonna have to learn it the hard way.

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    and who is gonna pay for the insurance for these armed folks?

  57. 57
    Older_Wiser says:

    Never trust anyone with a gun. Ever, ever, ever.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This. Jeebus fucking Keerist, that’s the first thing I was ever taught about guns by my dad. Always assume a gun is loaded. Always. Even if you just used it and put it away unloaded. Assume it’s loaded.

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @rikyrah: Oh I’m sure they can just hold a bake sale or a candy fundraiser. The public just LOVES things like that!

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Tin soldiers and janitors comin’
    We’re finally on our own
    This Summer I hear the drummin’…

  61. 61
    Chris T. says:

    NRA endgame: school so full of guns that no kids (nor adults, but obviously kids are smaller in general) can squeeze through any opening anywhere. Voila, perfect safety!

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    @Hidden Heart:

    No, no, no. Universal training would deny them their “I have a gun therefore I am lording it over all the little people who don’t” thing. That’s the last thing they want. Guns should be widely available, but not owned by everyone.

  63. 63
    Redshift says:

    From Texas to Virginia to Staten Island to Sandy Hook Elementary itself, parents are demanding that their children be afforded armed protection rather than trust their luck to gun-free zone designations that determined murderers tend not to comply with.

    I live in Virginia, and other than our idiot governor, I haven’t heard about anyone praising the NRA’s insane scheme. I don’t doubt that there are NRA-member parents who are “demanding” that, but there’s a hell of a lot more of the mocking. Just because somebody in a state is supporting it doesn’t mean it’s popular there.

    Nice try at pretending the plural of anecdote is data, though.

  64. 64
    kay says:

    @Trakker:

    There were TWO shooter situations in commercial spaces just this past week ( movie theater, mall, respectively). Patrons were “locked down” while shooter was found and subdued.
    I figure people will eventually get tired of being “locked down” so gun owners can roam free.

  65. 65

    In accurate terms what the guy is describing is not an accidental discharge, but a negligent discharge. He deliberately pulled the trigger and that fires a gun. The account is beyond stupid, it is just as easy to pull the slide back to verify status of the gun, which incidentally will clear it.

    Accidental discharges DO happen, though they are usually the result of stupidity or carelessness but this story is more full of holes than a machine gun target. Anyone who has ever cleaned a 1911 style knows exactly how they work and a much safer method of checking load condition than pulling the trigger. This guy goes through all this analysis of where the bullet is going to go, and doesn’t just pull the slide back? He’s talking about a .45ACP at most, and even a +P will only get to around 1000fps with a 230gr and yes, it probably could richochet off a carpeted floor, through something skinny on high chair and through a piece of drywall and that would be about the extent of it. That’s a really bad outcome but his story would lead a person to think the thing is a cannon. The reason a .45ACP is a reasonable self-defense firearm is that it won’t shoot through a whole bunch of things and kill somebody you sure didn’t mean to.

    I don’t care if you’ve just verified an unloaded gun, you still keep it pointed in the direction you’d want a round to go, you always keep it pointed where you’d want a round to go.

  66. 66
    jp7505a says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Does ‘tight perimeter control’ include checkpoints, barbed wire, watch towers with searchlights and maybe a few claymores outside the wire? Heck we can rename them firebases rather than schools

  67. 67
    Jay S says:

    @kay: I’d bet business owners would get tired of this even faster, and have more political clout.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @MikeJ:
    Told this story before.
    In the navy my in port watch was called sounding and security. We carried a 45 semi auto(M1911A1 for those of a pedantic nature) with a loaded clip magazine in the weapon and additional magazines in a belt pouch. In theory there was not a round in the chamber. To use/fire the weapon we had to activate the slide to load a round. At the end of every watch we had to remove the magazine activate the slide, locking it back, to insure we were handing over an empty gun to the next watch. The next watch would release the slide and insert a magazine and holster the weapon. One fellow got the sequence wrong once and ended up with a loaded weapon which of course was then fired. After that we never inserted a magazine into the weapon unless we needed to be able to fire the weapon.
    I always felt better about carrying an unloaded weapon because I knew that everyone else was also carrying an unloaded weapon and that my chances of someone(possibly me!) ending up with a rather large hole in them would take at least a little thought and effort. And we were trained and endlessly reminded that we carried a deadly weapon and the responsibility for it’s use. We were in the military, our function is to be ready to either kill or assist others in doing that and we didn’t carry loaded weapons.

