“Violence rules, guns are cool, and we have guns in our school…” Or so sayeth The Dead Milkmen in their song “Violent School.”
When I was in high school in New Jersey many a year ago, we had an “incident.” Even with our security guards (who hit on the teenage girls and ignored it when they smoked in the bathrooms), there were still drugs and violence and bullying and other typical – or what seemed like typical – high school stuff going on around us. Except that one day, a security guard apparently walked into the boys’ bathroom and discovered that one of the low-level drug dealer teenage boys had a gun. Oh my (as George Takei would say).
The school extended our homeroom period and asked us to talk about it. Because that would fix the problem. And we’d all feel safe then. A few friends and I walked around, singing from the Dead Milkmen song. We didn’t feel safe, but we didn’t feel any less safe. Way back when I had started there, the big news was about someone who had gotten stabbed in front of the local diner (Ralph’s) and gone through the window. And at some point, I can’t remember if it was before or after the incident with the gun in the bathroom, we had a neighbor a few blocks over who had shot and killed his father. There were claims of abuse; I want to say it was the eldest who shot his father, and I only remember that he had a sister named Gia who was closer to my age. It was so long ago that it’s only a faint memory.
What’s my point again?
That this isn’t new. In Houston, right up the road from me now, a high school student was found with a loaded gun. This isn’t new either.
I’m not going to make any comments on guns and the NRA and all the other things in the news. I’m not trying to make any point about how guns are good or bad. I’m just going to say this – guns exist. Guns are already in schools. And if you’ve read my two previous posts in this series, then you know that I’ve looked at two other things: the fact that we’re fascinated with bad things and that we love to blame “others” for those bad things. We’re still doing the same things. Nothing has changed.