Just going to warn you in advance that this one is going to be a bit on the; son of a bitch. I can tell you I do not know what is going to come out of my typing, but you may not like it. I can tell you that I typed a long post just a second ago and now I am going to try to repeat it. The violence that just happened this week is a tragedy and being a teacher I feel that I can chime in with a couple of educated thoughts. I mainly keep my social media to pictures of my kids and what mundane things we do from day to day. I enjoy my life and will keep it that way.
I have worked on the Cherokee Indian reservation, a school in the South Bronx, East Austin, rural Bastrop, Texas, and now a suburb of Birmingham. My experience as a teacher has spanned many different environments. Let’s begin with the 2nd amendment, because that is where everyone is looking now. As a historian, I want to say that it was a created in a time period when you needed to hunt and kill for your survival. You needed to put food on the table so your family would survive till the next winter, spring, or summer. We now live in a country where there is a whole food isle in every grocery store devoted to pet food. Let me rephrase. In a world where people starve everyday and we do not care, or we do and give it lip service that we should do something about the problem, we have too much food for our pets. I have shot a rifle, shotgun, and many handguns. Hunting is something that would have been a hobby of mine if I had more friends that did that sort of thing growing up. My boys just liked going out in the woods, climbing rocks, and sleeping under the stars. No guns were involved. I will never tell anyone that hunting for food is a problem, in my doctrine. The problem is when people keep posting, telling, or expressing their opinion that our teachers should be armed.
I am an educator and damn proud of it. If I hear one of you thinking this, “that is a noble profession.” I will hunt you down. I choose it because it is what I can do everyday and not want to blow my brains out. Since I was 15, starting as a counselor at YMCA daycamp at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, AL, I have worked with children and it was what made me happy. You will never hear me say that I am good at it, but I don’t screw up too much. No one will ever be able to tell me that carrying a firearm around my students will solve some problem, whatever you think that problem is. My students are young minds that I have the power to shape everyday and I take that last part seriously. What I say could affect them, it could not also. But there is always that possibility. Me carrying a gun is not going to make them safer in any way. Evil has always existed and always will no matter what you want to think. I am not presumptuous enough to think that we can solve the problem by bringing more guns to the fight. As an American we are a incredibly innovative and hard working people. We are also stubborn and do not look at history that well. To be naive enough to think that strapping a 9mm to me will help my students is insane. The lesson learned is that violence is okay as long as it is for your cause.
If you believe in God, you have 10 rules to follow and look at them very closely. If you do not believe in a higher power and you follow Joseph Fouche, “Death is but an eternal sleep”, than just look at your own country. We cannot agree on anything. The death penalty is legal in some states, but not others. No one knows and to say that you have the right answers is ludicrous. Scientist can give us facts, historians can tell a biased point of view from history, and the devoted can give us faith, which cannot be proven. At best life is a puzzle and the more you solve the better the look you get at it. No one has solved it yet and no one ever will.
What continues to happen to our country is terrible, but it is not the last time it will happen. We are humans and we are a violent species. Look at our history. If all the guns were gone we would bang each others heads into rocks until we killed each other. I tell my students that everything in history can be told from the point of view of where is the money. Look at the biggest budget expense in our country. There is where our problem could be. I am not against the men and women who give their lives to protect my family, but they have to do that because we live in a world where humans are violent and want to kill each other for some difference. Guns are not our problem, the species called humans are our problem. When you find a solution, please let us know.