President Donald Trump tossed out some wacky nonsense about arming teachers, which encouraged the press and public to go nuts debating this ludicrous suggestion, totally ignoring commonsense remedies like banning civilians from purchasing weapons whose sole function is to kill the most people in the shortest time possible. The man is not as dumb as he looks, which at last count was considerable.
That was just one of the president’s multiple responses to the latest in a distressing series of school shootings. He was all over the map like a class of apprentice cartographers in the belly of a garbage scow during a Category 4 typhoon.
First, he said we should arm teachers, then yelled at the mainstream media for saying he said we should arm teachers, then he said we shouldn’t just give teachers guns, but bonuses. And snacks. Not rulers. Or pencils. Stationary targets, yes. Stationery, no.
During a listening session with relatives and survivors of various school massacres he was photographed carrying a cheat sheet reminding him to say “I hear you.” His staff is apparently aware that hearing people in a listening session is not his first instinct. Listening is what people do to him, not he to them.
Trump also promised to focus on mental health issues, forgetting that one of his first moves as POTUS was erasing rules that restricted some mentally ill from purchasing firearms. Like Germany complaining they don’t have any decent Jewish delis anymore.
“Now is not the time to politicize the gun issue.” Why is the time to talk about guns always later? “Now?” “No, later.” “Now?” “No, later.” And repeat. Now is the time to talk about mental health issues. Voting to fund programs to deal with those issues is a different story.
The NRA says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The problem with good guys with guns is a lot of them believe in that whole “kill ‘em all and let god sort ‘em out” school of thought. Except that security guard outside the Parkland, Florida high school.
Giving guns to teachers, what a great idea. Probably cut down on tardiness, note passing and backtalk as well, not to mention making faculty meetings and parent teacher conferences a lot more interesting. The penalty for truancy is a flesh wound.
As with most of 45’s ideas, details were murky, but this plan could easily lead to arming janitors, crossing guards and cafeteria ladies. Although many would argue that school lunches were already weaponized during the Reagan Administration.
Besides, 20 percent of American teachers is 700,000 people. Do they all get the same gun? Would these teachers going heavy be appointed or volunteers? Or would most folks offered guns spontaneously develop bone spurs like somebody else we know?
Think back. How many of your high school teachers would you have confidently armed? The ex-Marine wrestling coach? The English teacher who spaced out during John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn?” The librarian regularly hitting her flask behind the stacks? Sister Mary Uzi?
And you do realize of course that once teachers are armed, it’s only a matter of time before kids themselves feel the need to start packing. “I’m going to study hall. Cover me.”
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin.