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Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported on the arming of schoolteachers in Missouri. They pointed out how the angst and woe over police response time, a problem Missouri is solving by turning their teachers into concealed carry ninjas, has been caused by the Grover Norquist types interested in making government small enough for them to murder.

concealed handgun
And while introducing more guns into schools is a recipe for getting more kids shot, it's also a feature of Republican politics these days. In shrinking the government at all costs, they have engineered a decline in our society. The issue of police and gun laws demonstrates the point well -- they seem to want the wild west society of old, where law enforcement is so unreliable that everyone must be armed, and must fend for themselves.

Although I wonder if our society really wants this outcome, I'm skeptical that it will respond appropriately or in time to this threat posed by conservative politics.

ThinkProgress focused on the worries of school administrators and parents, concerned with a police response time to the Fairview School District in Missouri was nine minutes. Also worth mentioning, however, is the method used to introduce concealed weapons to the school, which the administrators laughably call "transparent."

At the first school board meeting after spring break, the board sanctioned those who had passed the training — and were then also considered Shield Solutions employees — to carry weapons at school. Most of West Plains learned the news from the front-page article in The Quill on March 21. Four days later, the district sent a letter to parents addressing concerns.

“I was really upset more about the way it happened, the back door,” said Eileen Wilson, 53, adding that she was considering removing her daughter, who is autistic, from Fairview. “I just don’t think something of this magnitude is something you just put out in a press release. ‘Oh, by the way, we got 10 people packing weapons now in school.’ ”

School officials would not say how many employees were armed or who they were. They maintained that the process was transparent.

It came up in some public meetings, but the school district had to send out a letter to parents about it -- after it was done, of course. Apparently, most of the parents there approve of the plan, though. Hopefully we won't be reading about their kids in the next episode of GunFail.

The report from ThinkProgress goes on, however, where the NYT does not. There are reasons why the police response time in rural areas is slow, and getting slower.

This cuts to the heart of why the United States needs more public investment in police forces. Currently, the Republican-backed shrinking of the public sector workforce has had an enormously negative impact on the size and response time of police. That’s particularly tough for rural communities, like Fairview, Missouri, where response times are already two to three times slower than in more urban areas.

But having teachers stand in for police forces is not a real solution. Not only does it provide no solution for other people in a rural community who need to call the police, it also ignores the fact that there’s a high likelihood that putting guns in the hands of teachers, even if they’ve received proper training, will end with tragedy instead of triumph. Just look at the simple evidence that any household with a gun is more likely to have someone die by gunshot. That situation, but with many more young children, could prove much more dangerous.

Take the response time link from ThinkProgress, for example, which leads to an article about the effect of budget cuts on the police department in Orange County, CA:
The department faces the loss of 23 full- and part-time personnel, Coopman said. The impact of the losses will directly affect residents and include:

•A general increase in response times to all calls for services and a "potential for drastic delays" in lower priority calls.

•Police will no longer perform routine crime scene investigation functions.

•Only major crime scenes will be processed.

•Victims may see their cases not investigated "in a timely manner and some cases possibly expiring under the statute of limitations."

•Increased processing time and customer wait times for parking complaints, while hearings related to parking will shift to sworn personnel, resulting in delayed response to calls and increased overtime.

•Three code enforcement officers will be switched to the department and work under police supervision.

•The department's front lobby hours will be reduced during weekdays and closed on Saturdays.

•The lobby window will not be staffed and all phone calls will see an increase in "hold time."

The impact of the layoffs on the department is "significant," Coopman said after the study session.

This was the news there in May of 2012, so I imagine this has been the state of affairs there for the past year. But that's what happens in the glossed-over, seldom considered numbers on job cuts and losses in the "public sector." Republicans eager to slash government spending have countered the effects of stimulus programs and private sector job growth by cutting hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs.

Beyond the drag on the economy instituted by Republicans more interested in scoring political points against Democrats, though, they've made a bad situation worse for the rural folks they purport to represent. By attacking programs intended to grow the economy, by cutting budgets and slashing police forces, they've created the problem that they now propose to fix with guns. They'd rather have that kind of society -- for the rest of us, anyway, as these woes never touch the ones wealthy enough to provide their own security.

The fact that Republicans can do this and be rewarded for it by the NRA, who is in turn funded by gun manufacturers, just keeps all their bread buttered. In the context of yesterday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, however, I don't expect the people to connect these dots. They will be more interested in identifying scapegoats to blame, and finding easy, cheap solutions, like quick training programs and guns for schoolteachers.

What only becomes apparent over time is how cheaply these people value their own lives, and the lives of their children going to those schools, now made more dangerous by the guns there. Not that any of them will admit that.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tytalus - Boston Marathon? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why the throw away line in your next to last paragraph about the Boston Marathon? How does that fit with your diary?

    You should delete it.  It makes no sense and detracts from your important points.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:17:04 AM PDT

    •  I think it fits (10+ / 0-)

      in the diary, as part of the anger over insecurity/lack of will to achieve security in our society that Republicans prey upon. It's a brief mention because it is just one event of many that conservatives have and will continue to abuse...for example.

      In response, and utterly without any evidence, frequent Fox News contributor Erik Rush tweeted out a message blaming the bombing on Muslim terrorists, saying "Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let's bring more Saudis in without screening them! C'mon! #bostonmarathon."

      That prompted another Twitter user to chastize Rush for making such unsupported accusations, which prompted Rush to respond with a call for all Muslims to be killed:

      Anyway, thanks for reading the rest of it, I suppose it was fine since this was the only complaint you could lodge.  :)

      We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

      by tytalus on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a valid point (7+ / 0-)

    They seem to be intent on cutting everything but the second amendment.  


    by otto on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:50:51 AM PDT

  •  I'd call it societal destruction by the evil RW Rs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, Glen The Plumber, mungley
  •  Good diary. (3+ / 0-)


    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:41:09 PM PDT

  •  This all goes back to (5+ / 0-)

    allowing billionaire sociopaths to own legislators at all levels and teh stupids who hate and vote.

    I just can't see anything positive in the direction we're heading.  It's been a downhill slide for thirty years and it's picking  up steam really fast.

    "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

    by BrianParker14 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:00:59 PM PDT

  •  Does Missouri even still fly the US flag? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, tytalus

    Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

    by Troubadour on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:09:57 PM PDT

  •  When one side takes.... (8+ / 0-)

    ..the position that the only acceptable solution to gun violence is more guns, I am left with the conclusion that the only explanation is profit.  They are purveyors of death, with money in their pockers and blood on their hands.

    Dwell on the beauty of life. ~ Marcus Aurelius

    by Joy of Fishes on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:14:10 PM PDT

  •  Modern GOP taking us back to Wild West ways (3+ / 0-)

    How far we have fallen.  Will we see Wild West style shootouts and duels to solve problems next.  Not needing guns was supposed to be a sign of social evolution, not the other way around. WTF?!?!

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:17:31 PM PDT

  •  Can I recommend a book here? (8+ / 0-)

    It speaks directly to the issue you raise.  I highly recommend The Better Angels of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker, a leading cognitive scientist at Harvard.

    It's thesis is that now is the least violent era in human history.  Including the world wars.  The first half of the book goes through the voluminous historical data that demonstrate this, and the second half tries to understand why.

    One of the most striking findings is that violence in non-state societies far outstrips anything in places with solid governments. I don't mean just places like Somalia, but tribal societies that still exist in places like New Guinea or Amazonia.  Or mountainous areas where vendettas and blood feuds reign.

    Violence is prevalent in these places because of how human cognition works, and because there's no outside authority.

    Here's cognition's role: Human beings tend to inflate in their minds the wrongs done to them, while minimizing the wrongs they do to others.  So, if person A steals some of person B's pigs, B might feel doubly victimized, while A doesn't see the big deal.  There's no court to take A to, so B gets revenge by killing A.  Well, now A's dead, and A's relatives feel wronged.  They didn't get the harm of A's theft, while B feels okay about A's death because A had it coming.  So A's family kills B.  B's family feels wronged, and so on.  Now you have a blood feud.  

