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Let's talk about school shootings

By J. Freeman on 03/09/2018 02:50:13

Alright. I waited a few weeks. Everyone's corpse is cold. I've delayed saying it, because I really hate to have to keep saying it. I know what it's like to lose loved ones. I'm sorry it happened. But I tried to warn you. Bad things happen at public schools. Like I said at my protest last December - Public Schools aren't safe and you're responsible for the horrible things that happen to your kids while they're there.

That is, if schools really are unsafe after all. Actually, school shootings are much less common than the news leads us to believe. According to Google, the odds of being struck by lightning are one in 700,000. The odds of dying in a school shooting are less than one in a million. So in my mind, the entire conversation "What are we going to do to stop school shootings?" is entirely farcical. We have a school shooting problem like we have a randomly getting struck by lightning problem. Do you know what's significantly more likely to kill your child? A school bus crash. You know why you never hear about the school bus crash epidemic? Because bus crashes don't drive ratings for the click-bait media and don't help politicians push their gun agenda, that's why.

So, having established that there isn't actually a school shooting epidemic to fix, let's take a look at some of the completely moronic "solutions" that we're being fed.

Regulate Video Games

You're joking right? I mean, really Trump, you have to be joking. *Sigh* No, he's not joking. This happens every time. Someone shoots up a school, and in a knee-jerk reaction, everyone in America over 50 screeches "VIDEO GAMES!!!" They did it with Adam Lanza too. Screaming day in and day out about how he was some kind of freak playing violent video games in his basement. Then, of course, it turned out that he wasn't into violent shooting games. He was a big-time Dance Dance Revolution fanboy. That's right. Playing the girl game where you dance like a fairy turned Adam Lanza into a cold-blooded killer.

Do you know what percentage of the male population of industrialized Western countries play video games? It has to be close to 100%. Do you know what percentage of them go on gun rampages? Almost none. I've been playing video games since I was old enough to hold a controller, and so has practically everyone I know in my age group, and I know a grand total of zero people who have shot other people.

But, we've got to have a scapegoat for our imaginary school-shooting epidemic, so the video game industry gets crucified. And I ask myself, "What can we even possibly change about the gaming industry?"

"Well," says some crotchety old man who has no clue what he's talking about, "we should stop people from putting violence into video games." Except we can't do that because game makers have the same right to free expression as anyone working in any other art medium.

"Well," says crotchety, "we should make them put ratings on the games so that kids can't get to them!" Except that the video game industry is basically the best self-regulating industry that there is and has been putting ratings on games forever without anyone having to force them to do it.

So what are we gonna do? Start running sting operations at Walmart and arresting the guy at the electronics counter if he lets a copy of Grand Theft Auto go into the hands of a teenager? Good one guys. That'll solve it.

And by the way, I don't buy the whole "Teenagers seeing people shoot things in video games turns them into murderers" bit. Do you know what my grandpa used to do for fun when he was a kid in the 1940's? He would beat a hog on his farm to death with a hammer, skin it with his bare hands, cook it, eat it, and then pull it's bladder out. He'd then inflate the bladder with his breath, and use it as a bouncy ball. I don't see how playing Halo even comes close to that level of violence and badassery.

And my Dad, what did he do for fun as a teen in the 1970's? He'd sit in the woods, wait for a doe to walk by, shoot it in the face, hang it up from a tree, skin it with his bare hands, cook it over a fire, eat it, and then hang whatever was left of it on the wall. Again, it makes Goldeneye 007 look tame.

Ban guns for everyone under 21

Me personally, I never owned a gun until I was married, well after I was 21. I had no reason to own a gun. But when I got married to my smoking-hot wife and started living in a bad neighborhood while we saved up for our first house, I thought, "Hey, someone might come give me and my family trouble. I'm going to get a gun to protect my home." Since then, I have shot zero people with that gun. So me, I never needed a gun when I was 18, but you know what 18-year-old should have a gun? Any 18-year-old who wants one, because 18-year-olds can get married and have families to protect just like I have. There's no reason that an adult American citizen should be deprived of his right to protect his home and family just because less-than-one-in-a-million teenagers go on shooting sprees.

