Over the past few months, the issue of guns in schools has been forced into the public debate, due to the provocative, narcissistic actions of a few individuals. The overwhelming consensus here in the greater Washtenaw County area is, and always has been, that it is not appropriate to carry a firearm on school property. It also can be dangerous, and, quite frankly, extremely poor manners. Up until now, there has been no debate in Ann Arbor over guns in schools. It has been accepted as something that is generally a bad idea, on numerous levels.
The obvious problem is this – if you are carrying a gun, I do not know you, or your intentions. You have a deadly firearm and you are standing in close proximity to my family and my children. You are a threat. Period. The only rationally appropriate action for me to take is to immediately summon law enforcement. I am not just going to assume that you are a “good guy.”
Let’s face it, what we do know about this person is that they believe it is appropriate to openly carry a firearm at a high school choir concert.
Also, the individual who decided it was permissible to present himself strapped up at a high school choir concert was twenty-two years old. This is a male demographic I am familiar with. Heck, I was twenty-two at one point in my life. This is not a group of people that need to be carrying weapons everywhere they go. This wasn’t some seasoned father, tempered by time and family. Twenty-two year old males are still a pretty hot-headed bunch.
I don’t want to seem insensitive to both sides of this issue, however. Frankly, I’m worried that from the paranoid, heat-strapping perspective, a lowly pistol might not be enough. What if an M1 Abrams tank comes rolling up to the choir concert? I guess we should make sure that if someone wants to take an M1 Abrams tank to a choir concert, then, you know, Second Amendment. I mean, sometimes the only thing that can stop a bad guy with an M1 Abrams tank is a good guy with an M1 Abrams tank.
Better still, why not give every man, woman, and child who enters school property their own personal thermonuclear device? If a choir concert is such a dangerous place, wouldn’t we all feel better if the boogeymen that the gun-enthusiasts are so scared of are forced to respect our nuclear deterrent?
It’s all so silly. The scariest thing at a high school choir concert should be having to listen to fourteen-year-olds sing off key, not having to call the police because some dude has a Dirty Harry fantasy. We live in a safe community. We should celebrate that, and not allow those paralyzed by fear to dictate our values.
Jeremy Rosenberg gave up the corporate rat race years ago to become a freelance writer and graduate student, as well as a stay-at-home Dad to his two children, Jack, 11, and Eva, 6. He also enjoys playing the guitar, letting his cats fall asleep on his lap, and trying to be a decent human being.