    Two major factors reduce this cycle, both dealing with strong central governments.  One is education, which reduces the inflation/deflation of wrongs by increasing empathy, and inculcating virtues of being nice, etc.  The second is a strong neutral government that can neutrally settle disputes.  

    In a proper state-led society, the state acts as a third party to settle disputes with more objectivity.  Because the state was neither the wrongdoer nor the wronged, it doesn't inflate or deflate it (as much).  So justice is better served, and there is less need for violence.  

    But the historical trend is even more interesting.  In Europe, where records were well kept, murder rates in ordinary cities were FAR HIGHER than even the worst American ghettos today.  The same for American cities, where there are records.  

    In the US, we've had places like this, too--- the Wild West was lawless, and the first thing people did was institute a strong government (and get women to town).  Blood feuds and range wars were once a feature of places like Appalachia (Hatfields and McCoys) and the West.  Dueling used to be common.  Remember that people used to attend lynchings and executions, and even sent family the postcards as souvenirs.  "Big government" gives us a way to settle our disputes peacefully, and dismantling government, especially education, leads people to be more distrustful and hateful of others, and leaves them to fend for themselves.  And that leads to the cycle of violence I described above.  

    So we definitely have to stop this trend. But I recommend this book.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:20:07 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for mentioning this book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that does sound pertinent, I'll look into it. I've heard of this writer being a good one, too. It sounds like a good description of what benefits we've derived from the systems that Republicans are attacking.

      We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

      by tytalus on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:31:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He also discusses the culture of honor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which is more prevalent in the South, which is, no coincidence, more violent than the rest of the country.  

        Good example: The DA slayings in Texas. A JP gets fired for theft, and feels wronged.  So does his wife.  So they get revenge.  And since they inflated the wrongs, the only revenge that will do is death.  

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 11:23:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This brings to mind the era of "La Violencia" (3+ / 0-)

      in Colombia. There's an extraordinary book about by anthropologist Maria Victoria Uribe, "La Antropologia de la Inhumanidad," (The Anthropology of Inhumanity ---I don't know if it has been translated to English.) These were the same factors in place; a certain anarchy or the absence of justice and extreme detachment from the state; radio programming that hyped violence; a cultural system of dehumanizing the "others" and endless "account adjustments" of revenge killings.

  •  Loons in the Arizona Legislature (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, mungley, LilithGardener, KenBee

    connected the dots alright. Americans need more guns! ☛ Arizona Daily Star

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:36:47 PM PDT

  •  We are dying of stupidity. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Chaoslillith

    Just like the masters planned.

    One must ponder if we actually deserve it.

    I bid the cockroaches the best of luck.  May they learn from our example.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 06:02:55 PM PDT

  •  Nice diary. (4+ / 0-)

    Interestingly Orange County is one of the wealthiest counties per capita in the country.
    (Number 64 on a list of 3141 counties in the U.S. - Though that was likely a city specific quote above no?)

    What arming teachers fails to do is account for the far more likely events to which the police might respond:

    Serious Fights between students
    Angry Parents threatening faculty or kids
    Child abduction
    Theft of private or school property

    Guns do not solve any of our basic problems.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 06:03:58 PM PDT

    •  Westminster (0+ / 0-)

      Seeing as it's next to Santa Ana, I have to imagine that some of the crime from there spills over.

      Isn't Westminster in Loretta Sanchez's district?  You'd figure that people who vote for Loretta Sanchez would also vote to raise their own taxes.

      "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

      by Utahrd on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In some districts in Texas, teachers have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, doinaheckuvanutjob

    been allowed to carry since 2008.

  •  Gangland shootings aren't just about (2+ / 0-)

    Drug dealers fighting over territory.  They're often about protecting their own neighborhoods from outsiders, in the absence of adequate police support.  And I think they are the modern day model of what would happen to all our neighborhoods if the gun nutz get what they are advocating.

