School Threat

School Threat

So the violence that has spread through our Nation has reached our community–with a phone call telling us that our schools will receive extra patrol this week due to a threat.

That’s all we know.

Do we really want to know more?

Are we supposed to send our kids to school now?

Is this a test?

“Mom, I’m not going. One day of school isn’t worth it. I’ll be lying there shot on the floor thinking, ‘What a waste.'”

This is what it’s come to. Our children are casual with the possibility of being shot at school.

“Lock the doors!” parents holler.

But Sandy Hook was locked.

I do think we need to be cautious about threats, but I also think we need to be cautions of our fear. This is a society riveted by violence. Defined by it in many ways. Proud of it. We don’t want to encourage those who are prone to acting it out by titillating them with our hysteria.

Local educator, Dan Braden, just returned from the March on DC with his young family. He makes this suggestion to channel our angst:

It’s a great day to write your representatives at every level asking them to take action to reduce the number of weapons such as those used at Sandy Hook immediately.” 

Another educator suggests we seriously ARM teachers in this bold statement that has been circulating around FB (from Mary Cathryn Ricker, the President of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers):

You want to arm me? Good.

Then arm me with a school psychologist at my school who has time to do more than test and sit in meetings about testing.

Arm me with enough counselors so we can build skills to prevent violence, have meaningful discussions with students about their future and not merely frantically adjust student schedules like a Jenga game.

Arm me with social workers who can thoughtfully attend to a student’s and her family’s needs so I. Can. Teach.

Arm me with enough school nurses so that they are accessible to every child and can work as a team with me rather than operate their offices as de facto urgent care centers.

Arm me with more days on the calendar for teaching and learning and fewer days for standardized testing. Arm me with class sizes that allow my colleagues and I to know both our students and their families well.

Arm my colleagues and me with the time it takes to improve together and the time it takes to give great feedback to students about their work and progress.

Until you arm me to the hilt with what it will take to meet the needs of an increasingly vulnerable student population, I respectfully request you keep your opinions on schools and our safety to yourself NRA…

Kelly Salasin, 2013

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9 thoughts on “School Threat

  1. Gun Free zones are the number one killer of innocents. They are huddled around their desks in a locked building where they cannot escape, while a deranged and sadistic killer calmly dispenses terror.
    A Jersey Girl knows nothing of defending her own as she has so eloquently stated in this utopian ramble.
    An armed society is a DETERRENT to crime.
    If the criminal THINKS that someone in the school is armed, they will think again before kicking in the door.
    All mass murders since 1950, save one, have occurred in places where guns were prohibited by law. Criminals don’t obey the law.
    I am so sick and tired of hearing that law abiding citizens don’t need guns. That guns are the problem with this country. That the military are the only ones who need guns.
    Clearly, you have never read about the 40 million people slaughtered by governments in the 20th century. In the countries that have not yet turned on their own, crime has increased.
    Don’t tell me it can’t happen here. It has happened in every country that has enforced anti firearm legislation.
    This country has the 1st amendment that allows you to speak your mind, but it is the 2nd amendment that allows you to keep it.
    The 1st amendment does not give anyone the right to violate the Constitution.
    “Shall not be infringed” has been infringed in this country in 1934,1968,1986,1993,1994,1995, and now you want it to happen again in 2013?
    Gun control hasn’t eliminated crime in the last 79 years, it never can.
    Evil comes from the heart. That will never change no matter how many laws are passed.

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  2. Restricting access to firearms by passing laws only affects the law abiding population.
    Law abiding citizens don’t buy their guns from the back of a van in an alley.
    They go to an FFL dealer and fill out the paperwork and have a background check.
    The criminal element as they used to be called, have their own gun stores. Burglars steal guns and sell them to their fence. They redistribute on the street.
    Unlike the stories the news media and VP Biden espouse, those 40% of unlicensed gun transfers are not between lawful gun owners, they are black market sales. So any legislation that proposes stricter background checks will be totally ineffectual in fighting what they claim. It will simply add another layer of restriction or delay for those who are following the law as it stands now.
    I read an article last week where the chief of police in Chicago stated that 90 illegal handguns were confiscated in the first week of 2013. If they were illegally possessed by criminals, why do gun grabbers think making it harder to legally own a gun will prevent crime/violence?
    There is no possible way of disarming criminals, but there is a way to disarm law abiding citizens. Why would that make any rational person feel safer? Because they are not rational.
    Vermont, for example, has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country, but one of the absolute lowest gun crime rates. Why do we need to force a “one size fits all” gun ban on Vermonters?
    Criminals from other states stay away from Vermont because they know most home owners are armed. They know most people they meet on the street are armed.
    In a true “armed society”, it is a more “polite” society.
    We still have our issues, don’t get me wrong, but when I lived in a big city, almost everyday was confrontational with drug dealers, punks, and assorted riff raff.
    That is why we moved to VT.
    On the last day at the old house, my grandkids were terrified by a gang fight right outside our window. I was, of course, unarmed because the state had very restrictive firearms laws and I never believed they had the right to fingerprint law abiding citizens. That was the final time I felt as if I, or my kids, could be a victim because of abiding by the law.
    Until the anti gun people in VT started picketing, and Baruth tried to push through his agenda, VT was a godsend to me and my family. We all got along, strangers waved to each other, folks pulled over to let you pass, and four-way stops took forever because everyone else was letting the other guy go first!
    Now, we are polarized. One person slowed down, while I held a anti “gun free” school zone sign, and shouted a condescending selection of words.
    Vermont has now been infected with hatred of the unknown. Now neighbors think the other guy had a scary black gun, while their other neighbor thinks they will be ratted out to the police if they don’t give up their high capacity magazines if the ban goes through.
    We are Vermonters regardless of where we came from. We need to be tolerant of others. That is the Vermont way. There have always been political devides, but we cannot allow FEAR to abolish the rights of others.

