An Uzi for Suzi
Florida—a state where carrying a concealed weapon is legal— will host the Republican National Convention in August. Florida is also a state where local gun control laws are outranked by the state laws. Therefore, the mayor of Tampa, Florida had to ask the governor of the state, Rick Scott, for a special dispensation to prohibit carrying concealed weapons into the convention arena while the Republicans pontificate in August. Why the mayor would think anyone would want to carry a concealed weapon into a political party convention escapes me, but I guess it might be one way of influencing the political outcome. The mayor’s request, however, was denied. Come August, political theater may be redefined.
Florida is also the home state of the Stand Your Ground legislation which permits anyone who is a licensed shooter to fell anyone who is perceived by a licensed shooter to be a threat. No proof of a threat is required, just the thought or the perception is all that’s needed for ready, aim, fire. Actually, you can the skip the ready and aim. That might take too long. Just fire.
This is the law which is being used in the defense of George Zimmerman, a Sanford, Florida neighborhood watch vigilante who shot and killed Travon Martin, a black teenager. Zimmerman felt, or thought, he was being threatened.
With these two facts in mind it becomes obvious that the answer to increased gun violence on the streets and in our schools really isn’t a gun problem at all. It’s an educational problem. What is needed is a new approach to teach children the facts of life—not the birds and the bees facts or the Johnnie has two daddies facts—but real facts of life. The facts of life in Florida and many other states are that guns kill and breaking the law is no longer a prerequisite to becoming a corpse.
I know that educational funds are tight and getting tighter. And I know that parents, while loving and caring, don’t always have the time to be involved in their children’s education. That’s the job of the schools. So my proposal is as follows:
Every child entering kindergarten, in addition to a lunch box, pencils, crayons and tablets, should be provided with a small hand gun. After all, kindergarten children have small hands. Weekly instruction in appropriate handling of guns will be mandatory. Children need to learn to shoot when they feel threatened in some way by someone—anyone. As a child progresses through the primary grades to middle school, those children still surviving will trade in their kindergarten hand gun for a forty-five pistol. Upon graduation from middle school, every Suzie and Sam, every Delilah and Dan will receive an Uzi as a graduation gift, courtesy of the National Rifle Association. The NRA would have the distinct honor of conducting the classes in gun usage and in awarding the marksmanship badges at graduation ceremonies. Enrolling the NRA as a Partner in Prevention would move the cost of the program to the private sector and allow the school authorities to save their allotted educational funds for the inevitable litigation.
The National Education Association, and other groups representing teachers, now will be able to give up their ragged crusades for better teacher salaries, lighter teaching loads and merit promotions and begin lobbying for cheap life insurance for teachers. No teacher should “leave home without it,”— cheap life insurance, that is. After all Kenny doesn’t have to wait for Ms. Smith to raise her voice or to threaten him with a time out. Kenny knows that the possibility of an irritated teacher or the possibility of a time out is enough for his defense. If you feel threatened—shoot. And there’s absolutely no reason for Kenny to feel guilty if the outcome is fatal for Ms. Smith. After all, you acted under a law passed by duly elected, supposedly intelligent, politicos for just such childhood emergencies. The fact that the legislation was signed into law by a Bush should carry some weight.
And while many of these same state legislators have difficulty accepting the theory of evolution, what could be more evolved than Stand Your Ground?
It’s survival of the fittest at its finest.
John Siegfried, a former Rehoboth resident, lives in Ft. Lauderdale. He is the author of Gray & Gay, A Journey of Self-acceptance. Email John Siegfried