Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Guns make you stupid...duct tape makes you smart"

"Now I'm hearing about kids bringing guns to school...GUNS to school! We used to bring FROGS to school! If you brought a frog to school now someone'd shoot it!" - Jeff Foxworthy

When I think about duct tape, I think about high school. Not because I'd participated in activities involving duct taping people to the wall although in retrospect that might have been fun, but more specifically how it got me out of trouble in many occasions. The first time I drove my car out of the garage I knocked off my side-view mirror. After my father had collected himself, guess what we used to keep it attached to the car for a number of months. Duct tape also played a huge roll in being on the drum line (Get it? "Roll?" Puns really are for morons). Given our (drummers) naturally destructive nature, equipment would break on a number of occasions. Duct tape helped keep cymbals attached to straps, harnesses attached to snares, quad drums attached to other quad drums, and given that the statute of limitations has probably been reached by now, it was also used to seal containers for new items as the result of petty larceny. Duct tape is often times thought of a man's entire tool box. It is always an immediate go-to option for at the very least a temporary solution. We always need solutions because admittedly there are always problems. Better that we solve them with the grand solution of reliable adhesive, especially in a figurative sense.
The human temper can be quick to ignite and furthermore exacerbate. I know this, because there are topics and events that not only ignite my personal furnace but also come with an exuberate amount of gasoline. One such topic, is the push from our "governor" and "state legislature" to pass a law allowing students on college campuses to carry firearms. Now, a few stipulations before the oxygen levels start to dissipate. Students would have to be 21 and have obtained their conceal and carry license. There's also the argument that crazy students, or those with mal-intent are going to carry weapons on campus regardless of the rules. As Plato put it: "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." While I agree with Plato, this is not my chief concern. I believe that students as a whole will start bringing guns to school whether or not they have their license because they know one fact: that there are students somewhere in their vicinity that are armed. They are then less likely to give a shit about the rules, and more concerned with protecting themselves. That's were part of the counter-argument goes out the window. The "governor's" argument is that more guns prevents shooting deaths. If more students are bringing more guns because of all the other students who are bringing more guns then it creates a perception of fear based on fear. The more guns there are, the more opportunities for someone to get shot.
Let's look hypothetically at a situation where someone on campus were to open fire (God forbid) for whatever reason. Guns as a "preventative measure" are likely to cause more deaths not less. A student with a gun might have their conceal and carry license (which is not difficult to achieve AT ALL) but that does not mean they've had training on how to deal with high-stress situations. Unless the student has had combat experience i.e. served in the military, I don't believe that under the influence of massive amounts of adrenaline pumping through them that they will be able to aim straight. Think then off the number of additional students who might be killed in cross fire. Returning to an earlier point...we all have problems and we all get angry, in some cases pretty easily. Students who argue with other students on campuses, or teachers, or administrators, or staff about even trivial things might demand a sense of superiority which is not satisfying unless their opponent knows of it. A knee-jerk reaction might be to pull a gun and then God only knows what happens after that. Situations involving alcohol are also likely to provoke more brash reactions. Fraternity houses (as men are more prone to aggression) come to mind. Drunken disagreements amount any range of subjects, most of them probably bullshit, inane ones, might lead to "bust'n a cap" all in the name maintaining someone's ego. The end result of when pride and anger mix with tequila shots. From shot glasses to shots fired. Now granted, much of this is conjecture, but in all fairness I'd rather not find out for sure. Human life is too precious for us to let it hang in the balance for the sake of a fetish.
As a professor, I genuinely care about the well-being of my students. I'd prefer to have them go on living. Not just during the college tenure but for the rest of their lives. There is thus a bigger issue at play: gun control. The words that get every American all hot and bothered. I'll save that issue for another post. Progress, solutions, and common ground is all about small moves...and duct tape. Literal. Figurative.

"Guns make you stupid...duct tape makes you smart." - Michael Westen, Burn Notice

1 comment:

  1. We should only allow cans of WD-40 on campus. That way no one gets hurt and all will go "smoothly".

    Guns on campus... an incredibly stupid idea. No wonder the Republicans like it.