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Obama to militarize public schools

If gun advocates don't want to be called "gun nuts," they need to come up with better policies than workfare programs for rent-a-cops:

The Obama administration is considering a $50 million plan to fund hundreds of police officers in public schools, a leading Democratic senator [the odious Barbara Boxer] said, part of a broad gun-violence agenda that is likely to include universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

The school-safety initiative would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment*, although it is not nearly as far-ranging as the National Rifle Association's proposal for armed guards in every U.S. school.

One notes that Columbine had guards. But once an ice cream cone starts licking itself, it's really hard to get it to stop, isn't it?

The idea is gaining currency among some Democratic lawmakers, who see it as a potential area of common ground with Republicans who otherwise oppose stricter restrictions on firearms. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California, said she presented the plan to Vice President Joe Biden and that he was "very, very interested" and may include it in the policy recommendations he makes to President Barack Obama.

Ah yes. "Compromise." Bangs head on desk.

Why not cut out the middleman? Who needs the Rent-a-Cops? Why don't we just give all the kids guns? Because there is no problem with guns that cannot be solved with more guns!

NOTE * Ooooh, more compliance! But look, I'm sure the surveillance will be strictly limited and not include, say, facial recognition of all visitors, forwarded to whichever of the alphabet agencies.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

... using digital tracking technology in their ID cards, as a Texas court upheld and the Washington Times approves of.

The Times writes:

The concern for privacy, the possibility of nefarious uses if the badge stolen, and impinging on civil liberties is valid.

However, those concerns are countered by the nation’s recent violent history of school shootings, numerous examples of illicit activities, including sexual activity and drug use on school campuses, which give administrators the right to to track students whereabouts during school hours.

Yep, gotta track those kids 24/7 because of sex and drugs, not to mention rock and roll.

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

The fact is that Obama's kids, and the kids of many other prominent Washingtonians attend a school with firearm-qualified security officers.

Namely, Sidwell Friends School. You can see the directory here:
Sidwell Friends Security Directory

In Washington DC, a "Special Police Officer" is a security guard qualified to carry a loaded pistol.

Even if we banned assault weapons tomorrow, it won't stop someone from coming in with a shotgun. Even if we ban all guns tomorrow, it won't stop someone from coming into a school with a machete or a butcher's knife, which is plenty deadly.

There will have to be a way to deal with that kind of threat. If you don't want police, then what do you want, exactly?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I'll judge Obama on how he protects his kids. (I personally loathe the security state that surrounds all presidents, if you want the damn job so bad, you should accept the risk that comes with it, plus it leads to this damned lionization)

And considering that the VERY SAME DAY as Sandy Hook shooting, a man in China attacked schoolchildren with a knife with no fatalities, you don't have much of an argument to stand on.

No one is objecting to police, people are objecting to police patrolling schools like prisons.

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

Let me try this again:
1) Sidwell Friends apparently has armed security ABOVE AND BEYOND any security detail for the Obama children.
2) Edged weapon attacks are plenty deadly. See for example:
Osaka School Massacre
That was with a smaller knife. A machete would have yielded much worse consequences. If you don't understand that edged weapons can be extremely deadly, you aren't qualified to be having this discussion with me.

Submitted by lambert on

Since the public schools don't even come anywhere near that, we can dismiss the Democrat's attempt to suck up money from yet another Republican constituency and lobby grpup and get on with our lives.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Of course edged weapons are deadly.

What is not up for debate, even by your own evidence is that they are less deadly than projectile weapons. I would rather take my chances against someone with an edged weapon than someone with a gun. Edged weapons take a lot of practice to be truly effective, especially when engaging in a hand to hand situation, with desperate people attempting to disarm you, and an experienced wielder can still be easily overwhelmed by numbers. In contrast, the Aurora shooter, Holmes, from all accounts, was extremely inexperienced with his weapons, resulting in jammed weapons he was unable to clear, depleting himself of functional weaponry before the police even arrived on scene, and he still killed 12 and injured 50, while demonstrating a ridiculous amount of ignorance in the operation of a gun.

Submitted by lambert on

... than guns would, of course, explain why they've been universally adopted by militaries, around the world. Oh, wait...

