If You Care About Children, Then You Must . . .

Working on an exam for my Introduction to Sociology class, so reflecting on the current (post-Parkland, Florida school shooting) debates made me think to formulate a test question about it.

If you care about children, then you must . . .

A. Support a ban on assault weapons
B. Support arming teachers
C. Support more gun control
D. Support more gun rights

Correct answer: E

Screen cap from http://www.eblnews.com

I firmly believe (though have no data to prove) that the overwhelming majority of Americans debating what is to be done in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting care about children.

That we differ on the best way to care for children should not obscure this.

This if/then framing is political rhetoric designed to advance particular solutions.

That’s fine. Politics is how we negotiate our differences.

But while we engage in this negotiation, we do well to keep in mind our commonalities.

To all sides: No name calling. No demonization.

The ends do not justify the means.

My $0.02.


  1. This is one of my pet peeves with people who are too wedded to a political party/ideology as opposed to being wedded to an ideology of solidarity. On the one hand, conservatives are lambasted for “not caring about the children”, “not caring about the poor”, etc. On the other, liberals are accused of hating religion, trying to destroy America, etc. Maybe we are all trying to help, but we have differences (sometimes radical and sometimes based in radically different worldviews) on how to best do that, or even on what needs to be helped (which is a far more fundamental difference than how to help).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Agree with you David, and I remind the good folks out there:

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

    ― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf


  3. How about choice F. It depend on one’s worldview.

    This kind of reminds me of the Paris Peace Talks in 1968, trying to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War. They couldn’t even agree on the shape of the table. The culture wars here overprint “solutions”, i.e., conservatives generally assert more individual rights which require individual responsibility and see these shootings as a sort of moral collapse. Liberals see society as more of a collective and rely on an overprint of regulation to deal with an assumption of low expectations that have to be regulated by government. These are often incompatible when the extremes dominate the debate. Not enough David Brooks types exist in either party or philosophy right now.

    I’m getting sick of the 24/7 news coverage over this event. Makes me cynical rather than generous.

    Liked by 2 people

      • So Kahl gets an F for not choosing E? 😉

        You bring up another facet, Kahl, with your example. Before defining the problem to define possible solutions, you first have to establish both parties are actually acting in good faith.

        That is, if one side has determined that the “public safety” problem can only be solved by near-total disarmament, but will not acknowledge that is their definition of the term, there really can’t be an _honest_ discussion of restrictions. Whatever solutions to the problem get discussed will be, for one side, mere incremental means to their predetermined end.

        Which is what hampers any serious discussion on even potentially helpful gun restrictions today. Someone actually trying to maximize public safety while respecting rights will be looking at the problem in terms of costs and benefits, willing to keep what shows meaningful effect and discard that which doesn’t, to balance “safety” and liberty. Someone trying for an ultimate goal of disarmament will never be willing to discard what objectively doesn’t work (or rationally cannot work), only use that “failure” to call for a tightening of the ratchet “just one more restrictive step, to see if maybe that will work.”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. While I have never been comfortable with the idea of guns in school, we must come to a realization that these are difficult times, where it is ignored that some students are on prescription medications that could alter the mental abilities, and that pharma corporations financially support gun control lobbies so that drugs may be freely issued without liability or litigation issues. Another factor being evil behaviors where a person simply wills themselves to the performance of evil things ranging from killing small animals for no reason, or simply bullying the smaller, younger (or senior), or weaker.

    For the above reasons, it should be the option of a school to offer faculty members an option of, being armed during school hours and activities after school. The faculty member can opt to avail themselves to being armed or not, without penalty however, the teacher should be afforded the right, to obtain peace officer training in their respective state where they reside and teach, thus upon completion of POST (Peace Officer Training Standards), the teacher becomes a limited peace officer. Should a teacher become involved in a situation where deadly physical force is required, the terroristic act can be terminated under the Color Of Law doctrine [1]. The State would grant indemnification. Sworn peace officers, need only two things, either Probable Cause, or, Reasonable Cause to Believe. Civilians, must Know For A Fact. With limited peace officer status, the person transitions over to greater licensing though, outright imprudent use of deadly physical force, does not absolve the person from litigations. Recognizing that at times, people will err, that scope is diminished by having a person such as an educator, being in a position to assess and make an accurate and correct determination. News flash: If someone is in a school or on the grounds, firing a gun, it is safe to make the assumption that the teacher has little to fear if making a decision to utilize deadly physical force. When I was a rookie cop, decades ago, one incident got me many negative remarks from other cops. A teen committing a robbery and the patrol car I was in, was first on the scene. I was the recorder (passenger). We got out posthaste, in uniform, and the kid raised the gun at me. My gun was unholstered. I did not shoot, because people in the stores next to the scene were outside milling and looking, and I feared a missed shot could have killed someone. The kid ran, and was no match for a newly discharged US Marine who ran twelve miles a day. I tackled the kid. He swung the hand with the gun to hit me and we exchanged punches. He was handcuffed. Other cops who responded, gave me high holy hell, for not shooting. I said, he was a kid. They did not care for my answer, and then I find out that he was fifteen years old. I believe that I made the correct decision. It’s a judgement call. Based upon my training and experience, civilians could have been shot, by me, and the perpetrator appearing to be a minor, played a role, and I knew, my physical conditioning was no match for the kid. The judge commended me.

