Saturday, December 29, 2012

Save The Children: 2012

New Business: I have a special page for my new book, Trousering Your Weasel! You can order signed copies, or you can just amuse yourself by my ongoing attempts at web-wrangling without a clue. Hit the nifty Buy Here button in the sidebar to your left to find the page, or just click here. Also, if you've got anything to say about my book, please, go ahead and leave a comment. I can't slap you from here.

Now that twenty children in Connecticut have died for our freedom, a lot of folks have put their heads together for solutions. Certainly our sacred liberty requires us to have to live with the sacrifice of a certain number of innocents, but there is much we can do to keep the carnage within tolerable limits.


Everybody can play a part: kindergarten teachers by keeping a loaded gun in their desks, children by locating a matched set of parents, homosexuals by dying off quietly. We all need to work together on this. First, we need more guns. A simple adjustment to the teachers’ certification requirements to include sharpshooting skills is paramount. The cost of this extra training could be offset by eliminating the promotion of the homosexual agenda, which would have the added benefit of cutting down on hurricanes.

Next, we need to introduce good security equipment. Already manufacturers are providing armored inserts for children’s backpacks, so that they can be used as shields if the need arises. The line must be expanded to include Kevlar juice boxes, which children can be trained to place over their hearts, and tear-gas crayons, one per box.

And that safe, nurturing environment provided by the legions of smiling, female teachers? Gone. Theirs is a false security that does our children no favors. It is vital to masculinize the school system, which is currently far too passive and feminine. Male teachers must be attracted to the profession in order to provide a certain baleful muscularity. Sure, we’ll probably have to pay more for the really butch ones, but who is going to think to attack a fortified grade school with male teachers and no homosexual agenda? No one who isn’t suicidal. So far they all have been, but there’s a good chance some atheist sniper out there is just out for a good time and hasn’t been taught right from wrong.

Finally, if the kids themselves were armed, and properly trained—that cannot be emphasized enough—it would only make them safer. In fact, ideally, one child in every class can be rigged up with explosives, based on the results of standardized testing. It might improve scores, too.

Well, any one proposal might have minimal effect, but taken together, we’re on the right track here. I tend to worry that these measures might make children fearful, but that’s because when I was their age I was afraid of German Shepherds and the flying monkeys in The Wizard Of Oz. Today’s children are much more advanced, and have had the opportunity to be habituated to terror much sooner. We had only that blanket injunction against running with scissors and accepting candy from strangers, and that seemed to cover the available frights. We were backward that way.

Mrs. Erdman
So I reviewed my own grade school experience to evaluate the new paradigm. Mrs. Erdman, my third grade teacher, might have done all right. She was old and a little bent over, but she had a steady hand for sure, based on her ability to demonstrate the Palmer Method of handwriting on the blackboard. But it was Mrs. Rejuney in fourth grade who could see out the back of her head. “Young man,” she would have said, without turning away from the blackboard, “put that AR-15 rifle down this instant and go sit in the corner. I’ll deal with you in a moment.”

We did have one male teacher, Mr. Baker, who looked sort of stern a lot of the time and did, in fact, scare me a little. I was glad I wasn’t in his class. If anyone had thought about bringing assault weapons to his classroom, they might have been advised that they had another think coming, and no mistake. The only time I had any dealings with him was the day John Kennedy was shot. I was in sixth grade. All of a sudden we were all hustled out of our classrooms and into Mr. Baker’s classroom, where the only TV in the wing was being rolled in on a cart. We stood and listened to the news, and when Walter Cronkite took his glasses off and said our president was dead, I looked at Mr. Baker, and his lower jaw just dropped. Just left the rest of his face, as though everything that had ever held him together had come apart.

Not long after, I saw violence for the first time in my life: two boys swinging at each other at the school bus stop. It scared me woozy. If only I’d been exposed to more violence, I would have been less afraid.

Although, less violence would have had the same effect.

64 comments:

  1. Murr
    I am speechless. Once again you have managed to distill all the crap down and add a touch of humor to boot. Thank you.

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    1. That sounds like a good tagline. Murr: Distilling the crap down since 1953.

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    2. we need to introduce good security equipment. Already manufacturers are providing armored inserts for children’s backpacks, so that they can be used as shields if the need arises. voyances

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  2. You make some useful contributions to the discussion on school safety, Murr. After all, our children should be worrying about whether or not they will be able to find jobs when their mandatory schooling is finished, not whether or not a sniper will visit the classroom. Installing the appropriate fears into our youth cannot begin early enough.

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    1. I think I remember worrying that I'd have to learn how to dance if someone ever asked me to a dance. So backward!

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  3. Watch the news out of Connecticut. We haven't finished here. I wish I believed it would help.

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  4. "We had only that blanket injunction against running with scissors and accepting candy from strangers, and that seemed to cover the available frights." You mean you weren't afraid of nuclear war? I was. I lived a good bit of my childhood terrified that the world was going to end that way any minute, and I'd be stuck in a bomb shelter with the food and water running out. In those days, a lot of the men I knew carried guns and we didn't think anything of it. It didn't make us feel safe...or frightened.

