Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Gun Control and Coping with Death

I've been reading way too many articles about the Sandy Hook massacre followed by an unbelievable number of inane and hurtful comments:  "Cars kill more people than guns, and cars pollute too.  So we should ban cars before we ban guns."  "If God were allowed in the schools, He would have been there to protect the children."  "If we ban guns, then only criminals will have them, and we won't be able to protect ourselves!"

You get the idea.

Until a few days ago, it was legal to carry a concealed weapon in all but two areas of the U.S.  But then, by a two to one vote just last week, it was deemed unconstitutional to ban people from carrying a concealed weapon in Illinois.  Now the only place so restrained is Washington, D.C..  Curious.  But state to state, there are still different levels of restrictions on guns, and different types of guns that can be bought and sold, and, according to one study, that has a clear link to the safety of that state.

Monday, December 10, 2012

You Say You Want a Revolution...

I'm in the midst of marking a pile of essays, but some thoughts are gnawing at me.  It makes it difficult to concentrate, so I'll purge before continuing a late-night marking spree.

Students are having a day of protest tomorrow (today) to rally against the burgeoning loss of extracurriculars in Ontario high-schools.  I love a good protest, and I'm behind their energy and drive in spades!  But I'm afraid this bit of activism will be less provocative than desired.  I hope I'm wrong.  I hope Broten comes to town and apologizes for everything, and we all go back to normal.  But, for that to happen, or anything really, a protest requires a little more....


The students want to protest, yet stay neutral.  They're not taking sides.  Their slogan is, "Let Us Play."  They're hoping for 1,000 people to attend, and that would be cool.  But what will they do with them?  Without a stand, what's the plan of action?  They don't want their lives affected, and some students have likened this experience to having mommy and daddy arguing with the children in the middle.  Except they're not little any more.  And this isn't mere bickering.  If students want to get involved in this pivotal argument, they can't just beg for the arguing to stop because it's interfering with their fun.  If they actually want to take an active part in making a different, they have to pay attention to what's being said and choose a side.