Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'd hate to debate THIS in a Louisiana classroom

I have been lax in blogging lately, mainly because I'm currently visiting Louisiana and my Internet access has been a bit iffy to hedge on a whole blog. That seems to be fixed now. Phew.

My sister is graduating from high school this week, so yesterday we went on a tour of her future college campus. As she and I braved the pouring rain, I pointed out familiar sights and new buildings alike, and ran into a few friendly faces. It was a fun afternoon for both of us, because I got to relive a fond bit of my past (it seems like only three years ago...) and she was able to get a handle on changes ahead.

Shortly before disembarking in Lafayette, I read that Louisiana is mulling a law allowing concealed weapons on campus, while at the same time pondering legislation banning body armor on campus.

Why would anyone advocate for concealed weapons on campus? Protection?

Fair enough. I doubt even the nuttiest NRA groupie wants to foster more mass school shootings. But answer me this: Why would anyone wear body armor? Protection?

Why ban one and not the other?

Convicted felons are not allowed to own guns or wear bulletproof vests. Presumably because both are believed to encourage violence and retribution. Again, fair enough. So why are some legislators encouraging one and not the other among our student bodies? It seems to me that the "protection" argument should apply to armor as well as to guns, especially considering that the former "protects" wearers from the aggressive projectiles of the latter.

What I'm gathering from the body-armor ban is that its proponents are most afraid school shooters will be wearing armor, and will thus be harder to take down. Casting aside the obvious fact that a school shooter is not following laws in the first place (you know, "outlaws" and all that), this idea is especially chilling because it jibes with what I've suspected all along: that gun culture isn't so much about curbing violence as it is about creating a fear-based fantasy where all-American heroes can heroically take down the bad guys in middle American sanctuaries.

In other words, they hope the school shooter will be bare so that generously armed vigilantes can tear that sucker down. Curtain.

If this were not the case, then lawmakers would be sensibly upholding the ban on both weapons and body armor on campuses, rather than calling for more deadly arms and fewer protections against such.

School shootings are tragic. But the thought of my sister being flanked in class by reactionary trigger fingers is every bit as chilling.

I hope the Louisiana legislature learns its lesson before it's too late.

1 comment:

Terry Troll said...

Your analysis may be right but how do we square with that recinding the motorcycle helmet law? Even the conservatives can't square traumatic brain injuries by shooting somebody. WAIT! They shoot the motorcycle! Nobody gets helped but the conservatives have been percieved to have taken action. Fits right in. Sorry I doubted you.