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    1. For some reason I wasn't that afraid of the nukes. And we were in the shadow of D.C., and told we would be a target. Even the duck and cover drills didn't faze me. I guess I didn't give it much thought. I tended to be more afraid of more immediate threats like dog teeth and the big mean kid down the block.

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    2. More I think about it, I guess my own folks didn't talk about nuclear war, and it wasn't on my radar screen. And wouldn't have been anyway until I was in junior high or so.

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  5. "Save the children". From you, Murr, I expected plans to freeze dry them and store for future use. Where I grew up, if a kid brought a rifle to school, it meant he was going hunting with his uncle or his grandpa in the afternoon.

    I don't know if we Can save the children. Existence is so risky that none of us get out alive. But better mental health care might mitigate the carnage.

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    1. You and I did not grow up in the same place! No one I knew hunted, and in fact if you asked anyone what his daddy did for a living (mommy was at home, of course), he'd say "he works for the government." I don't think any of us knew WHAT daddy did.

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    2. Growing up in different places is a big factor in the failure to come together on some of the issues that divide this country. A kid who grew up in a city has a much different view of guns than a kid who grew up in the Pennsylvania woods--and rightly so. But we all grew up with ears, eyes and brains; I wish more people would use theirs.

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  6. Well, you've once again hit the bulls-eye - oops, bad metaphor. The inane insinuations and claims by certain politicians and certain parties (or is that patties?) are condensed into this lovely bit of snark.

    And I'm reading my "Trousering Your Weasel," a chapter or two each night, and enjoying it very much. I especially loved the reviews on the back cover. I no longer have ferrets, but I do have dogs, cats, birds and a guinea pig. Let me assert right here and now, however (in case Fox News is checking), that I will not be trousering any of the aforementioned.

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    1. You know, if you assert it, it only shows you're probably guilty. Hey! Feel free to throw in a review on amazon or on my Special Book Page.

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  7. It was said that the structure of a school was set up to imitate or prepare students for factory or farm work. So that said, what does that say about having armed guards, armed teachers and metal detectors?

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  8. Oh and I forgot let's bear arms and arm bears because why should we have all the fun?

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    1. Last bear I saw close up was armed pretty good.

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  9. If teachers were to be armed I'd expect a big hike in home-schooling.And a lot more "accidental shootings."

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    1. Fortunately, accidental shootings by people of good intent don't hurt as bad.

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    2. Sadly there's more gun deaths in the home than at schools. On the bright side at least you'll know your assailant.

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  10. I like the standardized testing/explosives idea. Effective, in a Darwinian fashion...

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    1. Oh, no matter what happens on this issue, I think we as a species have pretty much sliced ourselves out of our own gene pool.

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    3. Ain't that da troot! Evolution clearly favors the "monkeys with big brains" concept only up to a point. Seemingly, this one.

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    4. We're like a Roman Candle. All sputter and then FOOM.

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  11. There is now a lawsuit pending on behalf of "Jill Doe" claiming that the 6 year old, sustained "emotional and psychological trauma and injury" on Dec. 14 and that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and state education commissioner failed to protect the child "from foreseeable harm," including by failing to provide a safe school setting, the filing said.

    I guess they think that fighting fire with fire is the way to go here...

    Makes me miss the old duck and cover drills a little. The flying monkeys still scare me.

    There is a vast difference between being vigilant, and being a vigilante.

    Film at 11. More Murrmurrs to follow. Hug Pootie and carry on please. Elaine

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    1. Pootie ain't afraid of nothin', and he only keeps his distance from the cat out of personal distaste.

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  12. I suspect that, like a lot of serious problems in our world, the answer lies in a range of actions, implemented over time, and spurred on occasionally by tragedies that cause a wave of public support. As a species we have got to have the worst track record for forward thinking and preventive actions of all the animals on earth, but I try to look instead at those brilliant, innovative, and truly good and kind individuals making a positive difference in the world, and try to do my part.

    You do good by discussing the issues, and I enjoy your darkly humourous approach :)

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    1. We had one kid on this block a while back I would've rigged up in a heartbeat.

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  13. I live in Texas, where owning a gun is considered a birthright. I worry more about armed parents and teachers opening fire than I do some lunatic.

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    1. I gotta say, I don't worry about either one. In this neighborhood, they'd likely be water pistols made out of recycled plastic.

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  14. Don't forget the religious fringe say the carnage is because they don't allow God in school. (They forget to specify which god - but you can probably guess.)
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Why would I worship a god that isn't even mighty enough to push into any ole school he wants?

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  15. Well, I tried to do my part. Wayne LaPierre, VP of the NRA went on Meet the Press and said that if it's crazy to put more guns in schools, then call him crazy. So I used my nicest Mt. Rainier stationery and sent him a note and said, "yes sir by gosh you are crazy and you don't have the sense that God gave geese, besides that."

