There have been some strange, odd, bizarre and downright wicked statements made in the few days since the school shootings in Conneticut last week. The familiar bunch of right-wing and (allegedly) religious whackos have claimed that tolerance of homosexuality and/or the continued legality of abortion meant that God allowed that hideous crime to be committed while he just stood by and watched. Interesting stuff, though if I was God, and I was seriously pissed off about something, I’d tell people why I had allowed bad things to happen. You know, eliminate the middle man. To allow any two-bit huckster with a Bible and a freephone number to speak on my behalf would certainly not happen if I was God. Not on my watch. No, I’d take great delight in telling people why I was enraged. But not this God, apparently. No, he does it by proxy, via YouTube, and via any charlatan or con-man who wants to tell us why God is upset. For crying out loud, even if “He” does exist, if this is the way he decides to conduct his business then I’m not interested, because he’s clearly incompetent and delegating important work to people that I wouldn’t trust to sit the right way round on a toilet.
Staggeringly, in the wake of the shootings I’ve heard people suggest that it is the absence of guns from American schools that is the real problem. No, you didn’t misread that. They think it is the absence of guns from American schools that is causing a problem. Here’s a comment from a website I visited today (the comment was posted on Saturday 15th December, the day after the killings):
The solution to gun violence in schools is to train teachers in the safe and effective use of firearms. We need to have numerous teachers in each school armed and ready. When schools cease to become “gun free zones” then school gun carnage will stop.
Yes, he’s being serious. Interestingly, he ended his post with the words “God save our Republic”, which is a kind of verbal tick that so many Americans seem to have. Why would God want to “save” a particular country? Actually, don’t answer that. Trying to calculate the reasoning of a being who allegedly allows six-year old children to be shot to death because abortion is legal is surely a fruitless task. We should also leave aside the utter illogicality of punishing abortion by allowing young children to be killed in school (these people are so dumb that they probably can’t see the contradiction there) because these people don’t “do” logic or anything even remotely close to it. They just pick their favourite hobby-horse and tell anyone who will listen that God’s punishment is being visited upon them because (a) they like gays (b) they allow abortion (c) they don’t go to church (d) the President is a socialist (e) Kansas City Chiefs are having a bad season, etc etc. There are numerous phrases to describe this kind of thinking, but “fairy story bollocks” is my favourite.
But let’s say that American schoolteachers get nicely “tooled-up” some time soon. Then what? Well, I won’t make a prediction, but in my old school the body count would have gone through the roof if the teachers had been armed. I’ll mention no names, but there would be a number of them about whom I would have been seriously worried had they had access to a firearm.
The RE (Religious Education) teacher was a violent sadist with just a wooden ruler in his hand, so what he would have been like with an assault rifle I have no idea. Not nice, I’d guess. Perhaps “Double Geography” with a Northern Irish borderline psycho, who supported Manchester United and who punched you when he felt like it, would have been more interesting if we’d known that he had a pristine Uzi in the top drawer of his desk. Perhaps I would have taken more time to commit to memory the rock formations of the Brecon Beacons, but there again he may well have shot me dead when he noticed me taking bets on who was going to win the Cup Final. A nice English Literature lesson with Mr Croft could easily have been spoiled by the sound of Dwyer’s brain splattering against the wall as a result of his failure to give Banquo’s death scene his full attention. Mr Phillips may well have got better results out of the cricket team if he’d threatened to kneecap anyone who scored a “duck”, but I doubt it.
Then, of course, we would have had situations where the pupils got hold of the teacher’s weapon of choice. No matter how much Mr Taylor begged for his life, Bishop would eventually have shot him, even if he had been promised an “A” in every French test for the rest of his time at the school. He hated him so much. And at the end of a four day siege, Mr Burnett would have ended up cold and lifeless on the chemistry lab floor, pumped full of .22 calibre slugs, but only after Spicer had made him do a “down-in-one” on a pint of hydrochloric acid. It would have been carnage.
So, just one question, America: the day a teacher goes loopy and shoots an entire third-grade class with his government-issue submachine gun, what then?
Kalashnikovs for kids, just like in Afghanistan?