  •  The US has gone over the edge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chaoslillith, tytalus

    and it is among the saddest things I have seen in my entire life.  We are regressing as a culture/society.  If I were younger and in better health I would leave.  I am a disabled Vietnam veteran who served honorably.  I risked my life for our country and did so willingly.  

  •  I first read the title to this diary as "a study (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in cortical decline".

    Takes brains to understand that society needs to contain gun violence.

    Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Mark Twain

    by 4Freedom on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:09:21 PM PDT

  •  The right and center are destroying this country (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, doinaheckuvanutjob

    The center won't fight for anything and the right is destroying our society.  Our only hope lies in an ascendant left.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 05:37:34 PM PDT

  •  Awesome diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    exposing the connection between law enforcement layoffs and this school gun issue.  Since the 1% have their own "police" for their gated communities, this will only get worse.  I am waiting for whole towns to start fencing and gating to keep out those of us who are undesirable riff-raff.

  •  Witnessing total collapse of West (0+ / 0-)

    It's happening in slow-motion, of course, sort of resembling the melting of the ice sheets off Antarctica and in the Arctic. For a long time it's barely perceptible and then suddenly a massive piece breaks off.

    End of Glass-Steagall (preface to financial crisis of 2008-?)

    The 2000 Supreme Court decision to ignore democracy and place Bush in the presidency.

    The ignored CIA and NSC warnings about al Qaeda.

    Bush tax cuts that destroyed the surplus that Clinton policies had created by increasing revenue.

    September 11, 2001.

    The Iraq invasion that millions protested, but that the elites pushed down our throats.

    Not enough boots on the ground.

    Mission Accomplished.

    Bush torture policy, and memos. Celebrating doing things that Nazi's were tried and condemned for at Nuremberg.

    Drown government in a bathtub.

    Education "reformers" who reform by attacking teachers as incompetent while attempting to destroy teachers unions.

    Financial crisis--banks get off scott free, while homeowners lose their homes. Wall Street reaps huge bonuses, while workers are laid off.

    Occupy Wall Street protesters are pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed, and jailed. While Wall Street plutocrats have yet to be charged for the massive fraud.

    Congress who refuses to pass a budget and threatens to allow US to go into default.

    The euro crisis and forced austerity with unemployment nearing 20 and 25% in Greece and Spain.

    Massacres with assault weapons abound, and Congress blocks any legislation that will protect our children from these gun criminals and traffickers.

    Yet, in the name of protection, they blithely take away all our first and fourth amendment rights in massive spying operation conducted against all Americans.

    A president elected as a liberal who refuses to stand up for the very people who put him in office--instead proposing to cut social security and other programs for the middle class and the poor.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 07:09:50 PM PDT

  •  I can only imagine those who really... (0+ / 0-)

    ...believe arming classroom teachers is the answer don't give a buffalo crap about protecting students...they want to win the struggle between god given gun tottiner's rights and and the communist inspired left that wants to surrender our lands and women and children to the hord's of south America and other darker-than-white skinned peoples country. ( for those who aren't sure the aforementioned was ment to be snark) but does have some connection to radical conservative thought process. IMHO, arming and even training dedicated teachers to be body-guards will more likely end with their death and/or deaths of some innocents if they are put in a shoot or die and or others die situation. Teachers deeply care about their students. Their reflex will be to first protect them, not attack an armed intruder and that's is the first issue at hand...take the(m) out of their plan which causes confusion and provide cover and time for students safety and escape.  Even trained soldiers can hesitate at an unfortunate time. What will the vast number of teachers do when a (surprise attack) happens? Worse, what kind of teaching/learning atmosphere is it to have teachers packing walking halls and in class rooms?  Paranoid comes to mind.  

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 09:54:58 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps if they end the war on drugs (0+ / 0-)

    They can make do with a smaller police force. After all, about half of the arrests are about the war on drugs.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 04:22:32 PM PDT

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