    No swear words or anything, but they were fighting to get out. Your words today were very comforting but I sensed there was a swear word or two trying to come out. Or maybe a teardrop.

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    1. Geese may not have much sense, but they can pack a beakular wallop. So it's sort of similar.

      And THANK YOU pcflamingo for being the very first commenter on my BOOK PAGE!!! Woo woo woo woo woopity woo! Reviewers there and on amazon are welcomed and cooed over.

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  16. I remember the day John F. Kennedy was killed. We were all sent home from elementary school and when I got home (walking 1.5 blocks home) I discovered my mother and the neighbor woman standing in front of the television and weeping. Mom had one hand holding the elbow of the other arm and its hand to her mouth. I was upset at seeing them crying. I did not really understand what was happening, just that it upset my mother.
    I do not understand violence. I do understand the pain and sorrow it leaves behind.

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    1. I also remember coming home early and running in to tell mom what happened. She was already on it. That impressed me.

      Of course these days if the pope farts it's on twitter a second later.

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  17. You failed to mention, kids need to carry big swords and throwing axes. And recess (do they still have those) would be lots of fun if there were grenade games.

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    1. Isn't that what dodge ball was all about? God I hated dodge ball.

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    2. My grade school was so tough kids drove real Dodges at each other.

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    3. The playgrounds were turned into parking lots or sold to developers. Think I'm kidding? Do a google street search.

      Now it's text messaging at twenty paces. Oh so painful to the psyche!

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    4. Oh dear. At recess, do kids go out and sit and play Words With Friends with each other?

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  18. Well, now that I think of it, if I'd had my 22 handy when my brother shot me with his BB gun... see where more guns is going to get us? If we're all armed to the teeth, we're all dead. I'm off to duck and cover.

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    1. Just for nostalgia, I tried to duck and cover in a grade school last year. I ended up wearing the desk like a turtle shell.

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  19. "...ideally, one child in every class can be rigged up with explosives, based on the results of standardized testing." Still laughing, Murr!

    I admit, I've been so misguided up until now... I've been telling my pre-schoolers they can't bring toy weapons to school, when in reality I should have been making target practice a daily part of the curriculum. No wonder I haven't found fame and fortune as a teacher of four-year-olds.

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    1. Don't feel bad, Paula. No one has ever found fame and fortune as a teacher of four-year-olds. And yet you have the thanks of a grateful nation.

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  20. Now you tell me when I'm nearly finished with my unautographed copy that if I'd not been so anxious to get your book right away, I coulda had an officially autographed one!

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  21. Oh I'm sorry--I didn't have any books to sell until after Christmas, and I did want to get the word out. Nothing I can see on this end preventing you from buying several more copies, though.

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  22. Murr, I can't figure out which child is you in that class set. That IS your class, yes?

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    1. Yes, and I'm SO pleased you don't recognize me! That is because I look uncharacteristically glum, because my mom just gave me a Toni, and I hated it. I'm in the middle on the top row.

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  23. You are beyond brilliant. I am really, really looking forward to the arrival of 'Trousering the Weasel' in this small corner of Oz.

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    1. I should bring it myself! Oz is awful close to New Zealand, right? I'll fling one out the jet window.

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  24. Those flying monkeys scared the crap out of me too! My book is not autographed so I suppose it won't be contributing to my retirement plan of selling off my highly prized collectibles. Well, there's still the lottery.

    I was walking home from junior high school the day Cronkite removed his glasses. Some things you never forget.

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    1. And I was young enough that the reactions of the adults were what stayed with me, rather than any reaction of my own. Hey! You can always get a new collectible and give your old book to some shockable maiden aunt!

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    2. No maiden aunts here, but I actually was trying to figure out who I should pass my used copy on to in order to get an autographed one. I'm betting you have really nice handwriting. By the way, how does one put a photo next to our comments? Yes, I'm that old--technologically impaired. But I haven't found how to do it yet.

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  25. Do you have a Google account? The drop-down menu gives you that option. Click on that, and you can set up an account (name and password, nothing fancy, no repercussions that I know of). Then you can edit your profile to upload a picture from your files or somewhere. That will show up every time you comment as Google account. If this doesn't make sense, let us know, and someone sharper than me will come along and help you.

    And it troubles me that I have truly execrable handwriting. Truly. I can't even read it myself. I'm trying to do better on these book signings.

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  26. I just ordered my copy of 'Trousering the Weasel' and I cannot wait to read it!

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  27. Thank you for this Murr.

    If they put a twitchy NRA guy in every school, why then I think we should put an NEA teacher in every gun store. Steady-handed Mrs. Erdman would do fine.

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  28. we need to introduce good security equipment. Already manufacturers are providing armored inserts for children’s backpacks, Auditors in Nigeria

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  29. Everybody can play a part: kindergarten teachers by keeping a loaded gun in their desks, children by locating a matched set of parents, homosexuals by dying off quietly. voyance gay

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