Monday 26 Sep 2016

No Aim
AJ Robinson

My dad really liked the movie “Star Wars.” Anyone who knew him would know that that was not normal for him – he was not a big sci-fi buff. However, that film connected with him. He said that one particular aspect of the movie he liked was that the people were not super accurate with their laser guns. Now sure, when Luke really focused he was able to hit the door controls in the hanger of the Death Star, but that was the exception not the rule. For the most part, when people fired a laser, they missed.

My dad liked that; he said it was very true to life. He’d served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and while he hadn’t seen a lot of action, he’d seen some. He’d seen how badly most people were with a gun; even trained soldiers. Now, you might wonder: “Well, but wait a minute, soldiers train on a firing range. Surely they learn to shot straight.” Yes, soldiers on a firing range; with their rifle in perfect firing position; that are not rushed and not under fire, can score well. Myself, back in my high school JROTC firing range, I was an expert shot. Here’s the thing, news flash: real life; real battle is not like a firing range!

Now, here we have the National Rifle Association (NRA) making yet another idiotic suggestion: arm all teachers and school staffs with AR-15’s or some such firearms. That way, they’ll be able to stop any bad people who come to the school to do harm. Okay, first off, let’s stop for a moment and try to visualize what their vision of the future would look like. How would the staff/teachers “pack heat?” Would they walk around campus with the rifle slung over their backs? Oh, wouldn’t that look nice! I’m sure it would inspire such confidence in the students. Of course, it might get them to behave a little better. There’s one plus.

If they didn’t carry their firearm on them, where would they store them, in an armory? No, that’d be too slow. Some maniac shows up and starts shooting, the teachers have to be ready to blow him away. That brings up the next point: accuracy. As most teachers no firearms training, they’ll have to practice at a range, a great deal. That’s going to cost a lot of money. Where will that come from? I’m sure the NRA and the gun industry will be more than willing to pick up the tab, not! So, guess we’ll have to cut the school budget somewhere. What’re a little less math and science, or maybe English and literature? We could just force teachers to cover the cost themselves. After all, they make way, excessive salaries already. Isn’t that why people go in to teaching, to make a fat salary for only working nine or ten months out of the year? I seem to recall a number of politicians and pundits calling them “union thugs,” but I could be wrong.

Even then, as my father would point out, when it comes to an actual situation, it’s doubtful they’ll fire perfectly. So, with all those bullets flying about, what are the chances the teachers hit some kids? How many kindergarteners will fall due to “Friendly Fire?” Do we just look upon those casualties as collateral damage?

Goodness, our schools are starting to sound like combat zones. Oh well, what are the lives of a few children compared to the right to arm you to the teeth for no reason? When you consider that no other industrialized nation has, no, strike that, no other nation period, has as many school shootings as we do, I tend to think more weapons is not the answer.

Oh, yes, I said for no reason.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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