This to me, is an another example of gun advocates being unwilling to own their cultural victory. There are guns all over. Unless we're talking air guns, guns are designed to kill, and well designed. That is their purpose (modulo collection). Why do I not think that gun owners, advocates, and nuts are purchasing a consumer product with less killing power than the alternatives?

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

I never said that edged weapons are equally deadly, or more deadly. Now you are putting words in my mouth.

I asked a question "There will have to be a way to deal with that kind of threat. If you don't want police, then what do you want, exactly?"

By ''that kind of threat" I meant someone with an edged weapon intent on performing a mass killing in a school setting.

No one answered the question. I didn't expect anyone to answer either. The reason I asked the question was to see whether people would be willing to discuss how society should address the problem of mass killings in schools if people did not want police in schools. I am unsurprised that no one answered my question. This is because answering the question would require people to face decision making about violence. I have observed that many people on the progressive left don't want to make those decisions; they want to pretend that violence isn't a part of life.

Unfortunately, in a democracy all of us are required to make those decisions, and at the very minimum, oversee those who do violence in our name.

Thank you for neatly illustrating my point.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

By addressing root causes of the violence.


Toxic Masculinity

White Supremacist Culture

Access to Firearms

And the gun culture in this country deliberately feeds into the anxious masculinity and white supremacist culture, so we MUST challenge the gun culture.

You know, for the most part, I've given you the benefit of the doubt, but you have been relentless in shifting goal posts and obfuscating. But the real reason nobody answered your question about what solutions we want other than police, is because you already KNOW THE ANSWER. WE WANT GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS OF KILLERS!!!!! You don't like that answer, so like my daughter, you keep asking the question in the hopes you can irritate us enough to change our minds.

Your argument was not worth time to engage with, because it is a nonsense argument. That the only solution to guns is more guns, and because some bad things will inevitably happen, it is not worth trying to prevent any bad things from happening(which is what all the nonsense about "but what about machetes" is all about).

The only thing that has been illustrated is the fact that you are an obstinate ass who values his own guns over the lives of your fellow citizens.

Submitted by lambert on

Since the poster has made plenty of fine posts on other topics, and has moreover given substantive support to (what I regard as the good portion of) Occupy Oakland.

So, I'll retract "ass" for you. Carry on!

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I can agree with that. Just because people have differences of opinions doesn't mean there has to be animosity. I won't cop to holding the right opinions on every topic under the sun. At the same time, I tend to feel that having that opinion is indefensible, and well, don't try to defend it.

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

Thanks for at least partly answering the question, regarding root causes. You still, of course, avoid discussion what type (if any) of mass killing countermeasures should be implemented at the school level.

Also, thank you for your insult. Allow me to reply likewise-- you are a hysterical, cowardly fool. People like you have crippled the left in the United States.

Submitted by lambert on

... and so the burden of proving the policy is needed is on you.

The burden is not on anybody else to show that the policy change need not be put in place.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That the forces of destabilization in this country will require the citizenry to be armed for protection from tyranny and unrest and restructuring of power in the decades to come.

At the same time, if your main goal is protection, not aggression, single action rifles in the hands of trained individuals are sufficient for that goal, which is why I find that to be a reasonable definition of gun ownership. Continued acts of escalating aggressions amongst small groups of people WILL NOT pull us out the collapse that is coming unless severe changes are made to our current system.

To quote Defense Secretary Panetta,

"For the life of me, I don't know why the hell people have to have assault weapons."

I mean, sure I get it, they are fun to shoot. It is a powerful piece of machinery, and to see and feel them operate is like handling a nice car. And turning big stuff into little stuff using a bunch of the little things is a blast. But, as much as I tend to lean towards allowing people as much liberty as possible, at times a nation must speak and say enough. We tried it your way, and the price is too much. We can still follow the spirit of the Constitution and allow for the right to bear arms, while issuing regulations as to the handling and ownership of weapons, just like we do for vehicles.

And I refuse to comment on what schools must do to address this issue, because there is no step a school can take that would not do more damage in the long run, than maintaining things as they are. Just as 9/11 was no reason to institute the TSA, Sandy Hook is no excuse to institute Student Protection Force or whatever new shiny acronym agency Obama comes up with. If anything, experience with other instances of people with guns and students, talking seems to help more than trying to shoot them, so how about we worry more about putting more counselors in schools than SWAT teams?

