Gary Stein: Shoot down this incredibly dumb idea

I really wanted to find something humorous about the latest gem being proposed to Floridians by their lawmakers.

Truly, I tried. And I tried some more.

Nothing worked. Because there is nothing humorous about this legislative proposal to allow some school employees — and we could be talking teachers and administrators here — to carry guns.

Nauseating, yes. Funny, not in the least.

Not that anybody should be shocked. This being the same state that gave us Stand Your Ground — also known, more accurately, as Shoot Now, Think Later — and the same state that allows backyard gun ranges. It's very obvious that anything goes.

Our spineless lawmakers love the National Rifle Association. Actually, they love the NRA money, and love their votes.

So now they they think — actually, the NRA thinks, and our legislators just do its bidding — that the way to stem gun violence in our schools is to, ahem, have more guns. Brilliant.

And the guns could be in the hands of teachers and administrators who, when last I looked, were supposed to be in the business of educating kids rather than learning how to assume the stance and aim.

Did I say nauseating?

The NRA and gun lovers, of course, have long justified everything with a lingo of their own. The more simplistic, the better. Basically, if it can fit on a bumper sticker, perhaps right next to a rebel flag, then it works.

So you have the NRA giving us gems like, "The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That is the NRA's version of Shakespeare.

And our lawmakers gobble it up.

According to Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, "I think it's time to embrace this (guns for school personnel.) Firearms save people's lives. That's why policemen carry them."

Earth to Baxley: Policemen carry guns because that is their JOB to protect people. They are TRAINED to protect people. That is what they do. I repeat, it is their job.

Teachers and adminstrators have a job, too. They are supposed to get young people ready to be contributing members of society by educating them. They are trained to do this. They spend all their time doing this. Teachers, in particular, usually can't get five minutes for coffee or to go to the bathroom, because they are too busy teaching kids or having parent conferences or preparing lesson plans.

And now the gun lovers want school personnel to worry about being armed in classrooms, too? And if the guns wind up in the wrong hands and a tragedy ensues, hey, bad things happen, right?

As you might expect, school officials around the state, including those in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, think this is all a ridiculous idea. They believe school is a place for young people to get an education, rather than a place for them to learn how to duck under a desk.

Of course, our lawmakers have never really cared about the needs of education except when they can get a decent sound bite during an election year. Local school districts have to scrape together money to hopefully have resource officers in schools, because the state is so cheap with school money. Except in an election year, of course.

So now, in addition to worrying about classroom discipline and end-of-year exams and parents who blame them because their kids are failing, teachers and other personnel might be taking time to make sure they have that valuable concealed weapons permit.

Have I mentioned this whole idea is nauseating?

Gary Stein can be reached at gstein@sunsentinel.com, or 954-356-4616. On Twitter@SSEditorial.

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