Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Crazy in Clarksville
by Pa Rock
In a bizarre plan to make their schools safer, administrators in Clarksville, Arkansas, have announced that twenty people who work in their schools will be carrying concealed weapons at school this fall. This hare-brained scheme mirrors one originally proposed by Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association and shameless huckster for the gun industry.
I know Clarksville, know it well. The quiet Ozarks community of less than 10,000 country folk is home to the College of the Ozarks where a former in-law of mine, herself a Clarksville native, once went to pharmacy school. It is just down the road from Altus where ancestors of my children and grandchildren founded the nationally known Wiederkehr Winery. While the area has always been proudly conservative, it saddens me to learn that it is apparently also a hotbed of wackos.
The plan to arm some administrators, teachers and others in the community's schools was put forth under the umbrella of a little known Arkansas statute that allows for the placement of trained (and armed) security guards in schools. Those school employees desiring to participate have to complete fifty-three hours of training and are then deemed official “security guards.” The school district is paying for the training and giving the individuals who participate a one-time payment of $1,100 to purchase a gun, gun belt, and holster.
The identity of the armed employees will be kept secret. Being from a small town myself, I find that laughable.
Also, having been a school teacher and administrator for more years than I care to remember, I can attest to the fact that having a teaching certificate is not a guarantee of mental stability. Principals and teachers get angry – at students, parents, and each other – and they operate under a host of pressures, not the least of which is long hours and low pay in the service of people who are often less than appreciative.
And don’t even get me started on janitors, cooks, and bus drivers – often people with short fuses and usually little in the way of psychological or educational training.
It pains me to say anything positive about the insurance industry, but apparently it is the only entity currently trying to block the Clarksville craziness. Go get ‘em, Flo!
This plan, while sounding nauseatingly like Joe Arpaio's geezer patrols, is even more dangerous. Arpaio keeps his geriatric Zimmermans in the school parking lots - in their cars. The Clarksville gunslingers will be inside of the schools, walking the halls like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, ready to handle any disturbance with deadly force.
More guns never solve anything.