  69. 69
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Digging in a drawer here I just found the very small manual for the Ruger P85* I used to own. I had never looked in it before. It’s about 85% warnings and disclaimers.

    I owned the gun for about a year and abruptly sold it after a burglary. I don’t know where it ended up, but it wasn’t in the hands of a burglar, and that’s what mattered to me.

    *9mm Parabellum, 15 shots

  70. 70
    jp7505a says:

    @geg6: Never owned a gun and never had a desire to but even I know that 1st rule of gun safety!

  71. 71
    The Dangerman says:

    Arming the least well educated people in the entire school; brilliant!

  72. 72
    Anoniminous says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Was joking.

    (It’s either that or screaming.)

  73. 73
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The most basic flaw in this lunatic gambit is that when things go pear shaped there won’t be anyone around afterwards to mop up the blood.

  74. 74
    Maude says:

    @kay:
    The movie theater lockdown was scary. There was armed guy in the theater.
    So, we go to the movies and there’s someone with a gun?
    Go to a mall and there’s someone not too rational with a Bushmaster wandering the main hall?
    This allows the NRA to take over. No way.
    The NRA is trying to make guns a normal part of every day life.
    Let’s see, in my purse, wallet, tissues, glasses, large ammunition clip for the Bushmaster in my long backpack.
    It isn’t normal to have guns with kids , shoppers or in any other public place.

  75. 75
    Oregon guy says:

    Kay-

    Thanks for the shout-out.

    If we regulated gun owners like we regulated automobile owners (mandatory training program, periodic license review and check on learning, traceable title transfers upon sale) we would probably screen out most of the worst of our problems.

    I’m actually an advocate of an Australian-style gun buyback coupled the repeal of the right to own handguns and semi-automatic rifles without a showing of good cause (like membership in a shooting club), and even then those weapons should not be stored in a personal home, but rather an arms room at the shooting club or similar locale.

    I’m currently stationed in Japan, and here the gun laws are extraordinarily strict, and yes, the crime rate is very, very low. Even the yakuza (Japanese mafia) does not use firearms when it commits its murders because use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime acts as an accelerator on sentencing, turning a crime that might buy you ten years into one that gets you forty or fifty. Japanese jails aren’t real comfy.

    Also, every municipality in the country should abolish open carry. This isn’t the Wild West, folks.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    I submit this as a “word” problem for math class. I always liked the word problems, but everybody else hated them.

    If 4 janitors carry guns in a school of 240 children, how many children have to accidentally be hurt or killed before the school board pulls their collective heads from their collective behinds?

  77. 77
    Andre says:

    “No, you don’t understand! We need armed officials everywhere at all times to prevent our nation becoming a police state!”

    Yeesh.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    On the other hand, consider the vision of armed janitors negociating their next contract . . .

  79. 79
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @OzoneR:

    There are 50+ other countries where I could raise my children and NOT have to have uniformed, highly trained, openly armed security guards as well as tight perimeter control. Why would I raise them here?

    I totally, completely, and one hundred percent agree with you. This is a very sick, fucking country. But my kids are out of school and I don’t blame younger parents for freaking out.

    Arming the fucking JANITORS is NOT the way to go.

  80. 80
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mudge:

    We will raise a generation of kids who are afraid of the bogeyman and accept the armed police state. The right is afraid of so many things and one of their goals seems to infect the rest of us with fear, rather than doing things to remove those fears.

    Bingo. Disarm the motherfuckers.

  81. 81
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @jp7505a:

    Does ‘tight perimeter control’ include checkpoints, barbed wire, watch towers with searchlights and maybe a few claymores outside the wire? Heck we can rename them firebases rather than schools

    Maybe so. I don’t know. I just don’t want any more dead kids, ok? And until our elected officials stop playing patty cake with gun nuts, do you have better ideas?

  82. 82
    nellcote says:

    @Mudge:

    We will raise a generation of kids who are afraid of the bogeyman and accept the armed police state. The right is afraid of so many things and one of their goals seems to infect the rest of us with fear, rather than doing things to remove those fears.

