See the signs
Missouri has been known as a political bellwether state. Perhaps the disgraceful downfall of Gov. Eric Greitens for his perverse misogyny will signal a similar reckoning for President Donald Trump, who stands accused of sexual assault by at least 19 women.
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Some believe that arming teachers would stop school violence, ward off bad guys and scare unbalanced students straight. They have faith that everyone would respect those who carry.
I think not. What, for example, would stop a troubled youth from tackling a teacher, seizing her weapon and attacking other children with it?
Reframing gun violence as a school security problem, then shifting responsibility onto instructors, sets up schools to fail.
In effect, the gun-rights folks want teachers who are willing to wield deadly force on students toting weapons. Yet teachers are legally bound not to harm kids in any way.
This is as it should be. How could we think otherwise?
On a practical level, the legal nightmare of firing on a student might never end. How many parents would accept that a teacher had no choice but to drop their child? The answer is zero.
The teacher-responder might endure consequences even after shooting an outside assailant. Trained police officers sometimes face lawsuits over the results of deadly force.
A teacher who used a gun would more likely be jailed than be hailed as a hero, and I don’t foresee the NRA paying his or her bills.
Although the political activism of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in the wake of the tragic massacre in their Florida school is admirable, their limited protest focus is not. Some politicians and the NRA have put roadblocks in front of attempts to outlaw assault rifles, but politicians and the NRA have not created our culture of violence that these students were raised in.
I would encourage these students to direct their anger not only at the politicians and the NRA, but also the movie, rap music and video game industries that have polluted our culture with violence and created a society that glorifies and romanticizes the use of guns.
I challenge these students to lead by example and show how mature and sincere they are by pitching their violent video games and vulgar rap music discs. They could also refuse to watch gun-focused shoot ’em-up movies and TV programs.
Let’s get real
Where were all these concerned parents, students and citizens when this 19-year-old shooter was running amok? Were they watching social media, with their faces, noses and ears glued to their smartphones? In denial about potential threats and dangers to the community? Avoiding parental responsibility for the safety, discipline and development of their own children?
Parents and the politically correct community need to grow up, look for, face and solve the real issues and threats to our schools.
That’s what they need to have a conversation about.
If you want to think it’s about guns and not the truth, you obviously have your head in that place where the sun doesn’t shine.
Charles R. Green
The fact that I was feeling overwhelmed with bad news made a recent act of kindness particularly meaningful to me.
Last Tuesday, I had a meeting in Olathe. I had been out earlier that morning and stuck my car keys in my pocket. I was not the driver to Olathe, and so the keys remained there.
Apparently, while I was in a parking lot, the keys fell out of my pocket.
The next day when I needed the keys, I looked for them in the usual places. Just as panic was setting in, the phone rang.
It was the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Lt. Weaver told me he had my keys. A thoughtful person had picked them up and taken them to his office.
Lt. Weaver called the fitness center whose name appeared on the key chain. From that call, he learned my name and was able to locate me.
When I complimented him on his excellent sleuthing, he said it was probably the easiest case in his career.
Thank you, Lt. Weaver, and also Deputy Wilson, who met me to return the keys. And thank you to the thoughtful person who turned in the keys.
All those acts of kindness gave me a real boost.