photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sometimes They Just Do That

So I did a whole post on why it's wrong to assume that just because something or someone 'can' do the wrong/evil thing, that given the free rein of no threat of punishment, they 'will' do it. My reasoning, which I still stand with 99.9% of the time is "Why WOULD they?"

We got home last night from a trip of a few days and Alec was overjoyed at being reunited with his computer devoted companion animals Sirius the Ancient and Aaron the Freakishly Understanding.

After feeding and petting up Sirius (a black and white elderly cat of peculiar distinction) and running the nervous energy out of Aaron (a canine who is a cross between a terrier and a muppet on meth), he settled in for a nice chat with the interwebs.

He noticed a fairly large and impressive stag beetle on his wall, and did what he always does- he ignored it. The boy is loathe to kill anything just because it happens to be in the 'wrong' place and if it's not poisonous he just leaves it alone.

That's my boy.

He figured the stag beetle would just continue whatever errand it was on because why would it do anything different?

Suddenly and without warning, Mr. Beetle leaped off of the wall and landed squarely and apparently with intent on Alec's shoulder.

Alec's shirt-free shoulder.

You can only imagine.

Then 'up' it about 7,000 notches.

Once Mr. Beetle was given triage to make sure his crash landing onto the cement floor had done no permanent damage, Ward and Alec deposited him outside and Alec returned to his computer after gathering the bits and parts that had plummeted to the floor in the micro-second of panic/shuddering/cursing that accompanied the beetle off of Alec's shoulder and onto the cement below.

Not much later, Aaron had to go outside (it had been a very exciting few minutes).

Alec opened the door out of his room to the back porch and a big wood rat ran in.


I shit you not.

You can only imagine.

Then 'up' it about 7,000,000 notches.

The wood rat ran under a dresser, and was cornered there by Aaron, Sirius and the herd of dust bunnies that already live under the dresser.

We harnessed Sirius and Aaron, re-opened the door and shoo-ed the rat out with a broom.

Here's the point.

The beetle had no good reason to leap 50 times its own body length to land on Alec's nekkid and outlandishly ticklish shoulder.


The wood rat had no good reason to run into the house from an outside that clearly is both better stocked with food and has a billion times more protection- yea verily to run almost literally into the maws of both a terrier AND a cat.

But sometimes they just do that.

That's why I tempered my remarks with "I stay alert just in case of the unexpected".

On the way home in the car I turned on talk radio- I was lucky enough to find a show called "Gun Talk".

After the first few minutes Alec said, "Mom- you're yelling at the radio. Just turn it off if it's upsetting you", and I told him that's EXACTLY why it was on- to keep me awake. He told me to carry on, then but forbade me to actually call in.

He's so unreasonable.

The show's host was saying how he was totally in favor of not just teachers being armed in school, but EVERY adult there- and he named them all- teachers, office staff, janitors, parents, visitors. All armed. To protect the children.

We missed the previous caller, who was a teacher and who had said (I gathered) something like, "I'm a teacher and I'm not being paid to be a guard. I teach. It's someone else's job to be a guard".

You can only imagine.

Of course he wasn't on the phone anymore so the host and subsequent callers had plenty of time and leisure to basically crucify the teacher.

Said he was a coward, he didn't care about the kids, he was a perfect example of people expecting the Nanny State to do what they themselves should be doing for themselves.

(Interjecting that these are the same people who scream that teachers currently get paid too much, work too little and who want to gut the teacher's unions and take away their benefits...the ones they pay for themselves. The same people who scoff derisively when teachers lament that they don't have time to actually teach things like social skills and critical thinking- because of stringent laws tying school funding to test results they spend half of their time 'teaching to the test' and the other half in plain old crowd control because of insane overcrowding in the classrooms. But linear thinking isn't the strong suit of this demographic no way, no how).

Then the host said that, "We don't always have fires in schools, but there are still fire extinguishers. We don't wait unguarded and say 'we have the fire department if there's a fire- we don't need fire extinguishers'. So why do we say 'we don't need to be prepared to defend the children- that's what the police department is for'. That's stupid."

No, dear rabidly deluded "Gun Talk" host.

You are saying Fire + fire extinguisher = safety therefore Guns + more guns = safety

To make a damn bit of cohesive sense Guns + more guns = safety therefore Fire + flame throwers= safety


I understand that what we DON'T want is for an armed crazy person to walk into a school and slaughter a bunch of people. But I don't think you've thought this through.

Who do you want armed? Teachers, office staff, janitors. So instead of having A lone gunman roaming the school during a chaotic and terrifying interlude, now we have what? Fifty armed people? A hundred? Are they all wearing some sort of Team T-shirt so the police can tell which ARMED ADULT is the 'bad guy' in all the confusion?

But wait- he wants more. Every parent and visitor on campus.

Ever see those kids on milk cartons? Hear an Amber Alert? The majority of those kids are not snatched by a stranger- they're non-custodial parents. And where do they snatch 'em from? School.

Yes. Arm those non-custodial parents so now we can have a shoot-out between Disgruntled Dad and Phyllis the school secretary.

Visitors? Like the kid who just slaughtered all those children? HE was a visitor. He was clean-cut and quiet and could've signed himself into the school with no problem.

In Van, two little towns north of us, a janitor was shot in the leg DURING CONCEALED CARRY FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TRAINING. He's hospitalized in fair condition. Not good. Fair.

Kids are clever. And curious. How can purposely bringing dozens or more loaded weapons onto school property possibly not lead to MORE injuries, more deaths?

Because you know the weapons have to be loaded and ready for that sudden attack. They can't be locked up somewhere unloaded.

We need more security, not more armaments.

Those are two absolutely different things, no matter what the gun manufacturers and their minions tell you.

In other places they are petitioning for college students to be able to conceal carry on campus.

Yes. Give an entire demographic of already stressed-out, drama-prone, party-hard young adults loaded guns.

That's a fucking awesome idea.

Most beetles and wood rats will not behave in the manner of the ones who made Alec sleepless and twitchy the rest of the night;
there will always be deviant behaviour among living organisms.

Every once in a while a horse will spook when you least expect it and a dog will bite unprovoked and a human will hurt an astounding amount of other people in a terrifyingly short amount of time.

We keep our windows and doors closed to keep out the majority of insects and rodents, and stay alert whenever around even the most docile horse or dog. We do not poison ALL insects and rodents and we do not beat the shit out of horses and dogs pre-emptively 'just in case'. And even though he owns 2 guns his own self, Alec did not sleep with them under his pillow after an evening with sociopathic insects and rodents.

Because he knows that sometimes they just do that. Not often, and not generally all at once. Sometimes.

Making sure every adult who comes into contact with our children every day always has the capability of killing them(even accidentally- because an accidental death is still...death) is NOT the answer to guarding against a random and rare attack.

It's a guarantee of much more tragedy.

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