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Recently I was reading about the new legislation being introduced in my home state of Missouri. As I was scrolling down the list of House Bills that were introduced, one particular one caught my eye. It was HB70. The summary is as follows:
HB 70 — Firearms on School Premises
Sponsor: Kelley (127)
This bill allows a teacher or school administrator with a valid
concealed carry endorsement or permit to carry a concealed firearm
into a higher education institution or elementary or secondary
school facility without the consent of the governing body of the
higher education institution or a school official or the district
I know that some states such as Utah and Texas already allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom. I am also aware that several other states currently have legislation similar to HB70 being introduced. As a certified teacher in Missouri and a former instructor of firearms I don’t know if I can begin to tell you how bad of an idea this is.
But I’m gonna try.
Having firearms near students is a bad idea for several reasons. One of which is that it would be intimidating or even downright scary. I was taught very early on to have a healthy respect for guns and what they can do if improperly used. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that. More students than you might expect have very little experience with firearms. I recall times when I would be teaching a class on gun safety that many of the kids wouldn’t even come near the firearms…even when no one was touching them, the safeties were on, and they were unloaded. In order to respect but not fear a firearm, you need training in gun safety. But the classroom is not the place for that.
A teacher’s job requires them know how to get their students to learn. They should know relatively quickly how their students learn and what causes them to stop. If even one student is distracted by the firearm the teacher is carrying, they’re not doing their job.
Of course, there are some students who are not intimidated by firearms in the slightest. I know several that have carried, used, and are quite safe with them by all accounts. But those students in most schools are the minority. Most either know very little about firearms or only what they see on television.
We can’t forget, however, the other end of that spectrum. I can think of at least 10 students off the top of my head that would have, as a joke, unsnapped a gun out of a teacher’s holster. It isn’t hard to imagine. It is possible for a teacher to be so totally focused on their teaching or classroom management that they aren’t focusing on anything else. A teacher leans over to help a student and while he or she is distracted…whoops. Now what? The student gets a suspension or worse. Oh yeah, the teacher gets fired…if they’re lucky.
I can also think of one student who would have unsnapped it and tried to use it.
Some will say that firearms will add another layer of protection to the resource officers that are already there. I have a counter for those people: work on keeping the psycho’s off the school grounds first. If an armed intruder has made it far enough into a school that they are able to start shooting, security procedures should be analyzed. Security at a LOT of schools I have visited is lax. I can recall driving up to some schools with gates and either the gates were unmanned or the guard just waived me in. Multiple entry points, not enough resource officers, untrained security guards, virtually no CCTV, etc. Perhaps the government should take the time to examine security issues such as a superintendent in South Dakota suggested. He wanted to have session in the summer where all security problems would be examined and then solutions implemented. Instead, South Dakota signed a bill similar to HB70.
The summer session isn’t happening.
For those teachers who disagree with me and wish to carry in schools, I ask you to consider this: A police officer goes through hours upon hours of training to become proficient with a handgun. They then go through more training in order to be ready for any hostile situation. Even then, some freeze up. Are you saying that you’ll be as good as a trained officer? Even if you are ready and able…when the time comes…will you be willing? Moreover, your first priority should be making sure the students are safe and emergency procedures are being followed. If you’re worrying about threat assessment, you’re not focusing on your students. Which one will it be?
For the responsible gun owners, a crowded classroom is not the place for a firearm. I know this as a teacher and an instructor of gun safety. As much as a teacher would try to be responsible with a gun, there are too many chances for something to go wrong. Even if you trust the teacher, can you trust every student?
Now, let me be clear, I do not want firearms banned. I DO NOT. I do believe, however, that there are better options for keeping our students safe. Please, ladies and gentlemen, if a vote on this issue comes your way, vote no. Our government can do better.
“I’m a nice guy. But women don’t want to date me. They want to go out with assholes. I guess I’ll just have to be an asshole, then.”
Got news for you. If you’ve ever said or thought that, you’re probably one already. Probably have been for a while.
Recently, I’ve read posts or heard a lot of guys say something similar to this. This leads me to examine the first statement: “I’m a nice guy.” Really? Why are you a nice guy?
You listen to women’s problems? You’re there for them when they need you? They ask you to do something and you’re right there? Great. You’re a friend. That’s what friends DO. We’re there for other friends when they need us.
You open doors for them? Walk them to their car at night. Pay for drinks? Take them out for coffee? Maybe buy dinner once in a while? Okay, maybe you grew up in a traditional household like myself. According to my family, that makes you a gentleman. Admittedly, being a gentleman seems to be going out of style (yes, women can do all of the above things for themselves…sorry…just raised that way) but we still do those things. It’s part of being a gentleman. You do it because it’s in your nature…until your wife explains to you that it is totally fine for her to pay once in awhile…and it is.
Doing the above things can make you a friend. They can make you a gentleman. They DO NOT, however, ENTITLE you to ANYTHING. You do them because it is right. You do them because you are a friend. You do them because you are nice. You do not do them to get a girlfriend.
That makes you an asshole.
That’s right. She’s thinking you’re being nice because you ARE nice. You’re thinking that this will make her like you.
Why are you thinking that? Sure, she’ll appreciate you, but this isn’t going to make her attracted to you. She’ll think you’re a nice guy…like you think you are. You’ll think that you’re laying the groundwork for a wonderful relationship.
But then she goes off with another guy.
Oh my God…what’s wrong with her?. Doesn’t she know that you’ve put in all this time, money, and effort into a relationship that she just threw away? That bitch! All just to go off with a guy you’ve identified as an “asshole.”
No. She went off with the guy who actually asked her out. She went off with a guy who had enough confidence to make his intentions known. He wasn’t being “nice” hoping she would notice him.
