Now we have to be afraid of nuclear-powered cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. I’m really getting worn out by all the fearing I have to do. This is hard work.
We’re in the middle of fearing kids in schools with guns, talking about arming as many teachers as possible — because, hey, what could go wrong with that? — and kids need mature authority figures with ballistic weapons to guide them. And then some teacher in Georgia decides to barricade himself in an empty classroom and fire a handgun through the windows.
The thought I keep coming to repeatedly is: I wouldn’t do that, and I deserve a medal for it.
Think about it. Our president seems to think that he deserves a Medal of Honor just for imagining that he would have rushed the Parkland shooter if he were there, even unarmed, though there is no evidence of him ever having done anything remotely like that. In fact, all the evidence is that he would have hid behind someone or something.
However, it is an absolute demonstrable fact that I have never murdered anyone, or at least never made a big bloody show of it, in spite of the enormous number of people I have met who have vigorously and incessantly asked for it. I should get credit for that.
That’s what’s really wrong with this country. Instead of spending all our time being afraid of shooters, let’s give credit where credit is due to all the good people out there who never shoot anyone even though there are so many outstanding targets.
I have mentioned this before, and I’m going to say it again, because I’m very proud of it: I did not go on a killing spree at either my junior high school or high school. Where’s my medal for that? Where’s my medal for putting up with people who say, “Well, actually, we don’t call them junior high schools anymore,” hmm?
I did think of it at the time. In junior high school I distinctly remember inventing the idea of a bomb-carrying drone. This was back when Bob Dylan was a really good folk singer and nobody in the United States had heard of the Beatles. I’m not saying I built a drone back then.
I’m saying I had the idea, just like Leonardo da Vinci had the idea for helicopters. He got points for that.
I figured if I had enough of the armed drones I could at least take out all the portables and maybe put a sizable dent in the main building.
Maybe bring the ceiling of the assembly hall down. Or the gymnasium. Oh, yes, the gymnasium — that would have been sweet.
But I didn’t do it! Isn’t that something?
Likewise, when I was in high school I invented the idea, all the way back then, of engineering a disease that would cause people to turn into werewolves. The plague would spread itself by werewolf bites; some bites might occasionally be fatal, if, you know, a specific werewolf got carried away. But I did not engage in that genetic engineering, and I did not bring about a “Werewolf Apocalypse,” although many of my high school teachers and fellow students were definitely in line for one.
It’s estimated that in any year around 15 million kids in America are in grades 9 – 12. Those are the grades that I would say are the worst, and most provoke anger and resentment.
Let’s face it. Any kind of mandated schooling arrangement is going to result in anger and resentment, especially when you have better things to do, like be a teenager.
In my case, I didn’t even object to learning things. I just wanted to learn things that I picked out to learn, instead of being forced to learn just any garbage that the school system happened to have a teacher to teach and a book, no matter how stupid, to teach it out of.
Other kids had ideas of their own about what else they could be doing, and I don’t want to go into all those. I just want to get back to the fact that we’re talking about 15 million of these people, and hardly any of them shoot their schools up.
These great kids are our future. We should be thanking them.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd.
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