    Isn’t that know as terrorism?

  83. 83
    nellcote says:

    I thought they were going to hire students to work as janitors.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @nellcote: Not if done by white guys. Then it’s known as taking their country back. Same difference, but ssssshh, the poor dears have delicate feelings.

  85. 85
    RSA says:

    @MikeJ:

    All of those rules the army came up with weren’t the result of somebody sitting down and thinking about it beforehand. Rules are written after somebody gets killed. They probably started with, “everyone be careful” and moved on to “everyone should unload his weapon” and eventually wound up with “somebody will watch and make sure each person has unloaded his weapon.” And each step along the way there was another dead body.

    Some of the work I do overlaps with human factors, and this is a good analogy for what happened historically with Three Mile Island (a situation which was quickly and broadly explained as being due to “human error”–it took much longer to understand all the ways in which the control room was really a disaster waiting to happen).

    Here’s a good rule of thumb: Always assume a non-zero probability of someone making a mistake in some task. And if that task is carried out millions of times or by millions of people… even if you can’t figure out the probability, don’t be surprised by the mistakes.

    Less intuitively, experts make mistakes as well. They’re not the same mistakes that novices make, from a lack of understanding of the task. Instead, these mistakes come during highly practiced, routine behavior–they’re “action slips”, acts of absent-mindedness that come about in part because the behavior is so routine.

    So when people say, “I can’t understand how I could make such a stupid and dangerous mistake, when I’ve done this a thousand times before,” the answer is sometimes, “You’re a human being.”

  86. 86
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @nellcote:

    I thought they were going to hire students to work as janitors.

    A large proportion of the 80 or so custodians that I worked with in a wealthy, largely white school district were Black, and distinctly underclass compared to the work environment.
    There’s absolutely no way in hell they’re going to be armed. Won’t even be considered for an instant.

  87. 87

    I think I picked the WRONG time to decide to start teaching again.

  88. 88
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Here’s an idea: lots of schools have ‘lunch moms’; volunteer cafeteria helpers during meals. Maybe there should also be “Guard Dads”; armed fathers taking time off work to pack a Roscoe and stop a bullet for the student body, as it were.
    If tha twere instituted as an obligation for parents, gun control would get done FAST.

  89. 89
    gogol's wife says:

    @Oregon guy:

    I wish you were the king. Everything you say is so sensible. (Not snark.)

  90. 90
    kay says:

    @RSA:

    This is so true. We joke about it in the law office. You SEE yourself performing the task, because you’ve done it so many times. You would SWEAR
    you filed it, mailed it, whatever.
    The same was true in the postal service.

  91. 91
    sb says:

    My fellow teachers and students are folks I would literally take a bullet for.

    And there is not one of them I would trust with a gun.

  92. 92
    jp7505a says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I don’t want any more dead kids either. But after we harden the schools, the next nut will shot up a Dairy Queen full of teenagers on date night. The guy in Aroura picked the midnight showing where there were a number of you families that could not afford a babysitter. I remember the weekly firedrills in school, all line up on the playground like ducks in a shooting gallery. Somehow the riflerack over the cross on the church alter detracts from the spirit of the place. We can’t turn the whole country into a firebase. And no I have no magic solution, if I did I would run for benvolent despot.

  93. 93

    @kay:
    Aw fer cripes sake, the example given is not one of routine getting skipped – it is the difference between two distinctly individual and different actions. Pulling a trigger bears no resemblence in any respect to pulling back a slide – not in routine, not in thinking, not in results, not in any respect whatever. I’m sure the list contains such an example, this just plain and simple isn’t one.

    I have no way of judging if this story is real, but it violates so many things from proper handling to common sense to having an IQ beyond a rock that I’m suspicious. It is the equivelent of jumping off a 40 story ledge to see if it is high and saying you really thought about the process. c’mon.

    It might work to convince if you know absolutely nothing about the firearm in question, but some of us do and it is utter nonsense.

  94. 94
    danielx says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s a major fuckin’ yes. Always, always, always assume there is a magazine in the weapon and a round in the chamber and clear the weapon – drop the mag, eject the round in the chamber and lock the slide back. Or if it’s one of those old time thingies with a round thing in the middle, open the cylinder and visually inspect to see whether any chambers are loaded.