And by the way, I'm not convinced that stopping teens from owning guns will do anything to stop the gun violence problem, because if you're willing to kill a bunch of people, you're probably also willing to steal a gun from somewhere, or buy one on the street, or get someone to buy one for you, or whatever. Listen, we've had a "no alcohol under 21" ban in place for a while now, but I've never met a college freshman who couldn't get his hands on booze if he wanted it. The only people who will be harmed by the teen gun ban will be law-abiding citizens - the people whom we would most like to have guns.

Furthermore, I detect a really insane irony in all this, because the government is more than willing to put guns in the hands of teenagers for a little thing called war. Hey, maybe while we're at the business of taking guns out of the hands of innocent citizens, we should also shut down all those junior ROTC programs in high schools around the country. What's that? You want teenagers to have guns so that they can defend the country? Well man, I'm confused because I thought teenagers and guns didn't mix. My bad.

Put more cops in schools

Before we get into the weeds on this one, let's all take a deep breath and remember that school resource officers don't stop school shootings. Why? Because they're miserable cowards, that's why. Remember, the school resource officer at this school in Florida literally stood outside and did nothing for almost the enitre duration of the shooting. Putting more cops in schools won't fix this problem. In fact, this evidence shows us that we probably have all the cops we need to fix the problem if only they weren't so worthless.

That aside though, we need to remember that school shootings are a problem less common than being struck by lightning. Meanwhile, police shootings are more common. The odds of being shot by a police officer during an arrest are about one in 10,000, and seeing that about a third of Americans have been arrested, something like one in every 30,000 Americans will at some point be shot by the police. Cops put lightning to shame. In fact, you are more likely, by a significant margin, to be killed by a police officer than you are by a terrorist.

So putting more cops in schools is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. With more cops carrying more guns around schools, we're more likely to see more people get hurt. And by the way, it's not just shootings we have to worry about. Cops have a tendency to arrest people for no reason, and all across the country, school cops are saddling kids with needless criminal records that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

And let's not forget, the whole "We need more protection for public schools" bit has gotten yours-truly arrested and falsely charged with not-even-actually-crimes twice. When we needlessly put everyone on high alert and start stuffing society full of police officers all intent on solving a problem that basically doesn't even exist, they're going to find a way to sweep innocent people up in the dragnet. For every school shooter that the cops miss, they round up a thousand false-positives whose lives are basically ruined for no good reason, just because of the stupid pointless knee-jerk reactions of pundits and politicians.

And can we please take a moment to remember that the Sheriff of Walton County was just accused of sexually assaulting every single student in an entire high school? Listen, the cops are a problem everywhere they go. You can't trust them to help your kids here.

Alright, so those things won't work. Now I'm going to give you a solution that might actually help the problem:

Stop putting your kids in public school

Do you know how many homeschoolers get shot in public school? As far as I know, none. So if you don't want your kid to get school-shot, you can't go wrong with homeschooling.

That obvious fact aside though, it makes sense that public schools have become killing grounds. Where else can a crazed killer find thousands of unarmed victims all in one building? If you said "Nowhere." then congratulations, you're right. Shooting public school kids is like shooting fish in a barrel. If a mass shooter wanted to kill teenagers and there was no public school, he'd have a really hard time going house to house breaking in and killing people (especially since every other house in America has an armed occupant). There won't ever be a day in which 17 people are killed in one house-to-house rampage.

Not only that, but I think public schools become a target because they're a place of so much misery. With barbed-wire fences and cops everywhere, they're being run like prisons. Students are spending their entire lives being bossed around by government bureaucrat teachers who think the kids are their slaves. The students are constantly bullying and tormenting each other. They're subjected to a billion manufactured and completely unnecessary social and psychological pressures. They're surrounded by sex and drugs and mindless busy-work. It's a humiliating, degrading, and stressful experience for them. Seeing how these kids are being treated, it's not hard to believe that they have a motivation to kill each other and that some of them actually snap and do it. Add in to the mix that they've all been taught in biology class that there's no God and that they're all nothing but randomly evolved pond-scum anyway, and you have a recipe for disaster.

So please, let's look at this rationally. School shootings are rare, and the thoughtless "do anything to fix it" solutions are just making things worse. We don't need prison schools. We don't need to take away the rights of law-abiding Americans. We don't need to crush video games. We need to step back, realize that this was a tragedy, and either accept this as the extraordinarily rare phonomenon that it is, or do the only thing that can actually fix it: close the public schools and take responsibility for our own kids.


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