Shooting oneself in the foot

You’ll notice that I didn’t do anything to commemorate excuse to slide into a dystopian police state day oops sorry I meant 9/11. Insert quote about safety and liberty here.

Moving on then!

Today’s news brought me this item about a teacher accidentally shooting herself in the leg. Last week a college professor shot himself in the foot.

Now just to review. I support the right of responsible people to own guns. I think most “gun control” laws rest on the faulty premise that someone who intends to break one law will inexplicably follow another law. I realize this puts me in in the minority among liberals. I think we perhaps need better enforcement of the laws we already have on the books. I think reasonable measures should be taken to make sure that guns aren’t legally in the hands of crazy people and known criminals, but I know that’s harder than it sounds.

Another bit of review, I’ve stated several times that things in a school should as a general thing be safe and educational, with a bunch of latitude given where needed. I can’t imagine how a reasonable person could possibly disagree with the basic principle.

So then, I’ve been trying pretty hard to think of a way it is possible for a teacher/professor to carry a weapon such that it is both secure to prevent possible injury to students and available for use in an emergency situation. Hip carry? Too much chance a student could get hold of it. Concealed carry? Well, you see what has already happened twice this school year and it’s not even the third week of September. Locked in the desk? Yeah, just ask the Bad Guy to wait while you unlock that desk, professor, great plan. Perhaps some of the more firearm literate readers can think of a way to secure the weapon such that nobody gets accidentally shot but Bad Guys can be intentionally shot.

So yeah, I think gun-toting teachers are a really bad idea.

In Closing: walk it off; I still think Zero Tolerance is a bad idea with unintended consequences; test results; even crazy people get sick; “man” up, but not too damn much; preach on, Comrade; and this is a problem why?

Mulholland Shorties

Was I Wrong About Rahm?: He’s not even sworn in yet, and he’s announced that something he wants to do is enlarge a good old-fashioned public works project! Granted, it’s just bike lanes, but it will put people to work and help other people get around when it’s done.

Food Insecurity is just a fancy word for Going Hungry: Here’s a viewpoint from somebody who once had to endure it. It turns out there are a lot of issues in play.

So You Want to be a Revolutionary: This man wrote a book about non-violent revolution. There’s a link to the PDF, which is credited with change around the world.

Income Inequality: When people in other nations notice it, it’s bad. If that has too many words, this one has lots of pretty pictures. Here’s more.

Release the Hounds: An Indiana Deputy Attorney General suggested using live ammunition on protesters in Wisconsin. Thankfully, he didn’t have the authority to order such a thing. But sanity did prevail: he is now unemployed on the grounds that a man in his position must demonstrate civility.

Speaking of Shafting the People who Teach Your Kids: Providence just sent lay-off notices to each and every teacher. They will decide later who actually gets the axe. Way to promote morale! And just a reminder, the average teacher in Wisconsin makes less than the Wisconsin median income.

Your Insurance Company Believes in Global Climate Change: Because 2010 was one of the worst years for climate disasters ever! That would include things like storms. Oh, and I sure hope those of you in San Francisco enjoy the expected snow.

Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist: Seriously, even people from the Fed say so.

Making the Situation Worse: Banks are moving branches from poor neighborhoods to wealthy ones — despite laws requiring them to serve the entire community. In this vacuum, payday lenders and check cashing businesses spring up out of need. And did you know that one in nine banks is in danger of collapse?

Some People Have Never Heard of the First Amendment: Some people think you can outlaw “shariah.”

Who Knew: It turns out Americans like having clean air and water.

Priceless: It turns out you can download sheet music of the classics for free. Mozart’s copyright rights are long since expired.

Truth in Comics: Drew and Bors.

Can we Stop Calling it the Party of Lincoln?: It turns out President Lincoln would disagree with almost everything the current Republican party stands for.

They Really Would Prefer All Women were Pregnant: No word on whether they think we should be allowed to wear shoes.

Plastic Tubes and Pots and Pans, Bits and Pieces: Kids need to do more science.

Batshit Crazy: Qaddafi.

The Only Evidence that I am “Moderate”: I’m clearly somewhere between these two crazy extremes. Honestly, I think of myself as left of center. You know I think that the banks are the root cause of much of our current economic woes, but it would be childish to assert that “Wall Street causes all bad things.”

Placebo: Dogs just want to please their masters. That’s why drug sniffing dogs only have an accuracy rate of 44%. That rate drops to 27% when the person in question is Hispanic.

Lily the Pink: Or, Who Knew Moldovans Drank So Much?

Advice for Democrats: Stop using the Republican’s terminology! I want to scream every time i hear one of you talk about the “death tax” or “tax reform” or “Obamacare” or “Social Security reform.” For pity sake, all these things have names that don’t admit that their way of looking at it is correct!

What Happens When This One Pops?: College textbook price bubble.

Dear Teacher: Get Real

Mr/Ms Teacher:

As you are no doubt aware, each of your students has 5 other classes. Each of these classes has their own supply requirements, although some things like “pencils” and “notebook paper” are universal. There is only a 5 minute or so passing period between your class and the previous or next class. While it seems like many schools are set up with an area dedicated to students at one particular grade, the fact remains that some of your students will have classes in another part of the building (such as gym, choir, art, or foreign language) and not have an opportunity to visit their respective lockers during some passing periods. Furthermore, it is highly likely that a student might have homework in multiple subjects, requiring that quite a few things be taken home.

These are things that I would have thought obvious to a professional in your position. However, it seems clear that some teachers have not considered the idea that students might have no choice but to carry supplies for multiple subjects at once. I can think of no other explanation for the extraordinary supply lists that have come home for the last several years, including fact that several of your colleagues each require a minimum 1″ binder, and a couple have required 2-3″ three ring binders.

Really? They need that much stuff for one class? Do you really think it’s important for them to carry around every scrap of paper issued in your class from now until June? Is every assignment, every graded quiz, every set of scribbled class notes of such critical importance? Can’t we use this opportunity to teach prioritization? Frankly, I didn’t need multiple 3″ binders per semester in graduate school!

Further, there is the issue of space and weight. These are still kids we are talking about. There is a finite amount of physical room in their book bags, and heaven forbid they should need to cram a book in there. Experts recommend that they put no more than 10-15% of their bodyweight in a backpack — including the weight of the bag itself. Let’s say for the sake of argument that these kids weigh the same 120 pounds I do. That means no more than 12-18 pounds. Have you considered putting your required supplies on a scale to see how much you are contributing to the load? The 500 sheets of paper that will fit in just one of those 3″ binders is 5 pounds alone.

Please understand that I don’t even want to address the expense of all these supplies despite the fact that 1 in 5 American workers is living paycheck to paycheck. I consider myself fortunate that I can just go out and get all this stuff without worrying about whether I can pay all my bills.

Just do parents a favor and think about the whole picture rather than your one class when preparing your list of required supplies.

In Closing: On illegal immigration: on the broken mess we euphemistically call an economy; the chicken sexers of Japan; why doesn’t Bernanke know??; insurance companies scramble to raise prices before somebody tries to institute price controls, results in people talking about price controls who weren’t before; I told you the mandate was a screw-job; shut up and do what you’re told, authority figures are the enemy, and other things we are inadvertently teaching children; energy; click for the first paragraph, stay for the rest; the first dinner party; the miracle farms of Brazil; and fast food.