“Get out your history books, and turn to the fifth chapter,” the teacher tells her class, focusing on her own book while slowly pacing back and forth behind her desk.
The class jumps, however, as the classroom door in the back is kicked open, a young man decked out in military gear and holding an AR-15 in each hand storms through as if he was going to war.
But the would-be shooter stops cold in his tracks. The fearful eyes of the history students move back to their teacher, who hasn’t looked up from her book, but now has a .44 Magnum pointed straight at the shooter.
It’s not until she cocks what Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry once described as “the most powerful handgun in the world” with a simple click that the teacher finally looks up.
“Are you feeling lucky?”
Imagining such a scenario so soon after what happened in Parkland, Florida, seems disrespectful — and it is. Yet, that’s what pervades the president’s dreams each night as the most effective way to stop a school shooter in their tracks.
That’s what everything is to Donald Trump and his time in the White House — one big movie, where at the moment when you feel all hope is lost, some hero will swing in to save the day. Whether it’s Eastwood, Harrison Ford, or maybe even John Wayne’s zombie.
It’s silly to believe what we see in films like that is real, yet leaders like Trump and other Republicans want you to believe ideas like arming teachers isn’t silly at all.
Solving the issues like mass shootings depend on better gun control — and the outright civilian ban on military-grade weapons. Even with a GOP-led (and NRA-infused) federal government, taking this route is far easier and productive than believing teachers don’t have enough to put up with to add combat training to their list.
Last week, Trump hosted a number of people at the White House, including some of the survivors of the Parkland school shooting. One of those students was Sam Zeif, who lost his best friend in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I want to feel safe at school,” he said, according to the official White House transcript. “You know, senior year and junior year, they were big years for me, when I turned my academics around, started connecting with teachers, and I started actually enjoying school. And now, I don’t know how I’m ever going to step foot in that place again, or go to a public park after school, or be walking anywhere. Me and my friends, we get scared when a car drives by — anywhere.”
Hopefully, even the president recognizes what Zeif is going through as something he should never have to do. But suggesting the solution is simply arming teachers — no, it’s not.
The solution to solving gun violence isn’t by introducing more guns into the problem. That’s like suggesting all a drowning victim needs is more water.
When many of us were teenagers in high school like Sam Zeif, we had to go through fire drills, tornado drills — and if you were old enough, those completely ineffective nuclear bomb drills. In schools today, they’ve got drills we never imagined as kids, like “active shooter” exercises.
This is the United States of America. We don’t need armed soldiers in our schools. We don’t need armed anybody in our schools. This is a country where we should feel free and safe, rights that our Founding Fathers considered “inalienable” in the Declaration of Independence through life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Yet, there are many — especially young, innocent children in our schools — who don’t feel that. They’re constantly looking over their shoulders, worried they could be the next victim.
When will enough be enough? Everyone victimized — directly or indirectly — by mass shootings deserve real solutions. And we need our government to be that hero that provides them.