    So simple, yet people forget, have negligent discharges (that means firing the gun by accident, sports fans) and in a lot of cases get killed or wounded or kill or wound someone else. Including experts who should supposedly know better….

    I’ve heard one (possibly apocryphal) story about a freakin’ FBI firearms instructor making the same kind of error, fortunately without anyone being injured. You don’t get to make mistakes with guns, ostensibly, but humans, even experts, make mistakes. In other news, grass is green and water is wet.

  95. 95
    RSA says:

    @kay:

    You SEE yourself performing the task, because you’ve done it so many times. You would SWEAR
    you filed it, mailed it, whatever.

    One example I give to my students is the computer notification “Are you sure you want to quit without saving your files?” and the answer “Of course I do… [pause] Damn it!”

  96. 96
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I spent some time on a military base recently. The ONLY people allowed to carry were the MPs and gate/perimeter guards. You’d go straight to the brig if they found one on you or in your car.

    Base housing is apparently a different story, and people routinely get killed/maimed there by all kinds of gun-related mayhem, from “accidental discharges” to drunken fights. None of which makes the local news or is reported to any other law enforcement agency other than the base police. Gun violence rates might be even higher if they did.

  97. 97
    Gravenstone says:

    The Montpelier district is adjacent to the one I attended growing up. Knowing the populace of that county in general, I wouldn’t let any kids of mine attend a damn thing taking place in a Montpelier district school facility until this stupidity is overturned.

  98. 98
    Dream On says:

    Janitors? Groundskeeper Willie is packin’ heat.

  99. 99
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Oh cool the town guard. We haven’t seen those guys in lo these many centuries, bring a little bit of that old flavor back. A little Rampart gang for everytown. To keep us safe.

  100. 100
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I’ll also point out that the LAPD and America’s Sweethearts the NYPD are every bit as bad as Arpaio.

  101. 101
    Triassic Sands says:

    “…a two day training course…”

    Damn, after that kind of extensive training, they’ll practically be Navy Seals or FBI agents or the equivalent.

  102. 102
    Joey Maloney says:

    @RSA:

    Less intuitively, experts make mistakes as well. They’re not the same mistakes that novices make, from a lack of understanding of the task. Instead, these mistakes come during highly practiced, routine behavior–they’re “action slips”, acts of absent-mindedness that come about in part because the behavior is so routine.

    My dad’s a private pilot. Statistically, the most dangerous period of a pilot’s career is between 100 and 300 hours, if I recall correctly. The terror and the novelty has worn off, but the habits necessary to repetitively perform such a complex task have not yet fully taken root.

  103. 103
    Jason says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    But if my kids were still in school, I wouldn’t complain about uniformed, highly trained, openly armed security guards as well as tight perimeter control.

    Mine are, and I would. I don’t want our schools turned into friggin’ armed camps over some highly-unlikely events.

  104. 104
    johnny aquitard says:

    The next thing the gun nutz will do is pass laws providing legal immunity to morans who have an AD in a school. It will shield them from criminal prosecution and prevent them from being sued by parents of children hurt or killed as a result.

    You know it’s going to happen because accidental discharges WILL happen, and the NRA won’t want any armed ‘do-gooder’ in a school to actual be held responsible for any consequences of carrying a deadly weapon.

    I hate these fuckers even more than republicans. They want their guns everywhere, they want everyone else to give up their rights so they can do it, and they insist on taking zero responsibility for it.

  105. 105
    johnny aquitard says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I know maybe 5 out of hundreds of those workers who I would trust to carry.

    I know a number of people at my shooting range. I would trust 2 of them to carry in my kids’ schools. And I have a hunch they worked there they would not want to.

    I would never work and carry in a school. Too many things are way more likely to happen than the NRA hero fanstasy scenario where Joe the Janitor stops a rampaging shooter.

    Far far more likely scenario is an accidental discharge, or some kid grabbing the gun while you’re up on a ladder replacing a light and you’re hands are busy and away from your sides, or you’re busy separating 2 other kids who are pushing and shoving each other and a 3rd kid makes a grab… No fucking way.

    I firmly believe the only school workers who are qualified to carry under those conditions are going to be the ones who refuse to carry — because they are sane enough to understand this shit and NOT carry.

    Two days’ training. WTF.

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