“You can never be prepared for this kind of incident.” Connecticut Governor, Dannel Malloy, speaking on the mass-shooting of children at an elementary school today.
John King of CNN referred to it as “the unthinkable”.
Gun-toting conservatives across Michigan are busy doing shaky-voiced interviews claiming that their spanking-new concealed-carry law, passed just today in the lame-duck legislature, allowing guns on school grounds, would somehow prevent this kind of thing. Of course, that’s utter nonsense. Lawmakers hurriedly left town, with little to say on their misdeeds.
We can anticipate that first thing Monday morning our schools will all be doing lock-down drills and policing the grounds like a gulag — as if that is going to make any difference.
It brings to mind a time seven years ago when my daughter was involved in an exchange program with a school in Japan — a culture that does not glorify their firearms. When she went to Japan, she found the schools to be open and friendly compared to her Michigan middle school. Surprisingly, the students were given broad freedom to come and go as they please. Permission of the teacher to leave the classroom was not required. On the playground, the kids rode unicycles down the steps, and they played snap the whip on them. They were free and safe.
In Michigan schools, unicycles are not allowed, let alone down the steps. Yet, we allow guns to be secreted on to the school grounds.
When it was time for us to host the Japanese students, I contacted the school principal and insisted that they not do a lock-down drill while we hosted the Japanese students. It would have scared the daylights out of those kids, especially because they had little or no English. It’s a drill just as ridiculous as when we hid under our desks during the cold war. If a gunman wants to enter a school, all he need do is go in through the front door and get down to business. All the “safety measures” in the world won’t protect us from gun violence.
Point here is: If you were new to our culture, and you witnessed a lock-down drill, with the blaring alarm, darkness and huddling silently in the corner — what would that say about America?
Amy Kerr Hardin This article also appears in Voters Legislative Transparency Project