In the aftermath of the Feb. 14th school shooting and massacre in Florida, pundits and our Chaos President are pushing the idea of arming teachers as a deterrent to future shooters, never mind the fact that most of these deranged people fully expect to die during their attack on the schools. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA has repeated the old line “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.” Another talking head on Fox News called for schools to accumulate “superior firepower.” According to the NY Times, arming 20% of the teachers in the country would result in 700,000 handguns circulating in schools (in addition to those already present), which would certainly be a boost to gun sales and the NRA, but not a boost to school safety. Even trained police 1) often miss their intended targets in a shootout, potentially hitting bystanders and 2) have their own prejudices in identifying who is, or isn’t, a threat (a point well made by the Black Lives Matter movement).
Trump himself has said that it would have been “beautiful” if everyone in that club in Orlando had been armed, when the killer began to shoot. I can just see it: a dark, crowded club, someone by the bar fires a shot, and suddenly 200 guns whip out of holsters and start blasting away. When the smoke finally clears, the original gunman may be the only one left standing.
Likewise, a teacher hears gunshots in the hallway, grabs a pistol from the desk drawer and fires at the first threatening-looking (these days, practically synonymous with black or Middle-Eastern) male who appears in the doorway. I have a feeling that most teachers would instinctively throw themselves in the path of a bullet to save their students, but very few would want to convert their schools to combat zones.
Escalation, rather than rational gun control. Dissemination of even more weapons, rather than removing access to semiautomatic rifles such as the AR-15. The same mentality leads to increasing the nuclear armament rather than the pre-Trump era negotiated decreases on all sides, when we already have enough to destroy the world many times over. If someone makes a threat, the only response is to make a bigger threat, “fire and fury like the world has never seen before!”
Here’s an excerpt from the final novel in the Fourth World trilogy, currently a work in progress. The robot Protem is discussing escalation with General Slocumb:
“Our agents in Beijing report that, after seven years of neglect under Lee Kam-Mun, the attention of the PWE has once again settled on the worldwide Resistance. Under their new Leader, Pers Bigelow, mobilization of PWE troops in Asia, Africa and the Eurozone has increased sharply. It is only a matter of time before we come under attack here in the Western Quarantine Zone.”
“Then it’s a bloody good thing we haven’t wasted those seven years of respite,” said Slocumb, his smile easy and confident. “As you know, Mr. President, we’ve built a rather substantial fleet of small fighter ships, each powered by a modified Flowsorb engine; they can outrun and out-maneuver anything on the PWE side. The ships have been armed with the fourth-generation Razer cannons developed in our San Jose labs, which have greater range, and pack a more powerful wallop, than conventional PWE weapons. Let the blighters come, I say; we’ll show ‘em what for!” He suddenly brightened at another thought. “And— and, I haven’t even brought up our beautiful, brand-new battleship, launched last week— Big Bella!” Protem had heard that the ship’s name Bella was derived from bellum, war. As in a bellicose, belligerent battleship: was the name, along with the alliteration, an example of humor?
A warning signal always turned on in Protem’s neural network whenever its military officers began to speak in an over-excited way, like boys exulting over their new toys. “You are assuming that the PWE has not made similar advances.” The general’s smile slowly disappeared.