Showing posts from February, 2018

Duck and Cover for the 21st Century

Mid-twentieth century students practicing for the apocalypse. No, I'm not that  old. Duck and cover drills ended before I started school. I did get a heavy dose of "Your Chance to Live" lessons, courtesy of the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (formerly the Office of Civil Defense), during my middle school years. This lessons took the forms of films and filmstrips about a variety of disasters: earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods and, yes, nuclear war, the existence of which made the whole series necessary. Curiously, I don't remember any of those lessons taking place once I started high school, which leads me to wonder if having them be such a large part of public school was just an Idaho thing. (My family moved to Oregon the summer before my freshman year.) Whatever the reason for exposing impressionable young students to so many ways we could all die, the result was probably not what the preparers of the curriculum intended. Being prepared didn't

No More Guns

Students at a memorial service in Parkland, Florida If he hadn't had the gun, those seventeen people would still be alive. I can't say that truth will get lost in the pointless ritual that follows every school shooting. There are always commentators making this point, and plenty of people--the majority of Americans, in fact--who agree with it. And yet, I know that in the end, it will be ignored. How do I know this? Let's start with the responder-in-chief, the President of the United States, who, for once, spoke with measured, careful tones about what had happened at that Florida high school as an angry antisocial ex-student smuggled an assault rifle on campus and indiscriminately picked off students and teachers, then disappeared into the crowd of terrified fleeing teens. Trump didn't mention guns once in his speech. He's not alone: most politicians treat the truth at the heart of America's gun problem--that it involves guns--as a third rail. Fr