Submitted by hipparchia on

(I personally loathe the security state that surrounds all presidents, if you want the damn job so bad, you should accept the risk that comes with it, plus it leads to this damned lionization)

yeah, i'm not happy about the lionization part of it, but my childhood memories of political figures include martin luther king, malcolm x, john kennedy, robert kennedy.... i have no desire to return to the era of rampant political assassinations.

now, if only we could get obama, and the rest of the country, to see drone strikes as political assassinations instead of seeing them as a kindler, gentler, cleaner, more genteel and more just form of war.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

And I'm all for reasonable precautions. But the key word is reasonable.

But the absurd levels of protection the President gets, to the extent that citizens lives are put at risk(I've had to share roads with Presidential motorcades, defensive driving doesn't even begin to cover what I had to do to avoid getting sideswiped), to protect someone, who in the scheme of things, is NOT indispensable to our nation(that's what we have a VP for), is something I cannot abide by.

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

My local school district down here on the Florida Panhandle just approved $500,000 for resource officers [deputy sheriffs assigned to schools] to cover 26 elementary schools in the district until the summer. They are splitting the cost with the Sheriff, so the actual cost for those 26 officers is $2 million/school year. $50 million isn't enough to cover the cost for a single state, much less the nation.

Where is the money supposed to come from if school taxes aren't raised?

The district laid off teachers and now it is hiring cops for elementary school - what kind of sense does that make in the current economy? This is the school board covering its butt in the unlikely event that there is an incident of some kind at a local elementary school.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... for the 99% and the .01% and their lackeys.

The 99% have to be taught to Be Afraid and trained to just Be in a Building with Lots of Armed People. The .01% and their lackeys have to be taught how to Rule and Loot the Very Afraid People.

(If the answer to your query about charters vs. public turns out to be "yes," then this comment is my personal speculation about the Agenda + Rationale -- in case I get called a conspiracy nut again :).)

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... coming soon from a Think Tank near Mr. President. And just in time to celebrate MLK Day!

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

That's in irony stratosphere -- hyper irony.
I wonder how the Society of Friends feels about this.

Submitted by lambert on

Granted, WaPo:

But what about the claim that Sidwell Friends has 11 armed guards, which some Web sites have depicted with images of armed police with binoculars?


This is based on the fact that the online directory for Sidwell Friends lists 11 people as working in the Security Department. Five are listed as “special police officer,” while two are listed as “on call special police officer,” which presumably means they do not work full-time. The directory also lists two weekend shift supervisors, one security officer and the chief of security.


Under the District of Columbia General Order 308.7, a special police officer is a private commissioned police officer with arrest powers in the area that he or she protects. They may also be authorized to bear firearms — but it is not required. Security officers, by contrast, cannot carry firearms and in effect are watchmen. So five to seven security personnel in theory could be licensed to carry firearms.

But we spoke to parents who said they had never seen a guard on campus with a weapon. And Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, told us emphatically: “Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns.”

Sidwell Friends, by the way, has two distinct campuses, a lower school in Bethesda and a middle and upper schools in Washington. So given shift rotations and three different schools, it appears that the 11 “armed guards” is really just one or two unarmed guards per school at a time.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... or the parents they spoke to, wouldn't likely prevaricate about *this* set of circumstances. Good to know. One less mental headache (viz. how on earth does a Friends' school have armed personnel on the premises?!)

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... not the Society of Friends, surely!

(Note. If I understood your comment you're saying that even Soc. of Friends would allow armed guards in Sidwell if their "clients" wanted them?)

Submitted by lambert on

Everybody who's one or two of three degrees of separation from David Gregory, whose kids go there. Ezra and Annie, taking them as repsentatives of a rising faction in the political class, are of the age to have children, so Sandy Hook makes them think in a way that Aurora (or mass incarceration) does not make them think.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Ok, part of the theme you wrote about in the "close to home ... lapping at our shores" post.

(I will reserve bafflement at the possibility that the Society of Friends would agree to have armed guards in its schools, including Sidwell. On the other hand, there are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims in Southeast Asia at the moment, so anything is possible.)