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    1. I can hear how important the right to gun ownership is to you, and of course this is true for many of my friends and neighbors in New England. But you can’t give that credit for our lower violent crime rate; it has more to do with the space between us.

      Since relocating here 20 years ago, I’ve met many more people affected by gun violence (intentionally or accidentally) than I ever did when I lived all around the country, including major cities.

      My friends echo this. We all know people who have killed or been killed by a gun in the home, but almost no one knew someone who used a gun in self defense. Statistics back that up:

      -A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.

      -Of youths who committed suicide with firearms, 82% obtained the firearm from their home.

      -The risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms.

      -Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest household gun ownership.

      -More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

      http://www.bradycampaign.org/

      That’s enough for me to know that guns do make a difference, and not a good one. Let’s at the least begin there in respect for the lives taken in Newtown.

      This is simple all around the world. My foreign colleagues look at us and shake their heads, wondering how our guns can be more important than our children.

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      1. Kelly,
        You made a lot of interesting points that I would like to respond to, so I quoted your post so I wouldn’t get lost.
        “But you can’t give that credit for our lower violent crime rate; it has more to do with the space between us.”
        Actually, I’d say our mental attitude towards others is what separates us from other states.
        Income disparity is also a huge uninvestigated issue.
        “Since relocating here 20 years ago, I’ve met many more people affected by gun violence (intentionally or accidentally) than I ever did when I lived all around the country, including major cities.”
        This, in itself, proves nothing. In a big city you are less likely to know your neighbors. I lived in a big city and did not know more than 2 families in the area. Everyone else I knew lived elsewhere.
        Since there are less than 8 gun deaths a year, you must know everyone in VT that has been killed by firearms. For that I am sorry.
        I have only met 1 person that had been affected by guns (He was sued by the home invader for “Loss of livelihood” after wounding the armed invader).
        “My friends echo this. We all know people who have killed or been killed by a gun in the home, but almost no one knew someone who used a gun in self-defense. Statistics back that up:”
        Statistics are a wonderful thing that can be manipulated and coaxed into displaying whatever “facts” the statistician desires.
        The Brady Campaign is hugely guilty of omitting certain stats, counting the same stat twice (such as Suicide also being a violent crime and a murder… there are 3 tallies against guns depending on how they are used.
        “-A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self defense.”
        Funny how our family has had guns for 70+ years without incident, I guess ours are defective.
        As for statistics, guns are used approximately 2.5 million times a year in self defense (and since NOT every incident results in death, ALL those statistics are IGNORED by the Brady Campaign).
        If guns did not prevent those crimes, those 2.5 million incidents could possibly have resulted in over 100,000 deaths perchance? Just speculating.
        “-Of youths who committed suicide with firearms, 82% obtained the firearm from their home.”
        Why weren’t the guns secured by their owners? Youths under 18 must be supervised. Negligence should be prosecuted.
        “-The risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms.”
        Once again, “Risk” is the potential that something will happen. Risk can only be assessed based homes that have LEGALY owned firearms, what of the millions of ILLEGAL guns that there is no accounting of? Oh, wait, those statistics are not included in the overall values. Therefore all the gun deaths are based on ONLY the LEGAL guns and not the illegal ones that are MOST often used in crimes and suicides.
        “-Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest household gun ownership.”
        This is the most ridiculous stat yet. Gun deaths are the highest where illegal guns are used in crimes.
        The Sandy Hook assassin killed his mother and took her guns. Chicago. Detroit. Gang bangers and drug dealers don’t have legal guns. 400 school age children were killed in Chicago last year. Where is the outrage? They were inner city kids, Sandy Hook was “different”, right?
        “-More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”
        Another “stat” that is not true, but irrelevant. It is not about comparing foreign terrorism to domestic terrorism, to drive by shootings and gang violence, or even domestic violence to drug crimes.
        ALL of those issues are the same, terrorism is ILLEGAL, drive-by shootings are ILLEGAL, gang violence is ILLEGAL, drugs are ILLEGAL, and domestic abuse is ILLEGAL.
        More laws will not create a safer world.