Let’s look at it like this:
You believe, honestly, that you’re a nice guy. There is a girl you like. You get to know her, find out what she likes, take her for coffee, and perhaps buy her a few nice gifts. Seems like there is a solid connection. One day you call her and ask her if she wants to go see that movie she’s been talking about…and she says “sorry, I’ve got a date.”
What is your reaction?
If you’re happy for her and continue to be her friend, good for you. You’re a nice guy. (See the below information on how to approach it next time.)
If you’re angry and decide to rail at the world, say that women just want assholes and/or you can’t be her friend anymore, you’re not. Sorry. (Also see the below information on how to fix your attitude and approach it next time.)
So, what were you thinking? “I’ve laid the groundwork and then, eventually, she’ll realize I was the guy she wanted all along.” Sorry. You think now that she has a boyfriend that she’ll just up and dump him for you as soon as you express your feelings? Nope. You’ll just end up being bitter.
Women are not just going to flock to you because you are nice. That’s not how it works. You’ve got to be nice, confident enough to express yourself, and confident about yourself. Don’t be ashamed of your activities or change yourself to fit some mold you think women want. Be yourself. Sure, you’ll get rejected. That happens. But you need to put yourself out there…not wait around for someone to come find you.
Justin Halpern put it best from his book Sh*t My Dad Says:
“I’m not that good-looking. Never was. But I didn’t give a shit. You’re not a bad-looking kid. Better-looking than I was. but nobody’s paying either of us to take our picture, right?
The only way to meet women is act like you been there before. Don’t worry about them telling you they don’t like you. It’s gonna happen. You can’t give a fuck. Otherwise, guys like you and me will never get laid.
Son, you’re always telling me why women don’t like you. No one wants to lay a guy who wouldn’t lay himself.”
It’s a little crude, but the point is pretty clear. (great book…highly recommend it)
So…”nice guys”…examine your intentions and reactions. If you’re being nice because that’s who you are, bravo. Wish there were more of you. Be proud of who you are and life will be good. Otherwise…well, I leave you with this. If this sounds like you, there’s a problem:
Wil Wheaton says what a lot of us have felt for a long time but didn’t know how to express it. You want to know how I feel about being a Nerd/Geek? Read on.
Recent events have prompted me to write this next post. I’m not going to use flowery language or try to be very creative. I want everyone to get my meaning.
Do your damn job.
You agreed to work for your employers. You signed a contract. You agreed to fulfill the duties spelled out there. You made a commitment.
So do it.
How you do your job is representative of you as a person. Your attitude, your demeanor, and your work ethic are the measuring sticks of the business world. People will judge you based on these things. Also, your word is your bond. If you live by that, then others will believe it about you. All these things will follow you for the rest of your life. That will be your reputation.
So what does “do your damn job” mean? First, it means you be there. Sure, people get sick or emergencies happen. But are you REALLY sick? Did the cat REALLY need its shots that day? How many times have you woken up with a hangover or just don’t want to go in and figured “screw it.” Listen, you said you’d be there, so be there. If you’re not there, you are forcing your co-workers to cover for you. They are being inconvenienced because you couldn’t be bothered that day…or week. Also, your customers…be they retail or students…are not benefiting from your presence. If they’re retail, they may not miss you. If they’re students, they will. They need you there.
Second, you be on time. If your job starts at 9:00 am that means YOU START at 9:00 am. Not SHOW UP at 9:00 am. That’s right, you start when your job starts. Not get ready to start and then actually begin by 9:15. Not get there at 8:55 and be completely unprepared. That means you should be early. (You know when the bus leaves. You know how long it takes to get to work and any problems that normally occur. How many times have you been late because of poor planning on your part?) If you’re late, you’re taking from your company. If you’re late, you’re taking from your customers. You’re taking their time. Wasting it. They paid for a service. So do what you agreed to.
Third, you try. I don’t care if you hate your job. I don’t care if you don’t like your boss or your co-workers. I don’t care if you’re hungover. You agreed to do a job… so do it. Completely. Don’t cut corners. Don’t just “be there.” Be there physically, mentally and emotionally. Don’t let on that you’re grumpy to your customers. Do the job to the best of your ability. Even if you don’t like it, that doesn’t matter. It is a reflection on you. If your co-workers don’t like you, you’re proving them right by not trying. If you try, it doesn’t matter what they say. You can look yourself in the mirror every morning and say that you did your best.
If you can’t do the above things, then don’t work at that place. Don’t keep complaining. Leave. You’re wasting everyone’s time, including your own. If you’re only “phoning it in” to scam a paycheck, you’re just selling your life. Years of your life being sold with nothing to show for it when you could be working or looking for the job you really want to do. Go find that job! But for God’s sake, don’t just up and quit. You signed a contract, remember? There are procedures you need to follow. If they say you need to give two weeks notice, do that. Follow that contract to the letter and you can leave that job honestly. Otherwise it will follow you to your next job. Not showing up isn’t brave or great. It’s stupid and immature. Take responsibility for the choices you’ve made and be a freakin’ adult.
Sure, there are always exceptions. You’re being harassed, it’s actually hazardous to your health, they’re not paying you, etc. Those are legitimate reasons to leave your job. Hell, those reasons are criminal and you should bring in the law. But if you just don’t like it or it’s inconveniencing you? Suck it up and deal, buttercup. Do the job you’re there to do. I’ve got no sympathy for you. I get up every damn day feeling like complete crap. Every. Day. My back, shoulders, neck and head hurt. I’ve got a dull pain behind my eye that hasn’t gone away in two years. My legs feel like they’re on fire and about to collapse. On really special days my face feels like it’s being stabbed by needles and I can’t see straight. But none of that matters.
I’m on time.
I try…and succeed.
What are you going to do?