    Nothing about carrying a gun or using a gun, is a one size fits all situations. My coworkers never did agree, but I have to live with my actions. That wasn’t the only time where I made unpopular decisions, but I will say this, the three on-duty shootings that I was involved in, there was no other option. Decades ago in the Academy, cops learned to fight with their fists. Departments always leaned towards veterans. It was taught that if you pulled your gun, you failed. Only when cop killing became an accepted vogue, did police start unholstering on car stops, and other situations. It also beats the daylights out of errors, but some errors are deadly to cops, other errors are deadly to civilians. We were on alert of a white Cadillac with three male blacks, leaving a robbery. A patrol car with one rooky and the senior man with four years stopped a white Cadillac with three male blacks. About half dozen patrol cars were enroute. Then the radio calls out “Shots Fired”. I think I cracked a floor pan putting my foot through the firewall. The rooky shot into the headrest as the driver was angry about being stopped and the cause stated. Three males cowering. One started to have a heart attack. They were in their mid-50s and 60s. The robbery team was in their early 20s. Patrol supervisor called for a bus (ambulance), for the male in cardiac distress, the driver needed a clean change of pants, the third was fear stricken. The City was sued. The rooky, terminated. His decision, was wrong. It was a mess. It is never an easy thing to be placed into the unknown however, certain things, such as violating description of age, and an attitude of “Well, how do I know?”, factors in, when the males should have simply been removed from the car and held. Teachers who are cops, usually will, make a better decision, and veteran cops, usually make even better calls, rather than generate an arrest or get into a bad shoot situation. I is a very personal matter. You must also have the psychological ability not to be prone to poor decision making and be able to live (for the rest of your life), with any decision made regarding the proper use of deadly physical force. But first, please, work around the student acting strange or wanting to kill, when they have no idea of what their actions can result in, and a student on medications that alter their brain and conduct, or, students who just don’t care and are prone to doing bad things to others. When I went to high school, disagreements were settled with fists. Was it always correct? No. But only one kid brought a gun to school, and we, beat the daylights out of him while the teacher called the office to get a cop. Life was different. The world was different. Teachers were like can openers trying to open heads and minds with literature, and other things, to expand the students’ world. Today, the world has taken a turn for the worse, but I doubt if all is hopeless. Put the boxing gloves on kids and let them get their frustrations out. We had headgear, stomach pads, mouthguards, jock cups, and big 16 ounce powderpuff gloves. None of us left school as enemies. Only recently did I speak with a former classmate. We weren’t just kids, we were, a band of brothers, who looked out for one another.

    [1] https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/color-of-law/

    Liked by 4 people

  5. As the insanity deepens, Ohio state senate democrats introduced a bill that would redefine my old man’s High Standard Supermatic Trophy as well as 22 rimfire rifles with tubular magazines holding 10 or more rds (such as the Marlin Model 60 or Remington Nylon) as “assault weapons” worthy of a felony.

    I tweeted them to this effect but suspect it will fall on deaf ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My decades long problem with the entire gun grabber community is the hypocrisy of there entire position. They want to deny us a Constitutional right while demanding we respect there 1A rights to hold and express there position. That is a false flag start to the entire debate in my view. Can’t have an honest discussion with someone who starts from that position.

    Sir I am in favor of B and I say that from having had a step daughter in the public school system. In the end all funding for public schools comes from taxes and those same tax payers are the parents of the kids they send to these shooting gallery’s called no gun zones every day. That’s were the debate needs to be. Because those are the folks who will have to pay for it whether it’s a local, state or federal program.

    Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.


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