        “That’s enough for me to know that guns do make a difference, and not a good one. Let’s at the least begin there in respect for the lives taken in Newtown. “
        I respect the lives lost at Newtown, and I am angry that the government created the situation.
        The government created the “Gun-Free Zones Act” in 1990, reintroduced in 1995.
        Since then, there have been 75 shootings of some kind in GUN FREE zones. Why doesn’t the law work?
        Because crazy people know where to go where the victims will be disarmed and defenseless!
        It is not a gun issue, it is a crazy person issue.
        Mental health, behavior modifying drugs, poor parenting, violence on TV and in movies (more screen time now than ever before), etc, are the causes of the problems, the gun free zones allow them to go without fear of opposition.
        “This is simple all around the world. My foreign colleagues look at us and shake their heads, wondering how our guns can be more important than our children.”
        The anti-gunners created safe havens for criminals (The Aurora CO shooter singled that theater out because it was the ONLY one that prohibited its patrons from lawfully carrying a firearm.)
        Different countries should not be used as comparison due to countless reasons, but since you brought it up:
        The UK banned 90% of guns and they now lead the WORLD in violent crime.
        Austria banned guns and the crime rate has increased AND they created a new type of crime, “Home Invasions”. Before the ban the Aussie’s didn’t even have a legal definition of the word because it DIDN’T HAPPEN!
        20th Century atrocities in countries with strict gun control: (taken from “Death by Gun Control” by Aaron Zelman & Richard W. Stevens)
        1915-1917 Ottoman Turkey, 1 Million to 1.5 Million Armenians killed
        1929-1945 Soviet Union, 20 Million political opponents killed
        1933-1945 Nazi Germany/Occupied Europe, 20 Million political opponents, Jews, Gypsies, etc.
        1927-1949 Nationalist China, 10 Million political opponents and army conscripts killed
        1949-1976 Red China, 20-35 Million political opponents, rural populations and “enemies of the state” killed.
        1960-1981 Guatemala, 100-200,000 Mayans and other Indians, political enemies killed
        1971-1979 Uganda, 300,000 Christians and political opponents killed
        1975-1979 Cambodia, 2 Million educated opponents and political enemies killed
        1994 Ruwanda, 800,000 Tutsi people killed
        I am quite sure you have not read “Death by Gun Control”, but please try and find a copy on the internet.
        The 2nd Amendment is what separates us from the rest of the world.
        The 2nd Amendment is what stopped the Japanese from invading the West Coast of America during WWII.
        The 2nd Amendment is what lets everyone enjoy the benefit of the 1st Amendment and all the others.
        The 2nd Amendment is what makes us the last “free” country on the planet.
        We have our problems. We need to work together. Guns are not THE problem.
        But when anti gunners call for the death of all NRA members, the mass murder scenarios of the above listed countries seems VERY REAL and VERY SCARY since the Obama administration has voiced its willingness to use Executive Orders to violate the Constitutional rights of the citizens of this country.

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  3. I must apologize, I was incorrect that the Chicago PD picked up 90 firearms in the first week of 2013, they picked up 90 ON JANUARY 1st ALONE!
    http://newsinblack.com/news-article/item/965-police-superintendent-says-concealed-carry-could-lead-to-more-shootings.html
    These were illegal guns taken from people who shouldn’t have them. They were not bought at a gun store.
    Chicago, and Illinois in general, have the strictest gun control laws in the country, yet have the highest murder rate and violent crime stats.
    And the police chief has given orders to his patrolmen that they are to shoot armed civilians found near any “police action” without hesitation.
    Welcome to the Police State of America.

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  4. “Austria banned guns and the crime rate has increased AND they created a new type of crime, “Home Invasions”. ”
    That would be AUSTRALIA, Autocorrect is really aggravating.

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  5. Bob, what is your point. Is your concern for 2nd amendment rights. I am a school teacher and have been. For 20 years. I can’t tell you how screwed up it feels when I enter m y school and the school resources officer (very nice guy) stands out front with my principal to say. Good morning to students coming in for the day has a gun stepped to his waste. And how screwed up it is when. Y colleagues I talk about how we will defend attack should that happen. So, I would like the right to educate children without these concerns. With school doors open for alumni to return to visit school without scheduling a visit and going through locked doors. We have guy with a gun, like the NRA claims we should have, but what do not have is freedom from the n possibility of someone armed to the hilt coming and trying to attack our school. I guess they forgot that amendment, maybe they didn’t foresee that need, like they didn’t foresee body armor and assault rifles.

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